Change of plans (# 42,969)

My regular reader may remember bullet point 4 in a previous blog, “Adjustments” when I declared that a smaller Moho would be in my travelling future.

Several months and a restful, well since I finished the unpacking and sorting it’s been restful, period of reflection back in the West Country and I find that I have absolutely no desire to sell R0X1 and downsize. I will however, bear in mind time constraints on my breakdown insurance abroad to ensure no further “Arrogant Macho Peacock”  occurrences; which experience knocked my confidence sufficiently to cause all the self doubts I’d been having, well that and a four and a half month bout of sinusitis.

The sinusitis ended very abruptly one morning in September when on getting out of bed I suddenly had a moment of dizziness and nausea. I controlled it, sorted The Smart One out for school and then went back upstairs to bed as I felt decidedly unwell. After a violent bout of vomiting the dizziness cleared and I felt better. A few days later I realised my sinuses had been pain-free for over 72 hours without sniffing drugs … and nary a twinge since. 🎶Halleluja! Now that my sinuses are pain free, Halleluja! Halleluja! Halle-e – lu-ja!🎶 (with a chorus of apologies to G F Handel)

The parts for R0X have been sitting in her underpart patiently waiting to be fitted. I’ve found a garage in Langport, the owner of which is very friendly and he and his wife have done some serious motorhoming; R0X will be having her new back corner and grey wastepipe fitted there, along with an MOT and service at a reasonable price in just a few weeks . And of course she’ll have to have a little test run after … probably down to see the Bezzies as poor R is virtually confined to barracks with a serious knee problem, the need of a replacement for which is urgent (no news to us) according to the consultant Orthopod. Having sold their old VDub, R&S were hoping to be making their first trip abroad in their new-to-them campervan early next year but that’s had to go on hold; R is, as always, very philosophical about it and looking forward to being able to do the trip, and many more, without pain at a later date. [She should also consider changing her name to Metal Micky or RoboCop, as she will after this have had both hips replaced, a hip replacement replaced and both knees replaced … my bionic mate!]

Good luck my Friend x

Half term next week and I’m off to plague Big Bruv and help him drink his gin …

“Reflections back in the West Country”

🙂 🙂 🙂

I’m no beginner … (a long rant)

… when it comes to moving house and after making 18 of them personally and having helped my kids on several more, I can with a lot of experience say that this one has been an absolute pig’s ear.

It was an inauspicious beginning, and continued downhill, with the van and two muppets turning up two and a half hours late. I’d already had to leave in R0X1 with the zoo (grandson, dog and cat) to meet estate agent on time leaving K to oversee the loading of furniture and boxes (already packed by us). A quick re-assessment of timing and I was expecting K in Huish Episcopi around 14.30 and van about an hour later. Nah …

Around 13.00 Kate phoned to say the van was already full with only 2/3 of our stuff loaded. Phone calls to firm’s HO ensued – K was accused of adding stuff that wasn’t on the inventory. K insisted she hadn’t and could prove it with her copy of the inventory. Conversations in a non-English language ensued between HO and the muppets culminating in an offer to get another van to move the remainder, magnanimously at no extra cost to us … !!! K arranged to overnight with a friend, and the first van-load arrived here at 18.00 without one complete bed aboard. The Smart One spent the night in R0X1 with the cat and I on a mattress on the floor on the house with LWD.

Despite all boxes being marked with their destination rooms marked on them a lot ended up in random rooms which had nothing to do with box contents. To and injury to insult boxes were all stacked 5 high, regardless of some being marked fragile contents; these guys were obviously not amongst those who consider me vertically or age challenged, and whilst I wholeheartedly disagree with discrimination this once I would have jettisoned my principles!

Having been told a van to move the remainder of our possessions would arrive at 14.00 the following day K spent a pleasant afternoon next door with our now ex- neighbours. The different van and 2 different muppets made a timely appearance at 18.30, loaded up and duly arrived here at 23.00. I refused to hand over any money before they unloaded as the previous day’s chaps hadn’t finished all they were supposed to, if they moved things where they should be, including K’s bed base from the conservatory upstairs to her bedroom I would pay them and then they could bring the rest in. This request necessitated several calls in a foreign language to HO, on speaking to the manager I was left with the impression that although human error had occurred on their part it wasn’t their fault as such and I should shut up, put up and pay up. The legs for K’s bed base were on the van, they would not unload them. I after the previous day’s experience of muppets clearing off without doing their full job would not give way I wanted beds made up before paying.

Stand off; eventually the bed legs only were removed from van; the van was locked closed whilst the bed was made; I paid; they emptied the van and sped away into the after midnight hours without bothering to give me a receipt.

We’re in … and still alive to tell the tale; just!

😊😊😊

Easy travel …

When I was a young, bright-eyed student nurse in London, once every 4 weeks, on my weekend off, I would travel home by train. The weekend off came after 7 night shifts and I didn’t have to be back until 3 p.m. Tuesday for late shift. I finished at 7-45 and would walk back to the nurses home, change, pick up my bag and head for the tube at Victoria. No matter how long it took me to get changed and have breakfast, incredibly the first train in would always be a circle line and when I arrived at Paddington, there would always be a train calling at Swindon already boarding ready to depart within 5 or 10 minutes – I never consulted train timetables.

I may no longer be young and bright-eyed but my to my surprise public transport still seems to run at my convenience. OK, I did look up the times of buses to Málaga but the bus for the airport rolled into Málaga bus station just as I got off the bus from Torrox. Equally, five days days later the bus at the airport rolled up and I was on my way within 5 minutes of hugging K and the Smart One goodbye and deposited me at the bus station where I found a Torrox connection immediately; as soon as I’d paid my fare and sat down we were off. Only once have I had a delayed flight (9 hours overnight wait at Corfu with Rose and four kids, due to French air traffic controllers’ strike, 30 odd years ago), in fact usually my flights leave on time and arrive early – go figure …

My daughter does not seem to have inherited my easy travel gene, their plane was late. K texted to say they had landed and 35 minutes later I was about to reply, asking her at which airport, when I heard their approach. My grandson stormed across the arrivals hall yelling “Grandma, Grandma, Grandma” almost knocking me flat (he’s nearly my height now) and proceeded to hug me á la boa constrictor – I loved every second! K was allowed to give me a brief hug, with a wry smile and a shrug to show she knows her place in the Smart One’s world, several minutes later.

Family time

The weather wasn’t as good as it had been but wasn’t as bad as it became. The Smart One spent times on the beach getting very wet, enjoyed sightseeing small Andalucian towns and tall Andalucian mountains. Much to his and K’s delight I dialled up elevation on my Sat Nag in the car we hired as we wriggled through the twisty windies around the Sierra del Chaparral, and the pair of them were gleefully shouting out the metres above sea level (we topped out at just over 1,400) if you want the exact figure ask He Who Knows All. We visited a Spanish market and had a couple of meals out (as well as ice creams, chocolate y churros and (JJ only) a chocolate crêpe).

Sierra del Chaparral

The Smart One impressed with his Spanish wherever we went, receiving beaming smiles, high fives and sincere compliments – he’d only been in the country a few minutes when he asked the car-hire chap to give him the directions to the courtesy bus stop in Spanish, repeated the directions back perfectly and guided us to it effortlessly. Go JJ …

🙂 🙂 🙂

Candles and Carriages

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.

 

 

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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 …

 

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as the daughter and grandmother of steam railway fanatics, some of it must’ve rubbed off; I had a great time too …

🙂 🙂 🙂

72 hours (part deux)

Night two brought more muttered complaints of stolen territory and kicking (K) and frequent garbled chatter (Smart One). The Smart One woke bright and chirpy; K did not.

We left site and just outside the village parked up so the Smart One, Daisy and I could have a walk through the forest and K could go back to bed! Once again the weather refused to comply with the forecast and was stubbornly sunny. The Smart One had the map and navigated us in a circle for an hour or so’s walk along tracks which thankfully were mostly clear of horse riders, LWD is frightened of horses, and cyclists who, for once, she avoided chasing. Mind you the cyclists did approach from the front rather than sneaking silently up on her from the rear.

Setthorn, the New Forest.

Then back off to Beaulieu for a walk through the grounds and to visit the Palace and the Abbey ruins. The palace unlike many stately houses has almost “ordinary” sized rooms and is all the better for it. It feels homely, if grand, and many of the portraits are recent and relaxed. Unfortunately tho’ I didn’t pick up the spare camera battery before I left R0X1 and it was too far to walk there and back again … so the Abbey ruins and Palace photography will have to wait for another visit. Any excuse, it’s a lovely place and free admission for us during the next 12months!

Beaulieu Palace

The Love Tree

After some splendidly generous portions of ice cream we left for home. Luckily we  weren’t trying to get away to the coast for the Easter Weekend and so our journey was easy.

🙂 🙂 🙂

The first Walk

She-who-has-been-mended gave her walking boots a workout today, first time since last August, and has increased her confidence in her mobility. On uneven ground she walked a couple of miles around Englemere Pond near Ascot. The walk is supposed to take 40 minutes and it only took her 10 minutes more – not bad for 5 weeks post-op spinal fusion!

 

Daisy, the Smart Preteen and I had a pretty good time too …

🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Bored now …

My out-of-date nursing skills are no longer needed. She-who-has-been-mended is tearing up the tarmac on the road to recovery. Her physioterrorist is amazed at her progress and they are teamed up in a game of “let’s-see-exactly-how-much-we-can-improve-this-supposedly-non-improvable-nerve-damaged-leg”.

My skills at housework (negligible), laundry (adequate), childcare (so-so … the grandchild is a pre-teen, it’s not easy!), taxi driver (awesome), nagging mother (extremely awesome) and cooking (even more extremely awesome), remain in demand.

So, with the patient, the above described ex-nurse and the sometimes sulky pre-teen all feeling like the walls are closing in, my regular reader will be totally gob-smacked to learn  … I Have A Plan and what’s more The Plan Will Be Implemented.

It’s called the Half-way Plan (because K’s halfway through the post op recovery period) ; we are all, including LWD, going camping in the New Forest for a couple of days/nights in R0X1! The mended-one insists she is able to get up the steps into my bed (I’ll be in the bed that necessitates use of a ladder, she’s not that limber yet) and The Smart Pre-teen gets a brand new tent (well he has to have somewhere to go if he has a strop, and at least he won’t be able to slam the door!).

Blooming spring

😀  😀  😀