Monday, March 21, 2005

Escape to the countryside

My last full day down south and following a trip to my opticians (yeah, yeah, I know it’s about time I found one in Manchester, I’ve only been there 16 years!), we head for a quiet day out.

In my parent’s world this translates to a drive out to the country and a trip to a garden centre.

In contrast to myself, my parent’s have never been city lovers. Born in East London they moved to the southern suburbs after marriage, but work commitments never allowed them to escape fully. They would rarely go into central London through choice, seldom taking advantage of the cultural delights on offer in the big metropolis. Rather at every opportunity they would head out of the big smoke and were both keen hill and mountain walkers in their time.

It was always understood that they would retire to one of the places they loved – probably the west-country, returning to my Dad’s maternal family homeland. The MS has put pay to that though, they need their friends and established support networks around them more than ever. Accordingly they settle with trips out as often as Mum can cope with.

This is not the retirement that either of them hoped for; worked so hard for. The sadness is tangible.

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