This time last year we were in a very apprehensive about so many things. We had had a tumultuous sort of year, deaths of close friends, Jennie  miscarrying a much wanted baby, the stalemate of the housing market which was providing no buyers for Jennie’s house and then, of course, the devastating news that JW had prostate cancer. He had also discovered that he had a potentially serious eye condition.

By the autumn JW had started the hormone injections but we did not know when the radiotherapy treatment would start, or how successful it would be or how it would affect him.

Jennie was pregnant again, but waiting anxiously for her first scan. She was also worrying about whether Handsome would get into his first choice of secondary school, and whether they would ever be able to move into a bigger house. Her sister- in- law was coping both with being a first time mum and grieving for her own mother, who died suddenly a few weeks before the birth.

It was a confusing time and we were unable to make any future plans.

This year is so different. Our “great niece -in -law” is now a sturdy little girl. Jennie and family are happily settled into their new home and enjoying the increased space both in the house and in the garden. She successfully produced our beautiful, healthy happy granddaughter, who is being Christened tomorrow surrounded by friends and relatives. Handsome has settled seamlessly into his first choice school. Handsome and Cheeky both adore their new little sister. Cheeky has changed from being the baby of the family to being helpful big brother.

JW had his eyes treated by Laser treatment. (no lasting after effects) and had the radiotherapy treatment in the Spring, and so far it has been successful. He will, of course, be reviewed regularly, but we are optomistic that it was caught in time.

We have been able to look forward and stop marking time. JW and I have booked not one but two cruises!

This autumn we are booked onto a cruise to Portugal and the Canaries. My natural inclination is to travel North, but at this time of year that is not very practical, so we are hoping for a bit of sun before the winter sets in.

The second cruise is next summer and stays close to home, cruising around the British Isles …from the Channel Isles to the Orkneys. A cruise that has attracted me for many years (I might even see whales abit closer than on previous cruises!!!)

The other “faith in the future” gesture is that we have invested in a VW motor home. We are hoping to visit and revisit the wonders of our home islands. We shall become “Old Age Travellers” having missed out in our youth to become “New Age Travellers”

Maybe now I will not see the Great Wall of China but I can see Hadrian’s Wall, I won’t climb Everest but I can go up Mount Snowdon (in the train)