Living the Dream – 28. Perspective


December has been about recovery and perspective for us. After the horror of October, and intense sorrow of November, we just kept going. We were feeling sorry for ourselves, bruised and battered. Still do. Mid-month, I read this.

Kim and I have worked together and got on famously. Take a few minutes to read her blog and I’m sure that you will see why. I was delighted that all ended well. This year just-gone, we have a friend who lost her husband to a chronic disease. Sometimes, we need to be hit hard by a bit of perspective.

In difficult times, my tried and tested coping strategy is to fall back on pop psychology.

“Bad things happen to good people.”
“It’s not what happens that matters, it’s how you react.”

Cliché or not, there is truth in these statements. Hell, there are times that Margaret and I want to scream and shout at the injustice of what happened to Nero and the indifference of the law. However, we can’t change that. We persist in pursuing all legal avenues, but we may be stymied. We can only do what we can do.


Christmas would have been degrees harder if not for the arrival of Spice, part cute-puppy and part Gremlin post-shower, and the presence of an angel.
Margaret’s sister Adele arrived with us on the 8th of December. She and Spice immediately became besties, and Adele (to her own great surprise) has become an expert puppy trainer. The sisters have talked, and talked and talked. Adele offers enormous strength where I am weakest. She listens. And Margaret needs, now, more than ever, to talk.

Back to work

My office has come together, and gradually I am re-establishing a work routine. I’m excited that I am writing again, and through the generosity of readers of this blog, getting paid for it.

January is about new beginnings, and for us, this is especially true this year.

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas!

Now is the time for bloggers to write a self-indulgent post about the meaning of Christmas or about how the true meaning has been lost, buried in marketing.

I’ll try to avoid that.

My Christmas is already underway. I have just eaten an illicit prawn baguette – illicit in that the prawns are programmed to be part of this evening’s starter. Fear not, there are sufficient prawns to feed a medium sized army.

The overworked and underpaid Mrs L is at Marks and Spencer, doubtless attempting to prevent the good people of Andover killing each other over the last packet of pigs in blankets “wrapped in apple and chestnut smoked bacon.” I’ll pick her up at the end of the shift and we will swing by to see my Mum, who now lives close by.

Then the beautiful Margaret will start the mammoth task of keeping me fed, starting with a spectacular fish dinner tonight. Tomorrow, Mum will come over, sprouts will be eaten and the Queen will be listened to.

Christmas for us will be filled with great food, British and Italian, plenty of dog walks, laughter and fun. We may even risk a glass of wine or two.

Is that the true meaning of Christmas?

No idea. But I like it.

Whatever you are doing – have a great Christmas.

Thanks for reading.