Friday, 26 October 2012


The weather has not been kind this year. Too much rain and the harvest of all kinds of crops is not as good as usual.

Last year I found an unexpected abundance of fruit in my garden. An example of God's provision and how he longs to lavish His good gifts on us.

The discovery was made when I needed to know God was near, as I was approaching the first anniversary of Andrew's death.

This year there has been little actual fruit to harvest but God continues to bless me in different amazing ways. Another crop of fruit wouldn't have surprised and excited me in the same way.

You can click back below to read last year's post...

unravelling edges: Unexpected Fruit: (posted Oct 20th 2011) Once upon a time in our garden we had a two bushes that grew up either side of a set of steps leading down to the lower part of the gard...

Damson harvest 2011

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Unravelling Technology

I was all set for reposting a blog from October last year when I remembered this one posted in June 2011.

Oldest son has just bought himself a new iPod Touch - very swish with its scrolling touch screen and all those appealing app you can download...

...hmmmm the problem is he needs WiFi and internet access and that's where I crumple.

Andrew kept a red folder with all the numbers needed to set up our WiFi system, trouble is they make little sense to the most technical of readers and I'm afraid it is all gobble-de-gook to me.

When I bought myself a Kindle earlier in the year I almost gave up with the complications of setting the thing up - give me an old fashioned book anyday!

It was only because Andrew's brother was visiting that I got it sorted and didn't just give it away.

Any computer glitches and I am swearing at Andrew and his unique way of doing things.

"There's no need to shout." Oldest son says softly. (This is oldest son who is currently downstairs shouting at the FIFA referee on the PS3!)

Here are my thoughts from last June....

And the answer is? I don’t even understand the question!

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written.  I’ve been developing other ideas, enjoying starting something new.  I do have some wonderful things to share with you….soon.

The trouble is I’m not good at finishing things.  I always long for a change and some excitement.

But someone told me the other day to keep writing as I unravel.  

Well I’ve unravelled so much that it feels like even my words don’t make sense anymore.  If I was clever enough I would end this post now with the words coming undone, unwinding and languidly dropping to the bottom of the page like squiggly spaghetti! 

I’ve just got off the phone from our internet, TV and phone provider.  It was some survey or other as I am "technically" a new customer.

I love the internet, email and my blog but I hate all the technology behind it because it is incomprehensible.

Now THEY… (I won’t name and shame for I fear all such providers of services are just as bad as each other and I do make it a policy NOT to name people on here so I will afford THEM the same courtesy.  A wise move if this ever gets published I could do without being taken to court – haha!  Although as this is ALL true….)

…THEY rang ME but still wanted me to answer all THEIR security questions before THEY would discuss my complaint.

Do THEY seriously think someone else is sitting in my home just waiting for THEM to ring?  Intent on slagging off THEIR company and giving me a reputation of being a moaning minny!

Now I know I am blonde but I do like to think I have some intelligence.  However I couldn’t answer any of THEIR questions and I had valid reasons for every one. 

I have no idea what speed of broadband we have – that was Andrew’s department!  It works and is fast enough for me, so why do I need to know the speed?

I don’t know when, “with our package”, we get free calls – Andrew set up a second internet line we use for outgoing calls and I have no idea how that works either, all I know is I successfully set up paypal to keep paying them (lower case) and they have never rang me for a customer satisfaction survey.

I don’t even know which method of payment I use!  It was direct debit but when THEY changed the last digit of the account and put it in my name THEY cancelled the mandate.

When I was in America last month my friend suggested I check my email.

“But I can’t.  Andrew set it up so my emails just come to my computer.”

“No you can check email anywhere.  You just have to log in.”

Armed with this superior knowledge I set about getting into my account.

I needed a password.  Now I know this - I gave THEM a password when I changed the account into my name.  This was going to be a doddle!


Not only was my password NOT accepted but on the screen came a message to check with ANDREW for access!

Not wanting to be beaten I tried his account with all the usual passwords he used to be confronted with MORE security questions!

I gave up.

This is where I am at the moment.  Some things are sorted, lots of things are sorted really.

But it is these last details that I am struggling with and if I am honest I am getting bored with them (lower case) and THEM (upper case)!

I want to start something NEW not tie up the loose ends I don’t understand and because of the way Andrew did things I don’t think anyone else can help either.

I am stuck in a rut which makes those blasted hurdles ever higher to climb over!

Andrew would have fixed this.  He would know.  He understood the “dark arts” of computing and could speak in techno babble. 
But he couldn’t work the washing machine, or cook a meal, or iron a shirt.  Sometimes I wonder how he would have survived if things had been the other way around.

It’s not a productive thought really.  Even the suggestion that I am coping better than he would doesn’t ease the pain.  OK I get some sense of pride but it is fleeting.

We were a team.  We did things together, balancing each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

“I can’t use the washing machine but I can mend it!” said Andrew with a grin.  I have a bolt holding the washing machine door on to prove it!

We were very traditional in our marriage.  I stayed at home and did “girl” stuff while Andrew went out to work and did the “boy” stuff.

But then other "stuff" is so unconventional, like an extra phone line and a door bell that is linked to the phone.  A lawnmower that has a piece of wood to hold the grass box in place and so many pieces of paper with passwords and numbers on for our complicated computer set up.  A house that is far from ordinary with all its associated issues!

There is so much still to unravel and before I can work on the answers there are some questions that still need some serious untangling!
On the plus side today I did manage to delete history from youngest son's laptop, resize the screen settings and get a game working that he couldn't - so maybe I'm not such a dumb blonde afterall!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Still Ticking - Still Moving

Here's how I was feeling a year ago, reading this I wonder just how far forward I have moved in a year?

Physically we're in the same location but spiritually and emotionally I've kept going forward.

Grief is never linear and you can't plot a graph showing progress. I've probably said that before, I learnt it a little while ago.

Am I still grieving? Does it ever really end? These are things I don't tend to think about very often. It's only when I look back over my blog that I assess my state of mind.

Tomorrow hopefully I have my last counselling appointment, I won't say "ever" but at least for now. It's been a month since my last one. For me I finally found the right person to talk to and it has helped tremendously. You just have to read my re-ravelling post Learning to Laugh Again. I am now ready for my next solo steps, more confident, far less self critical.

So is looking back at last year's posts helpful? It would be easy to get down in the dumps seeing as I haven't moved house and some of last years expectations haven't come to fruition.

There is still a balance between past and future, some things tick and while other things move but overall things are GOOD!

Ticking Over and Moving Forward (originally posted Oct 6th 2011)

There are some days when I feel like I am treading water, just getting by and doing the essentials. 
Thankfully my ironing pile is currently non-existent but I must admit the washing basket is beginning to multiply again.  All that glorious weather last week meant I got literally loads and loads dried on the line, a quick shake and very little ironing to be done.  I always feel I am on top of things when the pile disappears and there is the satisfying squeak of the ironing board being finally folded away.
Homework is another matter.  Now I have both boys at secondary school and oldest son has started his GCSEs this has increased exponentially.  There never appears to be an end in sight even when they say they haven’t got any, I’ve learned that’s boy speak for “I’ve got nothing that needs to be handed in tomorrow.”  The next night they have four pieces to finish and they bemoan the unfairness of it all.  I have to cajole and bribe and nag and shout but at least I don’t have to DO all of it, it just sometimes seems like it.
“I need this printed off.” Is the cry at ten past eight in the morning when we have to leave the house in five minutes.
There is then the on-going job of keeping on top of the housework, thank goodness I have a cleaner to help out with that one in my far-too-grand-for-three sized house.
And then comes that most dreaded of questions “what are we having for tea tonight?”  You can guarantee the day I am organised remembering to get something out of the freezer is the day they have already eaten that very same meal at school for lunch.
But all these things are just LIFE ticking over.   The boring and mundane jobs that just need to be done.
As I’ve said I do have a cleaner and I am keeping on top of things - well OK most things.  I still have lots of paperwork to get filed away but that was something I often did together with Andrew.  Even then we would leave it for too long between sort outs.  There was even a bit of a standing joke that we only tidied the large dining table once a year at Christmas ready to serve our festive meal.
Then there are times when I need a break from the dull routine and want to embark on something new.
Ever since the house went on the market it has been my plan to have the sort of mammoth clear out you only ever have when you are moving house.  Now I have found somewhere I would like to live I have moved up a gear.  The bins are full every week – gone is the girl who used to pride herself with only half filling the wheelie bin, there is so much clutter that needs chucking.
Of course, good girl that I am, I’m still doing a great deal of recycling and have sorted out a pile of old toys, games and bric a brac for a table top sale at the weekend.  Might as well try and get a bit for it to pay for my gardener – my other latest venture – we are trying to give my house that kerb appeal to make any potential buyer fall in love with the place and make an offer.
Sorting out and tidying up in this fashion is my way of saying that we are ready to move on.  I long for my fresh new start.
It still often feels unreal that Andrew is gone for good but the truth is he is never going to walk through the front door again, or be hiding behind a long curtain somewhere (childish but fun and oh so predictable!).
The alternative to moving forward is to just keep everything the same, ticking over but pretending none of this had ever happened.  Acting as if he is just away on an extended trip is not going to help in the long run.
Am I heartless or callous for wanting to start anew?  I think I decided a while ago that it doesn’t matter what other people say and think about how I process my grief.  It is mine to deal with.  Also I have discovered from writing this blog just how deep our love was despite the usual ups and downs of marriage.  We always said our love had grown over the years, changing with the seasons but now I have had the chance to reflect on it from a different perspective and mourn it’s passing.
Moving on is not dishonouring Andrew’s memory or how much he still means to me.
With being on anti-depressants it has been a few weeks since I had a good cry and that concerned me.  Had the tablets taken my feelings of loss away?  I have certainly been bouncier since taking them which I must confess has felt great.    This week the tears have re-surfaced in a good way at appropriate times and places as I get my life back in some kind of emotional balance.
The good with the bad, the old and the new, past memories alongside hopefulness for the future.
Both ticking over and moving forward in harmony.