Sunday, 31 December 2017

Looking back at 2017

Sensible to look back and take stock before looking forward I guess, so here goes.

We lost Meg in November, and I still keep expecting her to jump up on to my lap and yowl for me to scratch her chin.  It was the first time we had been faced with making the decision about having a pet put to sleep, but as much as it hurts to think of her, I'm comfortable that we made the best choice at the right time.

Smiler has had a good year - no protracted hospital stays; and as the orthopaedic surgeon who operated on his hips back in 2009 retired this year, he's switching back to Bristol so that means two fewer day trips to Southampton each year from now on.  We know now that he won't be needing the daily growth hormone injections that were a real possibility this time last year, and he's so much more stable due to some medication changes and a great deal of hard work on his part.  School is going well, and while the EHCP process is a complete joke and Smiler has unfortunately been caught up in Bristol's poorly organised implementation, I'm assured things are changing.

The house is continuing to evolve - while the adaptations were completed last year, anyone who has made the kind of changes we did knows that it takes longer than that for everything to be finished off completely!  My glass house has progressed - it now has a window and door, as well as a floor!  The porch, hallways and stairs are the outliers - mainly because we've been trying to work out how to deal with the textured wallpaper!

Noah and Petal are growing up - I don't tend to mention them much on here now as they've reached an age where I don't feel it's appropriate for me to share things on their behalf.  They're incredible and (at times) frustrating young people, and I'm very very proud of them both.  Teenage years are not easy - for teens or their parents - and I believe they are handling them with grace.

Mr and I are still going strong - it was our sixteenth wedding anniversary this summer,  and I'm more in love with him now than I've ever been.  We've shared plenty of laughter this year, and I trust him more than I could have believed I would trust anyone.  Twenty years ago I would have literally laughed in your face if you told me I was going to have this, and I would simply not have been able to comprehend what you meant if you told me I'd believe I deserved it, but I know that I do. 

So that's it - 2017 is almost over, and 2018 is just around the corner.  Happy new year to you all, and I hope looking back over your own year gives you a sense of satisfaction, and a tingle of excitement for the twelve months to come.

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Friday, 1 December 2017

Festival of Lights at Longleat

Some years we go to Clearwell Caves, some years Westonbirt, but this year our family christmassy lights trip was to Longleat.  It might be best known for the safari, but every year Longleat build a lantern trail around a specific theme, and create huge illuminated sculptures to surround the paths.

This year the theme was Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, with each scene linking on to the next by using woodland creatures and vast trees.  Each scene had a panel which told you the name of the fairy tale and shared a quote from the text which was brought to life by the sculptures - handy, as my fairy tale knowledge is rusty and probably more Disney and Once Upon A Time based than I'd technically like it to be...