Posted by: glenswatman | April 11, 2014

20140401-10 Our first visitors

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201404 TUESDAY 1 APRIL 2014 – When Steve says he is going to go out and clean all the outside of the van I reckon it is an April fool – but no he actually goes ahead and does it.  We’ve a hose pipe connected so this helps and using a broom he is able to wash and wax it as well.  With the exception of one tiny scuff the caravan is immaculate.  Meanwhile I bake some bread and experiment with a cream of spinach soup that I actually find tolerable.  I’m really not big on vegetables but making an effort to eat a wider variety and this is a good way to sneak things into my diet.  Having said that I am trying to stop or slow my weight loss at the moment and packing in extra calories with loads of chocolate and other goodies.  Richard invites us round for coffee where we meet his wife Janet and have a good chat.  They’ve visited Australia and stayed at some of the same naturist resorts as us.  They originally bought a cheap static here then moved on to a brand new one and it is beautiful inside but still wouldn’t tick all my boxes.  Mid afternoon we walk up to drop off the rubbish and check for mail and return on a different track discovering a whole new area of park homes.  At the end one Debbie comes out and tells us that she and husband Andy moved here in September so hardly know anyone.  She invites us for a drink and we learn they are in their early 50’s and still work but wanted to be mortgage free and bought a Tingdene park home to achieve this.  She works at nearby residential homes for dementia patients and organises therapeutic activities for them.  Apparently having Skype installed has opened up a new world for some people as it is easier to chat to someone you can see rather than on the phone.  Their park home is spacious, light and absolutely stunning and pretty much ticks all my boxes but not at over £100,000.  By comparison our £6000 static is pretty darn good and worth at least 16 of theirs!  Steve gets in his evening game of pool with 5 people turning up and taking it in turns. MERRYHILL


WEDNESDAY 2 APRIL – We’re both on good form so Steve sets about cleaning the patio whilst I do some washing and for the first time cook a cream of celeriac soup.  Don’t think I have ever had celeriac but couldn’t resist trying it when it was reduced to clear at the supermarket!  It’s tasty served with small cheese cubes and freshly picked chives from my herb garden.  In Dereham we explore a little more and I find a shop that may be able to make the curtains I want for the static.  It’s really a lovely town and although it feels relatively small it has a great range of shops all within walking distance of the centre.  At the surgery the nurse explains she thinks the hospital may have been wrong in requesting a booster inoculation as I have already had it but she will phone our last surgery to confirm.  She redresses the wound, which is a little better, and suggests I return next Tuesday for it doing again, to check on the inoculation situation and to see the Doctor to find out the results of the mass in the spleen.  Steve has sorted out his medications but must also return next week for pre chemo blood tests so book him in at the same time as me.  So much for moving to Norwich and having less medical appointments! MERRYHILL


THURSDAY 3 APRIL – Late morning our friends Jean & Arf arrive in their motorhome having spent winter in Spain and Portugal.  They must have psychic powers as one of their gifts is a large bowl of outdoor viola’s that fits exactly into our empty ornamental boot.  Like us Jean & Arf have taken advice on a healthy diet for their medical problems and try to avoid potatoes and bread so I have created a cottage pie topped with veggie mash and served with more veggies.  Spend the afternoon catching up on news and having a walk around the park.  They join us for soup in the evening and it’s nice for me to now be able to offer 6 different selections from my freezer stock.  We all wander over to the clubhouse for the evening games of pool where Steve & Arf make a team whilst Jean and I chat to other people. MERRYHILL


FRIDAY 4 APRIL – At around 10am we head off on a planned circular tour of the broads.  It’s a cool morning as the Sahara dust cloud is completely blocking the sun and making visibility poor.  Our first stop is at “Norfolk Broads Direct”.  We are checking out short break boat hire for when Bev & Norm visit us in May and get shown around a couple of boats with prices around £1000 for 4 nights.  We are hoping to book at the last minute and get a better deal.  The town of Wroxham is famous as having “Roys” the largest village store in the world.  Not only does Roy own a village store the size of a huge supermarket but also most of the other stores in town, Roys garden centre, Roys DIY, Roys toy shop etc.  Beginning our planned circuit we pass through attractive small villages before stopping in Salhouse to do a short walk through swampy forest down to the broads.  The broads are technically man made as many years ago peat was dug out from here and later it naturally flooded. Wildlife abounds and at the end of the walk we emerge onto Salhouse Broad which is a kind of lagoon adjoining the River Bure.  At Ranworth we take a boardwalk out through swampland, much like Florida but without the alligators.  This leads us past an area with lots of bull rushes with boards explaining how these are used for roof thatching.  The floating Broadland Conservation Centre is closed and nothing much seems to open until Easter.  Luckily in the village we find a small tea room where we can have a hot drink and snack.  In Potter Heigham we are impressed by Stuart at Herbert Woods’s boat yards as he shows us lots of boats and point out the pros and cons, overall a lot cheaper than the other company.  We’re all feeling a bit weary so just stop off in Ludham to admire the wonderful church before driving to the Crown Carvery for a meal.  It’s been a long day out for me and about 80 miles of driving for Steve so we are happy to get home and go our separate ways for a restful evening.  It’s time for my dressings (other than the weepy drain hole one) to be removed and I am somewhat shocked by the length of the scar and how lumpy and jagged it is.  At least rubbing in some bio oil softens many of the scabs and makes it feel smoother. MERRYHILL

SATURDAY 5 APRIL – Jean and Arf call round for morning coffee followed by a walk around the woods.  We’re invited into their motorhome for lunch and we enjoy a tasty meal and being in a motorhome again.  Our afternoon trip out is to the Sainsbury’s visual art centre in the University complex.  There are 2 floors of exhibits but after a quick look Steve prefers to return to the car to listen to football on the radio.  Since removing my dressings I feel like my operation wound aches more and feels heavy so make a short walk around then wait for Jean & Arf to finish.  Outside there is a walk through a sculpture garden to the Broads which we hope to return and do in the future.  Tonight is Stan’s 90th birthday party at the clubhouse, a very similar event to last weekend and unfortunately I don’t learn by my mistake and again eat too much of the wrong type of food too late and suffer. MERRYHILL

SUNDAY 6 APRIL – After being showered with more gifts and having coffee and a chat Jean & Arf head off.  We’ve both thoroughly enjoyed their company but it has taken its toll on me and I am ready for a day doing nothing.  I’m finding that without all the dressings my wound seems to be protruding more and feeling less comfortable.  Last night we had a bit of rain and I was treated to water torture with it dripping.   There’s an old caravan about to be scrapped so Steve gets permission to take the down pipes from it and once we buy a connecter we can solve our problem.  Steve heads to the local pub to watch the football but they change it to the Grand Prix at half time and he has to sit in the car listening to the radio to get the rest. MERRYHILL

MONDAY 7 APRIL – We’re both a bit whacked so almost happy that it is a windy rainy day giving us an excuse to fester. MERRYHILL

TUESDAY 8 APRIL – At Mattishall surgery Steve has blood tests done in readiness for his chemo next week and I begin by having my dressing changed.  The hole is starting to dry up but I must return next week for it to be checked again.  Later I see Dr Fitzgerald and she tells me the discomfort and swelling is normal and could take a year to settle down properly – not quite what I was hoping to hear.  However she says walking on the flat is good exercise and once my wound has healed up swimming will be fine.  She doesn’t have the results of the biopsy and suggests I phone Leeds direct. MERRYHILL

WEDNESDAY 9 APRIL – I have a cooking morning making 10 mini fish pies and a pan full of ratatouille.  Meanwhile Steve sets about cleaning and sanding down our wooden garden furniture.  In the afternoon we get the love seat, steps and one bench painted and they come up looking like new.  I manage to get through to St James and a clinical nurse looks over the results and says they look OK to her but will get Dr Aldouri to take a look and write to me with his opinion. MERRYHILL

THURSDAY 10 APRIL – It’s another lovely day so we get the second bench painted as well as finishing off the others.  Neighbours Fay & Tony arrive and we invite them round for coffee.  Until last year they owned a Tingdene here but sold that and then realised the missed visiting Merryhill so bought the cheap caravan behind us.  Steve’s still in work mode so uses a bit of corrugated plastic, off an abandoned hoover, and uses this to create better down pipes from the caravan.  We’ve a few problems with our electric going off throughout the day; luckily we are cooking on gas.  An electrician arrives late afternoon and says that it is very rare but a some sort of circuit has blown and the replacement part is £35 and with labour his total cost is £55 which seems reasonable.  Oh the joys of owning your own home rather than renting from the council!  Steve pops out for his evening fix of pool and says lots more people were there, guessing we are now getting towards the main season. MERRYHILL


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