Posted by: glenswatman | June 28, 2014

20140611-20 Out of Norfolk

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TUESDAY 10 JUNE – I join Jill for a ride out beginning at Taverham Garden Centre. Little did I know there was a courtyard of shops behind it and for future reference for me one selling discounted Pavers shoes. At the cookery shop I pick up some spelt to use in place of flour. Trying to get my iron levels up I buy liver, spinach and broccoli at Sainsbury’s – should go well with the coffee cake and cherry pie. Spend the afternoon relocating our tomato plants. Margaret and Peter brought us a cherry tomato plant kit as a house warming and they outgrew the original pot but didn’t like their new small pots. At the garden centre the ice cream shop was giving away loads of square ice cream tubs so our tomato plants now have larger homes. Walking back from the showers Steve sees a baby rabbit run behind a shed a get stuck. He goes to the rescue as the bunny is caught up in some chicken wire, what a hero. It’s been a lovely day leading into a balmy evening and we both enjoy games of pool over at the clubhouse.

WEDNESDAY 11 JUNE – Steve has suggested an exploratory drive and we begin at California Beach. Sounds lovely doesn’t it but the reality is a load of holiday parks with caravans and chalets and lots of amusement arcades. Scratby appeals more to us and we walk down on to the beach with a wind farm out at sea. Next stop heading north is Hemsby pretty much made up of wall to wall holiday parks. You have to walk past all the amusement arcades and cafes to reach a lovely beach. We set out on the coastal track but at this point it is down in a valley with no views so we give up after a short stretch. There are lots of curious individual holiday homes here on the hills behind the beach and also the side streets. Some are old static caravans that have been extended whilst others are sheds which look very basic or have been upgraded. Walking back through the streets a snake crosses our path. Neither of us has ever seen a snake in England before so I quickly snap of a picture to prove it. Travelling up the coast we call in to Winterton-on-Sea which just seems to be a small local village. At Horsey we climb up the National Trust wind pump for views then set out on a circular walk. During the walk I fence numerous phone calls from the cottage where the Gas Board has said there’s a leak and the required part is obsolete. The knock on effect is that they won’t issue a gas safety certificate and the new tenants can’t move in on Friday. It kinds of takes the shine of what was a lovely outing. Call in Poppylands cafe for a drink and to look at their curiosities on display. Steve gets a bit fed up driving back along even more of the narrow country lanes I take him down whilst exploring but we do find a few nice spots by the water. I finally get a phone call from our letting agents to say she’s sent in a local gasman and he’s located the part, fitted it, capped off the leaky fire (leaving the boiler working) and issued a gas safety certificate. This buys us time to figure out what type of new central heating system we want to install in the future. I now need to deal with British Gas as it sounds like they lied about the part and just couldn’t be bothered to spend the time doing the work even though we spend over £300 a year on a service contract. Steve’s so wound up he takes to his bed when we get home!

THURSDAY 12 JUNE – Steve is not quite up to speed, lots of things going on, it’s a hot day and he also had quite a day out yesterday however he is well enough to stay up late and watch the World Cup football in the evening.

FRIDAY 13 JUNE – Steve’s up early doing his jigsaw. I try to deal with the central heating problem at the cottage and open a can of worms as it seems we may not need to have the complete system replaced but quotes are so variable and each person has a different opinion on what is best. Will wait for another couple of quotes and opinions before deciding but given the hassle this is causing I am at the point of in for a penny in for a pound and get the whole system replaced to deter future problems however this may not be suitable for the tenants. We enjoy a BBQ lunch, tuna steaks and lots of stir fried veg. With my fruit breakfast to start the day I am already over my 5 veg and 3 fruit so don’t feel the least bit guilty eating cherry pie and custard. It’s the hottest day of the year and the swimming pool is welcome relief. Almost 3 months post op and with no obvious things wrong I push through the twinges and spend 15 minutes swimming a mix of crawl and breast stroke. Late afternoon Steve heads off for an MRI on his shoulder which is causing him quite a lot of discomfort now that he is doing more. In the past he has kept his own clothes on but due to new regulations he is asked to put a gown on and just wear his pants. Shouldn’t have gone commando Steve!

SATURDAY 14 JUNE – Claire, Natasha and Azura are doing the Windermere swim today so we head to The Copper Beech pub to try and spot them on the webcam – no chance. Pete (from Meet Norwich group) joins us for breakfast. He’s a similar age to us but single and does most of his travelling by motorbike and tent and is thinking of exploring Scandinavia. His biggest problem seems to be not having anyone to help motivate him so he’s finding it hard to get going. Having said that he certainly has done a lot of unusual trips in the past and he’s off to Wales for a music festival next week. In the evening there’s a retro disco in the clubhouse with people taking along a couple of their favourite 45’s. In the bar we meet the couple who have a really nice big “Burstner” motorhome. They still work so mainly use it to come here and occasionally go to Spain but dislike the fact that with only 3 weeks leave they “have to” drive through France in 1 day on a toll road as they can’t settle until they reach their destination. Another couple have a large touring caravan and he’s a football fanatic. So much so that they have brought the 48” flat screen TV from home and put it out in the awning and bought some blow up arm chairs to sit on. Not sure who’s brought the records but once we move into the main area we are hit with mainly cheesy songs like Agadoo, Lily the pink and so on. Luckily we have an escape as the first England match is being shown at 11pm. Steve’s been invited up to Ian’s to watch it but when he walks round he sees there is a movie on TV, reckon Pauline must have won that one. He watches and home and they lose to Italy so not a good start in the World Cup.

SUNDAY 15 JUNE – I’m up early defrosting the fridge and making a gooseberry crumble before taking Steve his breakfast in bed for Fathers’ Day. A few weeks ago I solved the problem of a slow draining kitchen sink by putting some special liquid down. Yesterday Tony & Fay were sat out next door and heard water running under our van. Turned out a pipe had disconnected and water was just running onto the slab. (No wonder it was draining quickly). Today Steve repairs it but manages to angle the sloping pipe a little better to improve flow. I slow cook some beef and we have a roast dinner mid afternoon.

MONDAY 16 JUNE – At my afternoon Doctors appointment I get the results of the biopsies they did. The hospital reports indicate I may have celiac disease but blood tests would confirm. Dr Allen also thinks it may be irritable bowel syndrome but first wants me to try some tablets then have blood tests in about 10 days and then return for those results. She also mentions that probiotics may help; I already have Activia yoghurt each morning. Back home I do a bit of research on line (as you shouldn’t) and first find probiotics must be taken at a different time of day to antibiotics otherwise the effect is negated. Also celiac disease is quite serious and would involve a change to a gluten free diet – at least that would not remove chocolate, chips or fresh cream meringues so wouldn’t be so bad!

TUESDAY 17 JUNE – At the airport MOT centre we drop the car off with Mark for the annual service and testing. It’s only half and hours walk to the airport itself which is rather like a ghost town. Most flights are to and from Scotland or out to the oil rigs. Looking out from the cafe down a completely empty runway shows how different it is to Manchester. When we get back 1 ½ hours later the car is ready and the bill a reasonable £114. As Steve approaches his significant 2 years post transplant we wanted to do something special with family. David was not keen for him and Donna to join us all on a cruise and would prefer a “Liverpool FC” treat with his Dad whilst Claire and kids are really keen on a cruise. By the evening I have secured us all cabins on the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas through Cruise Compete website. The price on the English websites was £749pp for a balcony cabin but through the American site it worked out at $1725 per cabin (£507 pp) with $120 on board credit. Unfortunately there are few family cabins left and none of those have been reduced so we end up paying more pp for an inside for them but at least it is all booked.

WEDNESDAY 18 JUNE – It’s pouring with rain as we leave and again I am in pain as we make our long journey out of Norfolk. 4 hours later we arrive to visit Auntie Pamela. Had planned to go out of lunch but I really don’t feel like it so accept her offer of a sandwich. Auntie Pamela is looking really well and looking forward to visiting her friend in Bridlington. Call by Claire’s new office near Leeds and it’s a huge improvement on the last one and she has her own space. In Keighley we visit Mom and Dad and David who has driven up to see us and stay the night in the studio. Steve wants to lock in the football treat whilst David says it can be done later. Once we explain that we like to do things as soon as we can to be sure they come off he questions why. Turns out he thought Steve’s transplant was a complete cure. It can be as a full intensity one for under 50’s but Steve had the low intensity one due to his age and health. That’s not to say that with our outlook and diet it won’t be but we’ve always said “why put off until tomorrow what you can do today, you might enjoy it and have time to do it again”. Final stop is Keith & Sandra’s where we have our usual jumping of conversations covering many topics, giving us lots of laughs.

THURSDAY 19 JUNE – Sandra joins me when I go to ASDA to collect some clothes I ordered on line. There’s a sale on so I add to this with stuff in store. My pain is getting worse so I call in to the Doctors to see if I can get an appointment and they will call me later. I do a bit of a fashion parade so that Steve can decide what he likes and eliminate most things for one reason or another. In the afternoon Keith drives us out to Coniston. En route we stop at a posh clothes shop as Sandra wants to sell a wedding outfit and hat. Turns out they will only take things up to 2 years old so the moral there is not to hang on to such things. It’s really nice sitting on the terrace at Coniston Hotel overlooking the lake whilst supping drinks and eating a plate of biscuits. Suddenly there is a huge roar and a “Hercules” flies low just in front of us. Call in to ASDA on the way back for me to return most of the clothes, and pick up a few others. Get a call to go to the Doctors at 6pm where I am in line behind 8 others. Dr Brown sees me about 7.15pm and is very thorough. She thinks the problem is adhesion of the wound to the small bowel. This means the protrusion is actually not something sticking out but something being pulled in and as the scar tissue doesn’t stretch it makes it difficult for my bowel to work properly. It also means each time I try to stretch I am pulling my bowel around. Essentially this all fits with my symptoms and the upshot is that it may improve over the next year but in the meantime I must take something like Lactulose to keep things moving smoothly. The Doctors pharmacy is closed, in Sainsbury’s their computer is down and finally ASDA is open but the pharmacist is on break. Unfortunately waiting for him to return leads me to picking a few more clothes in a determined effort to find something that suits my downsizing but also avoids pressure on the scar area. When I get back the others have eaten dinner but I really enjoy my heated up meal as I am not only so hungry but kind of relieved to know that eating alone is not directly aggravating my problem.


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