Saturday, 28 January 2017

Other October occasions

We had a week of catching up at home, then our Son and family arrived bringing Tom to stay with us. They were off to the south of France for 2 weeks, and our Daughter and family were joining them for the half term week. They were only here for a short while, but long enough for Elise to demonstrate her crawling skills.
So we spent some time walking Tom, we celebrated Lydia's 4th Bithday, where did that time go?
I'd had a letter from the G P, so had to go and see her. Apparently my cholesterol is good, not high, but when it is factored in with my age, BP problems, weight etc my risk is now much higher than it was 10 years ago. I told her I didn't want to try statins, they made my father in law very ill when he had them, so in the end she agreed I could repeat the test in about 3 months. However, I have to stay on the hated beta blockers. Meanwhile I struggle to lose weight as they slow my metabolism, and I did read that they increase blood fats!!

Lydia's birthday cake
At last I got round to making my Christmas cake, I stayed up late till it finished cooking, and Tom kept me company. We took him to the Garden centre, and Coombe Hill, but he must have picked something up somewhere as he was sick several times including in the car.
We had eaten outside the cafe, there was water for dogs but it was a bit manky. However when we got to Coombe hill he was fine, but we had forgotten the ball. nevertheless he had a good run and lots of sniffing.

Autumn colours at Coombe Hill 

We had to put him back on the lead because of other dogs, but he seemed to enjoy the run. I contacted our Son, and on his instructions, Tom was only allowed cooled boiled rice for Dinner.
The family returned home at different times, our Son and his family stayed over on the Saturday. I had booked the local carvery for the Sunday, as we can't all fit round my table. It was better in that the children  didn't have to wait for their meal.
Then we went back to our Daughter's for dessert, and I attempted to get a picture of all 4 Grandchildren to put in Mum in Law's Christmas stocking, Ha! All I can say is that I take my hat off to professional photographers! No one would keep still, Elise yelled, in the end I abandoned the attempt. I knew there would be one more occasion when I could try.
Soon it was time for our Son and his family to depart for Cheshire, so we said our goodbyes.
However the busy month wasn't quite over, on the last day we packed our cases and went to visit Mum in Law I took the usual food with us, so she doesn't have to cook, and husband had contributed a lasagne! We had a good journey down there, stopping at Pease Pottage and having lunch sitting in the car. She was pleased to see us, and I helped by making up the bed. Did I mention her diagnosis? she has mild Alzheimer's, which we suspected from the loss of words and the strange conersations. Although we suspect there may be an element of deafness to which she will not admit.

October Outings

Well as I'm so far behind again I'd better get stuck right in. We arrived quite late at our rented property, at the end of September. It was somewhere we hadn't stayed before, a house that was attached to the owner's house. It transpired that the original owner had elderly parents, so he'd had his garage turned into a 2 storey extension, with 2 bedrooms. There are grab rails etc, but the new owners had removed the stair lift. They hadn't realised that we were taking bikes, so he put ours in with his till he could clear the shed of lawn mower and other things.
The bed was surprisingly comfortable, and the mattress topper not needed. On the Saturday it was raining so we drove over to Prestatyn and had a mooch around the shops there. This time we had lunch in M&S. We visited my sister in the evening.
The next day was Sunday, and we were able to walk to the little chapel in Rhuddlan. We chatted to the pastor's wife, and it transpired that she knew the people whose house we were renting. She said it would be a talking point when she next met the young Mum.
We spent the afternoon and evening with my sister, my niece had come over to visit, so we caught up with the news. Then we watched an episode of Poldark, I gave my niece a lift home to her house.
On the Monday we went into Rhyl for a look around, and for husband to get his hair cut. We met up and went to our usual cafe. I had a lovely Italian fish stew, and husband his usual lasagne.
We drove back to the house, collected our bikes, and set off down the country lane to see how far we could get. We passed the farm and continued down the narrow bit. It wasn't too bad though we got twigs in our faces, and clouds of flies rising up. We made it to the bottom, and were rewarded with lovely tarmacked cycle paths. We rode to my sister's to show her our bikes and report that we had made it down 'Gypsy lane'. Trouble is we had to ride back, and it was a bit of a hill. I only had to get off and walk once though.
On the  Tuesday, in the morning, we made our way to the 'Cob' in Rhuddlan, then we had a lovely flat ride towards Rhyl Harbour, the path actually stops before the railway line. On the way back, the cows were on the path. I was a bit nervous of being so close, but husband managed the gates, and we got through without any escaping. After a short break, we got into the car and drove over to Llandudno, arriving in time for lunch at the Cottage Loaf. This time husband had fish and chips and I had a goat's cheese panini.
Cows on the river bank

Almost there
Afterwards we did our usual tour of the shops, starting at Roberts' shoe shop for me. I don't think I actually bought anything, and husband resisted temptation in the kitchen shop. We had a leisurely drive back, and a light meal before spending the evening as usual with my sister.
I didn't feel in the mood for visiting Chester, so had a browse on the National Trust webpage, deciding on Conwy. After an excellent lunch at the Pressroom, I've forgotten the details, we visited the old suspension bridge, including the toll cottage. We also went to Aberconwy house, an old merchant's house with a fascinating history. Following this we walked down to the harbour, then up via the kitchen shop, which has moved, then up and over the railway back to the car.
Toll house

tides cafe

On the Thursday, in the morning I bought flowers and visited my parents' grave. Aparently the cemetery is pretty full now, so more land will be required soon. Unfortunately the ground there gets very wet and boggy at times.
Then later, we got the bikes out, and rode round the bounds, then over the H bridge, up to the promenade and on to Llandulas, where we stopped for lunch at The Tides as before.  Husband had soup, I had a Coronation chicken panini, which rings a bell. I may have had something with Coronation chicken in Conwy! I was finding it hard going on the way back.  I sat down for a rest on a bench near Pensarn, and husband insisted my gears were wrong and fiddled with them. This caused them to start slipping, so by the time we got to the new Clwyd bridge I was not in a good temper, and felt we should stop for a drink at the new cafe there. I led the way through the estates at the back of Rhyl, and managed to lose husband at one point on the estate where I lived for 5 years in my late teens. He hadn't noticed I'd turned left. It did give me a rest whilst waiting for him.

Bridge open for a yacht
By the time we were back at the cottage I was exhausted, I'd done 18 miles. I've not ridden that far since I was a teenager. We spent the last evening as usual with my sister, sadly she never wants to come out with us in the daytime. Then we began our packing before bed, and were up early to get everything packed. Not able to contact the owner, we put the keys through his letterbox, and he appeared afew minutes later for a final chat.
We drove back our usual way, A55, A41, calling at the Dobbie's garden  centre for lunch and a browse. We just about beat 3 coachloads of pensioners to the cafe, they hadn't booked so there was a delay in some of the food, fortunately not ours. Then M6 and M1,fairly busy as it was Friday.
As usual it was good to be home back in our own bed. I will write about the rest of October later.