As the closing of 2017 is upon us I look back over this very exciting and special year. The year when I reach the fabulous age of seventy, I can hardly believe that I have made it to this senior age!
When I was young seventy was considered really old and I look back on my Aunts and Uncles at this age as rather old and creaky and most of them suffering with some sort of aches and pains. I am delighted to report I donâ€™t feel this way at all. I am so lucky not to have joints that creak and yes I know there are tons more laughter lines on my face but each one tells a marvellous story and so I am proud to wear them as the older lady I have become. Lucky also, to have found a sort of magical contentment, no worries and a newer found patience which I am truly enjoying. It seems that nothing except losing a loved one, could faze me ever again. Nothing is so final as losing those you love, nothing else comes close or really matters and everything else can be put right. So as I approach 2018 I am truly content and my heart tranquil.
2017 has been so memorable for many reasons, starting with major excitement for me in April, with a trip back to the UAE Oasis City of Al Ain, for a desert reunion and to catch-up with so many friends made during my time there in the eighties and early nineties. I travelled with my youngest son Jo who was also making the trip, he wanted to recall the years he spent growing up in this beautiful place, to remember again where his papa worked. Although now a sprawling City it is still full of that old magical charm we embraced and loved.
The reunion so very well planned, including something special every night, different venues at selected Hotels, some new hotels but many old favourites but the most magical night for me and the most memorable was atop the â€œJebel Hafeetâ€ dining under the stars after watching the most magnificent sunset over-looking the now sprawling city and itâ€™s thousands of twinkling lights 4,098 ft below. An evening after the hot day, when the welcome â€˜Kamseenâ€™ made its perfect attendance on our faces and through our hair. We chatted onwards into the night, there were many of us and lots to catch-up on. I read a poem in the lowering dusk, one written a time ago about this beautiful mountain range, nothing much had change except there was now a luxury hotel built on top of the mountain, it was delightful as the sky filled with millions of stars and we recalled those oh so special halcyon days of the eighties…A lovely memorable evening in the desert we love so much. And so on to June…
Then I was so lucky to enjoy in June a most perfect and entirely enchanting holiday in Crete with my dearest friend. Pure luxury in an idyllic beautifully designed modern hotel set in a perfect bay in Chania. We swam everyday, walked the old harbour and surrounds and ate some delicious meals often under the stars. We were able to visit old friends too in their villa up in the mountains. The weather was idyllic, beautifully hot but not the heat of the desert just entirely fabulous. Memories of perfumed jacuzzis and time under the stars. What lovely joyous memories I have of this perfect time!
In the middle of 2017 I did a lot of work on the garden and also mid-year I had the old decking removed and a gravel area laid, itâ€™s tidied up this part of the garden well and I am pleased with the neatness of this new terrace area. More changes are planned for 2018…watch this space…
Then coming forward to November and my VERY fabulous weekend celebrations for my grand 70th Birthday . We â€˜took overâ€™ the very enchanting â€œWoodhall Spa Manor Hotelâ€ for the weekend. Some of us stayed there and some in hotels and guest houses locally to Woodhall Spa. We were lucky with the weather, bright and a late autumnal feel but we still had the roaring log fire in the grand hall and admired the yellows and golds of the magnificent trees which looked their best when sunlit.
On the Friday night we had a formal dinner for twenty two, cooked so beautifully by the two chefs from London, Â engaged by Son Jo who so cleverly and amazingly arranged the whole magnificent wonder filled weekend. The meal was totally delicious, the wine absolutely perfect Mouton Cadet – Rothschild, which is now my all time favourite, we drank nine bottles! The ambience of the pretty long stemmed pink and cream rose-strewed table, every one looking glamorous, everything perfect…A wonderful evening…
We retired after the delicious meal to the lounge bar where more guests arrived for evening drinks. An evening spent catching up, lots of fizz, lots of chat, lots of love…I could have sat there all night…
On the Saturday we enjoyed a superb breakfast cooked by our lovely chefs then went for a group walk in the sunshine to â€œThe Broadwayâ€ on return we stopped for hot chocolate and coffees at â€œThe Tea House in the Woodsâ€ we wanted to show this old early 1900â€™s Tea house to our dear friends who had come all the way for this super birthday celebration from Kentucky Â USA. They loved it all and we loved it that they had come all that way to join us for this very special occasion.â¤ï¸
Later our marvellous Chefs served a most delicious Afternoon Tea for us Â in the Golfers Bar, all manner of dainty sandwiches, quail eggs, with truffle, chocolate and orange cake, fruit loaf and scones with raspberry conserve and clotted cream. Completely yummy!
We all took a rest and prepared ourselves for the huge, fifty+ evening disco party where many more friends joined us for dancing, canapÃ©s and an abundance of champagne and fizz amongst other favourite drinks. It was a superb, magnificent celebration of my seventy years in this beautiful world. I am so humbled and grateful for all the love shown over this weekend, so many treats, even a most spectacular birthday cake…how very lucky i am!
Looking back now as this year of 2017 ends, I feel so very fortunate to have such lovely friends and a great family, to be able to enjoy good health, of not feeling anything like seventy whatever that is supposed to feel like! I am privileged to have good friends who have helped me overcome great sadness in the past and entirely grateful to have found much joy again. â¤ï¸
May 2018 bring to you all, everything your heart truly desires. Try to listen carefully to other people in your life, for along the way you may miss important needs of those close to you. Take time to spend looking â€˜outwardâ€™ and not with your head always buried in laptops, phones or iPads ( a big sin for me sometimes) Still what a joy they are for keeping up with old friends when you cannot see them as much as you would wish, for seeing friends who live far away, so great too for those that live alone, saves keep talking to the wall!
I suppose as a senior lady I am allowed to air my thoughts a bit on looking forward in life and may I recommend to be kind and gentle always, even If at times your kindness seems misconstrued by others. Stick with it and keep smiling. Find your courage too, to be able to stand-up when you believe something is wrong or not understood, say what needs to be said, do not accept anything less than the best for yourself, never allow yourself to be disrespected especially when you do not or have never show disrespect to anyone. Tell those that hurt you they have done so, if they are of any importance to your heart! Â Try never to malign or criticise other, how do you know how life is treating them or how hard it may be to â€˜walk in their shoesâ€™. Value yourself at every age. â¤ï¸ Look after yourself but give time to those you love, donâ€™t always appear too busy for their needs, for those that donâ€™t, will find themselves alone one day and will wonder why.â¤ï¸
Read a book, any book but try to find one that absorbs you totally, one you canâ€™t wait to read the next chapter and listen to more music, the kind that stirs your heart, no matter what that is. Dance and love… love and dance and love some more…Always my favourite pastimes…
A Happy Joyous Peaceful and Kind Â 2018 is wished for you all.â¤ï¸