Posted by: glenswatman | February 28, 2013

20130211-20 Trip to the Midlands and end of an era with our rental property

20130216 Goldstone Wharf where Steve proposed to me many years ago (2) 20130216 Goldstone Wharf where Steve proposed to me many years ago (1) 20130216 (15) 20130216 (14) 20130216 (13) 20130216 (12) 20130216 (11) 20130216 (10) 20130216 (8) 20130216 (7) 20130216 (5) 20130216 (4) 20130216 (3) 20130214 Valentines surprise at the Hotel 20130211 Nice walk admiring the snowy landscape (2) 20130211 Nice walk admiring the snowy landscape (1)


MONDAY 11 FEBRUARY – Late morning we head off on a walk up to the Tarn then extend it to make a nice circuit. Have been looking at Geocaching in the area and hope to get out and do some walks to find the treasures. Today I make scones in the afternoon, so much for eating less as we invariably end up wanting afternoon tea as well. In the evening I join Claire to go “hula hooping” whilst Natasha swims. £5 for a 45 minute class. You spend the time whirling the hoop whilst doing other exercises – no easy task as co-ordination is very difficult. Think the most exercise I got was bending down to pick up the hoop from the floor.

TUESDAY 12 FEBRUARY – Yet another grey dull cold uninspiring day.

WEDNESDAY 13 FEBRUARY – I’m up early as the workman arrives to fix our spooky toilet. It spontaneously flushes when no one is near it! He also sorts out the shower drainage and it is lovely to know that living in a rental property we won’t get a bill. We get light snow throughout the day but not bad enough to stop us going out to the cinema. I check that there are very few people in the auditorium before buying our tickets for Les Miserable’s. I’m glad that I had been briefed on the story otherwise it would have been hard to follow the tale as it is almost all told in the songs but very enjoyable.

THURSDAY 14 FEBRUARY – Valentine’s Day and I clearly remember last year that Steve had a hospital appointment in Alicante and our intention was to go out for a nice lunch there. It didn’t pan out as Steve collapsed at the hospital and spent the day on drips so our “nice lunch” was a cup of soup on the ward. This year he is feeling so much better so we drive over to Leeds, park up at the hospital (free for us) then walk to the city centre Cosmopolitan Hotel. Claire & Richard have just checked out having spent last night Leeds. We head up to our room to store their bags and I am convinced we have been given the wrong room as it is the “Chairman’s room” and on a table is a large box of chocolates and a bucket with bubbly. Claire explains the chocolates are from them and the bubbly from the hotel – what a lovely surprise. We all want to go out to lunch but their chosen Red Hot World Buffet is much too busy for Steve, they’ve increased the normal price for Valentines and Claire decides that after a big cooked breakfast at the hotel she can’t do it justice. They opt to come with us and we treat them to lunch at the Red Chilli Chinese. We wander around after considering coffee and dessert then get tempted by the new MacDonald’s caramel McFlurry and make that our dessert. Boy do these men know how to treat us with MacDonald’s on Valentines! We have coffee in our suite, where we have a massive bed, sofa and 2 arm chairs then Claire and Richard head off. Steve and I enjoy a nice soak in the bath and a relaxing evening. I make the mistake of checking my Emails before going to sleep and find that having written to ask to look over our cottage the message back says they are giving notice. As we are in England and planning a trip to the Midlands tomorrow this is not too bad but we could have done without the hassle of deciding whether to rent or sell it and getting it ready.

FRIDAY 15 JANUARY – We walk off some of our breakfast on the way to hospital arriving a little early for Steve’s 11am appointment. Bad move as we always go in late and this makes the delay seem worse. Today we are seen by German born Dr Charlotte Van Meyer (this really is an internationally staffed hospital). She assures us all Steve’s minor symptoms are not important but does prescribe antibiotic drops for his constantly watering eyes. The mornings blood tests are all good so unless the CMV results are positive when they come back on Monday/Tuesday then they don’t want to see Steve for 2 weeks. Positive results below 500 Steve will need more tests next Friday and if they are over 500 we will get the call for him to be readmitted. Guess this is an indication of how the routine will be for the next few weeks. We are through by 1.30pm but pharmacy say it will 1 ½ hours for the prescription but should be quicker at the Chancellor pharmacy. We trail there and still end up waiting over 1 hour due to a mix up. As soon as we leave I make arrangements to meet someone at the cottage to check things over. Annette is there when we arrive and apologises that is looks a mess as they had intended tidying it all up before we saw it. She reassures us they will get it back to how it was when they took it from us 16 years ago. We learn there is a fault with the heating system and notice some work that we need to get done. Finally after what seems like a long day we arrive at Mum’s. She is doing fine but tells us she has decided to sell us the car as she doesn’t think she will drive again but if she does will buy an automatic. Funnily enough on the journey down we had pretty much made a decision to buy ourselves a small camper van to double up for short breaks and as an everyday car.

SATURDAY 16 FEBRUARY – Knowing we may have to head back to hospital on Monday I get stuck in on the phone organising estate agent viewings etc. We need a tree surgeon and Mum recommends 2 different ones who I call, one called Guy and another whose name she can’t remember. Steve runs Mum to the hairdressers when her bus doesn’t turn up and shortly after his sister Netty and husband Mark arrive. Unfortunately I have to leave them for my own hair appointment. Ruth at Dominoes did a great job when I had it done last August and does the same again today, £18 for a shampoo, dry, straighten and cut. I’ve not seen Bobby and Steph’s new home nor met their daughter Olivia so call buy. His Dad Dave and brother Nick are also there. Olivia is just gorgeous, really quiet and with a beautiful smile. Whilst I am there I receive a call from Guy to say he will check out the trees at the cottage on Tuesday. I’m amazed at how much work they have already done on the house and it has great potential for future extensions being completely detached. Surprisingly when I get back to Mum’s Netty and Mark are still there. Steve tells me he has had a call from Guy about the trees and he will be there tomorrow afternoon. Now this is getting confusing but we finally realised that on the phone one person say this is Guy and the other said something like I’m the guy who does the trees. Goodness knows who is showing up when! Mid afternoon we pop round to chat to Netty & Ian for a couple of hours. They’ve had problems in their spare bedroom and ended up knocking down the original extension are now waiting to have it rebuilt whilst turning it into the main en suite bedroom. Mum likes to take family and friends out for a meal for her birthday but when it was booked back in January it had to be cancelled because of the snow and rescheduled for tonight. We take Mum and neighbour Pauline and follow Netty, Ian, Bobby, Steph and Nick. The Hinds Head in Norton in Hales is quite busy. Other guests Robin & Dianne and Tony & Anne are already there and we have been allocated the table in the conservatory. They are renowned for their unusual meats and the special menu board shows zebra, kangaroo and others such delights – didn’t notice any horse though. We’ve already pre ordered a la carte and the food is really tasty. Service is a little slow but it gives us all plenty of time to socialise which is what it was all about anyway.

SUNDAY 17 FEBRUARY – Mum goes to St Mary’s church regularly and they have been saying a special prayer for Steve whilst he has been ill. Today we decide to join her and settle ourselves in a side pew well away from most of the congregation. Mum is well known so many people come over to see why she is not in her usual front seat and to introduce themselves. It does get a little embarrassing constantly explaining why Steve can’t shake hands dues to his low immunity and worse when at one point in the service everyone circulates to give each other hugs and say “peace be with you”. Steve has already been introduced to Vicar Martin who remembers Steve by name and gives him a special blessing at communion. Our next rendezvous is for lunch with Paul & Elaine and Pete & Carol at Goldstone Wharf Tavern. It’s a glorious sunny day and pleasantly warm so we check out the canal area. 39 years ago we were walking along this canal bank when Steve spun me round and said “marry me or I’ll chuck you in the canal”. Today the canal is as muddy and uninviting as it was then! There is a campsite behind the pub and we learn that you can have a seasonal pitch or stay for £15 a night so I can see us coming here in the future. We are treated to a filling Sunday roast and catch up on the news, we’ve not seen Pete since last August but the others have visited but all notice a change in how well Steve looks. In convoy we head to the cottage and whilst the others look around I show the guy “Martin” what work needs doing on the trees. He’s very reasonable at £15 an hour and says he would cap the price at £100 for pruning the oak and fruit tree. Martin comes from Rhodesia and is an avid travelling so we get side tracked chatting. He is also really helpful and makes suggestions about other things in the garden. Living in Newport are Ian & Lin. I met Lin at anti natal classes and Ian used to play squash so we go back a long way but have had little contact since we left Newport in 1986. Lin has recently had breast cancer and lumps in her neck so we combine family chat with medical comparisons. We return to the cottage to meet Steve’s school friend Dave Heath who is in the property business and he gives us advice. Basically we are on the right lines by thinking or re letting at this point and selling at a later stage when the market has picked up or we need to. We retires to the Barley Mow for a chat over drinks as his wife Zena is home with a cold. Our finally stop of the day is to visit Richard and Julie out a Horton. Richard really wants to set out travelling in a motorhome and seems to hope we can convince Julie how good it is and that they can afford it but we realised last time that Julie isn’t that keen. Richard used to play a lot of Scrabble at work and fancies his chances but is no competition for us travellers who play most days when in the motorhome.

MONDAY 18 FEBRUARY – I’m up early making notes of the most important things to get them done today in case we have to leave. Steve still doesn’t cope well with stress and planning and has pretty much told me to do what I think is best with the cottage. 4 different estate agents come round and we ask them to wear “rose coloured” glasses and give us a figure for selling the bungalow or renting it out. We’re not going to get as much as before but renting it out sounds best in the present climate although as well as lower rent we will have to pay agents fees. Spend the afternoon at Mums and whilst she is teaching a pupil I cook us a cottage pie. Mum has eaten out at lunch time so will have hers tomorrow. The hospital call to say Steve’s virus count from Fridays bloods is up to 2000 so they want us to head back tomorrow for another test so we change our plans accordingly. We all visit Bobby & Steph in the evening. They want to copy the ancestry files and some home videos for future use and Steve has not seen their new home or met Olivia.

TUESDAY 19 FEBRUARY – British Gas is booked to check over the heating in the cottage with a time between 8am – 1pm but they will call and give half and hours notice. I’m all packed up and just about to have breakfast when the phone rings at 8.15 to tell us the engineer is nearly there. Steve gets a rude awakening and we make a hasty exit from Mums. We’ve been considering taking the back boiler out and putting in a new combi boiler but the engineer says that in a hard water area it would be a bad move and the boiler we have should be good for quite a few more years. We have a good journey to Leeds to get Steve’s blood taken. Both of us feel a bit down as we now have to hang around waiting for a call to tell us whether Steve has to be readmitted or not, in a way we are lucky they are retesting as the rule of thumb is that a count of over 500 means instant admission. It’s another beautiful sunny days so we stop off for a walk around Armley Park.

WEDNESDAY 20 FEBRUARY – The good weather has passed and we are back to a dull drizzly day. I make an effort and clean the car and intend doing some gardening but it is just too cold and miserable. In the evening we call the hospital but the test results are not back. This means that the earliest Steve would have to go in is tomorrow night. I pack his hospital bag to take with us on tomorrow’s outing.


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