Posted by: glenswatman | January 1, 2015

201421-31 Ending the year at Merryhill

SUNDAY 21 DECEMBER – The cold windy day induces us to stay home festering.

MONDAY 22 DECEMBER – I quickly realise that having an afternoon Doctor’s appointment at 2pm is brilliant as they have just come back from lunch and there are no delays! Steve’s stayed home so I head into Dereham for a bit of shopping. Seeing the full car park at Tesco I opt for the self scanning system thinking it will save me heaps of time – wrong, it does nothing but frustrate me and I actually give up half way round. I wander round the main town then pop into Morrisons’s which is surprisingly quiet with no queues at the check outs – so who says Tesco’s is doing the worst this year?

TUESDAY 23 DECEMBER – After a wander around Norwich we head to The Waffle House, the chosen rendezvous of Steve’s donor Marc. He’s sat by the window with his girlfriend Lindley and it is quite an emotional meeting. He is obviously delighted to see how well Steve is doing and they talk through both of their stories. Having found the match Anthony Nolan paid for Marc and Lindley to go to Sheffield and stay in a hotel for 3 nights whilst the stem cells were taken. Luckily they got enough from Marc on day one and other than having some discomfort at the time he was fine. They are a lovely couple and also have wanderlust and will be getting married in Dominican Republic next year. They are keen to see us again so we should be able to catch up with them in Leeds which is where they live. We do try to thank Marc but needless to say actions speak louder than words and we are sure he can tell just how grateful we both are.

WEDNESDAY 24 DECEMBER – We nip into Anne and Nigel’s for a drink then head over to Tesco’s for a couple of last minute things. Unfortunately we haven’t turned the freezer on otherwise we could have loaded it up with all the food that is being discounted. Bread 80% off and even free sprouts. We do take a few bags of sprouts to distribute to people back at Merryhill. Spend the afternoon at Nigel and Anne’s joined by Emma and Dan and we play their version of “Shit head” with much hilarity.

THURSDAY 25 DECEMBER – We’ve spent many Christmas days at the coast but never in England so take the opportunity to drive over to Great Yarmouth. 20141225_112442 It’s a lovely sunny crisp morning which is perfect for a walk. Caesar’s amusement arcade is open with Santa stood outside so we pop over for a photo and get invited in as they are serving free hot drinks, mince pies and sausage rolls. We walk for a couple of miles and even go down onto the beach but don’t brave the water. Heading back we see crowds of people and investigate to find it is a centre providing Christmas meals for homeless and lonely people. There is a sign directing volunteers and we give it serious consideration but conclude that with us both having low immunity it may be too risky at the moment. Back home I begin cooking our duck crown to be served with plum sauce, roast potatoes, sprouts, parsnips and carrots. Unfortunately I can’t get the oven up to temperature and over 2 hours later at 3.30pm we sit down to duck with barely crispy veg and potatoes but it taste OK. Can’t go wrong with dessert as we each have a trio of special mini jellies with fruit and alcohol in shot glasses and I serve them with fresh cream. When we dropped off the sprouts yesterday Eileen and Colin said they would be alone today and invited us to pop round so we head up there for an hour’s chat.

FRIDAY 26 DECEMBER – It’s a cold and frosty morning and we are managing to keep warm but creating loads of condensation which is becoming difficult to manage. Even after opening windows and doors and wiping down they steam up again the minute we close them and put the heating on. Having a cooking morning doesn’t help but I want to make some carrot and coriander soup, a cottage pie and apple crumble. There’s an afternoon gathering in the clubhouse with people taking over leftovers. Tony & Dave have treated themselves to a “boy’s toy” and entertain us by trying to get their remote controlled helicopter flying. Steve’s decided to take over a bottle of wine which proves a bad move as after just over a glass he is feeling very strange and has to return home. I stay on and join in the fun party dances but suspect I will be aching a bit tomorrow.

SATURDAY 27 DECEMBER – The heavy rainfall in the night stops by mid day and in the afternoon we walk up to take a swim in the pool. Quite a few people pass through and I am sure we all feel better for it. Luckily we don’t have the snow that has brought parts of the North of the country to a standstill.

SUNDAY 28 DECEMBER – Dee & Brian come round for lunch. Dee is struggling to eat again and although she manages a small bowl of homemade soup sickness gets the better of her and she is unable to eat the dinner and dessert. She has lost load more weight and looks really thin and frail but they are able to stay for a few hours for a chat.

MONDAY 29 DECEMBER – ¬No surprise to hear that Dee went for her check up and got admitted to hospital. Hope they can now get on top of her problems. It’s a very frosty morning and not much warmer early afternoon but we attempt a walk. Unfortunately my asthma gets the better of me and we return after about 20 minutes. Spend a lot of time on line and finally book Ryanair flights from Leeds to Malta 15th Jan – 26th Feb at £51 each return. Having never been to Malta before we are unsure which area will suit us best so hedge our bets by using Hotels4u to get 7 nights in a 1 bedroom apartment at Sunny Coast Resort & Spa for £107. The resort also has hotel rooms, restaurants, an outdoor pool, private rocky beach, entertainment and more importantly for us an indoor pool and spa. This gives us the option of staying on or finding somewhere better or even doing a 2 centre visit. Know it will be cooler at night than Spain but it sounds to be warmer in the days, the sea is warmer and it is a place we have never been to and are unlikely to visit in a motorhome. We receive an update from Merryhill saying the park is definitely going textile in March, they have put the annual fees up and also introduced a £10 a month surcharge for paying monthly. I guess this is to try and create more income but have a hunch it will be drive even more people away.

TUESDAY 30 DECEMBER – Our coldest morning in the van with ice on the outside of the windows. Still staying warm inside but finding lots of problems with condensation in the back of wardrobes etc. We certainly won’t plan to return at this time of year again. Thankfully we have a tumble dryer so I am able to get up to date with the laundry.

WEDNESDAY 31 DECEMBER – We de-ice the car in order to head over to the hospital. Steve sees Dr Isobel Gow who tells us his blood counts are all absolutely normal. Steve mentions his ongoing concerns about anxiety, claustrophobia and stamina. She says this is common in people especially those who have held up well through treatment. There are people who may be able to help when we get back in March. She suggests walking poles to help Steve’s collar bone when we are out hiking and says that his stamina will improve in that he will be able to do more but he will stay take a long time to recover from any exertions. Whilst Steve visits the Big C centre I call in to see Dee. She is looking much brighter and is now eating and drinking again. They will keep her in for a few more days but at least she has now had visits from the dietician and other specialists. In the afternoon we wander up for a chat with Gordon and Simone about the future of Merryhill and conclude that we will sit it out for now but may put the van on the market at a high price in case we get it and would then leave. The New Years Eve party is live music from The Curves and comes with a surcharge of £12.50pp which includes a drink. The band play music from all era’s and we enjoy a number of dances but as is almost always is the case the music is too loud for us to talk as we can’t hear what people are saying. See the New Year in gathered in a circle on the dance floor with Auld Lang Syne then a very long period of going round wishing everyone a Happy New Year. If the number of greetings is anything to go by we shall have a fabulous 2015. What a way we have come from last New Year’s Eve with Steve home along in agony with shingles and me in hospital in pain with gallstones! 2015 bring it on.



  1. Sounds like lots more changes on the way- but positive ones- Good Luck with Malta- be interested how it all goes! Happy and Healthy 2015!

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