Friday, 25 March 2011

What's on your list?

I have spent some time today having a further tidy up. Today I braved the office!
I came across a list that Clive had written about two years ago of things for us to do.

Hits some balls - around 10 days before Clive died we had an amazing, romantic night at Oulton Hall Hotel. following morning Clive watched as I had my first golf lesson.

Walk the walls in York - last year I did not know what to get him for his birthday so I booked us a nights B and B in York - 9 miles from home and we had two days as tourists. We 'did' all the museums, the walls, ate in unusual places and had a cruise of the river. In his 52 years Clive has always lived within 10 miles of York and had never done most of this! We had a fab time.

Visit and climb the Minster - Clive had been a firefighter on the 9th July 1984 when York Minster caught fire and the roof of the South Transept was destroyed. As we went round it and up on the roof last summer Clive gave me a running commentary as to his involvement on the night.

Do the ghost walk in York - this was fun, on his birthday evening! We were surprised how much bigger the group got as we walked around. It appeared that you only paid when leaving the Minster and others then tagged along for free! We learnt about plenty of spooky things about York.

Climb Pen-y- Ghent - we did this a couple of years ago. Not quite our vision of 'Stand with you on a mountain', but it was close! Just before Clive died he suggested that we both climbed Mont Blanc.

 Us two on the top of Pen-y-ghent!

Do the other two - by this he meant Whernside and Ingleborough. We didn't get to do this. Perhaps this could be a challenge for his Foundation (when I have the energy to set it up). Anybody interested? The three together are often billed as the 'Yorkshire 3 peaks Challenge'.

Full Harewood House walk - often would take Peeka for a walk here before she was poorly last year and wasn't up to a long walk. We often 'put the world to rights' as we walked. I miss him so much. I loved to stroll hand in hand. 

Healaugh walk - this is the local village where he grew up. Although we didn't walk it the weeks before he died we did cycle round there. We had hoped to spend our retirement in a small cottage there.......

Weekend in Liverpool - we did get to spend a night staying at The Beatles themed hotel. I have to say we weren't impressed! There was a room adjoining ours and the occupants came in during the early hours and were talking loudly - it was as if they were in the same room! Sound proofing needs sorting in that place! We did have a stunning evening in The Cavern watching a Beatles tribute band. He kept saying all evening how much his brother Malcolm would like it and how one day we should take him. What do you reckon Malcolm? Are you game?

Weekend in Manchester - do Canal St - we had several nights in Manchester, often linked into him working there. We never managed the second part though! I did it once on a fab night out with the girls when I worked as a Virgin Vie consultant. Not fussed about going back!

Go bowling - Hmmm. He surprised me with this one evening. He didn't tell me how brilliant he was at it! Virtually a strike every time. Clever bugger!

Camp out - we did this last summer at our friends Bob and Nic's. It was a fancy dress theme.....

We had a wonderful evening and then slept in a tent at the top of the garden on an airbed. Fun, fun, fun!

Host a dinner party - I have always enjoyed entertaining at home. My parents are incredibly good hosts and it is part of me too. In recent months Clive and I had decorated our lounge and dining room and were keen to show it off. I love to cook but equally Clive did. His specialty was fillet steak. We had a few challenge nights with friends when each male was to cook and bring a course. Tell you what ladies, it saves us a heck of a lot of bother and I highly recommend it!

Host a BBQ  - the last two summers we have done this on several occasions, with family and friends. Clive was already planning ours for this August. Guess that is another date I simply have to keep! We were emerging as a very sociable couple, doing couple things. His days of just rugby, betting and the local pub had passed and he was truly embracing our new lifestyle.

Share a proper holiday. For those of you who have read his last book 'It's not Your Time, It's the Time you have', you will know we did this last year. We had what we declared was a honeymoon without being married on a Royal Caribbean East Mediterranean cruise. So many happy, romantic, special and now treasured memories.

I reckon we did pretty well on this list!

So how has today been? A good one. After a big down day on Wednesday, yesterday was an 'up' - today was more of a mellow medium!

Once again the bird in the loft woke me up - Rod is coming tomorrow to see what he can do!
Then Clive's incredible undertaker came, Tony, and brought Clive's ashes.
I confess that I have little 'attachment' to this aspect as my Uncle once told us what goes on in crematoriums. I am not convinced it is 100% Clive! Tony is a marvelous character - so warm and friendly. I did him a hot cross bun, which was rather overdone. I teased that another 30 seconds in the toaster and we'd have had more ashes! Tony has a unique quality to be extremely respectful and professional but also to make you at ease in an awful situation.

I then headed off with my friend Chris who wanted to take me out for a real break. This time I was a good girl and left my phone in my bag and only checked it when back in the car. We drove to Helmsley in the North Yorks Moors, on the edge of Ryedale. 'A wonderful place to visit, not far from Malton, Pickering and Kirkbymoorside,' according to the website. I felt sad seeing the sign for Kirkbymoorside as I know that was one of Clive's favourite golf courses.

We had a mooch around the pretty market and stocked up on some local cheeses, chutney and other goodies and walked up to the castle for a picnic.Chris's wife Joe died last April and her inquest is next week. I guess we both needed to escape today. I actually ate a good amount and really tasted it. Some cava slipped down nicely too. Thanks Chris for a fab afternoon.

Then back home to do some sorting and here I am back at my desk ....

So what have I learnt today?
  1. That reflection on an old 'list' can be very pleasurable and rewarding
  2. That such a list can give you direction and tasks for the future, even if the person that wanted to do it is no longer here - let's share the pleasure
  3. That if you take a few hours 'off' and truly relax, then you come back to your tasks with renewed energy and do twice as much in half the time!
I do feel more content tonight that although our list wasn't complete, we had made a terrific attempt at it. I can honestly say that Clive and I did not waste any time together. I have no regrets other than I wish he was still here.

Tonight we should have been celebrating that he would have been able to drive again after his knee operation.
Instead I have his ashes to look at.

I was okay until I typed that last line. Forgive me whilst I cry and let the tears devour me.

Meanwhile I ask you this - what is on your list of happy things to do with your loved ones?
And what on earth is stopping you from arranging something RIGHT NOW?

Elaine x

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