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  • FIRST POST
    • kittie
    • By kittie 27th Feb 15, 5:29 AM
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    kittie
    A support thread for the bereaved
    • #1
    • 27th Feb 15, 5:29 AM
    A support thread for the bereaved 27th Feb 15 at 5:29 AM
    I started the thread when I was very suddenly widowed, early 2015. Since then in 20 months I have lost another two much loved family members, so I have been through the mill, everything looked so very bleak at the start of my journey

    Please use the thread if you need help in coping with a close bereavement. That is exactly why the thread was started
    Last edited by kittie; 08-05-2017 at 7:06 AM.
Page 194
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Sep 17, 12:57 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Just Had a call with one of the ladies I met through the Jolly Dollie, the one I had a drink with a few weeks ago. She has very kindly offered to pick me up tomorrow so I don't have to drive. Wasnt that nice.

    So Cinderella gets to go the ball after all, well the coffee morning.

    Just managed to have a little walk to the shop, strapped up my knee so as not to make matters worse. Going to potter about now, a bit of cooking and a spell in the garden, and then hopefully some yoga.

    It's a quiet life, far removed from the hustle and bustle I'm used to, but that's ok.

    What is it that saying......."theres a time and a season for every purpose under heaven".
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 16-09-2017 at 1:08 PM.
    • elona
    • By elona 16th Sep 17, 8:13 PM
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    elona
    LL

    It is from Ecclesiasties and "to everything there is a season". It makes me cry but is comforting too.

    I love the sound of your cruise. especially going to Gibraltar as DH and I went there when we were newly married and loved the place.

    Have a lovely time and get yourself relaxed and healthy.
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Sep 17, 8:47 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Thanks for that. I knew it originates from the bible but wasn't sure which book. To be honest I half recalled it from a song called "Turn, Turn, Turn". Recorded by the Bryds and then later covered by Mary Hopkins.

    Yes it does have a comforting ring to it.

    Yes I think a holiday will do me good. I have been quite low today, just a tad melancholoy and physically a bit below par. My sister upset me this week....up to her old tricks........I won't bore you all with the details.

    I shouldn't be surprised at her antics and I really mustn't let her get under my skin but she still has the power to shock and hurt me at times.

    A change of scene and a bit of sun should help give me a lift.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 16-09-2017 at 9:02 PM.
    • elona
    • By elona 16th Sep 17, 9:07 PM
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    elona
    LL

    I am so sorry sister has stayed true to form and upset you.

    Maybe it is a blessing in disguise as if she were decent and thoughtful for even a few months it would be understandable for you to be fooled by her and wondering if you had misjudged her somehow.

    The reading from the bible actually has "turn, turn, turn" so maybe the songwriter took it directly from the bible reading.

    Having had teachers in primary school who thought the 20 minutes of registration should be used by pupils reading their bibles, and being a very good, quick and precocious reader I have an odd memory of certain passages especially the less salubrious ones

    Would it be cheeky to ask what company you use to travel?
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Sep 17, 10:20 PM
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    lessonlearned
    No not cheeky at all. This is a place where hopefully we can share tips and information about issues such as solo travel. I am more than happy to share what I am learning about travelling alone and I would be delighted if anyone else woukd like to give tips and advice. This solo living malarky is such a steep learning curve isn't it. There's such a lot to take on board. (No pun intended)

    The cruise line is called Cruise and Maritime. You can book direct or through an agent. This time I am using an agent called Iglu. Not used them before but as I say it was a good deal. Iglu are agents for other cruise lines too.

    C&M seem to be one of the best for low single supplements. They allocate around 25 per cent of their cabins for solos. They seem to have cottoned on to the fact that the numbers of solo travellers are increasing and they are really gearing up to that market, with a lot of their excursions, dining arrangements and on board entertainment aimed at appealing to solos. Some of the other cruise lines and travel companies haven't quite grasped that yet and still charge high single supplements. And not all of them think to make special arrangements to make solos feel comfortable or that they are valued customers. They just seem to go the extra mile.

    C &M also operate a reward scheme with good discounts for returning guests. You don't have to book direct to get the scheme benefits, they are also available when you book through an agent.

    Some passengers who have travelled with the likes of Cunard or P&O are sometimes a bit sniffy about C&M. Apparently the ships are less luxurious etc but I have had no complaints, especially when you weigh up the price differential. I find them very comfortable and quite "homely". I don't think I would fancy some of the huge floating gin palaces, I imagine they might feel a bit impersonal.

    TBH I think you always get the moaners. Some people are just never happy unless they have something to complain about. I don't know why some of them even bother going in holiday if they are so picky. To hear them talk they must live in luxurious palaces the size of Chatsworth.....

    The C&M ships are small and intimate compared with the likes of Cunard etc but that means they can get into ports that the larger ships can only access by tender.

    Having said that I think if I was crossing the North Atlantic to say either New York or Canada I would probably look at Cunard, preferably the QUeen Mary 2. Or maybe P&O. The Atlantic can be rough and I think the bigger ships are probably better stabilised for heavy seas.

    My friend is currently in Canada and she crossed the Atlantic in a small ship last week after hurricane Irma. It was a bit "choppy" apparently. She said she was glad to get on dry land.!! And she is usually a very good sailor, even sailing to the Falklands on a smaller ship so it must have been rougher than normal for her to comment.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 16-09-2017 at 10:30 PM.
    • elona
    • By elona 16th Sep 17, 10:39 PM
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    elona
    LL

    Thanks so much for the information as I had not heard of the company. It sounds much more accessible and compact for someone like me as I had been looking at some of the bigger fancier ships which scared me in terms of price and feeling comfortable there and not out of my depth if you all will pardon the pun!

    Re "moaners" - I remember over twenty years ago hearing an assistant in the small local newsagent saying to someone she did not see the point in going on holiday if it was not five star! To me the point would be where you were going and why and a hotel was where you slept and got washed and dressed so you could enjoy the sights of the country.

    My dream was always to see Pompeii and I found a cruise that would do this for £1500 last year and was dubiously considering it as a once in a lifetime trip.
    My DDs and SIL found a family holiday with flights and airbb for a bit less than £500 each and we all went in April. Not only did we see Pompeii but also Herculaneum and Pasteum and a car trip round the bay of Naples which was wonderful.
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Sep 17, 10:42 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Our last proper holiday before my husband got sick was to Sorrento so yes we went to Pompeii etc. It was wonderful.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Sep 17, 10:48 PM
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    lessonlearned
    That woman probably wouldn't have fancied an adventure holiday then......no jungle safaris, dessert trips, trekking through Tibet.

    What a narrow minded attitude.....

    I have to confess I'm not a lover of camping for more than a few days but I would do it in the right circumstances,
    • elona
    • By elona 16th Sep 17, 11:40 PM
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    elona
    LL

    I know it sounds snobbish but I don't see the point of saving 50 weeks out of 52 so you can be in five star hotels when the other 50 weeks are in what would be one star. I can see saving for experiences and that is very different.

    DH and I went on a cheap break to Amsterdam when we were dating
    and he asked what star it was and was surprised there was a star below! It did mean we could spend on excursions and nice meals and our next break which was our honeymoon also in Amsterdam was much more luxurious ( I was scared to step on the red carpet)
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • thepurplepixie
    • By thepurplepixie 17th Sep 17, 10:59 AM
    • 577 Posts
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    thepurplepixie
    I've never been on any sort of organised holiday other than one school trip to Switzerland but that was a long time ago. I love planning it all, it is half the fun, and you can make it just what you want. Last time I went round europe I spent one happy day on a train with lots of young English people, mainly students. All singing "We're all going on a summer holiday" and generally enjoying ourselves. Lots of lovely young men lifting my backpack and helping me with things. The internet is great because after a couple of days in Prague I decided to go to Vienna so went on line and found a reasonable hotel and then off to the station to buy train tickets for the next day. When I'd seen enough then onto Budapest and so on, great fun. I've done most of Western and Central Europe like that.

    I suppose as I get older maybe I will find the organised trip reassuring but I do hate the thought of handing over control to someone else. Just one more thing to adjust to.

    I do agree Elona, sometimes the best holidays are the budget ones and to me a hotel is just somewhere to sleep so as long as it is clean it will do me. I'd rather do that for a month than luxury for a week but of course others would choose the luxury and that is fine if it is what suits you. I remember in Venice finding a cafe where local workers were having lunch, I went there most days and had lovely Italian food at a fraction of the cost of the tourist traps, I think my lunch cost less than a coffee in St Mark's Square.

    I haven't managed to go anywhere this year, family commitments have kept me busy but as I live in a seaside town I can always do "holiday stuff" just a short walk away from home. Added bonus is I can have a day on the beach with grandchildren and then drop them off with parents so I can have a quiet evening to myself.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 17th Sep 17, 12:19 PM
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    seven-day-weekend
    Thanks for that. I knew it originates from the bible but wasn't sure which book. To be honest I half recalled it from a song called "Turn, Turn, Turn". Recorded by the Bryds and then later covered by Mary Hopkins.

    Yes it does have a comforting ring to it.

    Yes I think a holiday will do me good. I have been quite low today, just a tad melancholoy and physically a bit below par. My sister upset me this week....up to her old tricks........I won't bore you all with the details.

    I shouldn't be surprised at her antics and I really mustn't let her get under my skin but she still has the power to shock and hurt me at times.


    A change of scene and a bit of sun should help give me a lift.
    Originally posted by lessonlearned



    Ecclesiastes 3King James Version (KJV)

    3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

    .


    I remember the Byrds/Hopkin songs too
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    St. Augustine — 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.'
    • iris
    • By iris 17th Sep 17, 1:49 PM
    • 1,083 Posts
    • 3,357 Thanks
    iris
    Thank you for the info on C&M cruises LL. I quite fancy their themed cruises.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 17th Sep 17, 6:14 PM
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    lessonlearned
    There is a closed group on Facebook called Friends who love Cruise and Maritime (CMV). You don't have to booked on a cruise to join.

    Lots of discussions, tips, advice and useful information on there.

    This morning I met up with some members of the local Jolly Dollies group. Glad I went. Nice people and we've booked two more meet ups for this year and plenty of ideas for next year.

    PP I have looked at the idea of a "train holiday" across Europe. I think I am going to have a go. I've bought a couple of books so am looking forward to reading them and planning my journey. The hardest part is deciding which bit to do first. So many fabulous places to visit and only one lifetime.......

    Had to smile about your lunch experience in Venice. It echoes one of my own......

    I once went on a cruise with a widowed aunt. She was in her 70s and I was just 25. You would think it would be a disaster but it was fabulous - one of the best holidays I've ever had.

    Anyway when we got to Venice she said I want to treat you to lunch and marched us off to St Marks Square. I saw her face fall when she looked at the menu and saw the prices.. I said "you know what I'm not that hungry, why don't we just have a coffee here and then have a wander round and eat later"

    So that's what we did. I found a fabulous workmens cafe just a few minutes from the square. I wonder if it's the same one you chose Anyway we had a slap up meal which cost peanuts. We left and a few minutes later I heard a male voice crying out "signorina, signorina, please wait". I turned round and a man was holding out my camera. I had left it on the table.

    And yes my aunt paid less for that fabulous meal then she'd paid for the coffee in st Marks square. She couldn't stop talking about it, regaling our dining companions on the cruise about our bargain meal and the nice workman who returned my camera. She said I've learned a valuable lesson from you..... Always eat where the locals eat!!!

    That cruise was fantastic. Despite the age gap my aunt was a wonderful travelling companion and I had a ball. Except she kept trying to play matchmaker.....I received 4 marriage proposals in a fortnight. :
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 17th Sep 17, 6:22 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Thank you for the info on C&M cruises LL. I quite fancy their themed cruises.
    Originally posted by iris
    They look fun don't they.

    They have just done a 60s one with guest entertainers such as Suzi Quattro and Manfred Mann. Apparently it was fun but the weather was a bit grim.

    I don't know if it was C&M or another company but I have just missed out on a music one. As well as on the onboard programme there was a couple of stops at the opera houses in Milan and Palermo. I will watch out for that one next year. I dithered too long.

    I've learned that if you see an amazing holiday bargain you have to be quick.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 17-09-2017 at 6:26 PM.
    • jaybee
    • By jaybee 18th Sep 17, 3:09 PM
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    • 2,528 Thanks
    jaybee
    Thank you all so much for your kind and helpful words.

    After having a complete *meltdown day* on Friday with Saturday and Sunday were much better. Early days and all that and I am trying to think that this is normal (!) for now. Baby steps and all that.

    I have received the Interim Death Certificate so things have been set in motion. Of course, the solicitor has now gone on holiday . . .

    Talking of holidays . . . . I have so enjoyed reading of your escapades and plans. I haven't been away on holiday for over 20 years but may (just may) change that in the future.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 19th Sep 17, 8:40 AM
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    lessonlearned
    Good morning all.

    Not much news here - just wanted to pop in and say Hi to Jaybe. Sorry to hear about the meltdown on Friday, but glad to hear that you felt a little better afterwards.

    I think we just have days like that, I call them my Tsunami days.....it's a like a great tidal wave that just engulfs and overwhelms you.

    The good news is that, over time, those tidal waves of grief and helplessness do get less frequent and smaller over time. They gradually become more manageable. Three years in and I still have my moments but I can handle them.

    I still struggle with feelings of minor anxiety from time to time, something I never experienced when my husband was alive. A bit disconcerting. I just give myself a stern talking to.

    No real news.....except the cat has now gone to live with my son. The house does feel empty now, I've just got two fish left......not quite the same. You can't cuddle a fish.
    • elona
    • By elona 19th Sep 17, 11:52 AM
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    elona
    LL

    Had you considered the idea of getting a cat of your own?

    My dds had been trying to convince me to get a pet but never having had a pet I don't feel I could be a good owner and do justice to a pet. I take care of DD and SIL's cat for a few days when they bring her over and am fine with that but she is not a "cuddly" cat.

    I managed to get the consultant's appointment sorted for next week and am just about to phone a handyman to put together some shelving, assemble a bit of furniture etc. Dishwasher is loaded and washing has been hung outside, cardboard and recycling boxes are outside ready for collection and someone is coming to help with the garden this afternoon.

    Jaybe

    One of the hardest things is feeling that nothing will be "normal" again and trying to get to grips with a reality that is so far from what we had hoped for or expected. In the circumstances you are doing so well and emotions will overwhelm us all no matter what stage we are at.
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 19th Sep 17, 12:13 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Elona....gosh you have been busy mind it's a nice day here and I have rattled through a few jobs this morning, I think the sun does help. I've just had brunch and then I'm going out to do some shopping, drop some bits off at the charity shop. It will be nice not to have to wear a raincoat for a change.

    Glad you've got the appt with your consultant, hopefully you can get things sorted now.

    Re the cat...I think I will get a pet of my own at some point, possibly an older animal from the rescue centre, one that is trained and quite sedate but just needs a new loving "mummy". Our vet has links with a centre and they are always posting pictures of cats and dogs that need rehomimg. I'm often tempted.

    However, I think I'll wait until I have finished travelling and am more settled. Like you I would want to be a good owner and I hated putting our little furry friend in the cat hotel last time. I felt so guilty.

    Mind you it was 5 star.
    • White_musk
    • By White_musk 19th Sep 17, 4:53 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 119 Thanks
    White_musk
    Not a good day here today. I've been thinking of my husband all day. I went back and read his obituary and cried buckets. It's a year in a weeks time since my mum passed away and I think I'm thinking about my own mortality a little bit too much. I've made a decision that while I miss my hubby I have to accept that he is now free of pain and I need to live the life he didn't have chance to live.

    So...

    I'm going to allow myself a restful (read lazy) day today then come tomorrow back to as much as a positive mindset as I can muster.

    Still no definitive decision made on the move, all due to the fact a couple are also interested so it's still all up in the air. That is not helping my equilibrium either.

    Onwards and upwards...
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, wisdom to know the difference.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 19th Sep 17, 5:09 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Sending you hugs. WHitemusk.......treat yourself gently. A quiet day will help. X
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