The day before we take Ma home, we decide to poke around a cavernous bric a brac shop close to where we live.
Above a sea of sad sofas and heavy dark wood furniture, something catches my eye and I feel a little sharp thrill and edge nearer but suddenly a hand shoots out and beats me to it. ‘I like this!’ says Ma, hanging on to it. ‘So do I,’ I gulp. I’m truly not a covetous person, but, gosh, how I would like the jewel blue vase with its mysterious swirly depths that Ma is holding. I tell myself to grow up and stop being a tad disappointed about something so trivial as we return to the car. Then suddenly Ma turns to me and places it in my hands.
‘You have it,’ she says. There’s a bit of a tussle but Ma wins again, so now this beautiful piece of glass lights up our room not just for its gorgeous looks but also a reminder of everything Ma’s given up for me
We drive Ma back home to Surrey then continue on to West Sussex where FiL is trying to make sense of his changed world. When my dad died, I think we all felt relief that his suffering had ended as well as great sadness but my mother-in-law’s final weeks were so difficult, all of us are struggling to come to terms with what’s happened. It’s something we get to discuss later the same day when we call on dear friends in Hampshire.
Jan and Roger have moved on from sailing to new adventures in their motorhome, Molly, so have boxes full of useful boaty stuff which they generously give to us. During the course of the evening they also open two bottles of ‘special occasion’ champagne, feed us, listen to us offloading our troubles and give us a bed for the night. Surprisingly I don’t have a banging head in the morning, but as we head back to West Wales, my heart feels lighter thanks to the kindness of good friends.
Two days later, we’re back down the M4 again this time to move Rose and Si from their first floor rented flat in Bristol to their very own home, a three-storey townhouse between Bristol and Bath.
Si’s mum and stepdad are there too, but we still climb an awful lot of stairs between us!
Rose and Si and their fabulous home made cake!
Si’s dad and stepmum have been hard at work too installing new plumbing and an electrician's also been busy but somehow we manage to clear enough space to get the new home owners moved in. Si’s mum produces a tin revealing the wonderful cake she’s made - and after all those stairs, there’s no better way to celebrate!