I am taking the lead from a fellow blogger Copper Kettle and just enjoying having a blog. As she shared, a blog isn’t a journalistic masterpiece, there is no duty to hand in work, it is something to be enjoyed and shared. So today I am sharing something personal.
Last August my eldest son Ed was bound for South America. Rio in fact, to start a four month South American/American adventure. He left his job after 5 years and had decided to set up his own business. So with time on his hands and some money in his pocket he decided to have his ‘gap year’. Of course, like any parent, one is always apprehensive.
A great friend came to stay that weekend. He downloaded an app that enabled me to see when Ed landed in Rio! It was an hilarious weekend in the meantime watching flights coming into Gatwick from everywhere. Easyjet from Paxos and the A380 Emirates flight from Abu Dhabi to name a very few. And we could see them fly in overhead. I knew Ed had safely landed in Rio so knew he was safe and was about to embark on his South American adventure. And Whatsapp is wonderful. I was able to see some of the amazing places that he was enjoying, maybe not all the details!
And Hugo, our second son, ran in the Great North Run with some great university friends for a children’s hospice in Newcastle. A place we are very fond of.
Last summer was also a time of difficulty as our family Labrador had been diagnosed with bone cancer. She did incredibly well with alternative therapies, a new raw diet and various therapeutic treatments. I have learnt a lot about what goes into commercial dog food and the importance of a clean diet for dogs, free of cancer attracting carbohydrates. I put her on a raw food diet and she benefited hugely. And her favourite treats – Lily’s Kitchen – contain organic oats, wheat, cheeses and apples! We enjoyed her bucket list. Breakfast on the beach, lunch at a variety of dog friendly pubs and restaurants, walks at Beachy Head and the Ashdown Forest, and much much more!
So here we are a year later. My two sons each have new businesses, have enjoyed wonderful travel experiences, and have great plans for the future. My Labrador Lily survived another year. She became more fragile, but she had a good extended life. Picking blackberries off the bushes this autumn and watching the squirrels eating the bird food! She succumbed two weeks ago. The absolutely very saddest time. I will always miss her. Dogs are the best friends. Today I went to our beach hut, the first time that I have ever been there without her. She will always be everywhere with me. The last few weeks haven’t been filled with creativity, cooking or wanting to eat much. But also it’s good to eat some of the things that you blog about. Comfort food, when you need it.
A year passes so quickly. We’ve picked and harvested wonderful food from the garden. We’re eating late raspberries, new potatoes, tomatoes, and second crop salads, carrots and onions and garlic. And of course lots of apples, plums (all eaten) and pears coming soon. There’s always something to enjoy in the garden.
Miss you Lily – always.
One thought on “What a difference a year makes.”
Thank you for sharing. And for what it’s worth you post is as interesting to read as any recipe out there. And yet, all you had to do was to lay bare some of your valuable thoughts. I feel for you and the loss of your dog. What a gorgeous girl! And I completely share your ‘anxiety’ with the adventures of your sons. I have two sons myself who are still little but I know what I will feel when they start ‘flying’ on their own. I hope I can keep a good balance between the worried Mum and the selfless parent who wants the best for them, and that includes going away to try their luck somewhere else. I admire the courage of your eldest, it takes a lot to set up your own business, let alone do it in a foreign country. All the best for him. In the meanwhile I hope you can continue to find comfort in the beautiful places you describe and, of course, in eating comfort food and growing some lovely (guilt-free) food yourself.