And that’s 2021 almost over

Last New Year’s Eve I wrote there’d never been a year quite like it in my lifetime, and that goes for 2021 as well. I’m not going to detail it all, but do want to bullet point it, because this is part of how I record things that matter to me. Here are some things that stand out:

  • Goldie died at 17. She was the loudest cat in the universe, a total pain, and we miss her.
  • Tony moved into the rest home in June after it became clear even with Hospice support he was no longer safe at home. It was a dreadful time, but necessary. He’s settled in well and on the surface is doing better, although actually he’s getting sicker all the time.
  • My best friend Sandra and her wee dog Bruno moved in with me. It works well for both of us; I’m super grateful for her being here.
  • I had a stomach ulcer rupture in March and had emergency surgery. I was incredibly sick – the Dr said “you stood at the gates”. He also said I’d earned a lifetime prescription for anti ulcer meds.
  • I had a few trips to Hokitika to visit Alan and Penny. Penny and I are working on a collaborative art exhibition that’s pushing our skills and interests. In December Alan and I did a road trip to Tekapo, Wanaka etc and I got to see more of the South Island. The total break was just what I needed.
  • In November I got my second total knee replacement. As the surgeon predicted, it’s not quite as good as my first one, but it’s still a bloody miracle! For the first time in 9 years I’m walking without any sort of mobility aid.
  • I’ve done a lot of art, enjoyed my work, spent a lot of time on Twitter, and tried to stay safe and sane.

When I look at that list, it’s been a tricky year with some very hard stuff. As always, I’m grateful for good medical care for Tony and I, the friendships I enjoy, and the love of family and close friends. I’m not convinced 2022 is going to be any easier in some senses, but I’m heading into it determined to make the best of the new opportunities that await me.

Tony and I at Christmas
Tony and Sandra have been friends for 30 years
My BIL Jim, Tony, my sister Ailsa and I
Penny and I share a love of art, food and local government!
She was a total brat, but she was our brat!
Out on a river near Hokitika with Alan.

A lot of Christmas, a little art

Tony has been home for days in a row; yesterday I took him to see his friend Len who isn’t doing so well,. Tony had a rough night and was super tired today – we need to watch next weekend that we do even less.

I haven’t had a lot of art time, but managed to squeeze some inky finger time in today. I’ve been making gelli print papers with my new Klimt inspired stencils by Elizabeth St Hilaire for I’ve worked on deli paper and Hahn sumi-e rice paper. Once that was done I played in my 6×6 Dina Wakley art journals for a couple of hours. Some of the pages are cut and extended so the writing looks odd unless you see it in person.

I had a break

I haven’t been much of a blogger lately, for a few reasons. There’s some things I’m concerned about I can’t or won’t talk about publicly, which is unusual for me. However, in the new year I’ll blog a lot, because I’ll be doing some daily art challenges.

I had a quick break in the South Island recently. Alan was going to visit his sister MaryRose in Tekapo so I went along for the ride. We visited the Mt John Observatory where she used to work, had lunch up Aorangi Mt Cook (they went for a walk, which I couldn’t do yet) had lunch in Wanaka, visited Haast and watched the Hector’s Dolphins at Jackson’s Bay.

We had dinner out with her two night’s in a row in Tekapo; the restaurants were fantastic, and enjoyed a walk round the outdoor sculpture exhibition along the lakefront. We went for a drive up the Ahuriri Valley, in the Lindis Pass area – the scenery is just incredible. We stopped for lunch at Franz Joseph on the last day, and checked out some beautiful waterfalls along the way.

I took us 5 days to get back to Hokitika after he picked me up in Christchurch. I’d never seen any of the South Island except for Blenheim, Christchurch, Hokitika and Greymouth, so it was a real treat. We ate out for lunch and dinner every day, and I relaxed and left my worries behind.

We got back in time to go to a Christmas party Friday night, which was fun. I’d done quite a bit of shopping so wore a new dress and a new pair of shoes with a slight heel – the first heel in 9 years, thanks to my two new knees.

On Sunday Penny and I had lunch and talked art. I’ve started writing poetry in the books we’re creating and it’s pushing us both a bit. Honest feelings, permanently recorded for others to read, and emotionally hard … but part of healing and moving on.