My major achievement for January was keeping the Christmas tree up until Women’s Christmas on January 6. Small goals. We also decided we would get the kitchen done in 2018.
I got offered a new job. Go me. Otherwise, things were quiet. Mr. Waffle’s parents got a live in carer who improved the quality of everyone’s lives exponentially.
The snow came. The office had to shut down for three days. It was, frankly thrilling. Also we had sufficient bread to carry us through the crisis.
2018 was the year of funerals. Just like I spent all of my early 30s going to weddings all the time, late 40s seems to be the moment for all the funerals. I turned 49 in March.
My sister was still sick although she had finished her chemo at the end of 2017. I wondered whether she would ever be really well again.
We took the children to Brussels for the first time since they left in 2008. Ten years is a long time.
The Princess turned 15 and I started my new job. The weather finally improved.
Herself got braces. The pain, people. Who knew? The weather was glorious and we were beginning, little though we knew it, the best summer since the heatwave in 1976.
The boys finished their first year in secondary school. Herself finished her first state examinations. My sister started to get much better. Her hair grew back curly. Meanwhile my daughter died her hair red. Because summer time (on the left is last year’s summer colour).
We agreed with the architect to defer the kitchen building job to September. The weather continued glorious.
We went to Clonakilty for a week’s holidays. It was good in parts. A bit too near Cork city and not near enough to West Cork. Although the weather continued to be really lovely, it wasn’t quite as toasty as Dublin.
We went to Denmark on our summer holidays. On balance, we were very much in favour.
A big month for us. Herself went off to France for three months. I was terrified leaving her at the airport but she managed just fine.
The builder was stuck on another job and promised faithfully to start in October.
The boys started second year, without any undue concern. They also turned 13 at the end of the month.
Daniel got new glasses and was also taller than me. It definitely happened this year but I’m not quite sure when.
My father-in-law had a fortnight in respite care and then put out his back on his first night back home and had to go into hospital. Although we didn’t know it, that was the last night he would ever spend at home.
My mother-in-law moved to a nursing home. My father-in-law who had been getting sicker and sicker since going into hospital died on October 23. My sister-in-law and her husband and baby moved to Ireland from England on October 25 – she came early leaving him and the baby to pack up. The funeral was on October 27. It was pretty strange and it really still is. Aside from the dementia, he seemed pretty well. He was only 74 and he had been a runner for years. We went from a situation of regular crises with both Mr. Waffle’s parents to order and calm with a hefty side order of guilt on the part of Mr. Waffle and his siblings that they should have done more. Guilt which was, in my view, entirely unjustified; I thought they all did a superb job coping with a very difficult situation without ever falling out or blaming each other even though it was all horribly stressful.
I am trying to remember my parents-in-law and all the good times we had before they got sick. The holidays we went on together – mostly to Kerry (actually a lot to Kerry, I’ve run out of energy in finding links so you’ll have to take my word on this) but also to Sicily three times and once when the Princess was little to France. We would meet the cousins in their house most Sundays and they brought the family together, minding children, paying for houses in holiday places and dinners in nice restaurants. They were endlessly helpful and cheerful and delightful parents-in-law and I want to remember all the fun we had over the years.
Our builder guaranteed us that he would start at the end of the month and our kitchen would be finished by Christmas. This was the first NaBloPoMo I didn’t complete in years. My heart wasn’t in it. Also November was quiet. Here’s Dan at a rugby match. Ireland won. He was pleased.
Our kitchen works will definitely, definitely start in January. Not on the 2nd as promised but on the 9th. Hmm.
We had Christmas day in the parents-in-law’s house and my mother-in-law came out of the nursing home for a bit. The boys had a fantastic time with their cousins although herself was sick and a bit miserable. Overall, Christmas was a bit strange.
With one thing and another, it’s been a tough year for us. My sister is still getting over her cancer. She and my brother are rushed off their feet looking after my own parents and elderly aunt – although my mother is in a nursing home, they are very faithful visitors which takes time – and my father and aunt are both at home and are very old and in the case of my father, frail and my aunt, starting dementia. It’s hard. We’ve had a difficult year with Mr. Waffle’s parents as well, obviously.
On the non-elderly relative front, I’ve started my new job and though there are many positives, it’s a new job in a new place and that is always hard at the beginning. Although herself had a great time in France and this is basically a good news item, I missed her horribly for the three months she was away. And then there was the constant annoyance of the wretched kitchen. I did get an Aga though (as yet uninstalled) which is a sign perhaps of my mid-life crisis; my lovely husband got me this, inter alia, for Christmas.
There were lots of good things in 2018 too but I can’t help hoping that 2019 will be better. Happy new year!