…for having abandoned this space!
Although I don’t have a “job” as such, my function as clan manager means my life is a busy one!
My husband often works away for much of the week, leaving me to deal with home life and the things that crop up on a day-to-day basis, repairs, maintenance in house and garden, dealings with customer service… It may seem old-fashioned to some, but I enjoy the domestic life and don’t find it dull or monotonous at all and I like caring for the home, too (well, not cleaning the oven, but you know…!). There is always something to do or that needs doing and rarely are two days alike. Plus I get to organise my time to suit me, which is a bonus, and to fit in my own hobbies and interests, as this blog has shown! Yet another advantage is the opportunity to travel locally and within Europe, most often in order to spend more time with my husband, which in my book is a good thing :).
Readers will have gathered that I have daughters and grandchildren, too, to whom I am always happy to give some of my time. I love my weekly babysitting and find the children entertaining, amusing, amazing and all the rest – they are growing up fast and it would be such a shame to miss it. I have noticed that I spend more time actually with them than I did with my own children, when all those domestic duties had to be dealt with alongside child-rearing. Maybe I got my priorities wrong back then but I appreciate this opportunity to observe and interact with my grandchildren. It’s great to be involved in their daily lives and I feel so lucky to live quite close by, which is something I didn’t have as a child with my own grandparent. They like to come and stay over with me sometimes, too. And one of my daughters lives some distance away, so another opportunity to spend time away, coincidentally also going back to childhood haunts, which has pros AND cons!!
In the last couple of years since this blog went into hibernation, I have lost both a beloved grandmother and my mother-in-law. Having spent a fair amount of time in England with my grandmother and mother over the past few years, it fell to me to support my mother at the end of Granny’s life (at the last in a home), clearing and moving her belongings, selling her house and so on. In 2017 I travelled to England four times and France three times. How grateful I am that I spent so long decluttering our little French holiday house and made room for treasured items from my granny’s house! We’ve had masses of fun family times in both houses and the atmosphere seems to have crossed the channel with the removal load – lots of wonderful memories of my lovely granny’s long life – she was 100 3/4!
More recently, we have been busy with my mother-in-law’s estate, far larger and less manageable, though closer geographically. It’s been really hard work but again, we appreciate having the privilege of taking on some of her beautiful things in the process. We lost our weekends, to a great extent, but slowly, we’re getting there…
Not least, there are my pets, of whom I have frequently written on this blog. There was Sturuss the pony and Hamish the family dog, now long gone. At the end of 2017 we had to say goodbye to Sophie the cat, who was 16. Another pet of character, she inspired my mother’s blog header… she was a cat of the independent-minded sort, but although she hated the journey, she loved being in Brittany in the summers of the last few years, giving me a sort of “finally, you’ve realised” look of contentment – and regulary checking to make sure I was still there… At the end, she just stopped wanting to eat and despite no obvious diagnosis it eventually became clear that we should do the decent thing. She was euthanised gently, at home among us, very peacefully (we have a great vet!).
Alina the black English cocker spaniel featured often on these pages. By 2018 she was nearly deaf and pretty grey but still sprightly and fit. She enjoyed coming along most places and was always appreciative of seeing something new. She adored water and diving for stones and did this right until the end of her life. While in Brittany in summer 2018, aged 14, she quite suddenly developed a tumour on her jaw, which was successfully operated, with a good prognosis. However, the cortisone tablets prescribed to hem the cancer cells damaged her stomach (which I always thought must be cast-iron!) and she was in pain, so again, it was the right thing to put an end to her suffering after a short period of time. It was a hard thing to do away from home, and coming back to Switzerland there was a real cocker-shaped hole in my life that hit me like a brick wall.
Only a short time later, my daughter had to say goodbye to her 9 yr old Great Dane, Annea…
But life without any pets at all was never really going to be an option!
Just days after losing Alina, my good friend J, a Labrador and English Cocker Spaniel breeder, announced that her champion cocker spaniel bitch would be having a litter at Christmastime. I have long said my next spaniel would be called Merry and what better excuse than a Christmas puppy!! Merry, her 6 sisters and 1 brother were born on December 21st 2018. We had an exciting couple of months’ wait and at 10 weeks (the earliest the breeders are allowed in Switzerland), on March 1st, Merry came home. What a delightful and busy few months we have had! Miss Merry has bounced into our lives, now already 7 mths old and a young lady, the fluffiness of puppyhood disposed of at her first grooming appointment but that wonderful bouncy, cheery, affectionate cocker character completely intact!!! Such joy…
Only 2 weeks after Merry joined us, my daughter and family took on an 11 mth old something-doodle called Pablo, the perfect playmate for our pup :).
So those are some of, if not quite all or in detail, the reasons that this blog went to sleep for a while. I have been on Instagram at thelittlewashhouse if anyone wants to catch up on my life and travels and all being well, I now have good reason to pick up where I left off and carry on my chronicles…
Is anyone still out there?!
(an additional reason is that I have run out of photo space on wordpress, a problem I’m trying to solve…)