We have just had one of the hottest November days for decades. What a difference a couple of weeks can make. The weather was still fairly wintery when I went out by train to Armidale one of our little inland cities to stay with family friends. The days were warm but the nights were cold and I was glad of the couple of blankets and heavier cover. Then one morning what looked like heavy snow clouds blocked out the sun and it really was cold so on went the winter weight jeans and jacket. I was glad I had gone out with a range of different clothes.
Armidale is a University city so I went to the University several times as my friend is doing a Master of History course. Isn't it remarkable to see buildings looking like big splendid piles of bricks and mortar in an otherwise rural setting? Of course this is a thriving town set in what we call the New England district so rolling hills, good rainfall and fertile soil made it an ideal landscape for agriculture of all kinds. That makes for a rich community who could easily afford to build such a magnificent University. Such a contrast to the practical but modern University buildings on my part of the Coast.
It was good to get away for a few days, I find when I am away from here with friends or family I am able to see life differently from afar. And it is good to have different conversations and to step away from purely domestic issues. I went on a visit to several historical homes and as my friend is a guide at one of them was transported back into the past to see how hard life was back a century ago not for the nobility but certainly for those who worked for them. Remember the butter churning, wood chopping, boiling up the sheets? And all done by young girls in service who also did the heavy lifting as the house belonged to three sisters and no men folk were allowed.
It is good to be reminded that we are so lucky to live now with so many modern appliances to make our life easy. Okay we have to do our own housework but it is not so hard is it? I was woken up early every morning as the house next door had poultry, both hens and ducks in their back yard and the rooster crowed as early as 3 am. I even cooked a couple of meals while I was away, it was strange getting used to someone else's kitchen. But it was so nice to be out in the country, I really am a country girl at heart. Thanks for the memories.
Then home and back to the routine. A couple of our older church members now have health problems so I visited one in a local hospital. I did some work in the garden the first couple of days I was home but two very hot days put that activity out of the question. It is easy to do nothing but that is not what I need to do. It must be Spring cleaning time so a minor declutter is in order. ( I think I say that every year about this time). This year has gone so fast with all the medical appointments that so much looks neglected. I wish I felt more energetic but I do feel my age now. More's the pity. On a bright note I had two lunches and one dinner out this week and one was actually a date. (Shhhh! it's a secret.)
On Tuesday I get my roster for the Lions Club Christmas raffle and an idea of what else we have to put our names on rosters for. There is still plenty of activities to participate in for church, with the Friday coffee morning, craft afternoon etc. And tomorrow is my preaching day. And I still have the trip out to Broken Hill for Trevor's birthday to look forward to. I like to be busy as long it is practical. There are a couple of medical events to get over, one at the Lymphodema Clinic and one at the Skin Cancer Clinic. And then there is all the planning involved in Christmas.
It is six years since Ray's death and much has changed, other friends have passed and l have some newer friends now and a different kind of life. Of course I would swap the life I have now for my old life in a heartbeat if that was an option. But it is what it is.