Only a few short weeks ago, I wrote a post saying “I rarely write about anything really personal on Being Anne”. My apologies, but I’m about to do it again.
On 8th November I published a “coming up” post, promising many things – you’ll find it here – and so many people responded telling me it was all looked rather too much. And you were all absolutely right – I was wrong. I’m sorry, I just can’t deliver what I’d hoped to. I haven’t finished a book in a couple of weeks – reading has always been my escape, but this time it’s just not working.
My days are spent caring for my mum, who’s unable to do very much without direction and supervision, and is struggling with the loss of my father. All the sorting out of the estate is almost done, but now I’m also trying to pack up (and sell) nearly 50 years of family home in around 8 weeks (and over Christmas) to move her to a retirement development near me in Yorkshire. That’ll make life (for us both) so much easier – but until it happens, I just can’t function as I’d really like and want to. I’m managing an hour on line before Mum gets up in the morning – and another hour in the evening if there’s something good on TV.
You all keep telling me to stop apologising – but I do feel really bad to be letting people down. I’ve promised guest posts and cover reveals over the next couple of months, and that I can and will manage. But the reviews – the best I can say is that whatever I read, I will review. So many of my author friends won’t be getting what I promised – and I’m really sorry. And if I manage to share or tweet people’s posts, it means my day has started particularly early. Those of you who write books or manage blogging commitments around families, jobs and caring have my endless admiration.
There’s a wonderful light at the end of the tunnel. Some of you may be aware of Churchill Homes – they’re building a new development in Wetherby (where I live) with the most gorgeous flats for people of retirement age, simply perfect for Mum. They have a site manager and an alarm system, everything designed for someone in their 90s, plus a social side with a residents’ lounge (as good as a luxury hotel), a magnificent garden (which Mum’s flat will overlook), and it’s all 5 minutes’ walk from the town centre. And I’m already involved with our local U3A – they run theatre trips, days out, concert outings, and Mum will love it.
But we need to complete on the flat by the end of January – we need to sell the family home very quickly (or part exchange it), and the amount of dismantling required on a lifetime family home is incredibly daunting. Mum and Dad were married for 62 years – and have lived here for almost 50 of them. Every item we handle is steeped in memories, and progress is slow. For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m doing this on my own – my only brother died a couple of years ago, I’m single, and there is no other family to assist. When I worked, I used to be a project manager – so this should all be largely within my comfort zone. But I hadn’t analysed my risks well enough – I’d grossly underestimated the support needed by Mum alongside the work needed.
So again – and I know you’ll all tell me I don’t need to, and I do love you for it – I apologise for letting you all down. If I review more than a small few of the books I planned to, it’ll be as much of a surprise to me as it will be to you. The promised commitments – guest posts, spotlights, cover reveals – will ALL be delivered. If I didn’t do that – my little bit of normality – I’d go nuts. I will too look forward to seeing some of you at a London party next week, and at a lunch date in Leeds on 10th December. Other than that, roll on the end of January when life will (hopefully…) return to something like normal again.
Much love, Anne xx