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9Jan

The end of my holiday is nigh! The owner double-booked Friday night…and as we only booked it last week, we are heading South tomorrow.

I have decided to have a little stop-over in Kendal on the way back down though, as Friday M6 traffic is usually a nightmare in my experience!

Despite having a fabulous holiday and not really wanting to go home, I have lots of things to look forward to. My family of course – in fact my nephew has just Facetimed me and promised me some Marmite on toast when I go and see him…he is going to make it for me himself…he is just 3 years old! :-) Then there are the horses, the gym, university – which I need to be at next week – and catching up with the scales at my Slimming World group.

Then there is the lovely old lady down the road…the one we have forcibly adopted whether she likes it or not! ;-)

My Mum and sister have been keeping an eye on her whilst I have been away, and let’s face it – she coped for a number of years without me in her life, so I am sure that she will be fine. I just don’t want her to to feel like one of those adverts…’an OAP is for life, not just Christmas’! ;-) I have bought her a couple of little gifts to let her know that I was thinking about her!

Given that I have not made any specific New Years Resolutions, I thought that I might try and nudge you in the direction of something positive – and this will be my resolution…to get at least one person to do some good.

So here it is – the Age Concern Befriending Scheme. The following quote is straight from their website…

‘To tackle the problem of loneliness among older people, Age UK has developed befriending services. The service works by assigning each older person a befriender, who provides friendly conversation and companionship on a regular basis over a long period of time.

Many local Age UKs provide befriending services, some by telephone and some where a volunteer visits the older person at their home. This vital service provides a link to the outside world and often acts as a gateway for other services and valuable support.

Age UK also provides a telephone befriending service called ‘Call in Time’, which consists of a regular daily or weekly phone call. The relationship is structured so that each befriender makes the call at a regular pre-agreed time. All befrienders are volunteers, who freely give up their time to help lonely older people.’

For me, this is such a vital service. I read about one lady who not only lost her husband, but her daughter was diagnosed with cancer on the day he died, and she passed away in a hospice shortly afterwards…and this lady was left alone, trying to deal with this. Age Concern stepped in though…’Thankfully the story doesn’t end there. Barbara was referred to Age UK’s ‘Call in Time’ telephone befriending service by social services, through which, she was partnered up with her own befriender, Mel.

Talking about why she first decided to get involved with Call in Time, Mel comments, ‘It just sounded a really worthwhile thing to do, so I thought I’d give it a try. When I first started I didn’t think it would be as interesting as it turned out to be, but I find it very interesting. You build up a rapport with that person. You really look forward to talking to them as much as they look forward to talking to you. It’s something that builds up.’

Explaining how the service works, Barbara says: ‘They called me every day initially, then once a week. I still get that weekly phone call. The support I’ve been given has been constant and extremely helpful as I’ve had no one to talk to, so I could offload. It’s something to look forward to.’

The lady in my street has a chap from Age Concern who takes her shopping each week…he even mowed the garden for her as a little birthday present, as she had fallen and hurt her arm and couldn’t do it. Mr WLB – and me! – will be helping her with her garden this year. I can almost hear the laughter of my family all the way up here in the Highlands…my own garden looks like a bramble-filled wildlife haven! :-)

For me, nobody should be alone. The lady in my street would often go a whole week without talking to anyone – sometimes her only contact with someone was the weekly visit from the Age Concern chap. The joy on her face when she joined us for Christmas dinner was worth more than anything in the world to me. I want absolutely nothing in return other than to know that she feels as if she has someone looking out for her. I just wish we had known sooner that she was on her own.

I know that life is busy, and that finding time for yourself is a precious rarity…but come on, surely a little phonecall each week is doable? I also know that you will have your own ’cause’…be that supporting cancer charities, or children’s charities…but again, one little phonecall a week can mean so much to someone. I don’t usually plead – unless a burger is involved – but it would be so ace to hear from you if you do decide to partner with Age Concern.

My grandparents were lucky – they had big families and always had contact from people…probably too much at times if the look on my Grandad’s face was anything to go by – bless his auld crabbit heart. A lot of people aren’t so lucky. I often wonder, given that Mr WLB and I don’t want children, what will happen to me in my golden era! :-) I also wonder how I would feel had my grandparents not been in such a fortunate position…I would definitely have wanted someone looking out for them.

So that’s it then…I will stop the pleading now and leave you alone for the night!

Today has been nice. A trip to Fort William to fill up with diesel for the journey home and to say ‘goodbye for now’. I am also the deer-spotting champion…six wins versus three…I keep guessing how many deer we see on our drive back to the cottage! We then went for our walk down the road to see the horses and to the beach. It was rather bracing…here are a couple of pics…

20140109-191623.jpg

20140109-191634.jpgOn the return journey, we were treated to a gorgeous rainbow right over the cottage…hopefully that is a positive sign! Although the picture doesn’t do it justice…

20140109-191831.jpgThis evening will be spent packing, cleaning the cottage, watching Silent Witness, and trying to finish my Malcolm Gladwell book.

Breakfast: Proper cooked breakfast! (2 x HEB).

20140109-170511.jpgLunch: Roast potatoes, smoked salmon, cottage cheese, tomatoes and cucumber.

20140109-170821.jpgDinner: Steak, sweet potato with garlic and herb Philli, red onion, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, rocket and roasted sweet pepper (HEA).

20140109-184634.jpgSnacks: Eat Natural bar (10 syns), mini Green & Blacks bar (4.5 syns), and some fruit.

20140109-181334.jpgA gorgeous food day. Due to our quicker than planned departure, we had food that I didn’t think would travel well – hence the massive cooked breakfast, which was delicious…baked beans, tomatoes, eggs, bacon, Linda Mc sausages and toast. Lunch was lovely too – roasted potatoes…have I told you how I make them yet? Pretend that you are microwaving a jacket potato and take it out whilst it is just a bit undercooked. Put it on a FryLight’ed baking tray, chop it into rough quarters, spray with FryLight and oven cook until golden brown. They are seriously excellent – like proper roasts! So, back to lunch – I had roasts with smoked salmon, some cottage cheese, and chopped cucumber and tomatoes. Dinner was good too. Steak, roast sweet potato stuffed with garlic and herb Philadelphia as my HEA, roasted red pepper, roasted red onion, rocket and tomatoes. And my snacks were good too…some fruit to use up!

Exercise: A nice walk – to see some horses…I am missing mine.

Thank you for reading…please, please, please take a look at the befriending scheme – such a worthwhile cause.

Weight Loss Bitch xxx

  

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