is now showing a picture of Mumbles Lighthouse in Swansea Bay. I am not sure why we have a Welsh calendar this year. We usually have a Scottish calendar. Wales has been nice but I suspect we will "return" to Scotland in the New Year. That is the calendar in the 'loo - something pleasant to look at while sitting on the throne.
I also need to draw up the real working calendar. My mother started this years ago. It is a necessary but loathsome task. The calendars have always been drawn up on an A2 sheet of coloured card - days of the week across the top, months down the side. The daily space is not large but we supplement with the "pin-up" board - the refrigerator with an assortment of magnets where the actual appointment cards etc are kept. It is not terribly tidy to look at but it does mean that we rarely forget anything.
My mother always printed the entire thing. She was trained as a teacher of infant school children - the five to eight year old group. My mother had outstandingly good handwriting skills. Nobody else in the family is remotely legible - or so she used to tell us.
I print off the days and the months and paste them in. I have standard abbreviations for the regular events. My father and I understand it and that is all that matters.
At the beginning of each year the calendar always looks a little bare. I put in all the regular meetings, the birthdays and any appointments that have already been made. As the year proceeds the calendar begins to look messy and crowded. By the end of the year it is almost always full.
Looking at this past year I realise there is slightly less for my father. He dropped one regular activity. He rarely goes out at night - and only if someone picks him up. Once he would have been out two or three or more times in a week. I rarely go out at night either - because it worries him too much, even if friends pick me up. I know things are changing and it saddens me.
But, the lighthouse is there on the calendar and it seems to be saying something about the future. There is another year coming up. We are still here. The world has not been annihilated by nuclear war even if Haiti and elsewhere are still a mess. We still have a future.
This year the calendar will be pale blue cardboard. My father has just gone into the shed to get the long steel carpenter's rule that makes drawing it up somewhat easier.
I will make a start on it when I have posted the necessary Christmas mail. The Whirlwind 'phoned me from school this morning to remind me - in case I forgot to look at the calendar.