Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Calendar Year

As most of you know, I absolutely revelled in Niki's Nostalgia at the Stone House Calendar last year, and used its pictures as inspiration for a monthly collection of vintage goodies in the dull patch under our stairs - coincidentally the first thing you see as you come in though our front door, so a good area to keep looking interesting! I'm going to use a picture of each month's display to do a little review of my year, as I currently remember it. Enjoy the pictures or the text - they tell different stories, so it's up to you which you prefer...January was the month that I got ill, rather than merely under the weather, from my thyroid infection. Not a great start, but a real chance to stop and think, and to begin reading Simple Abundance.
February was ill month number two. Lots more stopping and thinking, most of it very valuable indeed! The boys and I also staggered over to visit my parents, and whilst there I started to get better.
In March things were getting far better for me, although I was still taking steriods which left me rather frantic! I got back into work and learned about how to keep the house rather tidier, partly thanks to my manic spurts of energy... I also really enjoyed the Pause in Lent blogging event with a number of you - a real part of my learning this year.
In April I got over to see my parents again. I bought lots of Roman Mysteries books for Son 2 in the Edinburgh charity shops, and Serenata helped me greatly by sending the last two that I couldn't find! The kindness of bloggers.
May saw a lot of Vide Greniers, including one in our own town where our boys sold off their old toy cars - a bit of fun! I went over to see my parents again - looking back over this year, I'm so glad I went so often. Ben was wonderful, looking after the animals, sometimes the boys too, and sometimes with the help of his excellent mother.
June was my birthday, and we celebrated with a fantastic afternoon tea with friends, using my real(fake) Limoges tea set and with contributions baked by all family and visitors. Ben baked a yummy swiss roll which was upstaged by Son 2's incredible chocolate cake!
July was another month when I took the boys over to see my parents. Once home, we had a wonderful camping trip in the Ariege, where we all truly relaxed. Sometimes it's hard to realise how tense we all get until we can force ourselves to do nothing!
In August Ben's parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a gite holiday for all the family - an incredible experience and a most wonderful vintage gite.
September saw a lot of new starts for me - the work I was doing in a school folded, and my hours with a Business Language school took up the slack - so I've gone from working with 11 - 15 year olds to chatting on the phone with very professional English-speaking French business people! I still do a good amount of private tuition with children and teenagers, though. It was also Ben's birthday and we had a really wonderful family visit to the Jardin des Martels to celebrate.
October was the month that my mother's health, which had been blessedly calm over the summer, reached its worst. She died on October 20th in St Columba's Hospice in Edinburgh, following more than two years of coping with cancer. She is the reason that I started this blog and you will notice her influence on it everywhere.
We kept November deliberately calm - returning from my mother's funeral at the end of October meant that we just got on with life and work, taking Son 1 to his many appointments to help measure and deal with his dyspraxia inbetweentimes. It wasn't a bad month. It was a good one to focus on what mattered.
And December has been another opportunity to focus on what matters! The Pause in Advent with the blogging community, and our family Advent and Christmas activities at home, especially with my Dad (miraculously) joining us for Christmas, have been so important.
So what will 2011 bring? It has already brought my new Nostalgia Calendar! And, noting the word 'fragile' on my lovely recup' box here, maybe a bit more admission of my own fragilities. While I was blogging to cheer my mum, I really couldn't mention anything that would cause her concern, about the boys, or about me, or anything... Now, I hope I will be able to think things through more openly, now and then. Nothing too grave - I love a cheery blog! But I know I can count on my blogging friends to bear with me (lol) if I occasionally admit to a frailty... Happy New Year!


Sarah said...

Hi Floss and Happy New Year. It's funny when you look back over the year - some of what you've mentioned above only seems like days ago since you wrote about them rather than whole months!
I touched on something similar this morning in my post about how blogging can change one's perspective on things. Even if we don't comment, it's pleasurable just to pop in and read some blogs to cheer ourselves up.
Here's to a happy 2011!

Jane and Chris said...

Floss, I love the pink roses photo. The full blown with the buds....old and new...very apt for this time of year.
Jane x

Autumn Mist said...

Goodness, that means I've been following your blog for the whole year, and what a pleasure it's been to be with you for all your highs and lows of 2010. This is a lovely way of looking back on it Floss. Here's to a peaceful and healthy 2011, and no matter what may lay in store, none of it is a surprise to Him!

Amanda said...

A lovely thoughtful post. Its shows not to take anything for granted.

Maria said...

A lovely post Floss, Happy New Year :)

Serenata said...

An excellent post Floss and summarised so well. It has been a pleasure following your year again both the good and the sad times.

I'm not sure I am going to do such a summary for last year this time. Still need to think on it ;-)

Looking forward to all that 2011 brings us and our families.

Lynn said...

I loved this post Floss. Happy New Year and God bless.

Heidi said...

You had quite a year of some bumps in the road and blessings it was so nice catching up. You had your first Christmas without your Mom I was thinking of you!

Nana Go-Go said...

And a Happy New Year to you Floss. Hope it holds lots of happiness for you and yours.

Sophie - Chez Sophie said...

Happy New Year Floss, Lovely post.
Love & Hugs Sophie xxx

Ticking stripes said...

Its fine to be frail sometimes Floss - I've really admired your approach in such difficult circumstances. Hope you have some peace this year.
Love Wend

lemonade kitty said...

Hi, what a lovely post Floss, hope you enjoy spending time with your dad. Wishing you a very happy new year, Lucey xx

TheMadHouse said...

What a wonderful review Floss. I am glad you had your Dad with you over Christmas. I am learning that by being more accepting of my frailties I can look to do something about them or not as the case may be!

Juanita Tortilla said...

Floss, I liked having a monthly project over the past year, i.e. your Nostalgia inspiration, and my bread-a-month. They were little milestones to help us note the passage of time. Time passes by too quickly, and that is what I have begun to feel.

The blog is yours, and you should do what you please really. We all must know that all blogs are written by a person, not a happy robot :)

To a wonderful 12 months ahead!

Country Cottage Chic said...

Hope that 2011 will be a healthy & happy year for you!


Elizabeth Rimmer said...

I was sorry to hear about your mother. That makes three of my friends who have been bereaved this year. May th next year bring you peace.

summerfete said...

Happy 2011 Floss

I think its good to drop in the trying times of life on ones blog, every once in a while..

I think I've said it before, but cutsy perfect blogs get a little boring and shallow.

If like me you blog to share your world with others, then a little downtime is only natural,
and sometimes theraputic to share with 'friends'

love Clare xx

Manka said...

Hi Floss!

Happy new year :) !


bad penny said...

Thank you for reviewing your year with us Floss - thinking of you & looking forward to reading more here x

Lorrie said...

A lovely post, Floss. Your calendar idea is sweet. I'm looking forward to reading your posts throughout 2011.

Green thumb said...

Thank you for another great year of interesting reading and beautiful pictures!
Wishing you and your family a happy New Year!

Carol said...

Lovely post, Floss. Hope 2011 is a wonderful year for you and your family.
I've got my Nostalgia calendar up too, isn't it lovely?
Carol xx