Tuesday 28 February 2012

Over the hill

Depending on your point of view yesterday I was being nosey or looking to the future. I went to have a look at a new care home that is opening shortly on the outskirts of our village. It is going to offer residential and nursing care for both frail elderly and those with dementia. I had heard that the fees are to be 50% more than those of the home that my mother was a resident in. So I was curious to see what residents will get for that extra £350 a week. But I didn't really get to see it. I had gone on the wrong day. The open day was Sunday. It hasn't taken me long as a rookie retiree to lose track of the date. As there was no one around and the door was open I managed to have a nose around some of the rooms. It looks rather like a five star hotel. However, some of the finishing touches in the bedrooms, such as tables over the beds, are not something that you would expect to find in a five star hotel. Anyway I am hoping that a lot of water will flow under the bridge before we need to seriously think about a care home.

To be honest I am struggling a bit with this retirement game. Things did not get off to a very good start with my mother dying just before I finished worked and husband is still at home cluttering up the cottage. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of cards and letters that I received from friends and family, in response to my mother's death. My mother's generation don't do e-mail and I have had to respond the old fashioned way. Now, I have almost got the spare bedroom clear of my mother's clothes. Most have been distributed to the local charity shops, but before I was able to do that I had to remove the name tapes from them. It just took a couple of snips to remove the name tapes that I had sewn in, but the ones ironed in by the home were a different matter. It was as if they had been set in concrete. I had to resort to using a marker pen to black out her name. Then there was the issue of what to do with Mum's ashes. The undertaker had brought them round and dumped them in the garage next to the ashes from our log fire, which we spread around our roses. I found the idea of having her ashes in the cottage a bit spooky and was not sure what to do with them. Thankfully my brother collected them a few days later. He has plans to scatter them down in Devon.

Well, what else have I been up to? I am slowly getting through the back log of jobs around the cottage and am enjoying being able to spend more time reading, as when I was working a considerable amount of time had to be spent reading my professional journal and keeping myself up to date. I have also managed to spend a bit of time in the garden when the weather has permitted and am looking forward to spending more time out there, now that the days are getting warmer. In an attempt to prevent the days from all blurring into one I have started to go to a class on a Tuesday morning. I reckoned that by doing so I should at least know when it is Tuesday. The topic is flower arranging, which I have done before. The teacher is the same. The venue, time of day and classmates are different and I was surprised to find that one of them lives in the neighbouring village. Today we did a Continental Parallel arrangement, which I find difficult to do. Also I am not a great fan of modern arrangements but I am quite pleased with this morning's effort.

The garden does not need to worry. I shall always be a gardener first and a flower arranger second.


Gone Back South said...

Personally I would much rather arrange flowers than do gardening, but hey everyone's different. Sorry to hear about your mum. And I'm sure your retirement will blossom into a lovely time of your life.

Elisabeth said...

I often think about retirement options too cheshire wife. My mother is in a retirement village and has been there for over twelve years happily. I wonder could I live in such a place. I think, yes I could but my husband reckons he could not. It's something we all need to face, what we do if we're lucky enough to grow old. And in the meantime we have our gardens, our flowers our creativity in whatever shape or form it takes. It makes life worth living.

Sandi McBride said...

I was sorry to hear about your Mother but glad that hubby is still cluttering up the place...going to school is quite foreign to one such as I...it does seem a waste of time when you could playing in the garden and catching mice...but the flower arrangement is so lovely...my Mamon would love it. I am being
from One Cat Shy of Crazy...we felines have our own blog now, did you know? Mamon is still in a Holding Pattern though...

Rosaria Williams said...

Ah, the things you'll do before you are due at The Home!
Enjoy your blurring days and weeks.

Rob-bear said...

I think, m'lady, you got off on the wrong foot with this retirement bit, and are slowly re-adjusting your course. Re-adjusting is good.

The word is properly spelled "re-tire-ment." As in you put a new set of tires on yourself, and you're good for at least another 30,000 miles, or more (depending on the brand). I asked for a set of Michelin tires, but didn't get them.

With your new tires, your can gather up more books (and read them), head out to the garden (often), and drive yourself to flower arranging classes. You may want to do some volunteer work. Or even, on a whim, offer to help as a chemist if there's a need for one (in your old shop?). You could take up ballroom dancing. Well, whatever.

Losing one's mum is a bit much. Been there; done that. I trust the experience is sorting itself out for you. Funeral Director leaving the ashes in a garage? That would be considered very "No-no" on this side of the pond. Scattering them in Devon is probably a good plan.

As for The Home, lots of people never get into one, and are just about as healthy. But £700 per week? Now somebody is making a very handsome profit on that.

Rob-bear said...

P.S.: Whatever you are, it's NOT over the hill.

Jennytc said...

Well, I think Rob-bear's way of looking at retirement is excellent!

cheshire wife said...

Love and Enterprise - I have been hoping for a lovely time.

Elisabeth - you are right.

Sandi - I am not sure about catching mice.

rosaria - I am hoping that it will be years not days and weeks.

Rob - new home fees are rumoured to be £1000 per week.

Jennyta - yes, where do I get the new tyres?

Diane said...

Sorry to hear about your mother. My Mum was living with us when she went very suddenly after a massive stroke. The after clearing up is quite traumatic. As for her ashes I had them put on her Mother's grave as I thought they would like to be together again. I have asked in my will for my ashes to join them both. There will be a lot of catching up to do as my godmother's ashes are there as well!!
I hope you and I have a while to go before anyone needs to worry about us and homes! We have no children so perhaps there is no one who will worry anyway :) Keep well Diane

Akelamalu said...

I'm loving retirement and really don't know how I found the time to work!

Love the flower arrangement. I'm so looking forward to getting out into the garden - roll on Spring!

cheshire wife said...

Fun,Food & Life - most of the clearing up was done three years ago when Mum went into the home.

Akelamalu - I have been in the garden all afternoon.

LindyLouMac said...

My thoughts are with you as my Mum died less than a year ago. Your comments about retirement sadden me though, now is the time to be living life's great adventure to the full.

cheshire wife said...

LindyLouMac - I wrote this touch in cheek. Husband has not retired.

Jennyff said...

After 42 years of work and 3 of retirement I enjoy the blurring of the days and especially like a week that has nothing planned. For that reason I've never committed to any regular voluntary work, classes, groups etc and tell myself I'm up for anything that comes along to surprise me. Still waiting.

Maggie May said...

This ageing thing leaves a lot to be desired!
I think nursing home fees are extortionate and I hope we don't ever have to resort to that, though I realise that we might.

Your flower arrangement is lovely. Very professional looking.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Thud said...

Knowing when its tuesday...classic!

cheshire wife said...

Jenny - I am trying out some of the options.

Maggie May - I agree with you on the ageing issue.

Thud - it is the little things that are important.

Valerie said...

The flower arrangement is really lovely. I'm no good at it; I'm only good at stuffing flowers in a vase and rearranging them so they look nice. Sorry to hear you lost your Mum. Retirement comes to us all and we should use it to enjoy those things we never had time for in earlier years.

Jenny Woolf said...

No need to look at care homes yet. By the time you need one another may have come along! :D

Gill - That British Woman said...

love your choice of flowers and the colours, but I agree the arrangement is too modern for me as well.

Gill in Canada

the fly in the web said...

I find it quite strange to have my husband active again after years of illness...to be pootering about with his own projects and occupying every flat surface in thehouse.
When he goes off to San Jose for three days a week to renovate the house there I find myself reclaiming territory!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

I for one hopes I never end up in any retirement home.
I like my privacy too much, and wouldn't fair well with structured daily programs.
Of course, you have to have your health, once that goes, you have to rely on help, even if it means professional.

The flower arrangement is very pretty, purples are my favorite color :)

Your husband needs a workshop, at the bottom of the garden, a long way to walk back to the house, with his own tea kettle and supplies :)

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Your arrangement looks lovely CW and it is a lovely class to go to. I too prefer the more traditional arrangements though.
I love being retired, 4 years now. A x

cheshire wife said...

Valerie - that is what I am hoping to do.

Jenny Woolf - you are probably right.

Gill - modern arrangements do not look right in older houses.

fly - good to read that your husband is feeling better.

Jo - husband needs a job.

SJA - the classes are very sociable.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Arranging or gardening are beyond my abilities, so congrats to you for being skilled at both!
What an emotional drain it must have been to do the clearing out, I'm sorry this last year has been such a tough one for you. Hopefully when everything settles, the retirement experience will come to look more like what you were hoping it would be.

Hilary said...

I'm sorry about your mother but please don't get ahead of your own self. It seems to me that you have a LONG way to go. Enjoy it.

cheshire wife said...

imbeingheldhostage - I am sure that you are very good at things that I can not do.

Hilary - I only went to look at the home to be nosey.