The Girls duly arrived on time and with baggage at Toulouse-Blagnac airport. Not a friendly motorhome pick up/drop off airport. All express parking height barriered, so they had to scramble in with barely a hello as I stopped illegally, and with an equally illegal stop, scramble out and bid a short goodbye – probably just as well as I don’t do goodbyes and we had time for the hellos once we got to our overnight at Autorive.
Entirely unperturbed by the cloudlike UFOs, we had a lovely few days. The weather was very kind, Argeles-sur-Mer bathed in very warm sunshine, and a couple of idiots got wet – one merely paddled the Med, the other swam – brrr, it wasn’t that warm … I was tempted to go on the double decker carousel just because I’ve never seen one before, but Daisy would not’ve been allowed.
We were ladies wot lunched, visited a few nice places (if you’re going to Elne, check it’s open, it wasn’t when we went) and then quick as a wink it was back to the airport for that hurried goodbye.
Argeles-sur-Mer and the UFOs (note the aliens on the beach)
A couple of drives later and I’m at the border (will they have to put in border control for Brits after Brexit?) and will cross into Spain tomorrow. During yesterday’s drive I was admiring how vibrant the leaf colours were; haven’t seen colours (or leaves) like those for a while, it felt like I’d travelled back in time a month. I also saw loads of black kites – I presume that’s what they were, they looked exactly like the red kites at home, except the red bit was black.
My ankles measure as slim so that’s two parts of my body sorted!! I’m sure however, that my beautiful slim ankles did not look sexy in the pair of black compression knee-hi’s I was measured for!
My admitting nurse having suddenly disappeared came back to announce that she’d gone back to the computer to check my date of birth because, to her, I look and act well younger. Knew there was a good reason to love the Portuguese! No reason to love my son who sent me this card 10 days ago which I’d suggested as a good buy for his Uncle’s birthday and J forgot to send … J’s piss poor excuse was there was no point in wasting it and he deemed it just as appropriate for my birthday – well it might’ve been if it were pink.
My daughter came to collect and sign me out of the hospital – they wouldn’t discharge me without a “responsible” adult’s signature. As K walked in the ward the lady in the bed opposite exclaimed “That’s my son’s teacher!” – it’s a small world is about the truest cliché of them all. In view of the fact that K is indeed her son’s teacher, I refrained from doubting the validity of K’s claim to responsible adulthood in front of the child’s mother.
Three great things happened;
I finally got my treatment and all the slightly iffy cells are no more, they are removed, deceased, they are dead as parrots.
I woke up from the anaesthetic, I am none of the above.
The third time was a charm, I can leave for all points south on Saturday and don’t have to change the ferry booking for a fourth time.
Over recent years K and I have fallen into the habit of having an afternoon of girlie time each December admiring all the glitter, bling, tinsel and bauble of Christmas decorations. We mostly go to garden centres, the one at Henry Street, Aborfield being our favourite locally. After discovering that Liberty’s Christmas shop is already open and as we’ve missed the last two years because in ’15 I was in Spain and in ’16 K was unable to walk, K decided a return to Liberty of London was called for – we haven’t been for several years. Okay it’s only September but I leave for the winter in a few days. There was a certain lack of yuletide excitement but there was sparkle and colour in abundance, all inside that wonderful Tudor revival building –and there was Afternoon Tea …
Hopefully like his intialssake, BB enjoyed his one hundred and eleventh seventy-fifth birthday party – well he certainly had enough celebrations; an early one with friends, a lunch actually on THE day and then the BBQ a few days later. Hopefully he won’t do a post-party vanishing act like Mr Baggins.
Back in Hurst we had a family day out to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton Road station, a former Metropolitan line overground underground station, now a museum. There is still one main line track operating a couple of freight trains a day but according to the Smart One this is about to change. The old line is being restored/upgraded and in places totally rebuilt to re-establish the old east – west line which, it is hoped, will ease congestion at London terminals by saving passengers having to travel south and then north to get east or west! (Shame Dr Beeching cannot be posthumously fined for unnecessary rail closures and costs charged for reintroduction.)
The Smart One, who by the way now wears the same size shoes as I do (he has been warned that my high heels are not for borrowing), had a great time explaining all the east-west business and other railway trivia …
as the daughter and grandmother of steam railway fanatics, some of it must’ve rubbed off; I had a great time too …
It’s been a hectic few days. The Percys were observed shooting through, old friends were visited, Mandy, Paul and Dan, lovely to see you again after so long, and new campals were made in Barry, Anne and Sue. (Don’t believe anything any health professional tells you about recommended weekly units of alcohol, we keep the number low so that there’s plenty left on the shelves for us to purchase.) We were well into the wine when we discovered the reason we were all getting on so brilliantly had nothing to do with alcohol; Barry – GP; Anne (Barry’s wife) – Nurse; Sue – Nurse; Maggie – Nurse. Finally, on Monday evening LWD and I pitched up at BBs.
Sadly BB lost Sam, springer 13 yrs, a couple of weeks ago to kidney failure and I was a bit concerned how Sally, springer 12yrs, would react to being on her own with LWD. Sally has never been Daisy’s biggest fan, Sam and Daize always hit it off but Daize is usually a bit too excitable for Sal, however they’ve been brilliant together this past couple of days. LWD, which may be bit of a misnomer for her now, she’s developing more and more apricot patches as she matures (I use that term advisedly), first came across Frogs in France in May (who said “where else”?). She was somewhat startled but fascinated by them jumping. Here at the marina she’s not sure what to do with the plethora of Frogs jumping across the path during her evening walk but at least she doesn’t seem at all interested in eating their legs!
I asked BB if he could sort out my 12v electricity. The 12v feed is up near the ceiling and requires me to use a stool to reach the socket, the inverter has to sit on top of a cupboard which also requires me to stand on a stool to plug in an extension lead which then drapes untidily (and for any elves reading this, unsafely) from back to front of the van. I envisaged BB running cable from the 12v feed up, across the ceiling and forward to the desired spot with a socket at the end. Would he do that? Oh no … he, retired electrical whizz that he is … has wired directly from the leisure battery discretely under the floor to the inverter, now neatly tucked away out of sight, and at the mere flick of a fused switch, 12v comes into play when I’m off grid. I neither plug nor unplug anything and I don’t have to use a stool, and for that I will forgive him for dragging me all the way up to a chandlery near Nantwich, which had none of what he needed but just happened to be only a mile away from Snugburys ice cream shop (my regular reader may remember BB’s devotion to Snugburys ice cream from a previous post), only to find every electrical thingie he needed in a chandlery he’d “forgotten all about” not 10 miles away – I’m not a suspicious person but …
… mine was vanilla, sloe gin and damson (1 scoop) his was amaretto (2 scoops) and four tubs for the freezer!!) Yum.
Lovely few days in Torquay, good to spend time with J&B. The dreadful traffic and poor weather was a disappointment, but this is England in August…I’ve had to put the 4tog duvet away and break out the 9tog. I draw the line at long sleeved t-shirts tho’. I will be wrapped up warm tonight with my head through the roof light hoping for a good view of the Percy’s. The sky is clear at the moment and I’m on a farm campsite so light pollution shouldn’t be too bad.
I’m in Somerset, was hoping to catch up with The Boys in Glastonbury tomorrow but they’re away early to London, hopefully we’ll catch up in September before I cross over once more. On to Wales to see more friends before heading for the Blue Buzzard and her “not my birthday captain”, BB.
Final health bulletin on my patient for anyone wondering; not only did Rosemary survive my rusty nursing skills, she has made a full recovery! She saw the consultant earlier this week and is now full weight bearing and is to walk as much as possible. She’s also allowed to swim but only if the water temp is above 31℃ – that’ll not be a problem then, it was 29-30ᴼ when I was there.
Arriving home from the hospital appointment, after what I’m sure must’ve seemed an eternity dependant on others, Rosemary celebrated her new found mobility in style – by walking up the steps that caused the damage! I’d’ve also kicked them (gently) for good measure …
I’m currently in what I regard as my home – if anywhere can be home given the number of times we moved house throughout my childhood, which habit I continued as an adult, not to mention my current peripatetic lifestyle. Devon, the place I lived in the longest, and especially Torquay has my heart and is home. It’s good to be spending time with J&B and I’ve managed to catch up with two sets of close friends.
The site here just outside Brixham, is not my usual type of site – being quite large and kiddy orientated – and is rather expensive due to the summer holidays. But it’s great as a base and B has lent me her car for the duration, bless her, and it does provide the most amazing views of the river Dart.