I had not intended to neglect my blog for so long, but I simply have not had the time to get to it since I wrote my last post. In case any of you thought that my trip on February 13 was terminal - it was an inconvenience which left me feeling rather sorry for myself for a couple of weeks, but since then I have been fine. I am really not sure where the time has gone, but then I am always busy. We have just returned from a week in Ireland, which was enjoyable but a bit disappointing after last year's visit when we had glorious weather. To write about it would make a rather boring post. Instead I thought that I would bring you up to date by posting about the events of the last few months.
A few years ago now, we had a leak through the ceiling of our study, which meant that it would need to be replastered. It was not due for redecoration so we put off doing anything about it until recently. We did get the leak sorted out at the time. So the second week in February found us starting to empty the study in preparation for having the ceiling replastered. My view was that everything needed to come out. Husband thought that we could get away with taking out as little as possible. In the time since the study was last decorated it had morphed into cross between Aladdin's cave and Steptoe's front room. The replastering of the ceiling was booked for the beginning of March and it took us until then to empty the study. In the process we shredded reams of old papers, through out a stack of old magazines and all sorts of other things. For several weeks our paper recycling box was bulging to overflowing. We had donated the old study furniture to the local hospice for them to sell in their shop, but they could not collect it until after the ceiling was replastered. It was a minor inconvenience, which we got around. We ended up with the various contents of the sudy secreted around the cottage - in the hall, in the conservatory, in bedroom 2 and in bedroom 3.
My aim was to get the contents back into the study as soon as possible. Once the ceiling had been replastered we had to wait a few a few days for it to dry out before we could decorate the study. Then the new carpeted could be fitted. I had worked out the time necessary for the decoration and booked the carpet fitting. Timing was tight, but we made it. The following day the first of the new furniture was delivered. The final piece of the jigsaw was for husband to put up new book shelves. Four months on and the cottage is still not straight. It is no surprise that we have been here eleven years now and the cottage is still not finished.The whole experience has been worse than moving house. Yesterday morning whilst husband was out I put back into the study, four boxes of books from bedroom 3 and some files from bedroom 2. I also had a go at tidying it up. Husband is determined to recreate the ambience of the study pre-decoration. it contains two printers, two computers, three laptops and a tablet computer. Why so many? Well he is trying to sell some of them, as they have been replaced and are now surplus to requirement.
In the middle of all this upheaval husband gave me two weeks notice that he was going to retire four months earlier than he had planned. I should have seen it coming. The writing was on the wall. I had expected him to work until the end of August, but in the end I had no say in the matter and he retired at the end of April. Since then we have been concentrating, not very successfully, on getting the study back before making grand plans for our retirement. At the momemt I am taking things as they come and have not tried to impose any sort of routine on him. When it all gets to be too much I escape to the garden.
Friday, 13 February 2015
In the early hours of Thursday February 12 I woke as I often do and got out of bed to go to the bathroom. Something that I must have done, quite safely, literally thousands of times, but this time was different. I caught my foot on something and before I knew it the chest of drawers in the corner was speeding towards me with a Maori greeting and it was not friendly. I know what you are thinking - she was drunk. Well I am afraid that you are wrong. It was three days since any alcohol had passed
my lips. Before I could indicate that the feeling was not mutual my nose had made contact with the chest of drawers. Suddenly there was blood everywhere, on my PJs, on the bedclothes and the carpet, although I have to say that it was not as gory as Wednesday evening's episode of Wolf Hall when Anne Boleyn's miscarriage was depicted in graphic detail, which I am sure was not necessary.
Half asleep, shaken and shocked, panic set in as the blood poured out. Thankfully I quickly realised that I needed to get myself to the bathroom and put my pharmacist's hat. Then I quickly managed to staunch the bleeding. I considered waking my husband who was fast asleep, blissfully unaware of what was going on. He could sleep through an earthquake and in any case he does not like blood and the last thing that I needed was him passing out. I cleaned myself and things up as best I could and took myself back to bed. I knew that I would not sleep for some time, so read and debated whether to take myself to A&E or my GP in the morning. Had I broken my nose or was it just bruised? My mother had broken her nose as a child. I remember her telling me how it had been painful and tender and had bled for a long time. Her parents didn't take her to a doctor and her nose set itself crooked. As she got older her nose became even more crooked. I did not want to suffer the same fate. Eventually I managed a few hours sleep. By the time that I got up I had changed my mind about going to see anybody. As a result of the lack of sleep I really did not feeling like dragging myself anywhere. I reasoned to myself that my nose had not bled for a long time. It did not look or feel broken and was more uncomfortable than painful. My diagnosis was of a bruised rather than broken nose. Once up and dressed I consulted Dr Internet as most people do today and found this page which set my mind at rest. My symptoms did not fit those necessary for a visit to my GP or A&E. In any case the last thing that I needed was to mix with coughs and sneezes, which could result in my bruised nose having to cope with a streaming cold.
Thursday 12 was a write off of a day. I spent he morning clearing up the aftermath of the night's events and booking the carpet cleaning wizard who lives in the next village, to come and remove the blood from the carpet for me. In the past he has successfully removed red wine from our off white, living room carpet. In the afternoon I pottered around the cottage. My plans for the day in tatters. It seems that for me, at least, Friday 13 came a day early and the worrying thing is that it could all happen again next month. Then a few days later we have the Ides of March.
Friday, 23 January 2015
Well the holiday over new year was certainly one to remember, although it was not the holiday of a lifetime, and it was certainly different. In the run up to our departure the weather here in the UK was subzero with the threat of fog for the morning of our flight, which made me wonder if we would even get to the airport. As it happened the motorway to the airport was clear and the fog did not materialise. In fact we had a very smooth and uneventful trip to our holiday destination, unlike our journey home. Our problems started at the airport with the slowest, most chaotic check in that we have ever experienced. Our flight was delayed, but that is no excuse for a slow check in. Eventually we were informed that the reason for the delay was a medical emergency on the outbound flight, which resulted in a detour to get the passenger, who was ill, to hospital. Nobody wants to be in that situation and everybody was very understanding about the cause for the delay. Our return flight took off nearly three hours late with the promise from the captain that he would be stepping on the gas to get us home as soon as possible. About forty minutes before we were due to land we were advised that they had another medical emergency on board and would be landing back in Manchester as fast as we could. Once on the ground we were to remain in our seats to allow the paramedics to take the casualty off. And boy the landing was certainly fast! Forty five minutes had been shaved off a flight which should have taken four hours. So we had landed safely, but now the bridge to the airport terminal could not be connected to the plane. At least the captain, who must have had a stressful day, could see the funny side of things.
For us problems did not end there. Husband had woken me up early on our last morning with what seemed like heavy breathing. During the journey home a cough and a snuffle developed. He was obviously coming down with some bug. The first day back he went to work, but by the next day he really was not well enough for work. He ended up having three days off work, which for him is very unusual. I could count on the fingers of one hand, the number of days off sick he has had in the 25 years, that I have known him.
So on a lighter note, where did we go? Well I do know where we went, but I wonder if you can guess from these clues where we have been. We went to an island where the second language is English. They have cable cars and a toboggan run but there was no snow when we were there.
The streets are steep
and the taxi cabs are yellow.
It is a popular port of call for cruise ships, but we were not on one having flown there.
It is an all year round destination with millions of visitors every year. Time wise the island is on GMT, with milder climate than the UK, making it a paradise for horticulturists. It almost looked like England in the Spring, but these yellow flowers are not daffodils.
Everything seems to grow there from the most English of plants - the ubiquitous Ivy, to the colourful South American bougainvillea
and the exotic South African protea.
The island is famous for its' cake and wine and recently a museum dedicated to one of the island's famous sportsmen was opened. We really enjoyed our stay and hope to return to the island at a different time of year.