Saturday, 18 April 2009

A cracking day Gromit!

It's as if a dark cloud has moved away... I have felt the Spring air within my veins, filling me with optimism. Be careful girl, being forever an Optimist usually means being continually disappointed! But... something is happening to move me forward. It must be coming from within and heralds the start of yet another phase, or service station along the highway of recovering grief. I went for a long swim last night; the first time in two weeks after seeing and looking after various family over Easter. Whether it's because I look happier, walk straighter, smile more or just because I'm becoming more scatty - I received a few smiles and hello's from people I hardly know. One big man turned around and gave me a smile, as I turned around to have a second look! It's funny how Spring affects us all!

Today I went into Oxford to visit an Art Exhibition of local artists, (my ex-art tutor being one of the (pardon the phrase), exhibitionists. Most exhibits were not to my taste, but all were on sale for around £350 a piece. Not bad. However, all exhibitors belong to the prestigious Oxford Art Society, and to become a member is no easy task.

I leisurely browsed around the shops in a happy, detached frame of mind, as only a single person can do, not having to worry about the evening meal, school shoes or making the beds. I then strolled through alleyways looking for a place to eat lunch... (a special treat to myself to mark the change in my persona and mental state). All looked tacky, or full or just not with a menu for my mood. I ended up at 'Browns' in St Giles; a place my dearly departed had first taken me to lunch thirteen years' ago. I had a great table at the back and a very attentive waiter called John who fetched me a newspaper, water, wine and tempted me to try the day's special - Sea bream. It was all so good and delicious. I left, not feeling sad at being there on my own without my lovely man, but at peace.

This evening I sat on the garden swing with my cat as the sun went down. If all my days from now on are this good, then I shall be a lucky lady.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Easter magic

The grounds at Blenheim Palace are exceptional, and this year has received an RHS award. It's good to know that the magical designs of Lancelot (Capability) Brown have been preserved and enhanced after all these years by the various Dukes of Marlborough. Our favourite spot was a bench in the Secret Garden, watching the babbling brook speed by as we ate our picnic. We'd already been inside the Palace twice; done the guided Tour, then the Churchill exhibition, and then the 'Untold Story'. All good stuff! A second visit on Easter Weekend meant we could walk around the whole Park and Pleasure gardens. I was beginning to think I was getting really old by enjoying country houses and parks, but my twelve-year old granddaughter loved it too!

What's really good this year is the fact that Spring seems to be a 'proper' Spring - sunshine and showers! I'm more like my 'old' self this year... not so much deep mournful thinking. I'm carrying my grief better... more like an unobtrusive back-pack than a big heavy suitcase. I seem to be smiling more, listening more and finding amusement in silly things! Then again, it could be premature dementia creeping in.