Friday, 25 April 2014

Thoughts over A Cottage Pie

I tend to prepare supper over morning coffee. It's a habit I have gotten into. There is a practical reason for this as the more the day progresses, the dirtier I usually become. Later this morning I will be digging over " Bosoms" , chitting potatoes need to be planted out.
Recently, we have been asked by an elderly friend to be a " first port of call" if the " enevitable" would happen.
We have been asked to hold house keys, know who to contact in case of an emergency and understand other personal and practical jobs " that need to be done" .in the case of......etc etc
It's a responsibility to be sure,
But, Chris and I were rather touched to be asked.
It's hard when these things need sorting when there is no family " around and about" so to speak.

Chris and I have made a will. We made sure we completed one when we bought the cottage, but as there is two of us, those mini practical things of where the key to the shed is kept or where the dogs' medical cards can be located have never really been discussed.

God forbid, if I was to be hit by a truck tomorrow, poor Chris would flounder with all of the minutiae of normal home life bollocks. He has no idea where  the George Clooney vet has his surgery. He doesn't know where the home insurance papers are and he would be flummoxed with what recycle bin has to be placed out and when  or who gets their eggs delivered on a Monday and who prefers them popped off on a Sunday afternoon.

Funny where your mind wanders to over a half constructed cottage pie

94 comments:

  1. It's funny how no matter close we are to our partners in life, there's always a whole bunch of stuff that doesn't cross over. I do all of the practical stuff like paying bills; my husband wouldn't know where to start. Same at work. But he does a bunch of stuff I have no idea about, just that the results turn up in the flat. Teamwork of sorts? Maybe the equivalent of a desk file may be useful. I hope the pie is as yum as it looks. I made a huge vegetarian pancake lasagne tonight for a pot luck tomorrow. But I didn't have time to ponder much. Just our lovely new Oscar Wilde tiles, to be seen over a t'mine'.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps I was pondering far too much?

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    2. You should ponder about that some more... ;-)

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  2. All too familiar. My partner flatly refuses to make a will - which sends me batty. And I am pretty certain he doesn't know which bins go out on which week.
    He is resourceful and would manage - but it would be/will be more difficult than it needs.

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    Replies
    1. Why doesn't he make a will...what reason does he give...?
      I am fascinated to know

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    2. He doesn't give a reason - just changes the subject as quickly as he can. If pressed, he leaves the room.

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  3. Always a hard topic, but such a necessary one.

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    1. I think it's a huge natural need for humans to sort out their things before they die?
      Or am I wrong?

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  4. Will the potatoes then cease their chatting, how sad. It sounded so cosy.
    As I fear there is no way Chris is going to be able to cope with the myriad of jobs you do please avoid all trucks and stay safe. We all need you!!

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    Replies
    1. Dammmmm automatic spell check AGAIN,
      I have been planting the chitting potatoes today... The ground was warm enough to rest your bare buttocks into without feeling uncomfortable

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    2. Crikey, now there's a picture! I'm already missing the chatting potatoes.

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  5. and another thing, I'd keep quiet about where the George Clooney vet hangs out!

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  6. I have made a will, John. I don't think I will ever be happy with my decisions though. At least it's done.

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  7. Do cottage pies have to be prepared in cottages? If so I have eaten many semi-detached pies. Perhaps cottage pies can only be prepared by cottagers? Is a cottager a supporter of Fulham F.C.?

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    1. Bloody hell - I've just seen the 'paws for thought' 'joke', and now here is the one about cottage pies. Next minute he will be asking if Shepherd's Pies have to be made with real shepherds.

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  8. Yep, I thought a cottage pie was made out of a cottage. Much like cottage cheese is.

    Here's to goodwill and a good will. Hope to see you sometime, stranger!

    Gary :)

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    Replies
    1. I always wondered why cottage cheese was called well cottage cheese

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  9. It's the same here John.....there are two of us but I'm the only one who knows where the paper work is and how the finances work. A little scary when you sit down and really give it some thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps one day, I will write a ten page
      " you do it like this" booklet

      Delete
  10. i think you've touched on something most of us suffer from. i take care of one half, ok, 95% of things and my husband takes care of the rest and never the twain do meet!

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    Replies
    1. That's why so many men don't cope when their spouse dues eh?

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  11. We got all our paperwork in place last year when disabled dh was very ill. Since then it is all me with home & garden all 1/2acre of it.
    It is hard when children are not near.
    You are both obviously very highly thought of & that is lovely!

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  12. I've thought about making a will because it's never too early to do it, after all life is always unpredictable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get it done Keith get it done

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  13. Usually it all works out in the end.....I did however pick up our final arrangement forms a few weeks back about how we are to be planted.

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    Replies
    1. No linda..if so often doesn't get sorted. I have heard of so many problems with families fighting over stuff

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  14. I think you're describing EVERYONE here. My wife would have a bloody clue where anything is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. for 'would' read 'wouldn't'..... makes more sense.

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  15. We need a book to record all of the things, we are probably the only one who knows, so someone can figure out where everything is. Two years after my mother-in-law died, we found the last bank account - we never did figure out what one ring of keys worked in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The " book" idea is a grand one.....
      I think I will start one
      Thanks for that

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    2. John, I wrote everything down in a notebook, including all pin numbers, direct debits and all the boring stuff that my husband wouldn't have a clue about. I even put computer passwords and just anything that comes to mind. The book is kept in a safe that is kept in a cupboard and the keys are hidden so if anything happened to both of us together, nobody would have a Scooby Doo where to find all the info!!

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  16. P knows absolutely nothing but I like to keep it like that. Discussions about Wills descend into a land of fantasy and P swearing and disappearing into oblivion as I shrug and give up. As he has nothing l don't lose sleep over it.

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    Replies
    1. Is he in denial?

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    2. Yes, he cannot handle talking about death although he and his mother do what I call "the grave visits" every week laden with flowers. I am on will number three, and codicil number two, so my family beware if you upset me.

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  17. It's a difficult subject, to be sure, but taking care of these things is also one of the most loving things that can be done and makes it so much easier for the survivor(s).
    Good on you for your kindness.

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  18. my husband died last year ho it is hard but we do sort out our lives so just enjoy each day bugger bothering what the other does not know or what we think the other does not know i can smle and think i did it i got their and i can smile at the good times we had

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    Replies
    1. Good point s'poo
      I hear what you say

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  19. Great idea about making dinner in the morning. I should do that.

    A few years ago, I made (gently) my husband do the taxes so he knew what I had to deal with. We have a filing cabinet where things are stored - not that there aren't important papers outside of that cabinet, but it's a start!

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  20. And, you might be surprised how resourceful the other half can become when put to it. As for me, everything is in the top drawer of the chest.

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    Replies
    1. As long as everyone knows it's there

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  21. My concern,if I popped my clogs, would be my diabetic cat Sydney,even after two years of her having twice daily injections,Chris still cannot bring himself to inject her.
    Jane x

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    Replies
    1. If I go....all of the animals would be rehomed I suspect.... Chris' work would mean only perhaps Albert could stay

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    2. Noooooo, I will take all the terriers, oh, and Winifred quite upset myself thinking of leaving her!

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  22. I tend to prepare *more* coffee over morning coffee.

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  23. I have made a list on a large recipe card- all the important numbers, what accounts we have and where, and anything else that I thought my husband would need if I went first. It is in our fireproof box along with our wills and insurance papers, etc. It gets updated once or twice a year, as needed. My daughter also knows it is there, as she is the executor should both of us go together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another good idea
      A fireproof box
      Think I will look for one on ebay tonight

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    2. We also have a fire proof box. And my parents and my sister have copies of everything and copies of our hard drives.

      Delete
  24. This is a dense little package of thoughts. One thing I have done is write up a list of account numbers, website passwords, etc. I found a form online which helped a lot. I'd guess a list of doctors, vets, lawyers, animal caretakers etc. would be a good idea. What would happen if the two of you were in a car accident and landed in the hospital together?

    On a more interesting note, what are "chatting potatoes?" Is that a typo, a rural nomenclature, a Greyism, or an expletive?

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    Replies
    1. It was a bit dense was it not?
      I like that phrase and will steal it from you if that's ok?

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    2. I would be honored.

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  25. Best to do this 'will' business early on and make any necessary changes as life moves forward. Put is away in a safe place that you both know.
    That cottage pie looks delicious John. Maybe a recipe will miraculously appear on a post some day!

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    Replies
    1. Big easy
      Cook minced beef
      Cover with potato
      I am an easy cook!

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    2. Thanks John! That IS easy!

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    3. Oh John, for a really tasty cottage pie, try adding one of those Knorr stockpots (Rich Beef flavour) in boiling water, to the mince. Yummy yum yum. (And maybe some chopped onions?)

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  26. I think that your elderly friend has made a good choice. It won't be easy for you and Chris when that time comes. How could it be. But you will be able to manage and do it well. It may not be the easiest task, but it is a great compliment to your character and shows the trust in you.

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    Replies
    1. I am also a fan of living wills for people who are admitted to hospital.... Not enough people use them methinks

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    2. Yes, you're right. I have both kinds of wills - the living will and the 'I'm deader'n dead' will. All is taken care of. All I need to do now is to die, but I'm holding out.

      Delete
  27. I prepare dinner (or tea as we call it in Scotland) while the dogs' food is soaking in hot water. It's the only way the dogs will stop pestering me to bits while waiting for their food to cool down! We were advised to keep our wills as simple as possible, so we did. It's now in an envelope in an obvious place with WILL written very largely on it. I had to ask my husband to show me how to operate our very complicated boiler. It tends to be his department but I pointed out to him that maybe one day he wouldn't be here when I need to change the settings etc.

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    Replies
    1. I call it tea too... But I was being pretentious
      X

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  28. I would agree if a bus ran over me tomorrow ewww hope not... DH would be looking for everything. But on the same hand I would be in the same boat in a few areas myself LOL. We each do what we do and I guess the other is good with that and figures it easier to divide it all up than us both trying to do it all. :O)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Worrying about the " practical" stops us thinking about the emotional eh?

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  29. Oh I wish I was your neighbor! If I died tomorrow, the world would stop spinning on its axis, I am sure it! lol My hubs wouldn't know how to do the online banking, or pay the bills...I suppose maybe we should go over those things, because you never know. Of course I would be hiring someone to come and do all the heavy man stuff that he does, like deck building and reconstructing the duct work under the house etc. Oh geeze....we will think about this another day!

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    1. Every widow needs a little workman

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  30. Himself never wanted to have this conversation. After his mother died unexpectedly, intestate, all of her offspring had to help her grieving husband sort things. This helped Himself to realize that having a list at least if not a proper will was a start. Then FIL died, Himself is executor. Still no proper will for us, but a lot more communication about where things how, how things work, and "just in case you need to know this" conversations.

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    1. I think the book idea saves an emotional romp

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  31. Ah, yes, the things that find their way through your mind when doing the mundane. I had the same thoughts, one day, and spent several hours typing out instructions. Later that night, I asked my other half a question about what I should do about X. He had no idea. He didn't care. He wasn't worried.

    That file has been deleted... Let him figure it out for himself. What's good for the goose etc.

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    Replies
    1. Remind me not to ever cross you sharon

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  32. I will put you in my will if you send me some of that cottage pie.

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    Replies
    1. Done deal
      Leave me something expensive!

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  33. A few years ago all the kids were home, a rarity in their busy adult lives. I came into the living room to find them going over things..."I get this", "Ok, but I get this..." I felt I should get a food taster for the rest of their visit.

    Is a cottage pie the same as a shepard's pie? Looks very good.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    Replies
    1. Mike
      I would have told em I was leaving everything to charity
      Cottage pie is the same as shepherds pie but made with beef instead of lamb

      Delete
  34. I was about to say that George doesn't have a clue about the domestic side of things - and that is true - but them I don't know how to work the drainage pumps, pump water up to the veg garden and I have no desire to learn how to broggle the septic tank back into action. I guess we need to shadow one another for a day or two, just in case.

    On a much lighter note, I do like those saucepans.

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    1. An ebay find they were and get used every day

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  35. I must admit I have nothing sorted with nobody. And that's me, who was left a widow without any forewarning illness, at 41 years old. Well, it had always been me to organize insurances and stuff, and the flat is in my name anyway, so there wasn't any problem in that department when Steve died. If I died tomorrow, I suppose my parents would inherit my flat, as they surely count as my next of kin. If I die after my parents and am not married by that time, my sister will inherit.
    So, as long as I live single, and RJ keeps his place and I keep mine and we "only" spend weekends together (and see each other at the office nearly every day), I suppose I won't need to tell anyone where my papers are and when the wheely bins need to be wheeled to the front of the house.

    At least I don't have to worry about who will take care of my cat when I die; she died two years ago.

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  36. We have an emergencies folder, after both of us being bedbound with lower limb injuries - phone numbers, locations of stopcocks and fuseboxes, quantities of additives to the hens's feed & drink, worming diary, potting mix combinations for seeds, bulbs, seedlings and mature plants, favourite recipes....

    So if both of us get laid up, some poor soul can cover for us.

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    1. Bloody well done..... So bloody organized

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    2. It all started when I broke my ankle, and wanted to get some flower bulbs planted. Not even able to get to the bookcase to find assorted books with the details I wanted, I wrote down instructions for Howard - compost to grit ration, depth to plant bulbs, planting diagrams for each pot. Then he wanted instructions to make risotto like I do, so that got written down, along with a few other regulars from my repertoire.

      When Howard ended up in plaster with damaged knee ligaments, the gas and water stopcock locations were added, plus which fuse in the fusebox operated what part of the house, how much seaweed and garlic to add to the hens' feed, when they were last wormed, emergency phone numbers and so forth.

      Since then, we kept adding useful stuff to the file. At present trying to collate a list of paint shades used - from the front door to the garden shed.

      Delete
  37. I'm single and responsible for my elderly mother, her house and finances.Everything - bank details, insurance, PIN numbers, all the household stuff is encrypted on my son's computer as well as mine. I wouldn't wish him to struggle. He also has enduring power of attorney which is at least as important as my will, so that if I meet some damned fool on the road he can manage my affairs while I'm having a lie down.

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  38. Yum cottage pie my favourite.

    I have a list of 'stuff'. How I want to be cremated and where I am to go after. I think I said on hippo's blog about this before. Chuck my ashes in the river, no one is digging me up! and the song I want as I pass behind the curtain? Queen we are the champions. Played as loud as can be. I also quite fancy Bath Crem. Why? The picture window over looking the hill down. I have never seen anything like it, stunning.

    I have older parents, so I have had conversations with them. hence I have thought about what I would like.

    My Sister and my Best Friend also know everything as well. I also know my Best Friends plans. She has children, and is on her own.

    Its quite a touchy subject but one everyone should have a few thoughts about.

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  39. Some of my most important thoughts come when doing such a simple chore. It is a timely warning.

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  40. If the Russians have their way, none of us will need to be bothered about making wills! Scaremonger? ...not me! Happy Weekend to you. x

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  41. Pah! I wish Putin would stop buggering about, my pathetic few shares keep going down. Anyway, wills, already done and did us a favour as we sorted out a piece of land that we used and is now ours. Worth b*gger all, but there in the estate. Anything important, I email to the daughter and she keeps a 'virtual file'. Mother has made a will, but as for lasting power of attorney, she thinks that giving me her PIN number counts. Shakes head. Well done on sorting stuff out, it is bad enough losing a loved one without finding a whole heal of crap. Hugs! No-one likes to face their own mortality. I'm doing a Princess Margaret, cremation and internment in the family grave. Happy thoughts for a Friday evening

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    1. Margaret was so pickled by the end she went up like a Roman candle

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  42. I got all willed up a few years ago. And then I made a living will and appointed my best friend as agent. I told her I didn't want special effort and to pull the plug if I'm half dead. All she said was, "Which half?"

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  43. My husband's grandmother not only made a will, she labelled everything of either financial or emotional value iin the house with the name of the person who was to inherit it. 'To save arguments' :-)

    (I've been reading your blog for ages but have only recently managed to get my temperamental phone to let me comment on things).

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    1. Abi
      Welcome x
      I think she had the right idea... I think that's so much nicer than having it written in a will

      Delete
  44. I heard of a family who wrote their names on their parents "things" so there would be no arguments about who gets what when the day comes. I think they must have squabbled a lot growing up lol

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    Replies
    1. My mother gave me a silver teapot when she was pissed and very much regretted it the next day

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  45. It's much the same in our household. Because Jenny has such a demanding job I take care of most of the domestic stuff and like Chris she wouldn't have a clue about hundreds of things if I suddenly went AWOL. She'd be floundering hopelessly for a while.

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    Replies
    1. I guess sometimes it allows you to realize that your needed too

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  46. Finding the George Clooney vet would probably be the top priority too, whatever the state of the animals. Make sure you attend to that one.

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