Monday, December 04, 2017

Downsides and Upsides: Marking the end of another year

Our usual New Year's walk at the beach on 1 January
In case you're wondering, no. These photos are not from the last few days, although it's been cold enough and the garden at the little house has been covered in frost both yesterday and today. But it's also been misty too, which is hard to deal with as everything becomes a whiter shade of grey. Horrible.

These photos are from last December/January and I hooked them out because I'm making my usual family calendars. I do it every year as it's one way of showing my brothers and sister what we've been up to during the year. My family are all in the UK and I don't get to see them very often (and that's not on purpose – honest!). It's a year since I saw my sister and more since I saw my brothers, which is a shame as I'd love to spend more time with them (see?).

The garden at the end of December

As a result, I make it my thing to put together a calendar of month by month photos for them and I really enjoy doing it because it takes me back over the year and helps me remember what it's like to be warm now it's so beastly cold.

I will admit that 2017 has had its ups and downs but the summer was wonderful and I've only just got myself to accept that it's over. As with most people of my age, things are starting to creak a bit and I've been enduring a frozen shoulder since July (why 'frozen' I don't know, because it feels hot rather than cold), which was one of the down sides, but on the up side, we had two marvellous months 'faring' on the Hennie Ha from June to August.

Since there are far too many photos of our trip to put in the calendar, I've also made a book of photos, but even that doesn't cover them, so I'm going to be putting an album of them all on the Internet based photography site, Flickr, soon. It's lovely just to browse through them and see that we really had some wonderful weather. We both looked very healthy when we arrived back at the end of August, unlike the palid creatures we are now!

I'm not sure if this was frost or snow at the University where
I work, but whatever it was, it was a lovely day too!
Another down for me is that in the last year both my daughters have moved out of Rotterdam, so I don't meet up with them often. But one of them has started teaching at the university where I work too, and that at least gives us a chance for a brief get together once a week most of the time. I've also just heard the other daughter will be teaching there again soon too, so there's my upside again.

The Dutch doing what they love...skating on natural ice
Of course we also had the downer in May that our slipway and yard in the harbour were going to close, but as I mentioned earlier, that's had a stay of execution too and we'll be keeping it for at least 18 months – something to celebrate when we have our harbour Christmas drink this coming week!

All these clouds have silver linings, don't they? We don't do much in the way of Christmas festivities at home, but we do like to have a family meal around the day and I put my little tree up with all its home-made decorations. And then there are the lights in the harbour to look forward to. It's lighting up week this week which is a lovely moment and one I always cherish. On balance then? There've definitely been more upsides than downsides in 2017 and that's how I like to keep it!



What will you all be doing for the festive season, allemaal?

13 comments:

  1. My festivities are beginning to take shape - around the grandchildren, which will be wonderful. And a daughter does one of this calendars for me - so I’ve a record of three tinies growing into three small boys and budding rugby players!

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    1. These calendars are a good idea, aren't they, Jo? Lovely that you have that record of the children growing up!

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  2. Omega 3-6-9 will help your frozen shoulder but not cure it, so to will a hot water bottle next to your shoulder when in bed. Our shoulder problems are inconvenient to say the least...both of mine have suffered from this problem though not at the same time, thank goodness and sorry to sat this but each took about twelve months to get better.

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    1. Thanks, Mel. I take Omega 3 capsules, but I don't know if they are the 6 and 9 too. I'll check. I'll also do the hot water bottle thing. That's a good idea. Poor you to have had it twice! Mine is showing a little improvement, but there's still a way to go. It actually started in May, but the real freeze up was in July. At least I know there will be an end to it eventually! So many thanks for these suggestions!

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  3. This is a lovely reflective and nostalgic post Val, the calendar is a great idea, Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year full of upsides xx

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Angela! Many good wishes for you too over Christmas and the New Year!

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    2. Thank you very much Val, always enjoy your posts immensely

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  4. Hi Val - we move on in many ways ... lovely to share your photos with your brothersand sister - so at least they can keep up with you ... and lovely your daughters will be nearby - enjoy the festivities as they build up - life changes and progresses ... here's to a good 2018 - with a moveable shoulder ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary! You are a great example of someone who moves on!

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  5. We've started the task of putting all our photos from the summer into photo albums as well. We took Simone's parents to England and have been making the album for them.

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    1. That’s a lovely thing to do for them, Stu!

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  6. Val, I love the calendar idea. How creative. So many thoughts from your post. Also the daughters following in your footsteps by teaching at the University should make you quite proud. Great post. Happy holidays, Lynn

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    1. Thank you, Lynn! Yes, the calendars go down well and are a nice reminder for me too! You’re righr about my girls. They are wonderful! :)

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