Posted by: glenswatman | January 13, 2015

20150101-10 Exciting plans

THURSDAY 1 JANUARY – At noon we rendezvous with Will, Ian and Stella for a walk to the Swan pub at Ringland. Dave, Carrie and her Mum Joan have driven ahead. The pub has recently changed hands and the upmarket “wine bar” image seems rather bleak compared to the traditional pub it used to be. Alison and Ian also join us later on. After walking back we carry on our chat at Dave & Carrie’s new home in a Tingdene. Needless to say much of the conversation is about Merryhill becoming a textile park in February and how it will affect us all.

FRIDAY 2 JANUARY – Neighbours Dave & Denise call in for a drink. They also bought their caravan last year but as local people there is absolutely no point in them having it if they cannot be naturists. Their idea is to sell their caravan off site and just accept the loss, the alternative being to pay the monthly fees until they can sell it on site. I’ve got a busy day doing that last of the laundry and a double pack for our 10 day trip to Yorkshire and the Midlands then 6 weeks in Malta. Steve visits the surgery in the afternoon for his 27 month MMR injection.

SATURDAY 3 JANUARY – We’re all packed up and on the road by 10am. It’s a miserable rainy morning for our 4 hour journey to Yorkshire. At the point where we stop for me to drive we both laugh at how we look like a pair of old codgers with aching backs. Arrive at Claire’s new family home in Northowram. Although it is almost 2pm Daniel and Matt are still in bed and everyone else is out. Claire gives us the grand tour and the 5 bedroom detached house feels much more homely than their last one. Natasha returns from her shopping spree and shows us all her bargains. In the evening Daniel cooks a Mexican meal with nachos followed by fajitas and it is delicious. He thrashes me at a couple of games of Canasta before bedtime. I say bedtime as Claire & Richard are the first to head up and it is the early hours of the morning before the house falls silent from the teenagers activities.

SUNDAY 4 JANUARY – By gum it’s an overcoat colder up North. After breakfast we drive to Clifton to visit cousin Karen. Since we last saw them Karen has rented her house out, moved in with Milos (who has just retired) and in March will be moving out to Spain to be with Milos. They pick our brains in readiness for their lifestyle change. We thought the four of us were going out to lunch but unbeknown to us Karen has invited all her family over. First to arrive are her son James and his wife Emma quickly followed by daughter Sarah, partner Mike and Karen’s Mum, Auntie Pamela. It’s a lovely surprise as we haven’t seen everyone for ages. In fact they have all been invited for lunch at Milos’s house which gives us more time to chat. Everyone is amazed at how well Steve is doing. Lots has happened since we last saw everyone, Sarah is expecting a baby and Emma and James have got married. By mid afternoon Steve is flagging (he still finds it hard to cope with lots of people and noise) so we leave and drive to Keighley where we have booked into the studio where Mom and Dad live. We spend an hour or so with them then retire to our little haven upstairs.

MONDAY 5 JANUARY – I have a walk into Keighley and find that Nationwide offering us the best insurance possibilities by topping up with worldwide, 180 days and all countries at under £500 for the two of us. This inspires me to go ahead and get our cruise to Australia booked. I pit one or two companies against each other. Mark at Planet cruise secures the deal. Cruise & Maritime 41 night trip to New Zealand on the Astor down from £5839 starting price, offered at 2 for 1 and knocked down to £4946 for an ocean view cabin. This cruise ticks numerous boxes, it avoids Steve doing a long flight, we visit Caribbean Islands, cruise through the Panama Canal, go to 3 islands in Polynesia and are on a small 600 passenger ship. Just have to figure out the journey back at some point!

TUESDAY 6 JANUARY – It’s dull and drizzly, as it has been since we arrived in Keighley, but I’m keen to join the Stumblers for the walk. Meet Sandra and the rest of the group in the bus station to go over to Ilkley. The walk takes us up through Darwin Park and onto Ilkley Moor with splendid views. We’ve only done 4 miles when we get back so I opt to stay on in Ilkley and add another mile or so wandering around town. In the evening we head up to Sandra & Keiths for a lovely meal and a real good catch up.

WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY – I’ve already written to alert our Aussie friends of our return and immediately get responses and start with a plan to spend Christmas with Bev & Norm. I take a walk into town and can’t resist picking up 2 dresses and a flouncy skirt for the cruise – well who could when they were reduced and only cost £5.25 for the lot. Knowing we arrive in Auckland and then fly to Australia with a baggage allowance they are cheap enough for me to abandon en route. Richard and Jane have invited us round for an evening meal where we are joined by Margaret and Ray. Jane has found a Jamie Oliver FODMAP tagine menu which fits in with my diet and also their Moroccan theme as their recent holiday there. As usual Richard cooks up a storm and we have a really lovely time with much hilarity.

THURSDAY 8 JANUARY – Steve helps out by pushing Dad up to the surgery in his wheelchair. It isn’t far but the slope makes it too difficult for Mom t to do. It’s the usual drizzly day but I make a short walk around town for exercise mainly and also get a bit more than I bargained for with a trim. Using the walk in £4.99 cuts place all goes well until I mention that I would prefer the back cut in a little and end up with a wedge. Not convinced I like it but as they say a bad hair cut never lasts.

FRIDAY 9 JANUARY – Richard picks Steve up to take him to play snooker in Shipley. I go to Bingley to check out the charity shops for cruise dresses and pick up another nice one but splurge at £5! The heavy rain and wind cause me to abandon shopping so I pick up Steve we visit Lisa who is on night shifts and takes a while to wake up properly to chat. Haven’t seen her for quite some time so lots of family news to catch up on including the fact that Sian and Lewis are moving in to a rented house together.

SATURDAY 10 JANUARY – Drive down to the Midlands and head straight to Mums. She’s doing really well and on top form. It’s a pleasant day so rather than take her out for a meal tonight we opt for lunch. At the Four Alls Steve is very impressed by his bacon and brie French stick will a pile of curly chips. Mum tucks in to her dinner and we have a good chat. After dropping Mum home we visit Bobby and he helps with a few computer and phone problems. Olivia has grown a lot since we last saw and looks more like a little girl than a baby with her longer hair style. Spend a pleasant couple of hours with Netty & Ian before a brief return visit to Mum on our way to Newport. Final stop of the day is Paul & Elaine’s where we stay overnight.


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