So it`s nearly goodbye to 2012 and we are being asked to Wrap It Up or to put into words and/or pictures what this year has meant to us.
One thing about getting old is how very quickly time passes – twelve months goes by in a flash. I used to liken life to an old-fashioned LP record – it went round on the turntable quite slowly at the outside and then gradually picked up speed til it reached the end and disappeared down the middle – well the player head didn`t exactly `disappear down the middle` but we certainly do! I`ve held this simile to me for years until I put it to an even older friend of mine (who happened to be a psychologist). He explained that when we are two years old, six months represents 1/4 of your entire life – a huge proportion. But that proportion decreases with age – and thus, at 76, twelve months is a mere fleabite.
Whew! Pause for breath. Now here is something that has revolutionised my life in 2012 and will continue to do so.
Last year my two sons sent me a handsome cheque for my 75th birthday – I was tempted to use it to pay my speeding fine (the first one ever – well the first time I have been caught if I am totally honest!) but thought they wouldn`t approve of that so, instead, I spent it on a folding walker – not quite the same as the one shown above. I have osteo-arthritis – mostly self-inflicted and caused by old sailing and horse-riding injuries – but for some years I have had difficulty in walking any distance or standing for any length of time. Then along came the walker – oh boy! It goes in the boot of my car, comes with me on the bus or train, goes into shops and has opened up a whole new vista for me.
Sooooooooo – 2012 has meant that I have been able to go shopping in the towns where we are housesitting – stroll around the shops as of yore – settle into a café for a coffee or light lunch and then off I go again. I have been to London twice to art exhibitions – something I haven`t been able to do for years. I have walked George off his feet in Valetta (Malta) when we were there on holiday in May. Up hill and down dale we went, down to the ferry and off to Sliema.
I cleaned a pair of my shoes this morning and was amused to see the heels wearing down a little – that hasn`t happened for years either!
You see, I was a walker. When I lived in Cornwall I used to walk on Dartmoor at weekends regularly with Jamie-dog. 17 miles was no problem- and 17 miles over Dartmoor`s rough territory is going some. I also used to walk the Coastal Path – up an down the whole way – with stunning views of cliffs and sea as I went. When I retired I spent my first month`s Old Age Pension on a new pair of walking boots and then the arthritis kicked in with a vengeance. Minor surgery on my right knee helped a bit but my walking days were over. I must admit that I would often dream that I was on the moor again and wake up with tears in my eyes.
But of course, life always compensates doesn`t it? So it was then that I took up painting seriously – if I couldn`t walk far I could sit for ages – preferably before an easel with a brush in my hand. You can, if you wish, visit my website www.annesmart.weebly.com and see some of my work there.
So now I am painting and walking and life is going even faster than before …