Search This Blog

Sunday, December 15, 2013


On Sunday morning we were in the kitchen, Jean making a Christmas cake while I was cleaning a part of one of the pantry cupboards. Not a job either of us do very often but I noticed a build up of gunk on a couple of shelves that store oils and other things that drip and attract dirt and dusty material. Since it was approaching Christmas I thought that it wouldn't take long just to unload the shelves one at a time clean them with some gifted Grappa that no one should drink. The giver did say she used it on windows. Surprisingly the job took less time than planned thanks to the quality of the solvent and there was a feeling that maybe a couple of other shelves might get the same attention.

The dogs gave nothing away (as usual) but we both heard a voice. Instantly you think “unannounced visitors! Check clothes to make sure a)- fully dressed, b) no food stains on tops and then outside to find out who.

Didn't recognise the faces at first but the voice gave it away. Some friends from up north who we hadn't seen for 5 or 6 years. A warm welcome to them and almost immediately the reason for the visit. Bad news. A mutual friend of long standing had died. A simple operation, a complication and that 's it. Stunned.

We talked for bit then coffee and teas and talked some more. Lunch from the garden, some wine and we continued talking until late in the afternoon about everything and nothing. Too unwilling I think to part company.

Afterwards Jean and I talked about how out of sorts we were and that life seems too unexpected to waste and we had better lift our game and catch up with old fiends more often. Rather than Christmas cards we'll go in person.

Difficult to not think about our friend's abrupt end. So much easier when someone has an extended illness late in life allowing some time to adapt to the inevitable.

A sombre Sunday to remind us to make the best of the moment. No preparedness or survivalism can help in some circumstances.


  1. I'm so sorry about your friend. Death does have a way of lending perspective. It's amazing how easy it is to let life shrink down to the details. Until reading this, I have spent my morning worrying about the fact that I haven't baked Christmas treats for the swimming teacher! Take care.