...since I last posted. Sorry for the absence but I really haven't felt like posting and I'm also trying to spend less time online in general.
I thought I'd let you all know I am still here, though, and quite a lot has happened in the last month and a half.
Firstly, as you may recall DH returned to working at the college at Easter, well, he's now been made redundant. They closed down the whole department. He was offered the chance of redeployment in another department or redundancy. They did offer him another job but it really wasn't suitable and as the redundancy package was good considering he'd only been back there for 3 months he opted for that. As a maths and IT teacher he's already had a lot of interest from supply teaching agencies and will do that until he can find something more permanent. If he finds work quickly we plan of using the redundancy towards paying off the last of our mortgage. We may live in a dump but at least if will finally be our dump.
Secondly, having married off DD2 at the end of May, my youngest daughter got enagaged 3 weeks ago to BF who she's been with for 9 years. She was 15 and he was 16 when they first met and BF ended up living with us for nearly 6 years until they finally moved into their own place 18 months ago. He was so romantic proposing to her at the top of Mount Vesuvius while they were on holiday in Italy for a friend's wedding. They are hoping to marry in a year's time at his grandmother's house in France. Unfortunately DD3 has torn a muscle in her thigh and may need an operation to repair it which will mean weeks off work on statutory sick pay so they may need to put the wedding back further if they haven't enough saved, although of course we will help them out some.
Thirdly, we had a wonderful week's holiday in Whitby at the end of July, celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary with a cream tea in a lovely little village called Thornton-le-Dale. Whitby is lovely with lots of little side streets full of quaint shops, and not so many of the chain stores you find in most high streets these days. We managed to climb the 100 and so steps up to the abbey ruins but didn't bother paying the £7.50 to go in as it was mostly quite visible from the road. We also had trips out to the rural life museum at Hutton-le-Hole and to Helmsley, and a whole day in Durham. We loved Durham Cathedral (free to get in unlike Canterbury which costs a bomb and which I haven't visited for years) but the shops were disappointing, all the same as anywhere else and we could just as well have been in Canterbury. We did enjoy a walk along by the river and discovered a wonderful tea shop where we had massive lemon scones, homemade lemon curd and clotted cream. I gained 3lbs while on holiday thanks to 2 visits to the pie and mash shop in Whitby, 3 cream teas, wonderful beef sandwiches and a caramel shortbread sundae in Helmsley and 2 meals a day at the hotel (catering wasn't brilliant but I had a cooked breakfast most days which I wouldn't do at home). Unfortunately I broke my mobile phone the day after we arrived and DH's phone isn't good for taking photos so I don't really have any pics.
Fourthly, DD2 and her new husband are moving across the country to Cheltenham in about 6 weeks time. It's for a one year work placement and they are getting a great relocation package with their rent paid on a house/flat for the whole year. I'll really miss her as we see a lot of each other and have gotten exta close since DD1 moved away a couple of years ago.
I think that's the main news. Funnily enough, despite the ups and downs, I'm generally feeling a lot more positive than I was a few months ago. I've started reading again, and crafting, although only knitting blanket squares, but at least its something. I do feel a bit more positive on a day to day basis although I still have days when I wonder if its worth getting out of bed. My weight is a bit of an issue. I've managed to just keep it within the SW limits but nearer the top end and my eating is very much binge or starve. 2 or 3 days a week I tend to eat everything under the sun and the rest of the week eat as little as possible to compensate. It is kind of working though, although I've so far only lost 2lbs of that holiday gain. Mind you, the middle of Sept will mark a whole year since I reached my SW target and that's a record in itself. Never before have a I managed to maintain a weight loss for longer than 3-4 months.
I'm still considering the fors and againsts of getting a dog. For is the companionship (especially now with DD2 moving), the exercise and having someone to look after. (Mid-life crisis - missing having my kids to care for and no grandchildren as yet). Against...well, the main one is how will a dog integrate with our 2 house cats who think they own the place and have only ever seen a dog on a couple of occasions (and reacted by either hiding or fur on end, hissing etc.)? Also we're just starting to enjoy a bit of freedom to go where we want when we want now the kids are all grown. There's also the cost of insurance, food etc. especially at the moment when we don't know whether DH will get another permanent teaching position. But then again the idea has been bugging me for months so its not exactly spur of the moment. I keep checking ads and nearly phoning up and then chickening out. We have had a dog before, our Yorkie was 13 when we had to have him put to sleep, and when I lived with my parents we had 2 cats and 2 dogs but then the cats went out of the house so could escape. Does anyone else have experience of integrating dogs into a home with cats?
Right, I think I've wittered on quite enough and won't bore you any more. Horrible bank holiday weather here (rain, thunderstorms, power cut), but we had a lovely couple of days over the weekend so can't complain too much.
Hope you all have an enjoyable day despite the rain. Love, Helen xx