Posted by: glenswatman | August 3, 2014

20140721-31 A lovely summer and a visit to Oxford

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MONDAY 21 JULY – Seems we got off lightly yesterday as many areas of Norwich were flooded. It’s holiday mode again as it is a scorcher and we make good use of the pool.

TUESDAY 22 JULY – It’s a bit of a dull day but Steve fancies a drive out to the coast if it brightens up. Just settling down to lunch when the phone alarm goes off to remind us Steve has a hospital appointment, oops I thought it was tomorrow. At least Steve hasn’t had to spend time worrying about it! This is his penultimate lumbar puncture and it goes well but not quite as well as last time as it takes more than one attempt to hit (or avoid) the spot. We know the drill so head straight home for Steve to lie flat.

WEDNESDAY 23 JULY – Steve’s had a bad night so I creep out and leave him resting. He takes caffeine and paracetamol for his headache and backache and does have a spell lying out on the sun lounger. It’s another scorcher which I don’t think is helping his head. I figure I will wait until it cools down before having my swim and I’m amazed to see it is 5pm and still hot but decide to go for it. 60 laps later I feel quite refreshed although I have to admit a lap is only about 10m so not as good as it may sound!

THURSDAY 24 JULY – Unfortunately Steve is feeling quite sickly as well as having back and headache so mopes around for the day. I think that the hot weather is making it worse for him. However he is well enough to throw in a suggestion for our winter trip that instead of going away for 3 x 44 days we could do 44 then come back to Merryhill for the Christmas and New Year celebrations, nip up to Yorkshire to see family and have a hospital check up then set out on another 44 day trip. Flights from Stansted would be easy with a bus direct from Norwich so I begin looking for apartments in Punta Prima just south of Torrevieja for the pre Christmas trip and this keeps me out of mischief.

FRIDAY 25 JULY – Steve isn’t improving much but it is really hot, muggy and draining. Neighbours Tony & Fay invite us round for coffee but Steve declines. I have a good chat and get to know them a bit better. After my daily swim Steve suggests a walk up to the gate and we are amazed by how many people are on the camping field.

SATURDAY 26 JULY – Tony & Fay offer me a lift to the special meeting about the future of Merryhill. Basically it is about the possibility of finding enough funding from members in order to buy it out but with a hefty £600,000+ being needed towards the £2.3m selling price it is somewhat ambitious. There’s a real sense of negativity in the questions so I lighten the mood by suggesting that maybe someone on “Dragons Den” is a naturist and would like to invest! Steve is feeling well enough to get dressed up for the Summer Ball. His cruise suit comes out and I don my little black dress. Luckily it is a warm evening and we can stand outside drinking the champagne with strawberries. The band are really good and play a variety of music but it is extremely noisy and hot inside so we only manage to tolerate one dance. Stay for a good couple of hours before Steve feels a bit overwhelmed and I have a headache. For some reason we are both finding disco’s and bands way too loud – must be an age thing.

SUNDAY 27 JULY – We’ve had a bit of rain in the early hours and it has cleared the air. May be coincidence but Steve is feeling a bit better. Loads of people turn up for boules and we end up second of our group of 4 teams. In the afternoon Steve is also up for a shopping trip. We’re lucky to arrive just as they are making final reductions and get loads of top quality meat with 75% off. So much for running the freezer down!

MONDAY 28 JULY – It rains a bit in the morning but nothing compared to the weather they have in the south east. There a months’ rain falls in an hour accompanied by hail stones and it causes mayhem. Steve’s feeling much better and when it brightens up after lunch we take a stroll around the park. Seems like most of the campers were only here for the meeting and/or summer ball.

TUESDAY 29 JULY – We get a rude awakening in more ways than one. Recently we’ve been getting a whiff of sewage and it seems the septic tank was overflowing. This morning we wake to the noise of a tanker pumping it out, not only the noise but a nasty niff too. Reckon they are on to a good thing as it is taken away and used as farm manure. As they say “where there’s much there’s money”. It takes 3 tankers to empty the pit and then work begins on better drainage by putting in new pipes. It gets really hot in the afternoon so dips in the pool are welcome whilst Steve gets a fix of the other pool in the evening.

WEDNESDAY 30 JULY – We park in a different area of Norwich near Elm Hill then walk over the bridge to the interesting shopping area of Magdalen Street. At 11am I have a hair appointment at the Anglican Academy of Hair. It’s a training school and student Zoe from Perth Australia need to practise foils. I end up having not only foils but also a toner before my hair is cut and blow dried. Everything has to be checked by teacher Jenny so it takes over 3 ½ hours in total but at £10 I certainly can’t complain and the colour is fantastic. Steve’s less than impressed having spent ages back in the car waiting for me!

THURSDAY 31 JULY – On route to Oxford we stop at a motorway services. We are totally amazed at the size of the area, the number of shops and how many choices of reasonably priced eating places there are including a Wetherspoons pub. In Oxford centre we wander the streets admiring the fantastic college buildings and bobbing in to some of the many few museums. Unfortunately it is a really hot day and the museums are very hot inside. The Ashmolean is amazing and a real rival to the ones in London. You have to pay to go into almost all the colleges so we give that a miss but do get a look in the quadrangle of one of them. We are so impressed with everything that we will have to return in the future to do it all justice. We’re lucky that the Pear Tree Travelodge has just been refurbished and we have a spotlessly clean room with a new comfy bed. Once I have obtained a fan from reception we are able to cool it enough to be comfortable. Drive back to the south side of the city where Claire & Malcolm have invited us to join them at “The head of the river” put at Folly Bridge. We meet some of their friends from Romania and others who they have know since before they got married 40 years ago. With riverside tables it is a superb location and a warm enough evening for us to stay outside to eat. Jugs of Pimms are served and we soon get to know our table companions Geoff & Julie and Chris and Ann. After a lovely meal and dessert we are amazed that Malcolm insists on picking up the bill for everyone. They are parked in their motorhome by the river so we all head off in different directions.


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