Thank you very much for all the supportive comments. The loss of my friend is weighing heavily on my mind, but if they're not willing or able to support me emotionally and have some understanding or tolerance of why I react badly sometimes, then that's not being much of a friend. It seems they only want to be friends when all is well with me and I'm happy and upbeat, otherwise they don't want to know. I miss them so much though, we used to be so close, we went on holidays together, stayed at their house for weekends sometimes, went out for meals, told each other everything. I'm so sad it's ended. I'm not even going to try to contact them to see if we can work things out, I know there's no point as they're so rigid and blinkered in their outlook. It might sound as if I'm painting them in a bad light, but that's only a tiny part of them, on the whole in the past they've been wonderful, best friend I ever had. But if they choose to bugger off and cut ties with me, well there's not a lot I can do.
Spoke to Mum over the weekend, she's ok physically, no current sickness or diarrhoea (although that can change on a daily basis), no more falls, only normal arthritis pain and soreness from her bruised knees and hands where she fell. But she is feeling very depressed, it's partly the weather, partly still having to wait for further test results and diagnoses, partly being so very restricted in what she can do. Her sight is still deteriorating, with little the doctors can do, she's almost totally blind in one eye and has limited vision in the other. As she loved reading and bird watching in particular, it's a big blow that she can no longer do either. She does have her radio and audio books, but she says it's just not the same. She is on antidepressants. She used to love sitting by her window and watching the birds in her garden - she has lots of bird feeders and gets lots of birds - she just can't see them now. Her hearing isn't good either, even with her (expensive) hearing aids in, so it's not even as if she gets much pleasure from listening to the bird song, as she can't hear that properly either. She just feels like her life as she knew it is being slowly eroded daily. I really feel for her.
We hardly ever go out for meals, can't often afford it and, having had very mediocre food the last 2 or 3 times we did, I often feel I could cook far better meals myself at home. The last time we went out for dinner was in October last year and we didn't pay for it, we were treated by husband's daughter and son in law, very kindly. We did go to my ex-best friend's house for dinner on New Year's Eve, that being the last time we saw them, lovely meal and beautifully cooked, but I'm talking about meals out that you pay for in a restaurant or pub. Well, we're actually going out for dinner on Valentine's Day - we've been married 35 years and this is only about the 4th or 5th time we'll have done that, previously we haven't wanted to pay the vastly inflated prices charged for a Valentine's meal. However, a local pub is doing a very reasonably priced 4-course meal (one of the courses is a gin & tonic sorbet - oh yum!), we paid half a couple of weeks ago as a deposit, so not loads to pay on the night, which makes it much more affordable. We're going with our friendly neighbours and are looking forward to it very much. The food choices do sound delicious, I hope it lives up to expectations, else I think that'll probably be the last time we pay to eat out!