dEAr diary ~ leaving…tears and treats

How did last week slip by so quickly?  What a whirlwind it has been here.

Unfortunately Tuesday, not only my wedding anniversary day but my last day at work, started with a bit of a stand-off with the new lady – I was playing it cool, polite but not overly friendly (quite unlike me).  It was our first encounter since our difficult day last Wednesday and I was adamant she was not going to spoil my final few hours at work.  Not much had changed in her attitude but she got the message that I wasn’t going to pander to her whims on my last day when I threatened to put all of my reference files in the shredding bag if she felt I was wasting my time checking they were all updated to pass on to her – though as she already knows everything she shouldn’t need them!  Standing my ground seemed to make her more amenable for the rest of the day.

In the afternoon I was suddenly called to the training room for a meeting which  ‘surprise’ turned out to be a buffet spread laid out with Prosecco, party food and cupcakes and attended by all the staff and directors.  There were speeches and presentations, more bouquets, gifts and wonderful words of thanks and appreciation for my hard work over the last 18, almost 19 years.  So my house is full of beautiful flowers once again and my birthday cards had to move over to make room for my leaving and wedding anniversary cards.

I was really touched – it was certainly a good send off – quite unexpected and lots of goodbyes, with promises to keep in touch and a few tears.

Then after an emotional day it was back home to collapse.

Early on Wednesday morning we set off for Pateley Bridge and Studfold Park with fairy wings and birthday presents on the back seat and a picnic in the cool bag ready to celebrate Little L’s 4th birthday.

The only route for us was 2 hours on busy (A) roads through Bradford and Otley and then along some winding (B) roads but it was a pleasant enough run through the countryside – places I had not been before.  We all met in the car park at about 11am – the weather was very warm but luckily it stayed mainly overcast so we didn’t get burnt as we were hunting for the fairies.

Both Little L and her friend were far too excited to eat much of their lunch and only managed half the ice cream cone and a lick at the cream frosting flowers on the birthday cake.

Her main birthday present was a balance bike but she wouldn’t ride it until she was kitted out with the full helmet, elbow and knee pads.  Luckily the postman came with them during the afternoon and then she decided to keep them on until bedtime!

We had bought her a camera that takes real pictures and selfies which you can add cartoon features to.  I had as much fun with it as Little L and would add it to my Christmas list if I could!

After a lovely day playing it was then back home to collapse.

On Thursday morning up bright and early again it was all hands to the deck once more at my elder daughter’s house – DH sorting out new banister rails on the landing and me back on the gravel patch.

By Saturday with a bit of help from the men to lift some very heavy paving stones which formed a pathway and edging we finally laid the gravel.  Our daughter then added the finishing touches of the table, chairs and pots of plants to form a seating area.  It looked really good but I forgot to take the all-important picture – I will take one and post it soon.

After 3 days hard graft it was back home to collapse.

On Sunday morning DH and I rushed around packing clothes, food and tools for our trip to the cottage in Scotland.  We finally managed to get away at lunchtime and arrived at the cottage about 8pm to then unload everything again and finally fall into bed.

After a hectic few days we must have been so tired that we slept for 10 hours solid but at least now we are here our time is our own and we can go at our own pace for a few days until Thursday when our commitments begin again.

I love exploring the garden when we haven’t been for a while – so many changes and so many different plants in flower.  Our Bramley apple tree is full of apples – it must be a good year – each morning I am gathering up the windfalls, before we leave I daresay DH will give the tree a good shake.  I will have to give most of them away as our freezer is still full of apples from last year.   

The cottage garden has lost a lot of its summer colour due to the hot weather  – many of the flowers have had a shorter flowering period with the intense heat and lack of water but the Buddleias on the woodland walk are weeping with the weight of the blossoms this year and they are full of butterflies.

The Hydrangeas are also out in full bloom now – the one above was my dads, I have no idea what it is called but it is a beautiful shade of coral pink around the edges of the petals which fade slightly as they open.

The Rosa Rugosa hedge down the lane has huge hips forming already and the Agapanthus are just loving this sun.

There is plenty to do here – weeding, pruning and tidying but only one day left so I need to prioritise.  On our next visit which will be longer maybe 2 or 3 weeks we should have time to make more of an impact. Going to Italy this year certainly put us behind with the general maintenance.

I hope everyone is having a lovely summer – I have a bit of catching up to do with my favourite blogs.

Back soon x

16 Replies to “dEAr diary ~ leaving…tears and treats”

  1. You’ve done it!
    That’s the hardest bit over.
    The other difficult bit maybe letting go.
    When we moved home one of our sons had to go back to his previous school
    and he found it quite a shock.
    He said it was as if his space had closed. Afterwards he’d wandered absentmindedly
    down our old road and into our drive. Having got that far he knocked on the door because
    we knew the family who had moved there.
    “ It wasn’t home anymore Mum”, he said.
    Quite a realisation but fortunately he was happy with our move.
    You’ve left your desk shipshape, now indulge yourself for a while and find out what the new
    you is going to do. I hope your next holiday is soon so that you can truly relax.


  2. Congratulations on your retirement. It is wonderful to be able to choose what to do every day without work commitments. You deserve that rest in your cottage although with all those apples you might be quite busy! Must say, I don’t normally go for hydrangeas but the one you have is very pretty.


    1. We never had hydrangeas before until we had the cottage and they came with the garden. Since then I have bought more at the cottage and some for home. They have a long shelf life and the way they change colour and mellow into autumn particularly appeals to me. I suppose I have grown to love them!


  3. I wondered where you’d got to!
    I’m so relieved your final day at work went well and you didn’t allow the new lady to spoil it for you. It sounds like you enjoyed a lovely send off. They are going to miss you.
    It looks like the birthday girl had a fun day. I love the fairy wings. I wish Lily was as safety concious as your grandaughter. She would just go charging off on her bike anytime, I’m constantly reminding her to wear her helmet. Balance bikes are a lot of fun and Lily still insists on keeping hers, even though it is much too small for her now.
    Enjoy your time at the cottage. You must be glad of the ‘rest.’ X


    1. I am not sure how long the safety aspect will last once she gets her confidence. I had never heard of balance bikes before so she is teaching granny something new already!
      I am resting at the cottage pulling up weeds – but I actually do find weeding pleasant it is my thinking time like ironing.


  4. I’m really pleased that you enjoyed your last day at work and had a good send off. You deserve it. You sound very busy. Enjoy your retirement from work.


  5. Those pics are amazing! I love the Hydrangea, it looks really lovely. The fairy wings looked adorable. And what awesome flowers from your former colleagues (who are going to miss you, given what your replacement is like!) WS x


    1. Hi Lyssa – I sincerely hope things settle down for them. It was hard leaving but I felt a great sense of freedom when I got home. I will miss the job and the people but not the office politics and changes nor the more challenging people.


  6. Sounds like the leaving party was just what the doctor ordered, making sure you left with good memories. Mind reading everything you have done since retiring maybe going to work was easier. I think it must be a good year for apples as our neighbour is also out everyday collecting the apples that have fallen from her tree. Agapanthus are on my wish list for the garden I had to resist adding them to the trolley the last time we went to the garden centre.


    1. I think you might be right about the going to work but I hope this flurry of commitments is only temporary.
      I saw some dwarf Agapanthus yesterday ‘Nana’ I was very tempted. I have quite a large patch of them now and they look stunning at this time of year but I am sure I could fit one or two more in somewhere!


  7. I was thinking of you last week, knowing you had a busy schedule in the immediate days after Tuesday. Glad the last day wasn’t entirely ruined by the replacement. By standing your ground with her, it demonstrated that when confronted, most bullies back down. Bravo.

    The lovely retirement party is a clear indication of the esteem and affection your colleagues felt for you–gorgeous flowers and wonderful sentiments.

    Take time to enjoy each day without having an agenda (or a job title and all that implies). You will soon sort out how you wish to proceed, but for now simply take it a day at a time.


    1. Maybe I will have to keep going in to work to sort her out for everyone!
      I am enjoying my time here at the cottage – just a shame we have further commitments later in the week so have to go home tomorrow.
      I have managed a bit of thinking time too.


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