Looking back at 2023, I realised that it was quite a happening year for me. 

As both our children have moved out of home and are staying near their place of work and study, this was the first time during our parenting years, we went on some couple holidays. In the past, we used to always go for family outings with the four of us together. We used to go in my hubby's 8-seater Mercedes Viano. But many UK roads are very narrow and not meant for big cars and there's a lack of large parking spaces. Hence, I was never comfy in his big car as parking was always tedious. So I was more than happy during our couple holidays as we went driving to all places in my 2-seater smart car - easy to drive and easy to park :-) 

In 2023, I and hubby celebrated our silver wedding anniversary. We really don't know how these 25 years went by in a jiffy. Time flies.... 

2023 was also the year I completed half-a-century of my life on this earth and celebrated my milestone birthday of 50 as I was born in 1973. 

I also fulfilled my long-cherished dream of moving into a sea-view bungalow. My mother-in-law was also very happy on hearing this news as for a long time, she had also wanted us to move into a bungalow, knowing that we both are ageing. But it was not an easy find for me. Most of the properties in the UK with sea-views are either apartments or houses and also most of the bungalows in the UK are dormer/chalet bungalows with loft/attic conversions. So looking for a traditional/original bungalow with all rooms at the same level was like looking for a needle in a haystack. It was a very tedious task for me and it took me nearly 2 years to find one that suited our needs and budget especially looking for a place with low pollution, low crime rate and low risk of flooding. 

When it comes to properties, my husband doesn't have the time, knack and patience to do searches. So he leaves it all to me. He often says that having been in the BTL business since 2011, I've acquired so much knowledge and expertise that I should become a consultant and open a consultancy. I laugh it off saying that I'm still learning.....as there's always something new to discover, but he's confident that I'll do well as I've had enough of experience, communication and correspondence in this business, dealing with so many professionals. But that's how my hubby sees me, not me :-) I can't see myself running a consultancy. 

And finally, we ended the year with a visit to India. After boarding 6 flights and squeezing through various crowded places, we were relieved to return home, safe and healthy without contracting Covid, TB, Dengue or Malaria. Our neighbour in India said that as we've lived in the UK for so many years, we have lower immunity than people living in India and hence, we are susceptible to infections during our India visits. Thus, we need to be careful and take precautions. We heeded his advice, avoided outside food wherever possible (took home-cooked food) and wore face masks in public places. 

Now that I've fulfilled my dream and can view the sea from my home instead of depending on seaside walks/drives and sea-view hotels/holidays, I feel so content that I can happily die with these sweet memories. It's a state of bliss when I don't hanker for anything more. I feel at peace and feel blessed to have my dream come true. How much of life I've left in me to enjoy the sea, I don't know, neither do you :-) But seeing the sea, does it really make me long for a long life? The answer is No. I've never had this lust for life, not that I'm suicidal, but the thought of having a lengthy life doesn't make me feel jovial. I take each day as it comes, live and make the most of it, and if death comes, so be it. 

That's all I had to share for now. 

Take Care
~ Aparna ~

More By  :  Aparna Chatterjee

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