Friday, 20 October 2017

Bit of a non eventful day

I didn't sleep well last night.   My mind was on the go all night long - I think I probably got about three hours sleep and finally got up for good at just after five o'clock this morning.  I went for my usual coffee with friends, came back, had jacket potatoes and fresh mango for lunch, sat in the chair and woke up feeling awful two hours later.
But a good long stroll down the Lane with Tess (and with Blackie the cat too unfortunately because he is such a pest weaving in and out of my legs)  and I came back feeling more like my usual self.   Five minutes now to the last of this week's Antiques Road Trip - so goodbye for today.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The only way

I have decided that the only way to get through these last few days until next Thursday and moving day is to catalogue a list of things which must be done each day and then do them - ticking each one off as I go.   Then, although the house is in chaos, at the end of each day i have a sense of satisfaction at a job done.   And so it was today as my taxi drew up to take me into town.

Nails done - tick; hair done - tick; a walk down the Market Square to the Post Office and Co-op - tick;  then snag number one as I drifted round picking up things I needed only to find that my bags were really too heavy.   I staggered down to the Electrical Shop and bought a new Tumble Drier (to be delivered when I move in) and then rang my taxi to collect me from there.

After lunch I made myself set up Direct Debits for all the Utility Services at my new property.   I didn't feel like doing it - when one is very deaf, as i am, speaking on the phone is not easy.   But everyone was most kind and helpful and before long I had them done in time to go down to see my Solicitor.   So a cup of coffee and a scone in a cafe in town then home again.

Now it is pouring with rain.   Tess will not go out although she has not been out since half past nine this morning.   Hatches are battened down and all's right with the world.   For today at any rate.


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The last dregs

I suppose, like the last straw, the last remnants of packing to move house are the worst.  Wednesday is an afternoon when a friend S often takes Tess for a long walk.   I dare not mention the name all morning because Tess goes mad in anticipation.  As she has done often over the past few weeks, S arrived just before two o'clock and took Tess on what she hoped would be a new route she has carefully marked out on her map.

I decided I would start at the far bedroom and make sure that everything in each room was intended to go to my new home.   All items I don't need will be put into the office and the door closed; that way nothing will go by mistake.

I worked my way through two bedrooms, a boxroom, a sitting room and a living room.  Now we are down to the hall where my computer lives (plus a plethora of things under the stairs!) and the large kitchen.   It all looks much more manageable now and I feel two things - satisfied with my afternoon's work and dog-tired.

So it is time to sit down with a cup of tea and read my book for a couple of hours.   It is not a particularly good book but it is relaxation and occupies the mind.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


We have been very lucky here with the storm - yes it has been windy but not too bad and now - four in the afternoon - it is really no more than breezy.

I have had my Aga professionally cleaned today and I have to say that this evening it looks like a new one.   They have made a smashing job of it and I am so pleased.   Tomorrow the engineer is coming to service it and switch it back on, then I shall be back to normal. 

This afternoon I have gone about packing some of my kitchen equipment - mixer, liquidiser etc. just into an open topped box so that the removal men can do what they will with it and in the meantime I can wash out the cupboard where it has been stored. 

As with all things like this it is the last few things which take the time.   Looking at my dustpan and brush and my long handled soft brush I have decided to say goodbye to them and buy new ones when I next go into town.   Sometimes it takes something like a house move to look objectively at something one has been using for ages and see that it is worn out!

Ukuleles tonight so I shall now go and have a leisurely tea and watch Antiques Road Trip.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Michael Fish

I can't help feeling that I have done a bit of a "Michael Fish" yesterday.   (for US readers he was a weather forecaster thirty years ago when the great storm broke here and he predicted it wouldn't arrive).
Storm Ophelia is predicted to hit Northern Ireland later today and all schools are closed throughout both the North and the South of the Country.   As far as we are concerned here, the winds are predicted to be storm force - particularly in the  West of the country but even here in the East they may reach seventy miles an hour.  So we shall all be battening down the hatches.

The good news is that it should pass through quite quickly - but the last big storm (in 1987) did a huge amount of damage - the town of Sevenoaks 
in a very short time became 'Oneoak' as all but one of the famous oaks was uprooted by the strength of the wind. 

So - if I have done a Michael Fish then it is history repeating itself.   Let's all keep our fingers crossed and hope that this storm is not as severe as it might be.

Sunday, 15 October 2017


Sundays have now become synonymous with eating out at the same restaurant where we are now seen as regulars,   The same goes for various other people so that we meet a lot of old friends there now which is rather nice.

The outlook from the bar across the golf course means looking at literally hundreds of deciduous trees and today they were at their autumnal best - all shades of oranges greens and yellows  literally glowing in the sunlight.   There is so much that is beautiful about Autumn isn't there?   I suppose this is true of every season although I find I have to search hard to find anything beautiful about Winter unless it is a Christmas card scene seen through the sitting room window and a blazing fire in the grate.

There is something to be said for living in a place where the climate is never too extreme.   On the whole we don't have forest fires, gales so severe that they bring down thousands of trees, heat waves , tornados, hurricanes, floods - well if we do then they become headline news because they are so unusual.   Looking at the TV coverage of the awful fires in California and the beautiful houses of the rich which have been burnt to the ground does make one realise that how lucky we are.   And the whole town of quite ordinary folk - all gone, consumed by the flames.

The hurricanes in the Caribbean area and all the homes destroyed.   I could go on -  I just feel lucky
that I live in good old boring UK.   But if they mention Brexit one more time I shall do something I may well live to regret.   (Haven't thought what yet - probably utter some of those words I never thought I would say!)

Saturday, 14 October 2017


Is anyone out there having the lovely promised weather today?   It began raining here before I let Tess out for her final wee last evening and it is still raining now at four in the afternoon on Saturday; not pouring rain you understand, just that damp, all-enveloping wet stuff.

I am continuing with my packing.   Starting upstairs and working down I now feel that everywhere is in an easy state for the removal men.   The kitchen is certainly not but they will no doubt be used to dealing with kitchens. 

Flu jab morning.   We put off going last time our surgery had a flu jab morning as my friend was not well.   But this morning, both  fighting fit, we joined the queue which was moving rapidly as the centre staff have it worked out to perfection.
We were there for half past eight and well home again for nine having bought a Guardian on the way home.

Out to lunch again tomorrow, so the only question tonight is whether to watch 'Strictly' or not.  Getting a bit fed up with it this year - I think it has maybe gone on a bit too long.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Friday again.

How quickly Friday comes around.   As I am sure you know by now, I love my Friday mornings because I meet friends and we have a good chat.   Eight of us this morning - E back from her travels here there and everywhere, the rest of us turning up as usual.

We have now been going to the same cafe for so long that the waitresses know exactly what our orders will be.   We sit there for about an hour and a half and then toddle off to wherever we are going next.   In the case of friend W and I it is out to lunch - a new place this week to try - The Bolton Arms in the pretty village of Redmire.

I am rather ashamed to say, in spite of having been stopped driving because of a couple of minor TIA's I opted for sausage, egg and chips - a combination I have not had for years.   It was delicious - I am weak and couldn't resist it.

Since coming home I have cleaned out two cupboards and packed the contents into boxes and labelled them  - each time I fill a box I feel a sense of satisfaction and a little bit nearer moving.   I wish a good fairy would wave a magic wand and allow me to awake in three weeks time when it is all over.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Lost my independence.

I don't think I realised until I had my Driving Licence suspended just what independence driving gave me and what a difference it makes.   Today I have struggled with teetering on the edge of a depression.

A simple day like an E C G at the doctor's surgery and then an hour later my hair appointment, became a bit of a mammoth arrangement.

A taxi collected me at half past nine for the Medical Centre.   I only had to wait a couple of minutes before I was called in.  (it always intrigues me that whenever I go the car park is crammed with vehicles and yet there is hardly anyone in the waiting room) and the E C G took no time at all.

I then had to get to the Hairdresser - maybe about half a mile and almost all uphill.  I walked - slowly - and really enjoyed it.   It was a pleasant morning.   I posted a couple of letters and had time to collect my winter coat from the dry cleaners.  I must have looked pretty exhausted from my walk because he made me sit on a chair while he got my coat and then insisted on carrying it round to the Hairdressers for me.   What a nice man.   

I was half an hour early so I sat and read The Times and then, dead on time, the taxi drew up outside to bring me home.

I cooked a fish pie with broccoli and carrots for my lunch, with strawberries to follow, sat in the chair and slept all afternoon! 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!!

Autumn is well and truly with us now.   Maybe in towns and cities it is not quite so evident, but here in the countryside the signs are everywhere.

My tall Scots pines, the windbreak close to the prevailing wind side of the farmhouse, are dropping pine cones and pine needles by the thousand.   The pine needles often end up in the guttering of the house;  the pine needles blow up and down the drive, gradually being swept into piles until they are quite easy to gather up.

The cattle - milk cows, beef herds, suckler herds,
fill the fields, eating up the remaining grass now that silaging has finished.   It has been showery for the last few weeks and the grass has grown apace so there will be no need to start on the silage yet and it should last well over the winter, with no shortages. 

Walking down the Lane this morning with Tess I was struck by the dearth of hawthorn berries.  There was plenty of May blossom but now there are none of the swags of ripe berries for the winter birds.   But the rose hips are there, pushing out into the Lane and fully ripe.   I was tempted today to cut some to take with me to my new home - I love them so.   But then I decided that the birds need was greater than mine and I left them to give pleasure where they were.

The rooks go no further during the day than our fields - swooping across them in the strong west wind, landing in the ash trees and complaining to one another about the conditions for flying I suspect.   If you are close enough the noise they make is quite deafening.

There is a feeling that all Nature's creatures are making preparations for the coming of winter - laying in stocks of food, making snug places to spend their time, making the most of any sunny, warmish day.

Oil tanks are being filled, logs are being sawn and stacked (the farmer had a goodly quantity left from last year so the folk coming into the house will start with plenty), all the signs are there.

Now the forecast is for a warm week-end, so let's make the most of it.