Sunday, 14 July 2013

Olive is number 1

With the loss of 2 parents in 2 years, Auntie Olive is a real tonic. She is driving, informed, entertaining, sociable and great company. She will be 85 in 9 days time and this week sees a round of celebrations commencing with a lunch she is hosting for 12 on Tuesday. " The men are included".
The prospect of the lunch has inspired her to plant pots of plants through May and improve the fencing and garden. Often weeding herself. The menu planning has been a great project. The salmon from Tesco was confirmed this morning, but is being stored in their fridge. Her friend has offered to accompany her on the big shop tomorrow. Today she made the sponge ready for the cream and strawberries.
When Olive suggested this event it seemed unnecessary for her to do so much work. However, over the past month it has provided her with a wonderful project and incentive to live on. With 11 funerals in the past 2 years it has not been easy. Today she told me of the loss of another friend. However, she has survived the routine cancer checks in May and the kidney scan. No change to the tumours is reported.
On Sunday morning she will be taken to Cheltenham to catch the coach to London. A 2 1/2 hour journey ready for a family lunch at 1.30 p.m. Can't be bad.....

Monday, 4 February 2013

Pension Credit - 6p per week

My Aunt has been in receipt of Pension credit. It was initially £5 per week. Then the pension from her husband's company increased. The Pension credit reduced to £1.20 per week. She has now received a letter to confirm that her Pension credit has reduced .............6p.........yes that is 6pence per week. So total £3.00 per year with letters and support packs sent though the post. My Aunt has not stopped laughing. Those three loaves of bread she will be able to purchase won't change her lifestyle, but every little helps. She is just concerned about who will pay for the stamps on the letters that confirm the 6 pence at 50 pence per shot. Not sure who will be in credit for that one!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

£9.00 per month pension increase

The loss of interest on savings has really hit Olive. She budgets tightly every month and now there is no interest to speak of on bank accounts she finds it hard to justify any extras. How lovely when she received a letter from the company manging the private pension she receives (as widow from her husband's work) to say there is an increase in the pension. Just over £11 per month, but advising her that after tax it will be £9. Better than nothing, but not keeping up with the increase in cost of living. " You would think when you get to 85 the tax rate would go down" Good idea - to think of all the tax that she and her husband paid. Olive still going with payments to HMRC.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Olive is prepared for the snow!

Olive is always prepared. This means preparing the car ahead of the trip to the supermarket and then preparing food in case of a snow in. So last week she cleared the car of frost etc. Then left the door slightly ajar, so that the battery was flat the next morning, the planned trip to the supermarked. Brilliant that Olive is still driving at 84 and brilliant that the car passed it's MOT again. Only 900 miles last year.
This is when the benefit of good neighbours kicks in. Not only does Terry the neighbour help renew her car tax on line etc and act as internet access, but he is always there in a crisis.
He got the jump leads and sorted out the battery and was on standby in case of a problem at Tesco. All went swimmingly. There is a pint of milk in the freezer and food for the week. Yesterday Olive was hoping Terry might also pick up the Daily Mail for her. It is the Saturday one that has the TV guide. We really need everyone to be good neighbours. I think she has only called on him 3 times in the past 12 months,but it gives confidence to know he and his wife are there. On Thursday, he said he will paint her porch in the Spring as the sun has caused the paint to peel. Olive thought she couldn't let him. I reminded her that he didn't have to offer. Terry sounds just great.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Ready decorated Christmas tree is best for Olive

When my uncle died 4 years ago I arranged for delivery of a pre-decorated Christmas tree to my Aunt, then aged 80. As predicted she did not feel inclined to gather decorations from around the house and " Get Festive". The tree lasted 3 years and she was delighted with it, in fact she said she much preferred it to a present. This year she purchased a new one from the supermarket, ready decorated. It didn't cost much and when we visited it all looked so festive. Good to remember that the ready decorated can provide some Christmas sparkle......maybe the supermarkets will deliver! I also sent flowers from e-flowers at the start of December and they lasted for the whole of the time. It has been a great topic of conversation.