09 December 2016

Another up an down day, do I have any other type any more?

Yesterday I spent some time with the Wonderful Edith and Max. We shared coffees on the seafront, in the beautiful and unseasonably strong sunshine. A tonic to my shaky nerves.

Today was our writing group in Sitges. As I’ve had a pile of mail wating to go out for some time now sitting on the side, and as I pass the Sitges post office I decided to call in there on the way to the group so I could finally post it. Standing in queues, or being in crowds of people is no longer something I find that easy.

In the Post Office I took my ticket and saw that I was tenth in line. No one seemed to have piles of post to deal with so I decided to wait it out. Luckily I could wait outside and look through the window to keep an eye on the number. When it was my turn I dashed in and got the post done. Phew.

This week Annette was back for the writing group, so I was off the hook for prompts. There were nine of us for a change (the last couple of times there have just been four of us) all writing to similar prompts. I’ll explain the prompts in my next post and include the story too.

Just before we started one of the group dropped in to drop back the copy of ‘The Magic of the Camino’ the group had bought the week before. She had read it in just two weeks and loved it. Her review was wonderful and a real boost. I must be doing something right (at least for some!).

During a mid-time break in the story read-backs the lovely Catherine ‘read the cards’ for me. Since Tony’s death all this kind of stuff sets me on edge slightly as I have no idea what to expect. (My angel cards have stayed safely in their boxes for quite a while now) Catherine had some great words though and my fear in this instance was unfounded. In honour of my birthday she had also brought a card and gave me one of her brilliant notebooks too.  At our last meeting she told us that her last writing group had compiled a book of their writings which today she has lent me. I look forward to getting to grips with it in the wee small hours when sleep won’t come.

All was going great guns as far as I was concerned until the last of the group started to read her story. One of her first lines was abut a husband dying.  Immediately my senses were heightened. As she continued with her story I felt worse. A panic attack was under way. For anyone that’s never had one I seriously hope you are never cursed with them. They are seriously fucking debilitating. Mine generally come on in a couple of stages. Today I managed to talk myself down from a stage one, although the urge to just run was strong enough to make my legs shudder. They always leave me slightly incapacitated, but I think that I remained sufficiently under control that no one in the group noticed my distress. I am quite the actor at times!  Back in the car in a quiet street it was a different story.

When I got home there was some mail on the doorstep. One was an official envelope from the UK. I opened it to find it was a demand from HMRC tax department. Apparently they had miscalculated Tony’s tax when they sent me a refund earlier in the year an wanted a portion of it back. I seriously cannot believe the gall of this department. Amazon – no tax thanks. Ebay – no tax thanks etc etc. A dead man – give us a couple of hundred quid.  I was upset and angry and called them to ask what was going on. Fortunately a nice young man on the line explained the situation and suggested that in the circumstances I write to HMRC and ask them to simply write it off, which I shall do… watch this space.

The other two envelopes had a return address I recognised and am always happy to see. They were from my awesome friend Michelle, who lives the on other side of the world in Melbourne. Michelle is one of the few people who really get me, so has sent neither of the types of cards I requested not to get, but sends me loving notes in the best of cards from time to time. One of today’s cards is from a company called Lalaland shop. Wonderful, and the card itself is brilliant.

After getting in and dealing with HMRC I was lying on the sofa feeling a bit off when my little puppy climbed up and gave me a huge dose of loving. He normally prefers to play-bite/fight. Today it was pure love. I’ve said it before and will say it again and again, but it’s our amazing furry kids that are keeping just this side of sane.


Left: Michelle’s two cards (With Franki just getting his nose in again). Top right: the book from Catherine’s last writing group. Bottom left: the notepad she gifted me. 


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