Monday 29 October 2007

Last day of freedom

Today is my last day of freedom for three weeks. The necessity of work has raised its ugly head and I have three weeks of full time work ahead of me. So today I have enjoyed myself - having a lie in, getting ready for tomorrow nights evening class and spending as much time as I could in the garden before the light went. There is always something to do in the garden and our garden is still at the construction stage. So we will be at it for some time to come. The short days and dark nights have forced me in doors to plan for next year but before that comes Christmas, which also requires some planning. This afternoon I made a start by making the Christmas cake. As I write this the aroma of he cooking cake fills the kitchen and I know that winter is on its way but I would rather not think about it. The cold weather and dark nights are so depressing and this is only the second day after the clocks went back.

Sunday 28 October 2007

An extra hour of rain

So now it's winter. Last night the clocks went back and we had an extra hour in bed or as it was raining when we went to bed and still raining when we got up we had an extra hour of rain. Given the weather that we have had this year, an extra hour of rain was the last thing that most of us needed, but we should know by now that we don't always get what we need. Somebody took pity on us and by mid morning the rain had stopped and the day had brightened up. However, it was still a strange day, as the day after the clocks go back always seems to be. Most of the first day on the new time seems to be spent working out what time it used to be and when it suddenly gets dark realising that it is not as late as you think it is.

Thursday 25 October 2007


I couldn't believe my eyes when I looked out of the window this morning. In fact I had to look twice to believe what I was seeing. The tubs on the patio looked empty and there was compost all over the place. At the weekend I had taken out the geraniums, bizzy lizzies and petunias which were now past it and planted up the tubs with pansies. The tubs outside the front door were the same. Today was really too busy to sort out his disaster, but sort it out I had to do. The pansies had been tossed around and some had lost almost all the compost that they had been planted with and were now bare rooted. The culprit was no doubt some animal that prowls our garden at night time. This is war, I thought. I replanted all four tubs and weighted down the surface of the compost with stones, which I found around the garden, in the hope of preventing a repeat of this vandalism

Wednesday 24 October 2007

The day that didn't happen

For the last week or so I had had a funny feeling about today. I had an appointment in Surrey and somehow just wasn't keen to go. Normally I am raring to go if there is the chance of doing some shopping in London. I woke feeling not quite with things, but decided that it wasn't enough to cancel the planned trip. Then the taxi to the railway station was late and I thought if it doesn't arrive I wont go and that will be it. But it did arrive and got me to the railway station on time. Next the train was late - waiting on the platform was very cold, despite the welcome sunshine. At Crewe the connecting train was waiting or I just managed to get on it as it started to move. It is half term and the train was packed. The carriage where I found a seat was like being in a moving open plan office with mobile phones constantly ringing and excited children constantly asking 'are we there yet?'

I got to my appointment to be told that it had been cancelled. The person with whom I had the appointment had been held up. This wouldn't be a problem if we still lived in Surrey but it felt like a wasted day. I was down there so I was not going to waste the opportunity of doing some shopping in my favorite shop in Regent Street. Fortunately they had a sale on and as my husband pointed out, what I saved on the clothes that I bought, paid for my train fare. Perhaps the day didn't happen after all. But it did. Maybe I should have trusted my sixth sense and stayed in bed.

Saturday 20 October 2007

My official birthday

I have decided that today I will have my official birthday.

Actually my birthday was on Wednesday but on Wednesday my husband was late home from work. When he told his boss that it was his wife's birthday he just said 'O'. We eventually ate about 9 pm - macaroni cheese and chocolate cake - hardly the healthiest of meals, but both were home made. On Friday he was allowed to come home early to make up for working late on Wednesday. But he then went out to fix a friend's computer and came home late so we had an over cooked meal.

Tonight we shall have to share our meal with the rugby but I have decided not to even try to go out as I expect that the rugby will be everywhere.

Thursday 18 October 2007

Another blotted copybook

The sofa that we had ordered for our snug, from a well known furniture company, was due to be delivered tomorrow morning, but I have just had a telephone call to say that the delivery has been cancelled because of a problem with authorising the final payment from my husband's credit card. No effort has been made to sort out the problem with the payment authorisation and they have admitted that had it been sorted out yesterday when I telephoned to check the delivery time, that the delivery, for tomorrow, could have gone ahead. I have turned down work for tomorrow, now all for nothing and the new delivery date of next Friday is not so convenient, as I want a morning delivery which they cannot guarantee. It is no wonder to me that the country is in the state that it is in, when this sort of incompetence seems to be the norm. Thinking about it, I don't know that they even apologised to me for what is a cock up on their part. So yet another delay in our attempt to get the cottage straight.

Monday 15 October 2007

Hell's teeth again

More problems with the crown, or so I thought, so off to the dentist again. After getting me to open and close my mouth several times, scrutinising my teeth and my biting action and fiddling with my jaw the dentist decided that my bite is fine, as are my teeth. He says that he can see nothing wrong and that maybe I will have to put up with it or maybe it is a sinus problem. I am pretty sure that when I go to the osteopath, who has been treating the sinus problem, later in the week, that she will tell me that it is not - it's a dental problem.

Saturday 13 October 2007

Unlucky thirteenth

We returned home about 3 pm this afternoon. The cottage was surprisingly quiet as we opened the door. No burglar alarm to greet us. We soon realised that our power was off and there was the tell tale stale smell. The fridge and freezer had thawed themselves out and the answerphone has stopped working. So as soon as I had my jacket off I was throwing out the contents of the freezer. I had been meaning to thaw it out and given it a clean. Now I understand why some people empty the freezer before they go away.

The holiday was alright but we won't do seven nights in seven beds again or by tomorrow morning eight nights in eight beds. The ferry crossing was much better than I expected and the driving in France was also les stressful than expected but we did have the assistance of a TomTom.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights were spent in three different chateaux. This was the three nights Luxury in the Loire with gourmet dining that my husband had won. Luxury varies. Monday was the most luxurious and Wednesday probably the least luxurious. On Thursday night we came down to earth in a small hotel in San Malo but it was right on the beach and was quiet and comfortable which are our main requirements and you can only have so much luxury. In our quest to fill up the car boot with cheap wine we went first to a hyper market where I wanted to have a look at everything but my husband only wanted to look at the wine. He wasn't very impressed with what they had, so it was off to a discount store near the ferry terminal, where we found wine that he was prepared to buy. We had made a mistake with our wine purchasing. We should have bought more wine than we did from the wine caves in the Loire Valley. Next time we shall know better. Eventually we manage to get out for a pizza at a French Italian. A change from gourmet food.

Later in the evening, in the hotel bar we met a South African couple who were in the France for the Rugby World Cup. They took us to be English fans also in France for the rugby and I think that they were disappointed when they found that we were not rugby fans. Still we managed to have a chat with them. I think that the whole world has heard of Jonny Wilkinson.

Friday 5 October 2007


Today is the day before we go away for a week. My husband recently won a three night break in the Loire Valley and we have added extra nights on at each end to make it into a seven night break. So what we have ended up with is seven nights in seven different locations or seven nights in seven different beds - one of which is an overnight ferry crossing from Portsmouth to San Malo. It's ages since I went on a ferry and I've never done an overnight crossing. I'm not sure how I am going to cope with it, as I can remember feeling slighly queasy on a ferry from Tangiers to Gibraltar some time ago. Since then I have done quite a bit of dingy sailing and been alright but that's different. So that is one issue. The other issue is that we are taking our right hand drive car to drive on the wrong side of the road in France which means that my husband will be driving from the passenger seat and I will be navigating from the driving seat. So I am not exactly looking forward to the next seven days. Never mind, by this time next week it will nearly all be over and we should be back in England. There is nothing like wishing your life away!