There are a few phrases which I hear again and again that both make me groan with annoyance as well as smile to myself.
One such phrase was this one that I heard several times in December, “Where has the time gone. It’s not that long ago since the start of the year.”
I would groan inwardly to myself when I heard this. I reasoned that the person I was speaking to had let the precious hours within their year slip past them. They were wasting their life. If they had filled their time with non-repetitive and worthwhile actions other than sitting watching television or some other time wasting activity, the year would have felt like a year to them rather than a few days that had somehow flowed uninterrupted into each other. I would also smile to myself that I had had the foresight to not let all of my time escape me without being used – I wasted some minutes but not all.
And so, I always answered in the same way, “Yes, the start of the year seems like only eleven months ago.”
Already, so much seems to have happened to me in 2016 and we have not yet finished the second week of this leap year. It is true that I have had some help in filling my time. There was the office Christmas party last Friday (in January…I know!) and my mother’s 80th birthday last Sunday.
Ah, yes, my Mum had a great extended birthday weekend.
On Saturday, she invited Gloria and me to her bungalow for a small afternoon meal.
Sunday, Mum’s birthday, consisted of a trip to Church in the morning, lunch at my sisters’ house with a guest appearance by my other sister from North Lincolnshire (I was not at this meal); and then an evening service at a different Church with me. This service was conducted by an old family friend, a Reverend like my late father, who led the congregation in singing ‘Happy Birthday to You’.
Finally, on Monday Mum had her 80th birthday hog roast at yet another Church. Gloria (and I) baked the cake and my sister’s bloke and his brother provided the hog roast. Gloria would have been at work but, to my Mum’s delight, she was able to come.
The reason why Gloria did not go to work was that she was given some emergency time off. Unfortunately, Yasmin was very unwell on Sunday and after the hog roast Gloria and I collected Yasmin’s prescription and drove up to give it to her. Anyway, that’s another story.
It was a wonderful afternoon. Oh, my apologies if you are reading this on a smartphone as you may not see the whole of the photograph without opening it in a separate browser window.
I made one observation. At the end of the engagement, I was washing up all of the plates, mugs, glasses and cutlery and looked around the kitchen. Also helping in the kitchen were my sister’s partner, his mother and also my sister’s eldest son who is one of two children from her first marriage. In other words, we were demonstrating how it’s nonsense that kitchen chores are all women’s work!
I hope that I enjoy myself just as much on my 80th birthday as my mother did.