This is a photo of Lilley taken on one of our many vacations in Burnham Market, North Norfolk. She's perched on a bench with a distant view of Holkham beach. Probably my favourite place on the planet.
When you're living/ageing or alone without children, you have choices:
Go get a partner/friend to live with (done that and mostly it was great, but no more, thank you).
Join lots of groups of various subject matter and 'make friends'. Ha! ha! ha! Friends you say? Not another story? Move on Trish...
No, what you actually do if you want to remain of sound mind and reasonably healthy is get used to going places on your own. Be it meals out, holidays alone, dog walks. Arguments with your plumber - do it on your own.
It wasn't always so. Of course it wasn't. I have enjoyed decades of mad, bad, glorious social life. Being honest, could I have partaken in such prolonged partying if we'd had children? Very doubtful. Some social life, I guess, but not that wild. Where has it gone? Why has it gone? I am much older, retired, alone and most importantly - have no children nor grandchildren. Friends have moved away. I do honestly believe it is more difficult to mix as a childless, partnerless elder. Please feel free to disagree.
Joining clubs or groups is the obvious go-to. I've joined them, met and liked folk most of whom have GC. But I don't do coach tours, group tours, art, gardening, cake- making, everything making groups. No idea why but it doesn't suit - what is clearly becoming - my weird personality.
And if the U3A is mentioned one more time in my presence I swear I'll - well - swear.
From an early age as an only child, my mother with no siblings/father's siblings all died, I have/had no one. You do stuff and you do it on your own. And it's OK. Truly, I'm beginning to think I became so self sufficient from a young age, growing up without siblings before managing the tidal emotion of childlessness, that coping is on permanent automatic for me.
Loathe as I am to 'independent' myself the above is what happens. Mainly - I love it - I really love it.
Except when I don't. Like at family times. Like at illness times. Who's going to take care of my dog? Who's your next of kin?
This needs some discussion and input. Looking forward to it...
Saint Tropez on holiday. On my own (well, that day, anyway...)