Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Grey skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face

The second Monday of our holiday dawned cloudy and misty. We decided to drive over to Falmouth, the other side of the Peninsula. It was cloudy there too and misty over the Carrick Roads. Our first port of call was to be the toilets on the Moor, but they have sadly closed. I have fond memories of our Daughter sitting on a potty there looking around and proclaiming, 'this one's different'. Happy days! We headed for the next lot at the pier, and I examined some memorials with quotes from the second world war on them. These were on the pier not in the loo!
Husband was unsure what to have for lunch, I wanted to go where I went last year, so we parted company, and I enjoyed lunch in the warmth of the Cavendish coffee house. It seemed full of American and German tourists. Then I walked along the main street, in and out of shops, browsing, not buying. I met husband, who still hadn't had lunch. After wandering around a few shops and an arcade together, he decided he would go to the Harbour Lights for fish and chips. It is somewhere where we have gone on and off for years, ever since the first time we went to Falmouth self catering. I decided I would join him perhaps for a drink, but then thought I would just have a child's portion of chips.
They didn't have decaff coffee, so I had a caffeinated one. As we ate we were watching some people in a dinghy which they managed to capsize twice, the whole restaurant customers were on their feet the second time they capsized; but then we realised that the safety boat circling them was actually teaching them how to right a dinghy, basically they were being taught how to sail safely.
There were some interesting little orange 'pod' type boats, going to the big ships in turn. Husband looked them up and discovered that they were RNLI. I struggled to eat all of my chips and thought that the coffee tasted odd.
 The capsized dinghy
one of the big ships

An orange 'pod' in the distance

Boats in Falmouth harbour

Swan and cygnets Swanpool Beach

Later we walked on past Trago Mills, and round the 'new' harbour development. Most of the little shops have gone and it's now restaurant after restaurant. I found a pair of gloves in my pocket, and
actually put them on it was so chilly. We did go in Trago Mills on the way back, but didn't buy anything. We also went into a shop that sold  model boats, but as we don't have a mantelpiece to put one on.... but we did buy a rather nice dolphin, whose tail is a crown cap bottle opener. Just right for J2O.
Having eaten too much for lunch we decided to pop into M&S for a quiche for later. Then we climbed the hill back up to Quarry car park, and headed for the scenic route home. We stopped off at Swanpool for a cuppa, but drank it in the car as it hadn't brightened up at all, the ships anchored just off Falmouth were like ghosts in the mist.
Usually, although I suffer from travel sickness on country lanes, I can cope with the route back, this time though I felt acutely unwell, really bad nausea. I was so glad to get to the straight roads near Culdrose and Goonhilly, but even that didn't help much. I gradually realised, and as another episode has since confirmed, that it was my caffeine sensitivity that caused the terrible nausea. I was glad to get back to the cottage, and it was a few hours before I could face eating.
On the Tuesday it was quite cloudy again, but we went out, and it brightened up. I found a beautiful pair of dungarees for Lydia, and as she had started proper crawling, thought they would be ideal.  they are reversible too. I got lunch at Pels again, and took my chair down to the beach to catch a bit of sun.
Wednesday was a very slow start again. it was a miserable day with patchy rain, we had a cooked breakfast, the later strolled down into the town, we looked for a gift for Nathaniel, the post office in the wharf had toy diggers and fire engines, but we thought they would be too old for him.  Later I bought another salad from Pels and took it back up to the cottage to eat it. We didn't go out again that afternoon, but in the evening got dressed up to go to the Porthminster cafe. Husband started with soup, I had scallops, we both had sea Bass with a jasmine rice and vegetables, husband said he didn't have enough room for a dessert, so had the petit fours which were served on a metal 'tree'. I had a lovely chocolate creme brulee, with a divine mint flavoured cinder toffee, Mmmm!
After coffee we took a slightly different route back to the cottage, more uphill slopes than flights of steps.
Thursday was a better day, and we ended up walking over to Porthmeor. The cafe there, on the far side was advertising a bakery, so we trudged across the sand to investigate. It's something new there, there are lots of chalets, none were occupied, but they were selling food. Of course husband had a pasty, but I chose a goat's cheese and roasted veg baguette, which was not too big, but delicious. We had a piece of their dark choc rocky road, and a coffee each. Husband asked, 'why do we not stay over this side next year?', when I said 'next year? who says we are coming next year?' he corrected it to 'next time'. I said a) the properrties get booked a year in advance and b) those overlooking the beach are very expensive, although they do have parking.
Surf's up

surf school


someone having fun

big breakers


patterns on the beach

We sat watching the waves, it was a tad windy, and watching the surf school. I managed to find a recycling bin for some of the papers, I knew I had seen one, but couldn't find it. So I made use of the one I did find. Later we went down to sit on Porthminster beach for a while, taking the windbreak as it was extremely windy. Husband doesn't much like sitting on the beach, but it is a measure of how the cough had knocked him for six, that he even wanted to come down. He brought his kindle and spent some time people watching.
That evening we walked back across to Porthmeor for a sunset, but it was too cloudy.

Friday dawned cloudy again. Whilst I was in the basement, I swept and mopped the kitchen floor.  I decided that I would take all of the rest of the newspapers up to the big car park at Trenwith, where there are recycling facilities. I set off and at first it was all on the level, but as I got to the Stennack it was uphill. When I reached the footpath up to Trenwith, I wondered if I would make it, I haven't walked up there for at least 30 years. I stopped once to catch my breath, then carried on. I made it, crossed the car park and deposited the papers, plus a couple of plastic bottles.
There were a couple of  hopper type buses by the car park, I wondered whether to hop on one to go back to the town centre, but thought I would have needed one to come up rather than down. I was wondering which way to go back, when I saw someone disappear down a path which I hadn't seen before so I decided to follow, there were a few steps on the way, but at least  was going down. This was part of St Ives I didn't know, but I eventually came out just around the corner from where we were staying, Tregenna Terrace, so I was back where I had started. As I came down Tregenna Hill, I could see that some poor soul had collapsed on the street, but as there were plenty of people around, I didn't go over. When I came out of one of the shops, the person was sitting, back to the wall, knees bent, so obviously someone knew first aid. It seemed to take forever for the first response paramedic to arrive, and I was in Fore Street before I heard the wail of the approaching ambulance. I hope the person was ok, not nice to be ill on holiday.
I bought clotted cream to take home, and was looking for something to take for Nathaniel. There are a few shops selling children's clothes, but at a price. Eventually, I found an outfit in the shop where I had bought Lydia's dungarees. Not cheap, but not mass produced, hand made in Cornwall. There were beautiful dresses for babies, very tempting.
I rang husband who was still in the cottage packing. He said he would get a pasty for lunch, I decided to go back to Beachcomber. It had got very windy, and my skirt kept blowing up. I sat at the wrong table in Beachcomber, every time the door opened my napkin blew away, and I got the full force of the wind round my legs.
Afterwards I met husband and we took our last walk up to the cottage. As I got on with packing and cleaning the cottage, it began to rain. I don't mind leaving so much when it is raining. Gradually we packed the car, then shut the door one final time, and drove down to take the keys. The office was shut, so I dropped the keys in the letter box. we drove along the harbour, up Fish Street, then round to the Stennack and out the back way. That was the first time this year we had used that route.
Later we drove off the A30 to Bodmin, and fortuitously managed to find the chippy where we ate last year.
we didn't meet anyone we knew though. We arrived at Days Inn at a reasonable time, and settled down for a welcome break on our journey home.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Bring me sunshine all the while

So, where was I up to? Ah yes the meal out. I am a bit confused as to the order in which things happened after that, much mooching round St Ives in baking sunshine, occasional sitting on the beach. As we had left all our windbreaks at home through lack of car space I bought one, with the intention of leaving it in the lean to for others to use. We had taken a sunshade brolly with us but it was too windy to use it.
At some time I strolled up the Digey to Porthmeor, and fund that the flats for the elderly had been completed, and very nice they are too.

Pensioners' flats

I discovered that Pels, on the wharf, where the old Harts ice cram parlour was years ago did take away salads, they really packed the stuff in tight to a small plastic box. Also, one day I  had a crab sandwich from there. As I walked in one day, a man was walking out grumpily declaring, 'thanks, I'm never coming in 'ere again'. The chap behind the counter must have seen my startled look, and explained that the grumbler had bought a pasty, and had eaten half of it, before bringing  it back to complain it was chicken rather than steak. You would have thought that the fact it contained stuffing may have told him at first bite. He was offered a replacement, but insisted on a full refund. He added that they get perhaps 3 complaints every year.
I sympathised and left with my salad. The poor chap looked really worried when I walked back in a few minutes later, but I hastened to explain that husband had come to try one of their pasties.
We tried sunset pics another evening but there was cloud, so they were not so good. THV Patricia left the bay and there were no further interesting boats to be seen.
sunset in cloud

Part of Saturday was spent shopping for weekend food, and I also bought some wool and a pattern and needles. I started knitting but in the evenings it was difficult there wasn't much on TV, but husband tended to watch CSI, and it's hard to count knit two together, knit one slip one pass slipped stitch over, wool forward, etc whilst the TV is on, much undoing and picking up of dropped stitches.
I didn't try to knit on the beach. One day as I sat on the beach, there was a group of Japanese tourists in front of me, and they must have had a box of opened biscuits on their rug. The equivalant of the seagull bush telegraph must have been operating because suddenly, at least half a dozen seagulls swooped, pecking at the biscuits scattering them and squabbling amongst themselves. The funny bit was that one of the party was at that moment filming something, and didn't even notice the ambush till it was pointed out to him, he had just carried on filming. Then later one of the seagulls swooped on a discarded roll, further along,and the others raced after him, all scrapping over the sea.
Husband was still sleeping a lot, still coughing a lot, the walking boots went unused, often after climbing Tregenna Hill and Skidden steps we were both exhausted, and needed a rest before going on to do the next thing.
On of the days in my way back up from the beach, I took the path up round the back of the station and up past Primrose cottage. When we stayed there several years ago there were roses rambling all over, there was an arch of fuchsias, it was beautiful. As I approached the gate I could see two people working in the garden. The roses had gone so had the fuchsia arch. The rusty old steps from the outside to the first floor had gone too. Why such devastation? Someof the lovely plants in the front garden gone too. Later I looked it up online, it had been sold since last summer, for getting on for half a million, probably some banker with a bonus I suppose, but will it still be a holiday let? We'll just have to wait and see.
On the middle SaturdayI had lunch in Beachcomber, on the wharf, we went there once before on one of our Christmas trips to St Ives. This time I had a jacket potato with crab, there was a lovely side salad too
On the Saturday evening we ate out again. This time we walked down to the wharf and bought fish and chips, fishcake for me, and then carried them up to the Island, going around the side to find a bench. There are dozens of memorial benches in St Ives, paid for by families of loved ones who loved St Ives,and probably went there every year. We ate our fish and chips in peace, the seagulls were elsewhere. The sun wasn't low enough for pictures, and I hadn't got my camera anyway.
Sunday morning we made it to Zion, there was a visiting speaker. Apparently he was down there on holiday and has been asked to preach,so wasn't dressed up for the occasion. The pastor was off the next day home to America for a 3 week visit to family, so I suppose it saved him a job. We discovered that the speaker knew people that we knew, small world when you are a Christian. Sad to say we didn't make it to the evening service we were both incredibly tired. I don't think we went out at all after lunch. We did have a cream tea though later. At first I had slept really well in the cottage, but I had one night when I had really bad night, so was back to square one.
Sadly, that Sunday was the last of the mini heatwave and the weather became more variable.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray!

Our cottage is in the centre of this picture, it has a white triangular building  roof in front of it

On the Monday morning we woke late and had a slow start, this didn't matter as we were on holiday. We walked down into the town centre, and wandered around the shops, again the sun was shining, but there was still an underlying cold wind. One of the larger shops had some reasonably priced wetsuits, I never swim in the sea these days I find it too cold; the shop had larger sizes, so I thought I might try one on. It was a short wetsuit. I struggled into it, but discovered that it was a tad short in the body and had the effect of pulling my shoulders down to my knees. Whilst trying to dress again, a lady pulled the curtain across the changing area, and exposed me in my undies, enough to send everyone out of the shop screaming. She did apologise, obviously she hadn't realised how basic the changing room was.
I bought a crab sandwich from the Yellow Canary, husband got a pasty from his usual place, and we found a seat on the wharf where we ate our lunch, shielding it from the predatory seagulls. It is nesting time, and they are fiercely protective of their young.
We wandered back along the wharf stopping for an ice cream at Just Desserts. We discovered that there was a collectors sale on at the Guildhall, so had a look round there.
We bought the necessary shopping for an evening meal,  then wandered round an arcade of shops in an old church building. I noticed that there was a wool shop. I haven't knitted at all since before my first operation, but my consultant didn't think that knitting had anything to do with my shoulder problems. We took everything back to the cottage and later I went down to Porthminster and sat for a while in the sun. Husband's cough was still very bad, I offered to make an appointment at the local surgery, but the only answer I got was 'maybe'. I had a cup of tea at the beach cafe to gain strength for the long climb back up to the cottage. That evening I didn't feel up to walking over to Porthmeor, so had a lazy evening
On Tuesday it was still sunny, but the basement was still freezing, so we went over to Truro so that I could look for a dressing gown. My slippers need replacing too. I did a tour of my usual shops, but ended up in M&S, they had towelling dressing gowns, but only a long one in the size and colour which I preferred. I bought one plus a nightie to replace one which I've had for about 13 years, which has developed a hole; no slippers that I liked though.
I bought a wrap, from their food section, and went out onto Lemon Quay, and sat eating it in the sunshine. I knew that husband would be wandering around Truro somewhere pasty in hand. I also bought a small towel, as the toilet had its own washbasin, and I had been walking with wet hands to the bathroom for a towel, this towel turned out to be a teatowel, no wonder it was cheap! I climbed the stairs to the lovely material/craft shop on Lemon quay, but it was all so overwhelming, and I thought Daughter would love it, I also steeled myself as I have enough material at home already waiting to be made up.
I wandered through the Pannier market, then bought an ice cream, and strolled up a lane I hadn't used before. This brought me out by the old coinage hall, so I did a bit of wandering there, into Lakeland, then round the side streets, eventually coming out at the back of the Cathedral. I haven't been in the Cathedral for many years, so popped in for a look. It's pretty much like any other Cathedral really.
Rood Screen, cathedral

Rose window

Going out of a side door, I had a little roam  near the river, then back onto the main Street. I called husband and we met up for a coffee at the Thornton's cafe. There aren't many Thornton's left, and this is the only one we know of with a cafe. It's nice, instead of little biscuits you get 2 chocolates. On the way out, we bought some of their 99 pence bags. We headed back to Viaduct car park, where we had parked on a lower floor, undercover to keep the car cool, then we drove up the hill and to Sainsbo's, where again I saw some reasonably priced wetsuits, I dithered, husband said, 'Go on, try one' Well I tried, I really did, but I couldn't get the tight legs high enough so that they didn't dangle, and by the time I came to do the zip, I'd lost the will to live. Who wants to swim in the sea anyway? That lovely turquoise sea, with the blue flag beach. I believe cheap wetsuits aren't up to much anyway, and most of the St Ives shops don't stock bigger sizes, and the staff are all young, lean, blond and tanned, they probably wouldn't stop laughing for a week if I asked to try one.
So we got on with stocking up for the week, bought a new cool bag, as ours was losing its insulation, and managed to get back to St Ives before the rush hour started. Husband and I both went right up to the top of the Island to take sunset pictures, after dinner. We had a visitor to the bay, a tall ship. We utilised the 'binocs' and discovered that she was Stavros S Niarchos, who was of course a Greek shipping magnate. Some internet research told us that she is a training brig for young people.
Stavros S Niarchos


Tuesday sunset

On Wednesday the sun still shone and we did our usual walkabout. I however treated myself to lunch at Bumbles tearooms, then met up with husband afterwards. He was on the stone pier.
 Stavros Niarchos had gone, but later there was another boat in the bay. We were on the harbour, and someone was up in the old Smeaton's light, using what looked like a portable foghorn. It turned out that this was to attract the attention of the safety boat amongst the yachts from the yacht club, as they had lost radio contact. Another boat came into the harbour, which had come from the big boat which was Patricia. We looked her up later and she is a former Trinity house boat and can now be hired for  cruises.
THV Patricia
The princess Royal

The plaque unveiled by the Queen

concerned man on Smeaton's light

small boat from Patricia

The small boat came from the Patricia to the harbour steps to unload passengers. There seemed to be a lot going on in the harbour that day. When we got back to the cottage we were both tired and fell asleep. Later on we got changed and went out to a seafood restaurant. Husband wasn't feeling up to much, but managed to eat a meal. Unfortunately we were in the downstairs of this restaurant, it is the sort where you choose your fish, or meat at the counter, and decide which sauce you want with it. The acoustics in the lower area are not good and all conversation sounds noisier than it really is. I started with scallops, husband whitebait fritters, then I had sea bass with an an Asian sauce, husband had fish pie. I also chose Dauphinoise potato, without really understanding what was in it, and it was just too big a portion for me. Then we had desserts, I had a creme brulee, and husband a crumble.
Afterwards we had a walk around the harbour. The lifeboat was out, being washed down after an exercise. Much joshing and squirting of water was going on.I asked one of the men when they were due to get the new lifeboat, and he replied 'late next year'. They are hoping it will fit the lifeboat station, as it is a tad wider. When the Princess Royal, the current Mersey Class was launched, in 1992, she was too big for the lifeboat station, which in turn was too far from the slipway, so she spent most of her time parked near the Sloop slipway, and they were always getting parking tickets. A new lifeboat house was built in 1994, and a new slipway. Let's hope the new one will fit. They chatted to us a bit about the Queen's visit in May. They seemed quietly proud to have met her, and were glad that they didn't get a shout till after she had gone. Apparently they were all still in their suits when the shout came. One thing we discovered is that they no longer use maroons. That really used to make the seagulls take flight. They wished us a happy holiday and we strolled back up to the cottage.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Oh 'ow 'appy us'll be, when us gets to the West Country

On Friday 31st, we actually spent most of the day packing and cleaning the house. The car was packed, and was choc a bloc. We left home at around 4.30 pm, the traffic on the M25 was slow, husband rejected my suggestion to use a different route, and eventually the congestion cleared and we had a clearer run. This did disrupt our plans a bit, and we ended up stopping at the last services on the M4 for something to eat. It being Motorway services, the food was quite uninspiring, but at least it wasn't too late in the evening. We arrived at our overnight stop later than planned. This was near Taunton. There was no restaurant in the building, but there was a Harvester nearby, so I still have not eaten in a Harvester restaurant.
We checked in and were given our room 'key'. This was one of those annoying bits of plastic which is inserted into the slot in the door, and opens the door, if it's not being temperamental. I had booked the 'Express' as our usual Days Inn was full. Our room was on the second floor, but thankfully there was a lift. The room was adequate, but there was an air conditioning unit right over the bed. This was noisy, and the room was freezing. The room key also operated the lights. On unpacking the overnight bag I discovered I had forgotten toothpaste, but on going to reception to see if I could buy some was presented with a tiny pack with a tiny brush and enough toothpaste for about 3 uses. As usual Husband channel hopped, but I wanted to settle down and try to sleep.
The bed wasn't too uncomfortable, we had switched the air con off almost as soon as we had arrived, but whether it was that others were using their bathrooms, which have ventilating fans, I kept hearing a loud humming, which wound down with almost a loud sigh. Eventually I drifted off to sleep, and slept fairly well. I'm finding I can now sleep on my right side, the 'operated' shoulder for longer periods.
After getting up not too early and showering, we went down for our 'free' breakfast. This was all self service, but the cereal choice was all limited to one brand. I ended up with orange juice, a very sweet muesli and a banana. There was instant Decaff coffee, so all I had to do was add water and milk. Husband had something cooked, but there was no bacon, only sausage, and the scrambled egg had suffered a bit from standing for so long. Afterwards we quickly packed up again, handed in the key, and set off on the road again. We had a fairly clear run, the traffic going North was worse, as it was the end of the half term week.
We arrived in Penzance at about 11 am, wandered around our usual shops, then I headed for Lavender's. I decided against a salad instead having a ploughman's. I got a huge thick block of cheese. I ploughed my way through it, (pardon the pun), then had a meringue for dessert. Husband had gone off in search of a pasty. Lavender's also sell coffee, so I treated husband to half a pound of some of his favourite type.
Market Jew Street Penzance

Church, a building nearby has a plaque to say some of the Bronte relatives lived there

Weather wise it was quite sunny, but still very cold. We left Penzance, drove back to Loggans Moor and shopped in M&S for food for the weekend.
We arrived in St Ives just before the key pick up time. We were not staying in the usual flat, I had left booking late, and that flat was not available. I had found a 3 bed cottage, we had looked at before, when the family used to come with us. It was slightly cheaper, as there isn't such a good sea view, no central heating, and no washing machine. It does however have garage, as accommodation in St ives with parking is as rare as hen's teeth, the garage was a bonus. We had a trial run to get to the house, but took a wrong turning, so husband dropped me off outside the letting agents, I picked up the key, and he negotiated his way round the one way system, I opened the garage which was huge, and he drove straight in.
We unloaded the car, took everything indoors, then set about exploring. There was a door which led to a staircase down into the basement, this was the kitchen diner. On the ground floor there was a sitting room, and in what would have originally been the dining room, there were twin beds.
Upstairs was the master bedroom, a decent size room with  a double and single bed, then a further bedroom with a single bed. The bathroom was between the 2 bedrooms and the toilet was tucked behind what would have been the bulkhead of the stairs. I'm not sure when the cottage was built but it is stone,and consequently the basement is very cold. The houses opposite were old sea Captain's houses.
There was a lean to, used for storage which led into a small yard with a clothes line, and what appeared to be a small shed, but when we investigated later in the week, we found it was an outside loo, quite handy if you don't mind the odd spider, and some very odd looking insects.
I went upstairs, unrolled the mattress topper which we take with us and made up the bed, many properties managed by Lanham's don't provide bed linen; it is possible to hire it, but we usually take out own.. I unpacked the shopping and found there was adequate storage space, sometimes self catering properties lack storage space.
We had our M&S ready meal, watched some TV, used our laptops, and then went to bed. I was surprised how well I slept.
It was going down into the basement the next morning to make tea that made me realise I should have packed a dressing gown. A stone cottage, with a floor to match under the vinyl, is not the warmest place to be. Husband was not feeling well at all, he had developed a really nasty cough. I had bought him some cough mixture in Penzance, but he didn't feel up to church. He would have coughed all the way through. I went alone to Zion, There were a few other holidaymakers there which bumped up the numbers. The new minister is very different from the one who was there when we first started going there about 22 years ago.Afterwards, I chatted to a lady we know fairly well, then another lady we know, they are always so friendly and interested in us.
After a steak lunch we dozed a bit then I said I would like to go and sit in the sun on the beach, and husband said he would come as the fresh air would do him good. So we headed down the hill and down the steps to Porthminster and spent a couple of hours sitting in the sun. I took a crossword and husband took his Kindle.
We didn't make it to the evening service as husband was still coughing badly, and I developed an upset tum. What a pair! I did manage to make it over to the island later to take some sunset pics. Later still the upset tum got worse and I was really late to bed.Will have to continue this later.
View from front 'garden' of cottage

View from an upstairs window
Fellow sunset watchers



Sunday, 9 June 2013

A cold wet end to May

Oh dear I have got so behind with my blogging, I think I will have to make this one shorter. I think I forgot to mention the moths. Well having got rid of the meal moths a while back, although we still occasionally find one which has come late from its chrysallis, I discovered we had another problem. I had to move the shoe rack in the hall to find a missing sandal. I haven't moved it for ages. We tend to pile the paper recycling on there, before taking taking it out to the bin, several 'flyers' had slipped down the back, the sort we get almost every day advertising pizza places or local takeaways. As I cleared them up, I noticed what appeared to be pellets of paper, and when I looked closely, the edges of the carpet had been eaten. Husband looked at  a 'pellet' under a magnifier attached to his computer screen, and two tiny back eyes appeared, followed by a white body! YUK! I quickly found the moth spray, which I had bought after the previous infestation, and sprayed it around the pellets in the hall.
I closed the door, against the fumes, then later got out the vacuum cleaner,and gave the hall carpet a good going over, then I pulled everything out from behind the filing cabinet on the other side. More pellets, more spray. I can't remember when the filing cabinet was last moved, the problem with having a small house is  you have to store stuff where you can.
Admittedly I haven't been cleaning as much as I should, because of the shoulder problems, but these were tucked away places anyway. More carpet munching had gone on. Hopefully now though there are no more lurking. I dragged the Dyson upstairs and gave everywhere there and down the stairs a good going over. Thankfully I am now recovered enough from my op to be able to use the Dyson more often.
On the Sunday I didn't make it to church in the morning, I felt unwell, tired, and was wandering around looking for a top to wear when we should have been going out, so husband went alone. I did feel a bit better by the evening though, and was pleased to be able to go to the evening service.
Monday was Bank holiday,and the sun shone, we did some work in the garden and on my front pots, then at around 4 pm went to the local garden centre. I wanted to replace a solar light which had stopped working, I blame all the rain we had last summer. In the end I bought 2 plus some other taller crackle ball lights, as our old ones had stopped working. These were also on offer. The new ones turned out to be blue. Despite promising myself that I wouldn't, I also bought some bedding pants and actually managed to find busy Lizzys. the chap there thought that the shortage was more to do with the late spring than the virus, I remember seeing pictures of loads of plants being composted  by nurseries as no one was buying them.
On the Tuesday, we both walked into town  I had to move some money from bank book account to other account,and husband needed something from a hardware store. I also took my watch in as it had stopped, apparently replacing the battery didn't make it start again, so they decided it needed a service. I was quoted 'around £70'. I decided to leave it for the time being, as we have discovered that we can buy Rotary watches cheaper online, so we may well be able to get the service done by dealing with Rotary direct. The weather wasn't so good, Bank Holiday had been glorious sunshine, but that day we were back to rain. We just missed a bus, but were confused as it was a 4 and the number 5 was due, however soon a 300 came hurtling along, so we manged to get him to stop. They tend to go faster than the others as they have a longer journey to complete.
I didn't sleep too well that night and got up late. I was too brain fogged to rush around to get to WW, so concentrated on getting ready for going to Sainsbury's. Later in the afternoon, I went up to see our Daughter. Lydia kept getting on to all fours, going forward two paces, then collapsing,and doing a half commando, half front crawl to get to what she wants. Place a toy just out of her reach and she will get there quite soon. She pulls herself to stand in her cot, quite the determined little lady, and still only just over 7 months. Nathaniel was chatting away, playing with his Thomas the Tank engine. I wonder what he will want for his Birthday this summer? He will be 3, incredible. He seems to be growing apace too. He has a little indoor trampoline,and bounces so much that the back bit lifts off the floor. I wish I had his energy.
Thursday it was pouring with rain again, it was cold and miserable. I finished off redoing my pots.  walked to get the paper and went to Curry's to return some headphones I had bought which I didn't find comfortable. Despite having a 21 day returns policy, they refused me a refund, blaming it on the fact that I had opened the box. They said it was a health and safety issue, which I queried. Back home I checked online, it is not a health and safety issue, it is a voluntary code amongst retailers, in case anyone catches an ear infection. As they were not 'in ear'  headphones I suspect that it is highly unlikely that anyone would catch anything from them. One poor guy paid £100 for some and couldn't get e refund.
Later I planted out  salvias, petunias and the busy Lizzys. The slugs love Salvias, so I got out the slug pellets, but there were very few left, so I went by car to Homebase picked up some more. I also went and bought more headphones like the ones which had got broken, but these were from Argos,and I knew they were comfortable.
There was nothing much remarkable about Friday, except that the sun shone, and I managed to get the housework done. It's so much easier to work when the sun shines. Sorry I haven't got any recent pcs to liven up this blog, must get out more with the camera.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Planning a surprise visit

Last week was a bit quieter, husband was complaining that his throat hurt, so on Sunday he did not come to church. We had a speaker who used to pastor a church not far from here. After the morning service I spent some time chatting with his wife. They are officially retired, but still go to places like India and China doing the Lord's work.
I must confess that I am missing a regular ministry with consecutive sermons, and series. My brain is often a bit disjointed, and sometimes I find it difficult to concentrate.
Husband was able to eat and we had a nice bit of West Country lamb. I'm afraid I spent part of the afternoon asleep, didn't get out for a walk, it's been so cold lately, I added an extra layer in the form of a cardigan to go to the evening service.
Monday was a very ordinary day nothing much to record. Tuesday, after lunch we set off for the big garden centre near St Albans. As the daffs are finished I needed to redo my pots. The Amaryllis which I bought 2 years ago, which didn't produce any flowers last year, suddenly produced stems, and I have had two flowers on one and now there are 3 on the other. As usual we managed to spend more than planned. In addition to my plants for the containers out at the front, and the sand and soil which husband wanted to use to level the bottom of the lawn, I bought a ready planted container as everything except the hebe has died off in the winter planter which I bought the winter before last, and it was looking tatty. We also found a bird bath similar to the one we have. The old one has a loose top, and one of Nat's favourite tricks is to push it off. This could be dangerous for him, and for his sister when she is on the move.
Big Ceanothus
My newly planted pots

 pre planted pot

I didn't go to Weightwatchers on Wednesday, I know that my weight was up after our Wales visit. I did the usual Sainsbury's trip, and also picked up some stuff at Homebase. They had some small spreading Ceanothus, so I bought a couple. The big one has been leaning to one side, husband blamed the weight of the snow pushing it down, but he has now managed to put a stake in and pull it more upright, so it is less hazardous to come down the front steps. No one seems to have busy Lizzies this year , apparently they are still being affected by the virus which blighted them last year.
The honeysuckle is out, and the rhubarb has at last taken off. I spent time tying raspberry canes which were waving wildly in the breeze, and tried to tie back the currants so that it is possible to get down the path to the back gate.
My throat was beginning to get scratchy and felt thick, husband had reached the sneezing stage, but not as much as with a normal cold.
On Thursday, Mum in Law was going into hospital for her shoulder 'op'. We didn't get a phone call to say it had been cancelled, so much prayer went up. At around 2 pm I phoned the hospital to be told that she had gone to theatre at about, she would be transferred to another ward on recovery. I estimated at least another hour and a half, so decided to ring back at 3.30. Husband went off to get new front tyres put on the car. Hopefully now that he no longer commutes to work we will not have to replace them so often. As  he came back in he met Daughter who had decided to pay us a visit with the children. Lydia had just had the last lot of her jabs for the time being. I had rung the hospital to be told that Mum in law was not yet back from theatre.
Nathaniel soon found the toy box, and was having fun. He broke off from playing to accompany me to post Mum in Law's Birthday cards, I put him on reins, and it was one, two, three, four, five, jump, all the way to the post box. I lifted him up to post the card, then he seemed to want to continue, so we crossed the road and up the little side road which runs parallel to ours. He stopped jumping, instead dragged his hand against walls and fences. We chatted, examined leaves, smelled lilac, and did what curious 2 year olds like to do. It was just like old times having him to myself for a few minutes.
We went in the back way and I bolted the gate as a precaution. I remember when my two were little. Daughter had her cane chair in the garden, stood on it, opened the gate then came in to report that her brother had gone out of the gate. I rescued him, then gave Daughter a lecture, then phoned husband and asked him to pick up a bolt from the DIY store on his way from the station.
At just after 5 I rang the hospital and yes, she was back from theatre, comfortable, having had some water, and awaiting some toast. I duly conveyed the news to all interested parties.
Later Daughter decided to go and fetch her husband from the station, I diverted for a few minutes to take Lydia to meet my neighbour whom she had never met, the others joined me and suddenly the heavens opened and it poured, then hailed, so we had to take shelter in D's hall. I had quite forgotten my washing, which had almost been dry. Daughter left, the rain stopped and I left the washing out for a while longer, it dried off again, not completely; so I allowed a few minutes in the tumble dryer to finish it off, and it didn't need ironing.
On Friday it was all systems go. Husband and I had been intending to visit his Mum for 2 nights over her Birthday, but the operation had put the kibosh on that. However, after chatting things over, we hatched a plan to go down without telling her and stay elsewhere. Daughter wanted to come too, and she actually was on the road before us. We had made a late booking at the beach hotel, and got a chunk off the price, daughter had booked a B&B in Battle. She didn't think that the beach hotel was quite ready for Nathaniel yet. We caught up with them at Pease Pottage services, where they were having an early lunch. Husband queued for the coffees, and someone came in and stood just two  behind him in the queue. I'll swear it was Jack Shepherd, who played the lead role in the detective series Wycliffe. I had a quick whisper in husband's ear, and he thought so too. No one else seemed to notice him, but  I suppose it is a long while since the series was on. I watched a rerun the other day.
We bought lunch from M&S to eat when we got there, and some flowers for Mum in Law. We arrived at about 1.45 pm. and found the bungalow empty. I found the hospital number and rang them and was told she was waiting for someone to pick her up. I rang the lady who was to pick her up, but she must have been on her way. Daughter arrived, she had been over to the other side of town for something, and she reported that traffic on the Hastings side was very slow, a Bank holiday weekend. We made the decision to go indoors as we had a key. We ate our lunch, then sat and waited. The road was very busy with cars, there is as school nearby, and it was raining. The parents had started arriving at 2.30! Eventually most of the cars had gone, and it was getting on for 3.30 when the car eventually arrived. She was a bit bewildered by the cars in her drive, at first, but then when she saw us all the penny dropped.
With hindsight, we could have rung the hospital on the way down, and diverted to collect her. The hospital had said she would be discharged at around 10, but then told her friend to collect her at 2.30. She was very pleased to see us all, and when I explained I had booked a table at the nearby restaurant, she said she did feel up to coming, and wanted to spend as much time with us as possible.
The Hospital had been unable to get anyone from social services to visit her that day. We left at 6.30 to book into the hotel and change out of our travelling clothes, then went back to collect her. We lit the candles on the chocolate Birthday cake, and when we had sung Happy Birthday, temptation was too much for Nathaniel and he blew one out.
This time we were on the second floor of the hotel, right under the eaves the room was slightly smaller than last time, with sloping ceilings, and as our room was on an end bit, the ensuite sloped even more. It was quite adequate for one night though.
We arrived at the restaurant, but had to wait for Daughter, who had gone to collect her husband form the station. His train was late.
There was a fair choice on the menu, we skipped starters, and Mum In Law and I opted for a chicken with bacon and mushroom sauce with boiled potatoes. The others had a beef and stout pie,and Nat got a huge plate of chicken goujons, chips and beans. Lydia sat in a high chair and was spoonfed mush from a jar. Not her usual diet I might add, but useful when away from home.
Later there was a duo singing in the bar, fairly noisy, but the waitress helpfully shut the door, which made it bearable.
Some of us had profiteroles for dessert, others crumble. Mum in Law just had an apple juice to drink, and Nat had 2 scoops of ice cream, which he thoroughly enjoyed. We skipped coffee,as it was getting late but were still given choccy mints. Daughter and co left for their B&B, and we took Mum in Law back. I offered to help her get ready for bed, but she thought she could manage. She had a very thin sling, more for the carpal tunnel release which they had also done. She had also had a shoulder block, which they hadn't told her about, but she knew about from me. We went back to the hotel where we  had  a reasonable night. We had a glimpse of the sea and the moonlight on the water was beautiful.
We got up at about 7.35, and went down for breakfast at about 8.30. Still the same buffet, but with the cooked bit only one slice of bacon and one of tomato, I remember praising them for the anount of bacon on my trip advisor review last tome we stayed.
We loaded the car and went back to Mum in law's. She had slept well and had already had a visitor. There were more cards for her to open, and more flowers for us to put in a vase. We spent a pleasant morning chatting, then all had some Birthday cake, which pleased Nat; but had to leave at around lunchtime. Mum in Law seemed to have enjoyed our visit, and we had seen that she was recovering quite well. I'm sure it's because she had a lighter anaesthetic. We arrived home at  about 5.30, having stopped for lunch on the way. We were tired, but pleased that our surprise visit had gone well. I'm only a week behind with my blog!