Ok, not the most cheerful of titles for this ‘festive’ blog post. By now you may have noticed I try to bring song titles into my blog headings, mostly as a challenge for me to find a suitable one and also because music (listening, most certainly not playing!) has always played an important role throughout my life.
Anyway back to the dreary title.
While I do love Christmas, this time of year always leaves me somewhat melancholy, as we see another year go by and begin to make plans for the next one, in theory wishing our lives away!
But enough of that solemn stuff and onto the festivities! As is our tradition, my good friend and super employee Karen and I always go away for a night in the lead up to the holidays, last year we took the 3 hour drive to the wonderful city of Malaga and decided to do the same this year.
In a whirlwind 24 hours, we ate, drank, laughed, shopped until we dropped and shopped a little more. We also enjoyed the fabulous Christmas lights on the Calle Larios which are renowned as some of the best in Europe. This year they also put on a fantastic sound and light display which had us dumbstruck for the full 10 minute show.
Christmas day was deliciously quiet, with just Alex, me and the dogs, exactly how we like it. Too much food of course and treated each other to some great presents. I spent most of the afternoon and evening playing with my new Apple Watch2, which will no doubt make my quest to be super-fit that much easier! (Or so they say!)
Sad news came on the day after Christmas. Alex’s Gramps passed away peacefully at his care home in the UK. While it was not totally unexpected at age 94, it was a sad moment as we remembered a great man who flew one of the last bombing raids as a RAF pilot in World War II.
For New Year it was back down to Malaga, this time with Alex and the dogs to see my parents who were staying down there for a couple of months as they usually do, to escape the cold UK winter.
I got news the evening before we set off that my dad was feeling unwell, dizzy, no appetite etc, we were concerned, as a few years ago he suffered a TIA or mini stroke so we didn’t want to take any risks. So on arrival we whisked him off to the local emergency room where he underwent tests, visits with the doctor and yet more tests. No I am a massive advocate of the public Spanish health system and although he received good, thorough care, we spent no less than eight and a half hours, mostly waiting around, by the end of it I was ready to check myself into one of the wards and fall asleep. Anyway the good news was, the problems all stemmed from blocked ears! A good old syringing session and he was as right as rain.
This brings me back to my somber title for this blog piece. As we start to get older ourselves, of course our loved ones, particularly our parents are getting older and frailer in front of our very eyes. Living in a different country I only see my parents a couple of times a year and each year that passes I see a change in them. My parents were young when they had me, barely out of their teens so they are by no means really old by these days’ standards.
But still I see the changes…my dad was always a slim, spritely, whippet-like man, never gained weight and never sat still for long. He still is a thin as a rail but certainly sits still for much longer! My mum still looks great for her age, refuses to bow to grey hair and ‘motherly’ clothes and despite being and avid sun-worshiper much of her life, could easily pass for ten years younger than she actually is. While I didn’t inherit the ‘eat as much as I want and still stay skinny’ gene from my dad, at least I hope I got even just a little of my mum’s ‘ageing well’ gene!
The rest of the two-week break passed without a hitch, got to see the lights in Malaga again, this time with Alex and it’s into 2017, new year, new adventures.