Posted by: glenswatman | June 11, 2015

20150501-10 Visit to Yorkshire and St James and return from Aus locked in


MONDAY 1 JUNE 2015 – Chatting to Barry last night we spoke of travels and visa’s and it occurred to me that it might be an idea to get on with our Australia visa application.  We haven’t been back since we had an incident by accidently being illegal immigrants for 1 day on our last visit (Jan 2011) so want to be sure the records are clear about it and we can get back in.  It’s a relatively simple process on line and the 3 month Visitor subclass 651 is free.  Fingers crossed we soon hear back the application is successful.  With bad weather forecast tomorrow I make the most of today to finish staining the fence which in turn leads to touch ups round the caravan skirting.  Neighbour Richard offers me use of his pressure washer to do that back of the van where we can’t reach over the shed.  It works brilliantly and I can’t resist carrying on and doing the whole of the caravan.  I’m on a roll so do the outside lockers, car and patio as well which feels really satisfying.  Steve keeps offering to help but I sense he is a bit weary today – probably hospital syndrome knowing he has appointments at Leeds on Thursday.


TUESDAY 2 JUNE – The winds, and rain arrive and boy is it windy so happy to stay indoors all day.


WEDNESDAY 3 JUNE – We set off after lunch then realise we can’t pick up our prescriptions at Mattishall surgery as they are closed 1-2.  Continue on our journey with Steve taking over driving half way.  Arrive at Lisa’s 4 ½ hours later just before she gets home from work at 6pm.  She’s quite surprised as she thought we were arriving next Wednesday but recovers well and manages to put together something for us to eat.  Unfortunately Mick is away in Ireland so we won’t see him.


THURSDAY 4 JUNE – At St James hospital we first visit Dr Orme in Endocrine department.  He’s extremely friendly and chatting but does manage to deal with Steve’s bone problems in between talking.  He wants Steve to have blood tests and a spinal X-Ray today to check on the status of his spine as a benchmark.  Apparently Steve could actually have chips or breaks in the spine that he may even have had since birth but from this point onwards they will know if there is any deterioration due to his osteopenia.  He also wants him to have a bone density CT scan which will be in about 6 weeks time.  It’s only a few minutes wait for the X-ray and the same for bloods and we quickly move on to the haematology department to see Suzanne.  Again we have very little wait and she is really pleased to see how well Steve is recovering.  She doesn’t even want to do any tests but says if he gets another cold she would like a scan to see whether he has any permanent lunch damage from his past chemo and other treatments.  So overall a good result all round.  In Saltaire we call in to see Richard at work at Webster’s fish and chip shop.  He cooks me a delicious gluten free fish to have with chips and Steve has chips and curry sauce eaten whilst we chat.  Make a brief stop to quickly say Hello to Mum before arriving at Keith & Sandra’s.  It’s a glorious day so we sit out in the garden sipping a nice light Rose wine and enjoying the sun.  Sandra cooks us a lovely evening meal and we stay up late chatting.


FRIDAY 5 JUNE – We need at least one new tyre and Richard has suggested Stockbridge tyres where we get an amazing deal of 2 new ones at £30 each balanced and fitted.  Do a brief shop in town before spending the afternoon chatting to Keith & Sandra.  At 6pm we have a table at Shimla Spice (voted best curry house in England) and are joined by mutual friends Pam & Stuart.  We ask for suggestions and the fish Desi dish is recommended.  It is really nice but pretty hot for a medium curry.  Return to Sandra’s where Pam & Stuart have our heads spinning as they interrupt each other’s conversation!


SATURDAY 6 JUNE – After breakfast we head over to Claire’s.  The day passes quickly with people constantly coming and going.  In the evening Claire & Richard are out so I help Natasha and Azura making personalised pizzas which are a great success.  I’ve signed up to a website called Sea scanner to get alerts to price changes on a cruise we are interested in.  It’s the 33 night one on Holland America Rotterdam from Singapore to Southampton next March.  There’s just been a Euro 1000 price drop and it’s almost too good to be true at Euro 2698 (just under £2000).  They give me a 4 day option which will buy me time to compare, check out the company and confirm we can book with a German agent.  Richard has just bought a tent for when he goes to a festival with Matthew and the girls are keen to camp out in the garden overnight.  They “need” food for a midnight feast so I run them down to Tesco.  The International Space Station is due to pass overhead around 11.30pm so we all stay up to watch it move overhead – clear to see it is not a star by the speed but not clear what it is from the naked eye.  The girls take ages to settle down as although we are in Natasha’s bedroom on the 3rd floor we can still hear them giggling.  A few hours later we hear a bit of disturbance when Claire & Richard arrive home


SUNDAY 7 JUNE – We hear the story of Claire & Richard arriving back last night being locked out, getting a key from the girls and then Richard locking Claire out by mistake.  Head home after lunch arriving back late afternoon to hear that the weather has been fantastic the whole time we have been away – typical.


MONDAY 8 JUNE – It’s a lovely morning so I do loads of washing.  Steve has an afternoon dental appointment as one of his teeth has started crumbling.  Turns out he needs a crown but will get 2 for the price of 1 as the dentist says he has another one that has a massive filling and would benefit from being crowned.  I’m still not getting definitive info about Sea scanner but Holland America themselves reply to my question first saying that it is up to the company whether their terms allow us to book but also that their policy is to only book UK citizens and have payment in British Pounds.


TUESDAY 9 JUNE – Our day out starts at Roller Team motorhome dealer Roy Humphrey near Diss who unfortunately only has 2 on display.  Broads town Beccles is a lovely village for a browse.  Arriving in Lowestoft we have to curtail our promenade walk due to the strong cold winds.  Today and for the rest of the week we are in the coldest part of the country !  Wander through the town and out to the eastern most point in Britain.  Return via Simpsons motorhomes at Great Yarmouth.  They have loads on display and open for you to look around.  There are one or two that may suit if we compromise and have a British van with right hand drive and pay a hefty price.  Back home I check the Sea scanner site and see “our” cruise has gone up to Euro 3398 (£2498).  With our option of booking it at £500 less I take the bull by the horns and go ahead.  On a roll I also see there are only 4 seats left on the Scoot airways flight from Brisbane to Singapore at Aus $199 (to link up with the cruise) so get that booked as well.  Typically there are unforeseen extras and frustratingly we can’t book just one piece of check in luggage so have to pay for it for both of us but with a grand total price of Aus $500 (£260) for 2 x 7 hour flights it’s still a great deal.  We fly over 2 days before the cruise to give us time to enjoy a return to Singapore.


WEDNESDAY 10 JUNE – Steve’s goes to the surgery as his ear is still popping.  Doctor examines him and doesn’t think there is an infection just a blockage in the middle ear for which a nasal spray is prescribed.   Serena calls round and gives me a holiday haircut taking it shorter at the back then graded to the front.  We really enjoy the relaxation session at the Big C and book further sessions and some massages.  In the afternoon Ian calls round for a drink and chat and no sooner has he left than Ken comes in for a beer.  Taking a late walk around the park we call in and see Debbie & Andy who are really excited about their upcoming move to Spain having bought a lodge on a campsite near Mojacar.  It looks and sounds so nice we are almost envious.



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