Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Today's Garden

Hellebores insist on lowering their heads in submission
                                           A new rose jumping the gun
                                            Teensy weensy daffodils
                                              An early camellia
                                              Primroses galore but their lovely colour fades in photo
                                           Dark shiny leaves - tiny whiteish blossom.  Anyone remember the name?
I apologise for the quality of the photos- just trying to keep my hand in.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

My Grandson Sam - courtesy of Naomi.

Sam changing light bulb

Sam changing second light bulb

Sam ironing HIS shirts

Sam still ironing

The site of the problem water in the right attic window

He also made sure I followed Naomi's instructions, fixed my new Kindle, schooled me with my tablet, scrubbed the inside of the fountain, took me to Tesco, the dump and out for an Indian.
Hurrah for SAM!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Trying Naomi's solution

This time I managed to get three photos together but there was nothing on the page that allowed me to write, publish or  do anything.  I went to posts and the above was a draft but is an oversized version of part of one of the photographs.
Incidentally - if anyone is still awake - the fountain has just been steam blasted, a hole made to let out water prior to a scrubbing of the inside.  Then I shall put my stones inside and let nature take its course.
My good friend Naomi is helping me to sort this problem and we are making progress.  Maybe Sam my grandson will make a better stab  at it when he comes this week-end.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sturm und Drang

And that’s just the weather.  We are fortunate not to have the house flooded but it is still a bit scary when you have to put furniture in front of the balcony windows to stop them exploding inwards.  The next morning the sun comes out and one rushes up two floors to open all the south facing windows to let in the sun and air.  By the time one is back on the ground floor the sky blackens, the heavens open and its back up the flippin’ stairs again.

And the handy men are working their socks off.  Over a week ago I rang the insurance to report storm damage and they wanted it tackled ASAP.  No way would I let anyone up on the roof in this weather and told then so.  Then they wanted a temporary job to be done and a costing for repair and making good.  OK well I’ll do my best and M said he would come this morning for a costing and a cup of tea.  As he often turns up at 8am I have been up since crack of dawn.

And I’m worried about Joy.  I haven’t seen her for a week – not wanting to give her my ‘cold’.  We had a loose arrangement to meet for lunch over the week-end  and her daughter was going to whisk her off to stay with her for a few days next week, but Joy doesn’t feel up to it although she is longing to met her new great grand-child.  I asked her if she would like me to pop round this afternoon when – hopefully - M will have been, but she felt she would like to walk down to me.  If she doesn’t I’m going round.

With time on my hands this morning I had another go at posting photos to no avail.  I shall just have to be patient until one of my experts turns up.  Where’s an Alice when you need one?

God bless the Co-op:  the last two Fridays I have been so thankful that I could get myself there through atrocious weather by cab, then come home and have it all delivered.  There s something so peaceful about wandering round a super market .popping things at will in a trolley and knowing someone else is going to get it home for you.

Almost lunchtime and no M.  I think waiting for someone –even Godot- is my least favourite thing.  I’ve hand washed a cashmere sweater, done a bit of ironing and checked my annual report for L& G (hurrah they’ve gone up).  If I start lunch he’ll appear.  I’m going to have a specially baked nutty roll (any four for  a £1) with ham, beetroot,carrot and onion,in a vinagrette dressing, roasted veg couscous, tomato  and cucumber- because its there.  Then raspberries with vanilla yoghourt.

Whilst I’m waiting here are a few wise words:

Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.

Daniel J Boorstin

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.

Bertholt Brecht

Like a welcome summer rain, humour may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.

Langston Huges

Fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself.

Daniel Defoe

Beauty is variable, ugliness is constant.

Douglas Horton,

A runner must run with dreams in his heart, not money in his pocket.

Emil Zatopek

Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.


M or no M – its time for a bite.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Coming into the final straight

I got a glimmer it was not going to be an easy week when I found my best glasses on the desk chair; the lenses looked undamaged but the frames were skewhi’fft.  I dropped them into the optician expecting the usual 3 week wait and to my delight she said she had just has a similar pair delivered and if I could give her half an hour they could fix them.

I collected them on the way back from the hairdressers, she adjusted them to my physiog and all was well.  As I paid the £119 she suggested I claimed on my insurance- a thing we never seem to do.  I phoned them the same day and two days later got a cheque for £69.

The week-end got off to a good start with the arrival of our French son and he enjoyed his Minehead favourite; Cornish pasty, baked potato and veg and there was a gorgeous Bailey’s dessert which the Warminster family left after Christmas.

On Saturday we knew we had a busy day ahead and left home at 9.20am for our final dual visit to the solicitor but apparently we are still ‘coming into the final straight’ – just over a year - even though we were told,

‘Your husband left his affairs in very good order.’

What it must be like if you have no funds I dread to think.  To make things as easy as possible for the survivor is a gesture of love IMO so some time ago I sent off for a funeral package.

We found a bank open on Saturday and prepared the way for a trust fund to be opened in my husband’s name, then off in the wind and rain to Taunton.  M had brought two suitcases; one for food and one for clothes.  In spite of the weather we had difficulty parking the car – a Nissan I think - which was high and mighty, a bit tank- like but did the job.    

We did Debenham’s , M&S( yes they do have them in France but they are a bit sparse and not nearly so well stocked as over here) Sainsbury’s and a shop called Fat Face which M remembered his wife had liked when she saw it in Bristol.  They stock holiday clothes which will be great for their holiday in Greece later on.

I enjoyed being arbiter – pleased that my opinion was valued.

Apple pies, H.P. sauce, Cheddar cheese and cheese biscuits, Earl Grey, PG tips and Marmite were bought - useful info should  you want to take a gift to France.  In between darting through the wet gusts we managed a light lunch at The County Stores.

I stocked up on my favourite make up but M knew I was hoping to buy a tablet so we picked up the car and drove out to the estate that houses stores like Curry’s and P.C. World.

We settled on a Samsung Galaxy and booked a ‘Setting up’ and Know How session.  M had recently bought one so was also interested.  Unfortunately they were too busy to fit the appointment in so farmed it out to the neighbouring store which meant hanging around for half an hour or so. There was a Costa’s coffee shop across the way and as we have just had one open in Minehead I thought it would be useful to try.  M is more of a coffee boy and it was too strong and too much for me.

Back through the wind and rain for the ‘setup’ and ‘know how’ session where I had to remember various passwords and decide about apps.  An utter novice I chose kindle, blogger and net fix and hope that gradually it will all become clear.

By the time we reached home after the long drive it was getting on for 7pm so I phoned the hotel and delayed our dinner so we could shower and change.

Previously Joy had given me a voucher for a reduced meal for two – with a bottle of wine if you went in February.  I gave this to Mark and we were able to use it.

All was well with the exception of the avocado which was hard.
Next morning M changed light bulbs, carried the dehumidifier upstairs and took stuff to the dump.  He noticed Alastair’s magnificent vintage overcoat hanging in the garage – waiting to go to charity.  He remembered trying to persuade his father to let him have it to take to Uni but A was using it and still did last year for winter funerals.

It looked splendid on M and I was happy to think it would be kept in the family.

After a mellow lunch but no alcohol, M drove off to Bristol and a flight to Paris.

By Monday I had my first cold/flu – with all the trimmings - for ten years and decided to coddle myself and stay put until I felt better.  The paroxysms of violent sneezing convinced me I shouldn’t see anyone and talking on the phone was difficult.  By Friday the sun was out and I was almost out of food so Sheila very kindly dropped me at the Co-op- I did a quick shop – to be delivered, and took a cab home.  I got a funny look when I asked the lady at the till for a shilling.

 ‘You what?’

 ‘Could you give me a shilling please for my trolley?’

 Her face broke into a big grin.

‘I think you and me are the only ones here who know what a shilling is.’

I forgot to tell you – in the midst of my flu/cold I received not one but three funeral packs and a follow up phone call.  Not the best of timesJ.