Had to have our cat put to sleep last Thursday. He was 20 years old, blind in one eye, pretty much totally deaf (well, we think he was, but he might just have been ignoring us when we spoke to him, although that would have been very much out of character) arthritic back legs, a metal plate in one of his front legs from an accident about 10 years ago and several teeth missing. His memory also seemed to be fried, as he'd want to be let out, then come back in 30 seconds later, do a circuit of the coffee table, then want to go out again. Repeat several times per hour.
He was the most sociable cat imaginable. He got on with all our neighbours and even the local dogs, cats and foxes. He was always tolerant of children unless they really gave him a hard time and always socialised with any visitors. We'd been thinking that we couldn't keep him with us much longer, but as he was nearly run over in the road last week and hadn't heard the approaching car at all, we couldn't face the prospect of him coming to an unpleasant end. At least he went painlessly and with someone he knew in attendance. All the family will miss him very much.
On top of that, Mrs W is freaking out because of an impending OFSTED inspection of her child minding service some time this week. She has a 24 page self assessment report to complete beforehand that would challenge experienced teachers. Could really have done without that this week.
And finally, I have to decide whether or not to apply for an early retirement package by Wednesday. Chances are they won't approve it anyway, as they have very limited funds, and will make me wait for the next scheme which will run in the new year under which I'll be guaranteed to be approved but will be under the new conditions (the ones that could potentially cost me £50k deducted from my lump sum after 35 years of employment with the same organisation). Tricky call, but I think I'll apply anyway, I might just be one of the lucky few.
OK, so who used to live in a shoe box on a motorway hard shoulder and ate gravel if they were lucky?