Where did 2021 go?

I can’t believe that another year has passed, and we are almost at Christmas again. I haven’t written many blog posts this year as it was just too much to fit in. I always feel that I should manage more and be able to keep busy

We have managed to avoid Covid (so far), but have not escaped the wider effects of it.  Emily had to self-isolate several times after close contact at school and we had to manage online schoolwork.  Emily did very well with the online stuff and did not need much input from us and her teachers were all very pleased with her.  It remains to be seen if the disruption will have a long-term effect on their education.

Rob started working from home in April 2020 and has not returned yet, and is unlikely too for the foreseeable future, if ever.  All his work is related to Covid, so it feels like it lives in our house at times and the meetings are endless. Thankfully the long hours and 7 days a week working that we had at the beginning are a thing of the past, but I best not tempt fate.

Despite all the restrictions and everything going on 2021 seems to have passed in a flash and there is never enough time.

Last Christmas my Mum came to stay with us, but we were unable to see other family members due to the restrictions.  It was a much quieter Christmas than we are used to, I normally find it too overwhelming, but not seeing people was hard.  We are hoping to see family this year, but the current Covid news is worrying and could mean a change of plan for us all.  I haven’t seen my brother and his family for nearly 2 years.

In February our cat was hit by a car.  Somehow, she got herself home with a broken jaw and a damaged leg.  Rob ended up taking her to the vets at midnight.  It was several days before a treatment plan was sorted as they didn’t know if she would survive or if they could actually treat her.  After scans and x-rays they confirmed the broken jaw which needed to be wired but couldn’t find any issue with her leg.  After surgery on her jaw they had to sew her mouth shut and insert a feeding tube into her neck.  We had to tube feed her 6 times a day, give her medication down the tube and keep the tube clean.  The tube was due to be in for 6-8 weeks, but after 4 weeks Oreo pulled it out at 4am!  Another dash to the vets.  They were going to reinsert the tube, but then decided to unstitch her mouth and see if she would and could eat.  She did eat and managed ok with soft food, so we were able to have her home again until she had to return to have the jaw wires out.  They still had no idea what was wrong with her leg and said it might waste away and she might have to have it amputated.  They gave us some massage to try, which Oreo refused to let us do, but after the first try she gradually began to use her leg again.  To see her now you would not know anything had happened to her.  Her leg is not 100% but it doesn’t stop her doing anything, climbing, jumping, hunting etc. She had a vets check up last week and they found no long term effects and apparently she put up a good fight! She is very strong and stubborn and keeps us all on our toes, but we wouldn’t want any less. Well maybe a cute cuddly lap cat would be nice, but not as entertaining!

Trying to steal food even with her mouth stitched closed!
Pretending to be a Christmas card.

Also, during this time two special friends were very ill with cancers and had been told there was no more treatment for them.  One of the died in March and the other in April.  Due to Covid restrictions at funerals we were not able to attend either but were able to to watch online.  I do hope that service continues, I have missed several funerals that I wanted to go to, and it would be great for housebound people or people who live to far away to still have this option. This time of year reminds you of all the people who have gone and the Christmas card list seems to get ever shorter 🙁 It will be the 5th Christmas without my Dad this year, it never gets any easier and I still find myself expecting him to be sat there and wondering what to buy for him, before I remember.

Due to lockdown Rob and Emily’s birthdays in February were at home with cake and takeaway.  Was good not to have to organize parties or outings for once. Emily will be 15 six weeks after Christmas, I can’t believe where did my baby go?

Cake made by local cake maker https://www.facebook.com/ennyscakes
Cake made by local cake maker https://www.facebook.com/ennyscakes

I “celebrated” my 50th birthday in June, just as things were starting up again.  We had planned to go out for a meal, but Emily had to self-isolate so we had to cancel.  Rob booked a helicopter flight for us, which luckily, we did the weekend before my birthday and before Emily’s self-isolation.  It was an amazing experience, it flew over home and then up into Leeds, then down over my brother’s house and on to where our parents live.  Family came out to wave to us.  It was amazing weather too and we could see so much.  We said we need to go again (when finances allow) as you can’t take everything in.  It was also our 20th wedding anniversary.  We had wanted to go back to Switzerland where we had our honeymoon, but it will have to wait until 25 years now.

We did manage to get a holiday as we went to a place in North Yorkshire with all Rob’s family to celebrate his Mum’s 70th birthday.  It was the first time we had seen everyone together and was a bit scary and it was only a week or so before that the rules changed allowing that number of people to be together indoors.  I couldn’t join in all the things and spent quite a bit of time on my own, but it was good for Rob and Emily to have other people to do things with and not be on their own when I have to go to bed.  We were quite lucky with the weather except for the day we went to Scarborough. We went to Whitby and Sandsend and got on the beach and in the sea which the kids aged 4 to 14 all enjoyed and the adults too.

The start of school term was delayed by a week in Sept, but it was great for the kids to get back to normality and self-isolation for contact was ended.  Emily had her vaccine a few weeks ago, so fingers crossed education will carry on as normal.  She is now in yr 10 and takes one GCSE in the summer, she is doing business studies.  It is parents evening on Thurs, it was supposed to be in school, but is now online which is actually easier for me and feels safer than being in confined spaces with lots of other people. She is working hard and doing well so fingers crossed all will go well. She plans to go into 6th form, but isn’t sure what she wants to study yet.

In early November is had a surgical removal of a wisdom tooth, the recovery from General anaesthetic and pain has been harder than I expected and now nearly 5 weeks later is still painful and I still can’t fully open my mouth.  I had more than 2 weeks of only being able to eat porridge and soup etc off a teaspoon.  The wound also got infected which has delayed things, but I think I am on the home straight now.  I have a checkup next week.

I continue to try and make cards and other crafty items when time and energy allow.  I have found it hard this year being 50 and feeling like my life is passing me by and being frustrated with my limitations and inability to work.  This in turn meant I was also able to do less which was very frustrating.   I always have so many ideas and plans, but I am not able to do most of them or spend so much time looking at ideas that I can’t actually do them.  I have given up with my website as it is too difficult to list and sell through, so just post on Facebook and make occasional sales to people I know.  I think the world is saturated with handmade goods now and unless you are very good and or put a lot of time into sales and promotion things don’t sell. I keep thinking about other ways of selling, but don’t have enough stock or it costs too much.  I will keep thinking! I have got involved with a website that has themed card challenges which I enjoy and I have won a few of them, which means I get to be a guest designer for a challenge. I keep wanting to try new techniques and styles and have far more ideas than time and energy or money!

Every day I mourn not being able to work and provide for my family, but at this time of year I don’t miss waiting for buses in the cold, wet and dark. My cat keeps me company during the day when Rob is working and Emily is at school and I have daily help, but still feel very lonely and useless.

My help has been very hit and miss with restrictions meaning people could not come in or my help being ill or having ill kids.  I have now found someone who can provide cover at short notice, so hopefully I will get a proper level of help now.  With Rob working at home I can ask him to do odd bits, but I don’t like to ask if I can help it.  Straight after Christmas my daily help has jury duty and then when she comes back Rob has jury duty, they better not call me! It’s good to be able to have help, but also very difficult to accept as I still want to do everything myself.

In his spare time, mainly when I have gone to bed at a stupidly early time, Rob has been working on our family tree and has traced his line back to Edward I!  My line appear to be peasants!

It remains to be seen how the rest of the year and Christmas will pan out, keeping everything crossed that it can be somewhere near normal.  I have my booster booked for Dec 21st and Rob’s is in Jan.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy 2022

Photo taken by https://www.whiteboxphotography.co.uk/

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