Saturday, 26 October 2013

Not very wet or windy in Wales

On the Sunday of our week away, we drove over to Chester in the morning to go to the church where I was converted, although it moved several years ago to a different location. After the service we caught up with old friends, and then drove back to the bungalow where we had steak, and then a doze. We went over to my sister's later, and took our tea. My niece was there and her son, and we spent time chatting, eating and later watched Downton Abbey live. There was a particularly upsetting scene, which made me wonder, do I really want to go on watching this?
On the Monday we walked into Rhyl, I had to slow down at one point, as walking briskly does upset my disc. I wandered around the shops, husband got his hair cut, we went to our old favourite for lunch, then not long afterwards I decided I'd had enough, my back was complaining and my hip. I would have liked to have walked along the promenade for a while, but decided to get the bus back, husband wanted more time to look around and said he would walk back.

Controversial new cycle/pedestrian bridge over harbour

the leaning tower of Rhyl, Town Hall is built on sand, but it's been shored up

Tuesday, we went over to Llandudno, ate at the Cottage Loaf and browsed the shops, I didn't buy any shoes, in fact all I bought was some stuff for card making. It was a dry day, not at all cold or unpleasant. I bought 2 individual quiches for our evening meal.
We have a friend, who when he retired, became a tour guide in Chester. Husband had found out that he was on duty on a Wednesday, so we decided to go to Chester that day. I bought a sandwich from Marks, husband had a pasty. It had rained, and all the benches were wet, so we went up onto Bridge Street Row, and perched on a platform there to eat. A group of school children were there doing the same thing, but obviously in the middle of a historic tour. We didn't meet our friend, but I did watch the Chester Town Crier, with some crowd participation, which ended with an Australian lady sitting in the stocks and being told she had to stay there till after the shops had closed; all good fun.
miniature ponies being used for charity collection

Town  crier

I made my way back to M&S, and bought a few things in there including a new winter jacket. My old one had been annoying me, as the pockets are not deep, and it is so easy for my house keys to slip out. I try to keep my house keys in my pocket, as if my bag is lost or stolen, the at least I can get in the house.
Many of the winter jackets are in drab colours, but I managed to find one in deep turquoise with deep pockets and a fastener on the pocket, the  only drawback is that there is no cord to adjust the hood, and the hood is too big. Not every woman has 'big hair'! Husband and I met up again for a drink, a cafe over a bakery on Northgate Row. We were tempted by cakes, I had a vanilla slice and husband coffee cake. Afterwards we browsed the market,  only bought one piece of cheese, and then headed back to the park and ride, then to the bungalow, where we had a ready meal I had bought.
Thursday was windy, we set off for Conwy, and arrived at lunchtime. I was looking for a cafe we sometimes go to, and ended up climbing one of the towers to the town walls, and walking along a stretch of the wall. As I climbed inside the tower, I thought, why on earth am I doing this? However, at the next tower, where I was able to descend, I spotted the Press Room, so was able to ring husband and direct him there.
After lunch we wandered down to the harbour, It was very windy. husband decided to go back into the town centre as he was cold, but I walked on, through the gap in the wall, then up through the park and round Bodlondeb woods. I used a path which skirted the edge of the woods, as I was a bit nervous that branches might come down in the wind. The trees were not very spectacular, not changed much yet, and there wasn't a squirrel in sight. I hurried back along the river side, then up the hill to a different wall gate. Husband was just down the road. We browsed the shops together, I found a small melamine colander, not as big as the one I got in Whitby, which cracked when it hit the floor, but the lady gave me the name of the company, it is Zeal, if anyone is interested in a brightly coloured colander. Since we have been home I have been online and had one delivered.
you've got to build your castle on a rock

view from walkway

Edward II who built the castle

tree in Bodlondeb

Thursday night I hardly slept, not sure why. We were having visitors on the Friday, so maybe my mind was running ahead. I was up early, out early, buying flowers and food, and off to the cemetery, where I placed the flowers on Mum and Dad's grave. Back at the bungalow, I was contemplating a tidy up, when the back door opened and in walked our Son. They had come over for a visit. Dogs are not allowed in the bungalow, so I directed Son to the beach, where he let Tom have a good run. Tom then stayed in the car whilst we ate a Lasagne I had bought, and a trifle. It was lovely to see the baby again, and have cuddles. Then we drove round to my sister's home, where a very nervous Penny, (Jack Russell) allowed Tom, a big Border Collie, into her territory, We managed to keep them apart, Tom is just soppy and curious, but Penny only snapped once, and my sister sat wielding a cane, just in case. We stayed for about two and half hours, then back to the bungalow for ham rolls and cookies. Poor Tom was relegated to the boot of their estate again.
Daughter in law and baby

They left around 5.30, we thought they mightn't do well in the rush hour, that can be a nightmare journey on a Friday evening. We promised that if we had time we would call in the next day to collect some stuff. That evening, I cleaned the kitchen and mopped the floor, then packed my case.  I always feel I am playing beat the clock when we stay in rented property, but we managed to get the pace cleaned, everything in the car, the  key deposited,and were driving off a good 10 minutes before the 10.00am deadline.
We arrived at P&E's at around 11.30, they had had a trip to Costco on the way home and were a bit disorganised, as they'd had a disturbed night, However we had a coffee and a chat and a cuddle from Baby, then left with our stuff. We stopped at Norton canes for lunch as we decided to use the M6 Toll road. We were home before 4 pm,unloaded the car, then I had to got out to stock up a bit for the weekend. we put the heating on for an hour as the house seemed cold, but haven't used it since. There was a pile of post, including the letter I had been told about during the week, when I had phoned the Doctor, saying I needed to make an appointment to discuss the results of my blood test. It was good to be back in our own bed that night

Friday, 18 October 2013

Taking a short break from visiting

The week before last was fairly mundane. I had my usual walks almost every day, when I was at the Doctor's she had to fill in a questionnaire, and I came out as 'active'.
Old man's beard bush seen on one of my walks

One of the streams that gives the area its name

The trees aren't turning, but the leaves are falling
On the Wednesday I was particularly busy,  actually made it to Weight watchers, half a pound on I think, but with all the to-ing and fro-ing, that's not surprising. Then I did the Sainsbury's run, came home for a bowl of soup and some fruit, then off to parent and toddler's, taking with me the stuff for our harvest service which was to be the following Sunday.
I decided to go for my blood tests that afternoon too. I would have gone on the Tuesday, but l couldn't find the form. I searched high and low for it, then suddenly noticed a piece of folded paper sticking up in my card making box, yes, it was the form for my blood tests.
I hate going to the hospital these days, it is so depressing seeing most of the buildings which were built n the last 30 years boarded up. I walked up the hill, walked in to the building, up in the lift, and into an empty pathology dept. It was soon over, and I had instructions to ring my G P in a few days. It's obvious that going in the afternoon the department is far less busy, but this isn't practical for fasting blood tests.
I was hoping to get to Women's hour, but got a phone call asking me to babysit, our Daughter had to go into her place of work for a meeting about a reshuffle due to take place in a few months time, and though she is not due back till next month, had to be there. She came back a bit despondent, as everything seems so uncertain in the reshuffle.
On the Friday, the plan was to get our packing done for our 6 monthly visit to North Wales, but other things got in the way. Husband has been cutting down the blackcurrant bushes, as they have been in for years and have spread so much they overhang the path. What with that and the rhubarb on the other side,  coming up the path in summer feels akin to Prince Charming hacking his way through the undergrowth to get to Sleeping Beauty.
By the time we got to bed however, most of our stuff was in the cases.  We still seemed to take forever getting the house spick and span before leaving, we seem to take so much with us in addition to the luggage, laptops,cameras, supplies of tea and coffee, coolbag with milk cheese, bacon and whatever veg are left in the fridge, my knitting, my bag of odds and ends which  I need which always goes away with us, that has spare meds, herbal sleeping tablets, spare inhalers, perfume in case we go anywhere special, phone chargers, spare pen, pencil, crossword dictionary, moisturisers, spare hairbrush, kitchen sink, bible, bible notes, all the stuff I can't possibly do without.
We left at lunchtime, stopped at Watford Gap, had a reasonable lunch, I had a chilli jacket potato, can't remember what husband had. We didn't use the toll road, traffic wasn't too bad,  stopped at Sainsbo's Chester for food for the weekend, and arrived at around 6.30 pm. After unloading the car and having my first cuppa, I scoffed the wrap I'd bought, and left husband to sort his ready meal, whilst I went over to see my sister, Husband needs time to unwind from the journey.
I slept quite well the first night there, which is always good for me; will report on the rest of the week later.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Another seaside visit

On Monday of the week before last we went off to visit Mum in law. We try to go every couple of months, but were later this time, as we'd been North to see the new arrival. I asked husband to check the weather forecast, and he said it wasn't good. So I didn't pack a skirt, just trousers and long sleeved Ts. However as I rushed around doing stuff I got hotter and hotter. I swapped my long sleeved t shirt  was wearing for a short sleeved one, and just in case packed some short sleeved. It was overcast here. We left at around 11, and stopped for lunch at Pease Pottage.
We arrived at around 2.30 pm to brilliant sunshine! So much for weather forecasts. Later we had our usual wander around the village to get some exercise and blow away the cobwebs. Mum in law came with us as she needed to buy something. I had brought a casserole with me, and her favourite chicken dish. I had frozen both as the casserole travels better frozen.
Unfortunately the casserole took longer to defrost than I'd hoped, and Mum In law is a slow eater, so she had to push her plate to one side to make room for my laptop as we had booked a skype call to our son. However the call took place so she has now seen her great grandson, 'live' although not yet in the flesh.
Afterwards husband washed up and we settled down to watch Doc Martin, which we sometimes see on itv player. I don't know how he keeps a straight face. Mum in law hadn't realised it was on, and she quite enjoys it, so she said she would watch it the next week.  I read the Telegraph, and went to bed but didn't sleep too well, one of those nights when the bed seems harder than ever and the pillows like rocks.
Next morning we had a slow start and didn't leave for Eastbourne till late morning. We decided to call at the garden centre, as I wanted some more slug bells, and husband got some things for his Mum too, then we drove into the centre of Eastbourne to park. She had complained when we walked her from the station car park, on street parking isn't easy on week days.
We went to C&H as usual for lunch, but this time Mum in law insisted in paying. I bought some new slippers there, and went upstairs to get some more card toppers. I looked at the material, and the wool, but decided I have enough to keep me going. She needed some stuff from Boots, and  I needed to get some pictures printed of the baby and the other children to give to her. We also went in Marks as Mum in law had heard of some ready meals which she thought she might buy. An assistant directed us to where they were, and she decided to buy some. I was wandering around with a T shirt on and no cardigan,  it  was so warm.
We didn't go in many more shops, I find it quite tiring walking very slowly,so I rang husband and he came back to the car park. Later that evening we had the chicken breasts I had brought, and they went down quite well. Mum in Law didn't mind us using our laptops, and decided she would go to bed early as she doesn't always sleep well. As we were about to go to bed husband complained he couldn't find his new smart phone so he was up again searching for it. He ended up ringing the company to block the phone.
Next morning I wandered outside and looked as he had been in the shed for something. No joy. He has an app on his computer that could trace the whereabouts. He suddenly said 'it must be around here somewhere'. He began looking again, meanwhile I slid open the dining room door and went in there, there was the phone, where he had been sitting the evening before at dinner. I had asked him the previous evening if he had taken it to the table, but he said he hadn't heard me. It had been on silent, so that's why we hadn't heard it ring. Oh well, thank God, no visit to the shops in Eastbourne looking for it. He quickly phoned the provider, and got the phone unblocked.
Later we took Mum in Law to the dump, that is to say, we took some of her unwanted stuff to the dump, including the garden chairs, one of which tipped me over backwards last September. There were also odd bits of wood, and a broken kettle. I'd like to have taken more, but she needs to do a bit of sorting first. Really she had to come with us  as we are not residents. I can remember when we cleared my Mum's flat having to take I D to prove she had lived in the county. We also needed her to  direct us, but someone told her that the dump had moved, so we were almost in Hastings before I suggested that we turned back and checked the place it used to be. It was still there, but maybe the other side of the lane. She hadn't been there for at least 4 years, as she has no transport.
Then we took her into Bexhill as she needed a new battery for the speaking watch which we bought her a couple of Christmases ago. First we called in at Sainsbury's to get some lunch, and the soya ice cream which Mum in Law likes, then along the promenade, where we parked and ate the sandwiches, it was still very warm, but the seafront was shrouded in mist.

beach huts in the mist

boats in the mist

large cat in the De la Warr pavilion

Onion dome

Front of De la Warr pavilion

Art Deco Shelter
Then we went back to the town centre, only a few minutes spent browsing the shops, then back to the car and back to the bungalow. We packed, but didn't leave too early as husband wanted to avoid the rush hour on the M25.
As we were travelling along the road up from Brighton, there was a burned out bus in the Southbound carriageway. The traffic was backed up to the Pease Pottage services, we were so glad we weren't going that way. We stopped for a cuppa, and picked up a meal from the M&S there. We didn't have a bad journey and were home at around 7.30 pm.
On the Thursday I could feel a cold coming, so I got out the Vick's First defence, and by Sunday the sneezing and other symptoms had gone, just a dry cough remained and a bit of Sinus pain.
Friday I was at the doctor's as a 6 month review of my meds had been advised, possibly because my blood tests were slightly suspect. The Doctor decided she would repeat certain tests. On the Saturday we had a late start. but went to Berkhamsted where there is a large craft shop. I have now stocked up on card toppers. We had a late lunch in Waitrose, and did the weekends shopping. I love Waitrose, but if I shopped there regularly would have to leave husband at home, he sneaks things into the trolley.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A week of bits and bobs

Actually, the Saturday when we came back from Cheshire, the house seemed cold, so we put the heating on for the evening. The weather has been so changeable lately. The next week wasn't over exciting, I went out one day leaving a line full of washing, I went into town to buy wool, I had bought some in the wrong ply. Fortunately I hadn't needed it, the shop were happy to exchange it for me, so  have kept up the knitting I have to be careful though as I've overdone it in the past and ended up with RSI, and had to wear a splint. Of course because I had left  a line full of washing it poured down and husband hadn't noticed.
We spent more time cutting back fruit bushes, I managed to get the wall painting finished in the bathroom, although the bit I did has shown up some of the rest as perhaps needing a new coat. I managed to fit the shelving support together, and drill holes in the bathroom wall, and put the shelves up.
The garden is still looking good at the front, and at the back I seem to be winning the war against the slugs and all my salvias have recovered, enough for a second flowering.
Winston Churchill fuchsia kept from last year

Fuchsia in hanging basket

Close up of Winston Churchill

More tomatoes than we can eat

A salvia

Our 'star' fuchsia, originally grown from a cutting that came from next door

Another fuchsia


On the Saturday of that week we went over to Berkhamsted,  as I wanted to look in the craft shop for some more card toppers. We browsed quite a few shops, including the High street garden centre, I still can't find an orchid to replace the dead one, I'll have to go back to the place I bought it I think.
We saw the grandchildren  a couple of times that week, and I also took a huge pile of ironing to be done. I still can't manage too much, although my shoulder doesn't give me too much trouble. I missed Weightwatchers again as I overslept,and couldn't get ready in time.
I also managed to miss Women's hour, my mobile had all but died, so we went into town to replace it, I don't know if the chap was new, but we were in the shop for three quarters of an hour. He told me that he couldn't download messages etc from my old phone, I know that the girl did it last time I had to have a new phone, so I've also lost my ringtones, and my Aragorn wall paper, Husband has managed to restore that, but not so far the ringtones. I could have got them online but they would have been almost £5. When we came out of the shop we decide it was lunchtime, a bus wasn't due, so we went into the new pasty shop for lunch. I had a  baguette, and husband of course a pasty. However, after we had eaten the bus was late, and when we got back home I was too late to get there in time.
Hmm, this post is a bit higgledy piggledy, and in the wrong order, but It was over a week ago and the memories came back in dribs and drabs.