IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

Because I always enjoy a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, I hope you'll humour me and sit a while as I share my news. There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks. #ifwewerehavingcoffee

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

If we were having coffee these are a few things I'd be sharing from February. Summer is finally waning and Autumn is about to begin - I certainly won't miss the heat and the horrible bushfires that ravaged Australia over the last few months. I always enjoy a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, so I hope you'll humour me and sit a while as I share my news. There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks.

BLOGGING

I've been blogging away merrily during February and that included two more  guest posts in my Thursday Midlife Symphony series. The first was from Erica (Behind the Scenery) who wrote about her visit to Iceland inspiring the next stage of her life, and then Suzanne (Picture Retirement) shared about how early retirement has worked out in her life. I love having guests write for me because they always have something different and interesting to share. If you'd be interested in writing me a guest post in my Midlife Symphony series then click on the link and have a read, then send me an email - I'd love to hear from you.

I also discovered that my blog (along with several others in my little blogging tribe) had been included in a "Best of Midlife Bloggers" post on It's Rosy. It's always lovely to be acknowledged and to be included with other Midlife bloggers who I respect and admire.

Cresting the Hill was included in the Best of Midlife Bloggers (https://www.itsrosy.com/The+Best+Bloggers+Over+50) #midlifeblogs

MUM-ING

My Mum had her second knee replacement operation - four years after the last one, and once again she's come down to stay with us for a few weeks while she recovers. Last time I felt like it was a real challenge getting the whole nursing/compassion thing right because I don't exactly have the patience of a saint (my blog post from last time!) This time it seems to be a lot easier - probably because we knew what it would entail, and also this time I'm not juggling work with having her here.

Mum's pretty self-sufficient, so my job is just to feed and water her, and remind her (somewhat forcibly) to do her exercises so she has a good result from the operation. In another couple of weeks she'll be heading off to her own place again, picking up her little dog, and returning back to her normal busy life - while we slip back into our quieter routine.

mum with her second knee replacement

FAMILY-ING

On the weekend before Mum moved in with us, we took ourselves up to the city to spend time with our kids and their spouses and our two delightful grandgirls. It's always such a pleasure to see them and to spend a few hours reacquainting ourselves and having fun. It's all about investing in relationships and creating memories - and not letting too much time pass between visits because the girls are growing and changing so quickly.

Grandgirls Feb 2020

ANNIVERSARY-ING

It was also our wedding anniversary on February 26th - it's been 37 years since these wedding picture were taken and I can't believe how much water there's been under the bridge since then - including two kids and two grandgirls. Life has been very good to us. I wrote a little Valentine's post a few years ago and thought I'd link it for posterity. It includes a couple of side by side phots taken 30 years apart - and we've hardly changed (written with tongue in cheek!)


VOLUNTEERING

I finished up with my mentoring at the local primary school in December last year and decided that I wanted to do something different this year. I offered my time to our church's Play Group leader and she immediately signed me up for coffee making and chatting duty each Monday morning. Both are within my skillset and it's lovely to spend some time with young mums and their littlies before heading home to look after a not-so-young-mum!

READING

Another eclectic reading month - I started off re-reading the Maria V. Snyder's "Healer" series - a YA trilogy that I knew I'd enjoy re-visiting.


I've been following that with Ice Forged by Gail Z. Martin and I'm two books into this Ascendant Kingdoms series. I'm enjoying it so far and it's on a par with the Wheel of Time type fantasy series that I've read in the dim, distant past.


CRAFT-ING

I had a little play around with money boxes in February. As I browsed around the internet I noticed that there were glass fronted coin boxes that I thought would suit what I was looking for. But I didn't want to spend $30 to save my $1 and $2 coins - so I looked for an alternative in my local bargain store.

I found a box picture frame and pulled it apart, shifted things around, added a money slot, some backing paper and my "word" - we decided on 'Change' because it would fill up with change that we could spend on a change in life. As you can see, there's not much in there, but give it a year or two and we might have a decent collection. The advantage is that the back comes off when we're ready and then it can start all over again!

Box photo frame re-purposed as a money box

WATCHING

I watched Season 1 of Spinning Out on Netflix because I love pairs iceskating. It wasn't bad and it took an interesting sideline on adult and teenage mental health. Unfortunately they just announced that there won't be a Season 2, so that's the end of that one for me. 

And I'm somewhat mortified to confess that I've also been speed watching "Married At First Sight" on catch-up TV. I always get sucked in by their hopes and dreams, and desire to be loved - then can't take my eyes away from the trainwreckage that ensues!

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Well that's it from me during February. So, what have you been up to?  Don't forget to email me if  you're interested in being part of my Midlife Symphony series. Let me know how things are going with you in the comments because I love to chat.


Because I always enjoy a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, I hope you'll humour me and sit a while as I share my news. There's nothing like a virtual cuppa and a chat, and I have lots to share from the last few weeks. #ifwewerehavingcoffee

To keep up to date with my posts, feel free to add your email into the spot especially for it on my sidebar and I'd love you to share this post by clicking on a share button before you go xx
This post was shared at some of these great link parties

44 comments

  1. Woe, our coffee/tea catch-ups come around so quickly! I don't watch MAFS because I just know that I won't be able to look away. I tell Sarah that it should be called People Behaving Badly. I love the volunteer work you're doing - I bet some of those mums look forward to their coffee and a chat each week.

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    1. Hi Jo - MAF is once again a trainwreck (and about to get worse) and I know it's brain rot, but I still can't look away - at least I can watch it on fastforward to spare myself some of the truly awful stuff! And yes, playgroup so far is becoming quite a lovely way to use a little bit of the extra spare time I have these days.

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  2. february was full of blogging, writing, drawing and cooking. retirement allows me to enjoy all these things as and when i want. i feel very lucky indeed! happy march.

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    1. Hi Sherry - I feel the same way - life is just full of the things I love these days - no more waiting for the weekend - it's the weekend every day!

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  3. Happy Anniversary, Leanne and congratulations on Cresting the Hill's inclusion in 'The Best of Midlife Bloggers'. Very well-deserved! I hope your mom is feeling better soon.

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    1. Hi Donna - thanks for the good wishes and Mum is coming along well - she's got good movement with her knee and a really positive attitude, so she'll be back to being independent before we know it.

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  4. Hi Leanne, a few of my friends have been in the same volunteer position for years, while I have drifted from one to another. My average per position is about 2 years. I am organizing a Mahjong Tournament for my neighborhood right now and that is as much responsibility as I want to take on. Thanks for including me in your Midlife Symphony series. It is kind of you to promote other midlife bloggers here. Good luck with your Mom's recovery. I just spend two weeks with my MIL (who isn't sick) and my patience wore thin towards the end of the trip. Oh well, we will all be there some day. My guilty pleasure which has gotten really slutty is the Bachelor. I wasn't going to watch this season, but alas, the train wreck beckoned and I succumbed to the last two episodes. Nice chatting with you this morning.

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    1. Hi Suzanne - it was lovely having you as a guest and meeting some of your blogging friends in the process. Having Mum here has been a lot easier than if I'd has to stay at her place - the comfort of your own home helps ease the tension, she's also pretty easy going and that helps too.
      Nice to see I'm not the only one who gets caught up in train wreck TV - every season I promise myself I won't - but I'm a sucker for a happy ending....
      And I'm hoping the playgroup volunteering turns out to be a good choice - if not, there's always a spot for me back doing mentoring (it's a lot more work though).

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  5. Hi Leanne,

    Congratulations on your blog being included in the Best of Midlife Bloggers. You write on very interesting topics, and you richly deserve the accolade.

    Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. Wish you and your husband lots of happiness and peace in the years to come.

    I hope your mother is doing well. I wish her a speedy recovery and good health,

    February was a busy month for me. Got bogged down with work, and my blogging plans didn't quite work out.

    I managed to finish reading "A Short History of Australia". It's not exactly a short history. The author Ernest Scott has delved deep into the entire history, right from the time sailors and navigators just speculated about this place in the southern hemisphere. Very informative book.

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    1. Hi Pradeep - I was wondering if you'd been caught up with work stuff because you hadn't been blogging or linking for the last few weeks. Sometimes our blogs have to take a back seat to the rest of our commitments (and that's one of the good things about writing - you can leave it and come back again when you're ready).
      I guess your book was a "short" history because Australian history covers a lot less time than Indian or European history. You probably know more about it than I do now!

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  6. Funny to think you are moving into autumn as we here in Ireland are finally seeing some extra light at the end of a long winter! Bring it on! Netflix just as big here, though, and mysellf and my wife are loving Mindhunter, about the FBI's early efforts at profiling serial killers. Terrific stuff

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    1. Hi Enda - I always feel the same way with the weather when the very Northern US and Canada are getting several inches of snow and in Australia we're in shorts and tee shirts. That's one of the interesting things about blogging - we have so many similarities and yet we're thousands of miles away from each other.
      I'll have to check out Mindhunter - I find Netflix very hit and miss and nowhere near as full of engaging content as I'd hoped. Now that Stan and Amazon TV etc have appeared I guess the content has to be spread further, which thins the crop.

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  7. Wow! 37 years. Well done. It's amazing how quickly it goes and how fleeting it feels

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    1. Exactly right Lydia - one minute it feels like forever, then a little flashback happens and it seems like only yesterday. I can't believe how easily we jumped into things back in our early days - now I'd probably overthink it to death!

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  8. Another busy month Leanne. I had a chuckle when i read you have been watching MAFS. I’ve been speed watching it too. My partner is horrified that I would do it! It interests me seeing how they react and hat pushes their buttons. And then as you say there’s the train wreck that keeps you glued to it. I usually watch while in the gym. #MLSTL Sharing

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    1. Hi Jennifer - I'm so glad I'm not the only one who gets sucked into MAFS - and my husband can't believe I'd watch it either - he keeps referring to the fact that it's rubbish and fairly tawdry - which it is and I can't argue..... but I still watch in the hope that they'll figure out their problems and actually decide to be nice to each other. So many damaged people who are happy to bare all on national TV!

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  9. It sounds like you're really getting a handle on this retirement thing, Leanne. Congratulations on 37 years of marriage! I confess I also (somewhat guiltily) watch Married at First Sight. Also sending healing energy to your Mum. #MLSTL

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    1. Hi Christie - do we watch MAFS for the love or the trainwreck or both? I think I'd enjoy it more if they fell in love and grew closer and had a happily ever after, but I guess that doesn't make for big viewer numbers - which says a lot about our society.
      And yes, I'm adjusting to retirement much better than I expected to - it's been a year now and I feel so relaxed and unstressed. I'm not sure if I'll start getting bored or want to change things, but for now it's a very pleasant way of life - and Mum's happy having a full time nursing assistant at her beck and call!

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  10. I love the busy yet fulfilling life you have created for yourself. I am also glad that your mom has you to help out. I just had my second knee replacement this winter and it was no picnic! My husband tried to help, but he was often stumped about how to cook something or how to help me with my physical therapy. He was great about driving me to PT appointments though!

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    1. Hi Michele - I saw you mention your knee replacement on your blog post and commented on it! I think it works well having Mum here because it just means buying a bit more food and cooking larger meals + a bit of extra washing and housework....and being on her back about doing her knee exercises three times a day - she knows she should, but it's so much easier to "forget". Fortunately she seems to be having another good result from this op and will be on her way back to her busy life in another couple of weeks.

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  11. Leanne, I could go on for quite a while regarding patience and the elderly, in a nice way of course :-) Yes, my mid 80 year old parents are requiring more time and 80 percent of our interaction is positive. It always astounds me how fast they can make us feel like we are a child again! Well done on your volunteering, can be rewarding as long as the organisation doesn't become too demanding.

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    1. Hi Suzanne - it seems like you just finish with your kids and before you know it you're on call for your parents. My MIL is a weekly responsibility now she's by herself, so we have her over for a meal and a chat to keep her busy. My mum comes in bursts like the current one, then she heads back to the city and we don't have to worry about her for a while. I know in the back of my mind that once my MIL passes away, it will be time for my Mum to move closer and then it'll be a weekly thing with her too (plus the doctor's appts etc etc) I wonder if our kids will look after us in our old age - I'm not counting on it!

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  12. Congratulations, Leanne, for your blog being included in the "Best of Midlife Bloggers" list, and Happy anniversary! Looks like you had a lovely February. I hope your Mom's recovery is going well. Have a wonderful week! #MLSTL

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    1. Thanks Natalie - I'm not sure that it was a huge honour to be on the list, but it showed me that there ae a LOT of Midlife bloggers out there these days, so having a little bite of the cherry is nice. I'm not sure how I'd go starting a blog from scratch these days - I'm very glad I jumped in completely unaware and it all unfolded organically.

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  13. Hi Leanne, I hope your Mum's knee surgery heals quickly and she feels back to herself again soon! I'll have to google more about those YA books you've been reading. I really go into reading YA books when my daughter was in high school. I loved so many of the series she was into and read them all! Congratulations on making the Best of Midlife Bloggers list! That's fabulous! My blog never makes those kinda lists for many reasons but mostly because I'm not really known of much in the O/S bloggy circles. I didn't realise you were doing volunteer work but good on you! The new role sounds great! Have a wonderful week Leanne! xo

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    1. Hi Min - yes, I've volunteered at a few things over the last decade or two, I started with Red Cross family services where you go for half a day once a week and help a Mum who's had a multiple birth - that was lovely, then I moved on to Mentoring at our local primary school - so many children with very sad family backgrounds who need someone to be a stable part of their lives, and after 5 years of that I'm stepping back a bit and just turning up once a week for a couple of hours to help out with our local playgroup - I'll see how that goes for now. Maybe I'll eventually go back to Mentoring or listening to kids do their reading.
      As far as YA fiction goes, I love it when I find a good series - they're a little bit lighter and easier going than Adult fantasy novels - the 4 adult ones I'm ploughing through have more blood, guts and battles in them and that's a bit wearying.
      I'm not sure how I made the Bloggers list - I think she took it from one of the Feedburner lists, but I'll take any little bit of glory that comes my way! :D

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  14. Oh my goodness! Feb. 26 was my parents wedding anniversary as well. The blog post I included in your "share the love party" is exactly about that! As they are both gone now, I would say to enjoy any and all time spent with your mum...once it is gone you can never get it back. I know sometimes it is hard to be patient...but I guess I always tried to remember that it is hard for them as well. Congratulations on the "Best Midlife Bloggers" list.

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    1. Hi Deidre - yes I saw your post on your parents' wedding - how lovely that it's the same day as ours. And you're right about appreciating your loved ones while you have them and I know my Mum will leave a very big hole in my life when she's not here any more. She's been quite a good patient and complains less than I would in her situation, so I keep reminding myself of that and also she won't be living with us for too much longer before she's back to her own place and her busy life.

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  15. Wow, Leanne you have been busy! And with craft and reading! I'm glad the time with your mother is going well as I know we had that conversation.

    And congrats on your recognition as a blogger - it's well-deserved. I love the positive approach you keep bringing every time I read your posts. x

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    1. Hi Deb - yes mothers are absolutely delightful and absolutely full on - I can't imagine life without Mum, but she does make our quiet home a lot more intense. This time round she's been reading in her room more and going out for coffee with my brother and a friend a few times, so that breaks things up - plus I'm not juggling it all around work, so I'm more relaxed this time around.
      My little craft project took maybe half an hour, but it was fun to do and as it fills with coins, I'm imagining it will add up to a tidy sum - dinner out somewhere at least!

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  16. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. Those wedding pictures are so good.
    Congratulations too on making the Best Bloggers over 50 list. Why am I not surprised? :)
    I hear you about caregiving - glad that it's better this time around. I hope your Mom is back to normal soon. It must be so fun catching up with your sweet grandkids. They are at that age where they say some really cute things that you don't want to miss out on.

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    1. Hi Corinne, yes it's been a good month for getting my fill of grandchildren and my Mum - I feel like my family cup is well and truly full (sometimes it feels a bit dry when I haven't seen them for a few weeks). Thanks for the congrats on our anniversary and being on the Blogging list - both were nice boxes to tick and then off I go into another month!

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  17. Hi Leanne, isn't it a wonderful thing to spend some time with the grand kids? You're right, they grow and change so quickly when they're young. I'm thrilled to be close enough to my four little ones that I can see them regularly. Your mom looks like a lovely person and I'm glad you're feeding and watering her regularly, at least for a short time! It's always good to go back to the regular life schedule, though. Thanks for sharing your month with us.

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    1. Hi Candi - I bet you're loving being closer to your grandkids - they change so quickly and it's so special to be a part of it all and for them to include us in their world. I love it when we see ours and I love seeing my adult kids leading interesting and fulfilling lives in the city.
      Mum is coming along well and is actually much more settled and happy here at our place than I'd be in her situation. I think she enjoys the company and not having to cook or clean for herself for a few weeks. She fits in well and it really hasn't been hard to have her, but it will still be nice to go back to our usual routines once she's off and back into her own world again.

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  18. Leanne, You know how I loved being a guest on the Midlife Symphony Series. I always learn a great deal from the comments. I also learned more about myself when I was writing it. Funny how that happens.

    Congratulations on your acknowledgement. Well deserved!

    Very funny on the “feed and water her.” I hope she heals quickly. Your little granddaughters are adorable! And, yes, they grow fast and change quickly. Beautiful wedding photos! I did click on your Valentine’s post. Great candid post, especially with the reality check. Love the photos!

    I really enjoy the virtual cuppa posts. You are right, Leanne, how in real life we would likely spend hours chatting over coffee. #MLSTL and sharing SM

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    1. Hi Erica - you brought such positive energy into your guest post and I could tell from all the comments how loved you are by the blogging community you're surrounded by. I think it all comes down to how much you invest in the process - some just bang out a post and don't engage with those who stop by - and it shows. Others like yourself just ooze friendship and interest and people keep coming back and that's how you build community.
      If you'd ever like me to write a guest post for you, just let me know and I'd be happy to share the love.
      Thanks for your other comments and for reading my Valentine's post - I never profess that married life is a breeze, but it's certainly worth the time and effort it takes to create a lasting and loving relationship.

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  19. Hi Leanne, February was hectic for me but I'm pushing through my course and should be finished by April at this stage - 3 months ahead of schedule. It was a lovely surprise to see our blogs mentioned in the 'Best Midlife Bloggers' list. Looks like your month has been full of fun and can't believe we are into March already. I hope your Mum recovers quickly and is up and about soon. Looks like another great week of MLSTL link ups. I think we have built a lovely community.

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    1. Hi Sue - you must be so excited to see the finish line ahead of you with your studies. Good on you for pushing through the difficult patch and for forging ahead to the point that you're 3 months in front of yourself - that's truly amazing.
      And yes, it was lovely to be on the Blogging list, but I don't think it means a great deal - it's the things like our MLSTL group that bring meaning for me - lots of genuine engagement and friendship - that's what a great blog brings to the table xx

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  20. Hi Leanne,
    Wonderful of you two to care for your mom while she recovers...that's part of being a family, isn't it? Interesting book choice, never could really get into scifi myself. And I've not heard of those tv series, although I will admit to being hooked on Outlander, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Handmaid's Tale.
    Thanks for the great round up. I always enjoy these posts as a glimpse into other's day to day. from #MLSTL

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    1. And, for some reason Blogger shows I've chosen "reply as definingthirdage" but when I publish the comment it makes me "unknown".
      Hello, it's me, Nancy.

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    2. Hi Nancy - I'm so glad you added who you were - it's always nice to know who I'm replying to! I loved the Outlander books and must confess to a wee crush on Jamie (in the book and in the TV series - great casting and so was Claire).
      Mum's been a good patient and very easy guest to have, but I think she's now getting ready to have her own space back and to be able to watch TV with her little dog whenever she feels like it (we don't watch TV much at all) and it will be nice for us all to get back into our routines. It's good to be able to help out though and to have a home that accommodates guests without being too cramped.

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  21. What a big and busy February. Do you wonder how you ever found time for work?? I am glad your Mum staying with you is better this time round. You do well to have her stay. I am so not a good carer...I am can be overly emotional and not real good. My husband is very independent but he is the 'only' person I could (and have cared) care for. Happy Wedding Anniversary! You are right about the growing grandkids. I miss seeing ours more regularly because the younger ones in particular do change so quickly. Denyse #mlstl

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    1. Hi Denyse - caring and compassion are not my strongest points but I'm happy to have Mum here rather than trying to run up and down to Perth to see her. She's actually quite a good patient and without the added work stress on top of it, it's been a lot easier this time around. I do truly wonder how I worked for so long - I just love the freedom and peace that being home offers me. Life is very good.

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  22. I really thought I'd left a comment here already but it doesn't appear so! Happy anniversary and I enjoyed our catch up over a nice cup of tea! Another busy month for you and looking after your mum is very generous and caring of you :)

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