Posted by: glenswatman | April 24, 2015

20150411-20 Trip down south

SATURDAY 11 APRIL – I’ve been feeling a bit “snorty” the last few nights and now we both appear to have the makings of proper colds. I dose us up in the hope of nipping it in the bud and cry off tonight’s outing.

SUNDAY 12 APRIL – We’re both a bit worse for wear and have run out of fresh lemons and getting low on honey so I may have to go out to stock up. After a rainy morning the weather picks up in the afternoon and I venture out as I’m feeling much better. Steve also benefits from some fresh food and soothing drinks.

MONDAY 13 APRIL – Under the new system you need to have a regular check up when on repeat prescriptions and this morning I have my appointment. The latest “craze” is to try and get people off long term HRT but I manage to talk the Doctor into leaving well alone until when we get back next year. Unfortunately part of the routine is to take blood pressure and mines a bit on the high side but will get checked again in 4 weeks when I have my celiac blood tests. Dr Allen will also check about whether we can have 6 months prescriptions for when we go away in the winter. I continue to Dereham and have a nice stroll and do a bit of shopping before returning to nurse my patient.

TUESDAY 14 APRIL – By 10am it is a lovely day so I give the car a really good clean and wax. We’ve been having problems with our new Bush Freesat recorder and get a call from the delivery man to say he is at the gate with the replacement. I drive up there but then can’t get out of the car. The button to unlock the doors whilst the car engine is running doesn’t work and even turning the engine off the doors don’t unlock. Luckily the button works to let me out. Back at the van I find I can’t get out again even using the button which is now stuck in one position. I have to get Steve to open the door with a key on the outside. The passenger is completely blocked but the boot opens and shuts. Steve sets about reading the manual and fiddling around but to no avail and reckons I have done something whilst washing the car. Whilst pondering this Janet & Richard join us for afternoon tea and to use up some of the many scones frozen after our coffee morning. Through our Churchill Insurance we have basic Green Flag cover and call them out. In the interim I get a call from the pharmacy at the surgery to say they cannot issue more than 3 months prescriptions but we could buy the extra medication on a private prescription and she will find the cost. I was anticipating this so in the meantime have been ordering our medications almost a week early to build up a bit of a stock! I have problems connecting the Freesat box and can only get one of the two satellite dish input cables to work but will leave it at that for now. Green Flag arrive and after an hour he says he thinks it is an electrical problem connected to the alarm system and needs specialist attention. Well they do say problems come in 3’s and we’ve had our share today. New neighbour Dominic arrives whilst Steve is pottering by the car and gets chatting to Steve. Turns out he knows quite a lot about cars and offers to take a look and after about half an hour considers it is a different problem that he is happy to have a go at tomorrow after work. Throughout the day Steve has been feeling a bit better so with luck we can still prevent his cold getting really bad. Backed up by research on a medical programme that I watched at the weekend we know that honey lemon is generally one of the best treatments.

WEDNESDAY 15 APRIL – Another nice day and we set out for a walk around the park and end up chatting to Chris & Lynn. Seems we have a lot in common as they would rather go out for a meal than to a pub for a drink, like going walking and Lynn has problems hearing when there is background noise as does Steve.

THURSDAY 16 APRIL – Dominic calls in after work and after taking a part to work has discounted that as the problem. After checking all the wiring and other things he concludes it either needs a Rover specialist auto electrician or alternatively the cheap quick fix is to disconnect all the electric central locking system and install a manual one but this would involve breaking into the passenger door and possibly causing damage. Either way nothing can be done until after our holidays as the local Rover dealer is booked ahead for over a week.

FRIDAY 17 APRIL – At the Big C centre I have my back massage first then leave Steve to have his whilst I drive to the college. Today I am trying Hopi ear candling, £15. You lie on one side and a hollow candle is placed in your ear and lit. There’s a tray to catch any drips and a towel over your head in case any ash blows down. You can hear a crackling noise and a slight warming sensation and for no apparent reason it feels very relaxing. Basically the candle creates a vacuum and this draws out any impurities and wax from your ear and up into the hollow tube which is blown out long before it reaches your ear! It should help with sinus problems, headaches and other things and is highly recommended before a flight. The treatment includes a pressure point massage of your fact which winds it up nicely. Steve’s had a good last session on the Hope cause with all but one of the people feeling much more positive and happier at the end of it. They have got along so well that they arrange to meet up again in June.

SATURDAY 18 APRIL – I do the first part of the drive and notice how much more difficult it is for Steve to shuffle over into the passenger seat. It takes about 3 hours to get to the Devere Hotel of Wokefield Park near Reading. We came last year and had one or two problems so have been invited back for 2 nights in the mansion house on B&B plus an evening meal. Our first room has no bath tub so we are moved to 216. Head off to use the gym and spa area only to find the spa has now been closed down. After a session in the gym we walk over to the new block to use the swimming pool only to find it closed. There’s a big Asian wedding taking place so suspect all resources are being put into that. It is wonderful to see the guests in their brightly coloured outfits and interesting to note the bride in a traditional Western style ivory wedding dress. Return to iron our clothes for tonight then run a bath. The iron is broken and there is no hot water. 2 hours later still no iron and the hot water cannot be repaired so we are a bit fed up. I speak to reception who apologise and put us in suite 206. It’s really nice but I am not sure we need the separate lounge. Have also been noticing that in the public areas the carpets all need vacuuming and spot cleaning and generally cleanliness is lacking. After running the bath I come to put the bath mat down and find it is covered in mould. Long story short they replace it and arrange for us to see the Manager when we go to dinner. The Brocas restaurant is lovely (but still has a dirty carpet) and Manager Kim offers us a bottle of wine and apologies. Given that neither of us really drinks and the wine is well over £20 a bottle we ask if we might have a meal tomorrow instead. She agrees to one person’s meal free with the other paying which is fine. Interesting to note that even Kim’s blazer is dirty and badly fitting. Hard to pinpoint what is going on but such a shame that a beautiful place like this is becoming so neglected. Fortunately the meal is terrific and we enjoy all 3 courses.

SUNDAY 19 APRIL – We tuck in to the full breakfast, again in a room with a dirty carpet. Enjoy a leisurely morning reading the papers then head over to use the swimming pool and sauna. Our evening meal is the buffet at the Steam & Bake Grill in the new block. Contrary to the bad reviews on Trip Advisor it is very nice indeed. So nice I ask the staff if I can take photos to do a Trip Advisor report to set the record straight. Yes I will complain if things are wrong but get far more pleasure from complimenting things that are good. When we come to pay we are told that is all paid for.

MONDAY 20 APRIL – What a change, all the carpets have been vacuumed, there are biscuits at the comfort station and everything is stocked up. Maybe it was the wedding that caused staff to be deployed elsewhere at the weekend. Fill up on our buffet breakfast then head off doing a slight detour to look at the National Trust property Petworth House. There are couple of gems, a carved hall with Van Dyck paintings on walls completely covered in carvings and a fantastic staircase area with murals everywhere. Interestingly the servants’ quarters lead you to a back entrance directly into the town. It is a pretty place to wander around for half an hour. Arrive at the Haven Church Farm holiday park at Pagham to be allocated 73 Lagoon Close. We’ve booked directly with the owner as we wanted 5 nights and Haven only do 4. At £100 it is a great price but terrible location by the entrance road, next to the Spar and with a walkway beside the caravan. Although a much newer and more expensive caravan it is not a patch on ours but will suffice. Taking the boardwalk over the lagoon we eventually reach the beach. Typical with much of the Sussex coast it is all pebbles and rather windswept. Behind it is a real mixture of houses – old shacks in various states of disrepair adjoining modern expensive homes. Steve’s a bit weary and battling his cold so we return to the caravan. Early evening I take a walk around the site which is absolutely huge and set out like a housing estate with lots of named roads. The caravans don’t have skirting or enclosed gardens so it doesn’t look as nice as Merryhill and most visitors are families with young children.


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