Posted by: glenswatman | September 11, 2013

20130901-10 A big clear out

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SUNDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2013 – Mum has been letting a man store his car and motor bike in her garage and once I get hold of Mike and get him to remove the car I can get organised.  Within the garage I make areas for rubbish, charity shop, stuff that might be sold and things we want to keep.  It’s all good exercise as each trip to the garage involves 13 steps.   Neighbour’s daughter Mandy takes small trinkets for a charity stall and soon I seem to be making headway.


MONDAY 2 SEPTEMBER – Today I clear out Mum’s bedroom then bring her round to pick which of her hundreds of pairs of shoes and dozens of tops she wants to keep!  In reality she is doing really well and making good choices bearing in mind she is downsizing from 5 double wardrobes to 2.  Mum has said we can take some plants so load tubs into the car then arrange them at Newport to improve the look of the cottage and hopefully entice someone to rent it soon.  We call in to see Carol, Pete’s away on holiday alone in France.  Donna & David drive down to visit and see if there is anything they want from the charity stuff at Grandma’s.  After a Chinese take-away they head off to visit Mum in her new apartment.


TUESDAY 3 SEPTEMBER – Surprisingly few charity shops want furniture and most that do make a charge for collecting it so I spend time putting posts on “freecycle” for that kind of thing.  Just over a year ago Mum was struck by lightning and ended up having to replace her expensive electric bed.  We’ve just found the old one in the cellar which means we can probably put in a belated insurance claim.  Bingo, so long as I can come up with some paperwork they will pay out.  We hear a scrap metal man calling out and manage to off load loads of things from the cellar, no idea what he does with them but he also takes old TV’s, stereos and in fact almost anything that has even the slightest bit of metal content.  Steve is doing an amazing job down there, spurred on by the fact that the lad he met last week was able to lift things 1 week after his collar bone accident.  In the evening Phil from Whitchurch arrives to pick up the 3 wardrobes and dressing table.  I can see he has plenty of room on his trailer so point out the blanket box and bureau which he also takes.  Mum’s bedroom is now completely clear so I am able to clean around a bit and touch up paint where needed.


WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER – I continue with the dining room and find this one touch.  I have no problem at alldisposing of Mum’s extra clothing but old books and family memorabilia are a different matter.  Mum has literally dozens of photo frames with pictures so I settle for taking all the pictures out and putting them in an A4 folder so she can keep them to look at.  We do a few trips to town favouring the Cancer charity shop today as the market is blocking access to all the others.  Think it is only a matter of time before Mum ends up buying back one of her nice tops!  We visit Mum late afternoon so I can sort out the insurance claim paperwork and she takes us over to Wetherspoons for a meal.


THURSDAY 5 SEPTEMBER – I complete the dining room clear out and Steve has given the cellar a once through.  Netty calls round, she is being Grandma today and looking after Olivia.  I show her a few bits of memorabilia I think she will be interested in and talk her through the clearance progress and what Mum may still want.  I’m actually amazed how much we have got done as everywhere has been gone through and it is now just a matter of things going to the relevant places.  I think our car knows its way to the charity shops as we have made so many trips and freecycle has been another good resource for passing things on.  So hate to see usable things just been thrown away.  Mid afternoon our friends Keith and Sandra arrive from Keighley. They’ve had a lovely journey down in the open top sports car.  Armed with blow up air bed and bedding they set up in Mum’s bedroom.  They are blown away by the wow factors of the bungalow and can understand why Mum was reluctant to sell but equally can see that it is not practical for someone with mobility issues.  We take them for a ride to Newport to see our cottage there and Sandra helps me create a couple of features in the garden.  In the evening they visit Mum in her new apartment and can see just how perfect it is for her needs and what a brilliant location as once again we walk across the road for a meal in Wetherspoons.  The rest of the evening we relax in the conservatory with candlelight making it very appealing.


FRIDAY 6 SEPTEMBER – Keith & Sandra haven’t seen much of Shropshire so in spite of the rain we head off to Ironbridge.  It’s only drizzling when we set out to walk around and learn more about the bridge in the toll house free museum.  We find a lovely cafe for a cuppa, in fact the biggest hot chocolates ever, and a bit to eat.  Bridgnorth is another nice place for a stroll around but the rain forces us back to the car before we get chance to go down by the river.  On our 3rd visit to Wetherspoons we meet up with Netty & Ian.  We pick Wetherspoons as it is a huge building and very airy so relatively safe for Steve and of course when you are eating out on a regular basis their prices are very tempting.  Tonight is fish Friday and for £4.99 we get a meal and drink.  Round of the evening with a coffee at Netty’s then another session sat out in the conservatory – don’t think the conservatory has ever been so well used.


SATURDAY 7 SEPTEMBER – After a walk up town Keith & Sandra pack up to leave.  Steve loads the car up with things we want to keep and stuff for David to sell.  Just doing a final check when I notice the drain is blocked and we have a flood at the side of the house.  I try but fail to unblock it so end up getting Ian to come round then leaving him in charge. Sandra texted to say there was a hold up on the motorway so we follow a route that Ian has recommended to Sandbach and discover some really attractive villages en route.  After dropping stuff at David’s we visit Claire.  She now has a small removable foot cast and walking shoe but her foot looks a real mess with bad bruising and is still uncomfortable.  Yesterday Richard moved to his rental house 2 doors away.   It’s quite strange to go into his place as the layout is exactly the same as Claire but with different furnishings etc it looks different and feels odd.  I help Claire with doing washing etc and catch up on news.  Finally arrive home at tea time and get some washing on.  We’ve got loads of things that I now need to find places for and given that I refuse to have clutter or things in places where I can’t get them I have a challenge ahead deciding which of my things need to go to charity to make room.  I get a text from Sandra in the evening.  They got home safely then unpacked and headed off to daughter Pips for a birthday party.  Sandra offered to drive Keith’s sports car as he had just driven for 2 ½ hours.  Unfortunately she had an accident and has written it off.  No one else involved and they are both OK but she sounds quite shaken on the phone.


SUNDAY 8 SEPTEMBER – Our planned pyjama day home doesn’t quite work out.  First I’ve run out of washing powder so need to get more.  In the end we head out, do a load of blackberry picking, call in to see Sandra & Keith then Mom & Dad and also pick up some shopping.  The blackberry crumble is delicious as is the smoothie so we will get more whilst the going is good and freeze them.


MONDAY 9 SEPTEMBER – Sandra picks me up for a ride over to Otley.  We are meeting our mutual friend Clare from Spain and begin with a good chat in Manor Cafe.  Clare is enjoying her visit and catching up with family whilst her partner David is doing some work before driving back whilst Clare flies.  With luck we will get over next year and see them.  Steve calls to say he can’t find the car keys to go out blackberry picking, embarrassingly I find both sets in my bag.  Lunch at the Wetherby Whalers is good; the fish is just delicious and puts the Wetherspoons offering of last Friday to shame.  Sandra drops me at Airedale for my consultation with the orthopaedic surgeon.  He’s amazed that I have put up with my bunions as long as I have and says they are both bad enough to require surgery.  Rather than being totally incapacitated I will have them done individually 3 months apart.  I’ll be in plaster for 6 weeks then must take it easy for the following 6 – must remember to put my name down for Claire’s crutches.  The consultant says I need to get x-rays done before my pre-op appointment and I am able to go straight to the x-ray department and get that sorted.  Have to say the NHS is playing a blinder at the moment.


TUESDAY 10 SEPTEMBER – I meet the ladies at the bus station for the Stumblers walk.  We catch the bus to Cullingworth and then walk up and over the moors back to Long Lea.  It’s a lovely walk with stunning views in all directions.  We manage to feast on blackberries and bilberries that we find amongst the heather.  Steve calls to tell me he’s got the car keys but can’t find the house keys to lock up when he goes out.  I’m seriously embarrassed to find I have 2 sets of house keys today – going to have to get a better system sorted out.  It’s been a slow walk with lots of stops for people to catch their breath so instead of catching the bus back I opt to walk back to Keighley along with Mary who also needs more of a stretch – she’s a real inspiration as she is over 80 years old.  I do a few jobs around town before returning home.  We’re heading off on a little trip tomorrow so I set about making a few more arrangements and getting packed up.  Steve goes out blackberry picking and returns an hour later with enough to fill 4 trays for freezing.



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