Home again

It’s been a busy ten days. I’ll try to write it up over the next couple of days, but I was at the caravan from Sunday to Thursday, in Reading on Thursday to Friday morning, then with my friend Veronica in Kent from Friday to Monday. It’s been eventful, for various reasons.

The initial journey went very well. Tim and I used to go down to Reading, stay overnight at the house then get back on the M4 to Wales, over the Severn bridge. I’d decided not to call at Tim’s house on the way there and back, so was able to take a shorter cross-country route from here. Turned out to have some beautiful scenery on the England/Wales border. And I was spared the dreary M25, so that was good too. I arrived at the caravan and opened up, switched on gas, electricity and water and got the boiler going, then unpacked the car. A slight hiccup when the fridge didn’t come on, but I realised that both the electricity and the fridge had been separately turned off – Tim preferred the electricity to be left on over the winter, but that message didn’t quite get through. Still, no harm done. I was tired that evening and just had a sandwich and an early night.

I’d carefully spooned some of Tim’s ashes into a little jar, to take with me. This upset me more than I acknowledged and I’d had a bad evening, the night before I left home. But with the driving on unfamiliar roads to concentrate on, I hadn’t had time to think about that on the journey. The next day, I realised how messy the patio was, not having been weeded at all for a couple of years. So I got to work, clearing the paving and cutting back ivy and brambles that had encroached from the hedge. The strimmer wouldn’t work, unfortunately, so I’ve brought it back to see if I or Wince can persuade it. If not, I’ll take my battery one down instead. There’s an electric mower too, but I didn’t get round to trying that.

After a morning weeding, I was ready for a pint, so went down to the pub and had a prawn baguette while I was about it. I’ve decided to be resolute about sitting and eating on my own, I choose not to be self-conscious. The tide was high, so I went back in the evening, Tim, or a little bit of him, in my pocket. There were still quite a lot of people there on the beach, so I wandered about for a bit, but then climbed the rock anyway, very carefully as I didn’t want to risk a turned ankle. And I sat, with the setting sun on my face, for a while and then tipped the ashes into a dip and took a photo, then clambered down again and went back to the beach. I cried for a few minutes, but found trails from winkles, I think, that were taking evening strolls down to the water, which was so enchanting that I forgot to be upset and watched them instead. And then I had another early night and slept for hours.

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