Usually the period between Christmas and New Year, which I term ‘the week between the years’ is one of quiet contemplation.    I make a leisurely review of the year past, and cast my eye into the future.    But this time, the period was hectic and full of unexpected events.

We were expecting all of our 3  children and their families at various times across the holiday, but we were not expecting a dash to Scotland through the storms to attend the funeral of John’s Uncle, the last relative remaining to us of the older generation.

Some random memories of the 2014 Christmas period:

My pleasure at the arrival of the various families at our home, like watching migrating geese coming in to land on a lake in small groups.

My enjoyment of the presents I received, from a carved version of the words I had used at my mother’s memorial, then mounted on linen by my husband, to a tiny, pretty tape measure, and many nice things in between.

How our grandson, as the paper was unwrapped from a wooden garage we gave him complete with little cars, gave an involuntary dance of delight.

My youngest grand-daughter asking (kindly), why I shook so much – was it because I was ‘so dwedfully old’?

Driving through England in the early hours and seeing the sun rising,  red ball of fire, in a glorious circle above the horizon.

Waiting for the Arran ferry (we’ve done that so often) under a brilliant blue sky with a flat calm sea, knowing that there were great storms all around us.

The unexpected surprise that our hotel in Arran had been most tastefully and comfortably refurbished since we last used it.  (Glenisle Hotel, Arran.)

Meeting relatives and old friends in Arran, even although on a sad occasion.

A slight confusion at the funeral service resulting in impromptu laughter among the relatives and reflecting how our uncle would have enjoyed this.

Listening to John sing at the funeral service and the lovely cadences and timbre of his voice.

Standing more soberly on the hillside in Arran, watching our male relatives lower our uncle to his last resting place, with my arms linked with my sister in law and our uncle’s niece, as we upheld one another.

Driving through southern Scotland aiming for Dumfries, and finding road after road flooded and closed (with no warning – just the black water glittering in our headlights, and a road sign saying, Road Closed.)

Having to return to Ayr – practically where we’d started from, and the first hotel we enquired at couldn’t be bothered with us; nor could they think of any other hotel in Ayr.  We felt like being at the Inn in Bethlehem.

The welcome and comfort of the Scots Baronial style hotel who did take us in.   (The Savoy Park Hotel, Ayr.

Coming down to breakfast at 7.30 am on New Year’s Eve, which was when it was supposed to begin serving, and finding the place in darkness, and one solitary boy who was  doing his best, switching on lights as fast as he could and galloping off to the kitchen to shake the chef into action!   (Breakfast came reasonably promptly and was good.)

Doing a 100 mile detour to avoid floods and discovering that Stranraer which I’ve always been curious about is in fact a ferry port and nothing else.

My relief when we crossed the border INTO England and sunshine and clear roads!

Returning home to a warm house, a meal ready, our bed freshly made, and our daughter and son in law and grandchildren ready to listen to our tales of adventure.

Making plans for events with family and friends for 2014.

So, an Irish blessing for you all:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

And rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again.

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Of course it won’t be as easy as that;  but even so, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.


About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.

2 Responses to BLOGGING INTO 2014

  1. Jane Coleman says:

    What is it about Scottish isles..adventures, melancholy, wildness, but so evocative and special..that goes for Scotland too, but travelling about! A challenge and a half. Will call in when I am in Sussex next on 16th feb while Anne in S Africa, or come for a share more tales xx

  2. adhocannie says:

    Thank you, Jane. Delighted to see you and Barbara but will email you separately re dates.

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