Reading My Way Around the World

Tuesday 31 December 2019


I've been missing you all for the past while  - it's been a rollercoaster of a month.

My mother in law Dorothy passed away very suddenly early in December and left us all shocked and feeling in limbo.  She had been in and out of hospital with minor ailments and on this occasion was getting ready to go home when she suddenly became unresponsive and never really came out of it.  It was scepsis. 

Dorothy with Tom and his brother David

Between her passing and her funeral we had been invited on the back of our Birdsong book to visit the home of the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, for the lighting of the Christmas tree and Tom decided to go as it was quite an honour to be invited in the first place.   Aras An Uachtarain is a beautiful building and the day was very special.   That was the Saturday and on the Sunday my singing group Singmarra had a workshop with the amazing vocal group Anuna and performed in concert with them in the monastery that night. 

Then Dorothy's funeral was on Monday.

By Tuesday morning I didn't know what end of me was up and proceeded on to our rehearsal and choir dinner on the Tuesday night, more rehearsals on the Wednesday and our Christmas concert on Saturday.

I will tell you more about the positive December happenings in a future post but it doesn't feel apt at this point.  I still feel like I"m reeling.

So in the midst of all this emotion Christmas got put aside until the 23rd when my lovely Aussie cousin arrived from London and I was forced into doing some sort of a clean up and get organised.

My apologies for not being in touch, and not sending Christmas cards - the house eventually got decorated on Christmas Eve, thanks to cousinly efforts,  and we had a lovely Christmas with friends as my mother had decided not to join us this year.

I am happy for Dorothy - it was a blessing for her as she was so unhappy and so wanting to "go home" but it has been a strange Christmas for us, particularly for Tom, and without my own mother here it made it even stranger.   However we're now on New Year's Eve and have somehow surtvived, albeit with another funeral tomorrow to start the New Year :(

I hope next year is a bit less tempestuous and I look forward to keeping up some level of regular practice of blogging...  I have been dropping in and keeping up with what you're at, just not getting around to commenting. 

This blogging community means a lot to me and I wish you all a very happy, healthy, peaceful and above all safe New Year.  See you in the next decade ...eeek!



  1. Sending hugs and positive vibes for you both xxx

  2. Sorry to hear of your loss Fil. I do wish you the same for the New Year, happiness, health and peace in particular.

  3. Love and blessings to you dear Fil as you journey this grieving pathway, we attended a funeral of a dear aunt yesterday ourselves. {{hugs}}
    Sending best wishes for a 2020 filled with magical moments to treasure.

  4. Thank you so much Kate, Jo and Julie - I appreciate your blessings. Happy New Year to you all xx

  5. I am so sorry to hear this. It is so tough when our love ones leave us so suddenly. Sending you virtual hugs and blessings for 2020.

  6. My most sincerest condolences for your lose. Here's to 2020 being a happier and funnier year.

  7. Dear Fil - sorry to read about Dorothy ... yet sometimes it's sad, but for their sake the best - just not a good time for you. Tom and David will be feeling a lot of loss - yet I'm glad you were able to have a reflective Christmas.

    Here's to a less tempestuous year ... but I'm looking forward to reading about your visit to the President: that's great to have that recognition ... take care and we see you when we see you ... as you say - it's a good community - cheers and a more settled 2020 - cheers Hilary

  8. Thank you all so much - we're starting to get recharged now ...

  9. I'm so sorry to hear about Dorothy's passing- what a time for it! Not surprised you felt shell shocked by it! Even though those we love are at peace with their passing, it's hard for us back here who say, "NOOO, I don't want you to go!"
    What an honour to be invited to the President's!!!!! That's amazing! I've typed up the words for the children and we will be starting it in Singing Assembly this week- I am going to particularly emphasize the importance of loving differences after the election result (my kid all dislike Brexit!)

  10. Hi Fil,
    Sending my condolences on the passing of your mother-in-law. You seem to have had a real connection with her ... now she is 'home' and, I'm sure, very happy.
    Blogging means a lot to me, too, and I have fiends around the world because of it. I am going to do my part by keeping in touch now that I think I have a few 'bugs' worked out ;)
    Wishing you a very happy and creative 2020 !

  11. Sorry have only just seen this. Condolences on your MIL's passingx


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