I'd love to have been able to blog about something other than the care of the ageing/aged and residential homes and the funding thereof lately, but it's a bit difficult at the moment to get my head out of the morass of thoughts that such a huge issue creates.
However there is another Big Thing happening this week and that is the sun is back. Not a weak or half-hearted spring sun peeping out between clouds, but a full-throated roar of pure unadulterated sun, a summer sun, like June come two months early. The temperatures in the Northern Home Counties hit the 20sC yesterday, and look set to pull off this marvellous feat for the rest of the week - including the weekend, which is so nice for all the poor Wage Slaves. Better yet is that the same sorts of temperatures are expected in mid-Wales, so The Husband and I are planning to go to our house there this weekend for the first time since early March, and with a following wind and a good shove, he may even find it dry enough to cut the grass there front and back before it becomes a buttercup-studded hay meadow.
The Husband will also get his haircut, as a #1 buzz cut all over costs roughly half there what it does here, so he can have it done and add a generous tip and still come out with change from what he'd pay locally here. The same goes for a round in a pub, not half, but perhaps 2/3rds of SE England prices. Add to that the vastly superior neighbourhood and community feel, the pleasantries in the shops and the more courteous driving habits of the locals (and the huge wide open spaces of high hills and oak tree planted river valleys) and you get a little bit of heaven on earth. And we have a house there. How good is that?
Our little house is the third one down of the staggered terrace
We will be retiring there one day, when The Husband calls a halt to going out to earn Our Daily Crust. Meanwhile we do what we call practice runs for retirement, where we potter about and do a spot of light gardening and spend an afternoon on desultory small market town shopping and then in an unhurried way cook what we have bought and eat it. One or two tasks stretch out most agreeably to fill the time allotted to them, and then it is the hour for the sun to set. If it is warm enough we can sit at our outside table with a last glass of wine and watch it slip slowly behind the hill, suffusing the valley with pink and orange and tinting any clouds a vivid yet delicate purple.
After that there might be an hour of something from iPlayer on the laptop, and So To Bed.