“In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer”
Albert Camus (French Author)
When did summer suddenly become winter? And how has Phil changed from a recluse living in silence into, happily watching TV with the sound on? For that matter July seems to have morphed into December overnight! Yahooo!
Well my year has flown by anyway and Christmas decorations are peering from boxes threatening to fill the “new” house very soon. They survived a year in the Leprechaun houses at the bottom of the garden with only a few casualties.
So much has happened this year and not all our healthy happy friends have made it to the end of 2017 and the festive season. But they are very much in our thoughts and hearts.
Creativity took over my life again, and why not…. I think 97% of my brain space is taken up with it. Everything else is a chore! So after beginning to manufacture … there was a problem… how was I going to sell my wares? Well if you cannot take them to the customer, then the customer must come to you. For a while that is what I did as well as selling online in Ireland. But word got out and I was asked to join a country market one day in August. By the end of September I was approached by another country market to join their Saturday market.
Belonging to both markets keeps me very busy from Sunday to Thursday, brain storming, sourcing, buying and making as well as up-cycling. Cheap pick up gifts for Christmas are top of the list at the moment. My daughters wood craft and pyrography adds to the mix and we bounce ideas from one to the other. She still has a busy home and family to care for and I have my number one priority, Phil. Spending time together is important but he has settled in well to the new routine that for two mornings a week I go out to “work”
Although these are only small country markets and this is a hobby…. as usual I put 100% into it. It is a good feeling ‘to belong’ again. One market in particular do give me credit for my life experiences in retail and display; and as my sister always said, she has to be selling something! On another note, I have given a Health and Safety lecture already whether it was asked for or not! Good old training!! Strange thing I wanted to mention is… Phil may have forgotten or lost loads of information with his condition, but how to wash his hands the correct way according to training back in 2013… that is secure and he uses this procedure always!
So these wooden items on sale come compliments of Ophelia, the end of the hurricane that was quite a whiplash indeed. I found out the hard way, trying to catch flying garden furniture after being told by a neighbour to put everything away. Sadly so many trees lost their lives. Then we had no electricity for 42 hours followed by no water for another 24. At one point it seemed like only the government were taking it seriously though, but that is the Irish way. They make a joke about everything, especially themselves. (Don’t any of you ‘blowins’ go laughing at the Irish, they can do that very well themselves!) One bloke said to tell America, “If you are sending anything like this to us again, make sure it is called something we can spell, like Mary!” Another chap said he had heard on the TV that everyone was to be sure to tie their trampolines down securely, so he went out and bought one! “Be sure to get a front row seat; it starts at 12.30, the great trampoline lift off of 2017!” said another.
Charity shops in Ireland remind me of the way our Hospice shops in UK were run back in the year 1999 when I was starting out there. Not much management support on the ground, no maintenance support at all and hardly any training; the managers feel isolated. I have chatted to a few shop managers in the Carlow area and really felt for them. They enjoyed having a good old moan and I was happy to oblige. Where charity shops in UK have now changed and upgraded, to be able to draw the customer in, becoming “the” place to shop for a bargain; here in parts of Ireland some people won’t support them as they are still “the second-hand” junk shop, but with set budgets to achieve.
Phil has entered the world of the digital hearing aids, and is thriving with a new interest. Long may it last! The novelty can wear off quickly where he is concerned.
It was with great celebrations that I entered my seventieth year in November, apparently “aged to perfection”. I have no sadness or regrets in my life as I leave the 60’s behind. My daughters made me feel so proud of them again. I think I’ll keep them!! Wonderful ideas, great food and planning perfect! Thanks again girls! Thanks too for gifts and wishes everyone.
The country markets close in 3 weeks time and then it’s time for Christmas at Bough! Watch this space! And in case I don’t get to write the planned Christmas letter in time this year…
Have a Wonderful, Warm Christmas, be Happy, stay Healthy and grab the New Year, 2018, with both hands and run with it!
There is always tomorrow for your important dreams to come true !