Monday 23 October 2017

Normal service.

The day for moving is almost here.  I shall have to dismantle my lap top and it all has to be moved to my new address.   I know there is no B T Point where I want my computer to be so I shall have to wait for them to instal one.   So folks it's goodbye for now.


Sunday 22 October 2017

Nearly there.

Today has been a day of doing a bit then sitting down and having a rest and then starting again.   For some reason I am very tired although I slept well - I suspect it is tension building because Tess and I are to leave our home - the home I have lived in with the farmer for the last twenty four years.

There are very few things left for me to do now but because the family are having one or two very large pieces of kitchen furniture and are collecting them on Tuesday, I have to empty the cupboards and find somewhere to put the 'stuff' until the removal men come.

Only four more nights to go before I leave now.   Tess is definitely beginning to sense that something is happening and as a result she is  
restless most of the time.   Outside it is very cold and windy but I think a short walk may calm us both down.

Saturday 21 October 2017

Lunch out.

Lovely lunch out at friend W's when her friends N,K and S came to stay.   Lunch is made up of S's favourite things so was - Roast ham, chips, new potatoes, cauli, petit pois, asparagus, sprouts - lots of mustards and sauces.   This was followed by one of her famous fruit salads of various berries, pomegranate seeds - a bright, jewel-like mix of fruits with ice cream and/or cream or if you preferred sticky toffee pudding (the original Cartmel variety) and then coffee.  By this time Storm Brian had sent us buckets full of heavy rain so we just sat and chatted until half past four when I came home.   Tess took one look outside and decided that she just didn't wish to go for a walk this evening thank you.   I shall now sit and read The Guardian and then do a few more packing jobs.   Tomorrow is another day.   Only 5 more nights sleeping here.

Friday 20 October 2017

Bit of a non eventful day

I didn't sleep well last night.   My mind was on the go all night long - I think I probably got about three hours sleep and finally got up for good at just after five o'clock this morning.  I went for my usual coffee with friends, came back, had jacket potatoes and fresh mango for lunch, sat in the chair and woke up feeling awful two hours later.
But a good long stroll down the Lane with Tess (and with Blackie the cat too unfortunately because he is such a pest weaving in and out of my legs)  and I came back feeling more like my usual self.   Five minutes now to the last of this week's Antiques Road Trip - so goodbye for today.

Thursday 19 October 2017

The only way

I have decided that the only way to get through these last few days until next Thursday and moving day is to catalogue a list of things which must be done each day and then do them - ticking each one off as I go.   Then, although the house is in chaos, at the end of each day i have a sense of satisfaction at a job done.   And so it was today as my taxi drew up to take me into town.

Nails done - tick; hair done - tick; a walk down the Market Square to the Post Office and Co-op - tick;  then snag number one as I drifted round picking up things I needed only to find that my bags were really too heavy.   I staggered down to the Electrical Shop and bought a new Tumble Drier (to be delivered when I move in) and then rang my taxi to collect me from there.

After lunch I made myself set up Direct Debits for all the Utility Services at my new property.   I didn't feel like doing it - when one is very deaf, as i am, speaking on the phone is not easy.   But everyone was most kind and helpful and before long I had them done in time to go down to see my Solicitor.   So a cup of coffee and a scone in a cafe in town then home again.

Now it is pouring with rain.   Tess will not go out although she has not been out since half past nine this morning.   Hatches are battened down and all's right with the world.   For today at any rate.


Wednesday 18 October 2017

The last dregs

I suppose, like the last straw, the last remnants of packing to move house are the worst.  Wednesday is an afternoon when a friend S often takes Tess for a long walk.   I dare not mention the name all morning because Tess goes mad in anticipation.  As she has done often over the past few weeks, S arrived just before two o'clock and took Tess on what she hoped would be a new route she has carefully marked out on her map.

I decided I would start at the far bedroom and make sure that everything in each room was intended to go to my new home.   All items I don't need will be put into the office and the door closed; that way nothing will go by mistake.

I worked my way through two bedrooms, a boxroom, a sitting room and a living room.  Now we are down to the hall where my computer lives (plus a plethora of things under the stairs!) and the large kitchen.   It all looks much more manageable now and I feel two things - satisfied with my afternoon's work and dog-tired.

So it is time to sit down with a cup of tea and read my book for a couple of hours.   It is not a particularly good book but it is relaxation and occupies the mind.

Tuesday 17 October 2017


We have been very lucky here with the storm - yes it has been windy but not too bad and now - four in the afternoon - it is really no more than breezy.

I have had my Aga professionally cleaned today and I have to say that this evening it looks like a new one.   They have made a smashing job of it and I am so pleased.   Tomorrow the engineer is coming to service it and switch it back on, then I shall be back to normal. 

This afternoon I have gone about packing some of my kitchen equipment - mixer, liquidiser etc. just into an open topped box so that the removal men can do what they will with it and in the meantime I can wash out the cupboard where it has been stored. 

As with all things like this it is the last few things which take the time.   Looking at my dustpan and brush and my long handled soft brush I have decided to say goodbye to them and buy new ones when I next go into town.   Sometimes it takes something like a house move to look objectively at something one has been using for ages and see that it is worn out!

Ukuleles tonight so I shall now go and have a leisurely tea and watch Antiques Road Trip.

Monday 16 October 2017

Michael Fish

I can't help feeling that I have done a bit of a "Michael Fish" yesterday.   (for US readers he was a weather forecaster thirty years ago when the great storm broke here and he predicted it wouldn't arrive).
Storm Ophelia is predicted to hit Northern Ireland later today and all schools are closed throughout both the North and the South of the Country.   As far as we are concerned here, the winds are predicted to be storm force - particularly in the  West of the country but even here in the East they may reach seventy miles an hour.  So we shall all be battening down the hatches.

The good news is that it should pass through quite quickly - but the last big storm (in 1987) did a huge amount of damage - the town of Sevenoaks 
in a very short time became 'Oneoak' as all but one of the famous oaks was uprooted by the strength of the wind. 

So - if I have done a Michael Fish then it is history repeating itself.   Let's all keep our fingers crossed and hope that this storm is not as severe as it might be.

Sunday 15 October 2017


Sundays have now become synonymous with eating out at the same restaurant where we are now seen as regulars,   The same goes for various other people so that we meet a lot of old friends there now which is rather nice.

The outlook from the bar across the golf course means looking at literally hundreds of deciduous trees and today they were at their autumnal best - all shades of oranges greens and yellows  literally glowing in the sunlight.   There is so much that is beautiful about Autumn isn't there?   I suppose this is true of every season although I find I have to search hard to find anything beautiful about Winter unless it is a Christmas card scene seen through the sitting room window and a blazing fire in the grate.

There is something to be said for living in a place where the climate is never too extreme.   On the whole we don't have forest fires, gales so severe that they bring down thousands of trees, heat waves , tornados, hurricanes, floods - well if we do then they become headline news because they are so unusual.   Looking at the TV coverage of the awful fires in California and the beautiful houses of the rich which have been burnt to the ground does make one realise that how lucky we are.   And the whole town of quite ordinary folk - all gone, consumed by the flames.

The hurricanes in the Caribbean area and all the homes destroyed.   I could go on -  I just feel lucky
that I live in good old boring UK.   But if they mention Brexit one more time I shall do something I may well live to regret.   (Haven't thought what yet - probably utter some of those words I never thought I would say!)

Saturday 14 October 2017


Is anyone out there having the lovely promised weather today?   It began raining here before I let Tess out for her final wee last evening and it is still raining now at four in the afternoon on Saturday; not pouring rain you understand, just that damp, all-enveloping wet stuff.

I am continuing with my packing.   Starting upstairs and working down I now feel that everywhere is in an easy state for the removal men.   The kitchen is certainly not but they will no doubt be used to dealing with kitchens. 

Flu jab morning.   We put off going last time our surgery had a flu jab morning as my friend was not well.   But this morning, both  fighting fit, we joined the queue which was moving rapidly as the centre staff have it worked out to perfection.
We were there for half past eight and well home again for nine having bought a Guardian on the way home.

Out to lunch again tomorrow, so the only question tonight is whether to watch 'Strictly' or not.  Getting a bit fed up with it this year - I think it has maybe gone on a bit too long.

Friday 13 October 2017

Friday again.

How quickly Friday comes around.   As I am sure you know by now, I love my Friday mornings because I meet friends and we have a good chat.   Eight of us this morning - E back from her travels here there and everywhere, the rest of us turning up as usual.

We have now been going to the same cafe for so long that the waitresses know exactly what our orders will be.   We sit there for about an hour and a half and then toddle off to wherever we are going next.   In the case of friend W and I it is out to lunch - a new place this week to try - The Bolton Arms in the pretty village of Redmire.

I am rather ashamed to say, in spite of having been stopped driving because of a couple of minor TIA's I opted for sausage, egg and chips - a combination I have not had for years.   It was delicious - I am weak and couldn't resist it.

Since coming home I have cleaned out two cupboards and packed the contents into boxes and labelled them  - each time I fill a box I feel a sense of satisfaction and a little bit nearer moving.   I wish a good fairy would wave a magic wand and allow me to awake in three weeks time when it is all over.

Thursday 12 October 2017

Lost my independence.

I don't think I realised until I had my Driving Licence suspended just what independence driving gave me and what a difference it makes.   Today I have struggled with teetering on the edge of a depression.

A simple day like an E C G at the doctor's surgery and then an hour later my hair appointment, became a bit of a mammoth arrangement.

A taxi collected me at half past nine for the Medical Centre.   I only had to wait a couple of minutes before I was called in.  (it always intrigues me that whenever I go the car park is crammed with vehicles and yet there is hardly anyone in the waiting room) and the E C G took no time at all.

I then had to get to the Hairdresser - maybe about half a mile and almost all uphill.  I walked - slowly - and really enjoyed it.   It was a pleasant morning.   I posted a couple of letters and had time to collect my winter coat from the dry cleaners.  I must have looked pretty exhausted from my walk because he made me sit on a chair while he got my coat and then insisted on carrying it round to the Hairdressers for me.   What a nice man.   

I was half an hour early so I sat and read The Times and then, dead on time, the taxi drew up outside to bring me home.

I cooked a fish pie with broccoli and carrots for my lunch, with strawberries to follow, sat in the chair and slept all afternoon! 

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!!

Autumn is well and truly with us now.   Maybe in towns and cities it is not quite so evident, but here in the countryside the signs are everywhere.

My tall Scots pines, the windbreak close to the prevailing wind side of the farmhouse, are dropping pine cones and pine needles by the thousand.   The pine needles often end up in the guttering of the house;  the pine needles blow up and down the drive, gradually being swept into piles until they are quite easy to gather up.

The cattle - milk cows, beef herds, suckler herds,
fill the fields, eating up the remaining grass now that silaging has finished.   It has been showery for the last few weeks and the grass has grown apace so there will be no need to start on the silage yet and it should last well over the winter, with no shortages. 

Walking down the Lane this morning with Tess I was struck by the dearth of hawthorn berries.  There was plenty of May blossom but now there are none of the swags of ripe berries for the winter birds.   But the rose hips are there, pushing out into the Lane and fully ripe.   I was tempted today to cut some to take with me to my new home - I love them so.   But then I decided that the birds need was greater than mine and I left them to give pleasure where they were.

The rooks go no further during the day than our fields - swooping across them in the strong west wind, landing in the ash trees and complaining to one another about the conditions for flying I suspect.   If you are close enough the noise they make is quite deafening.

There is a feeling that all Nature's creatures are making preparations for the coming of winter - laying in stocks of food, making snug places to spend their time, making the most of any sunny, warmish day.

Oil tanks are being filled, logs are being sawn and stacked (the farmer had a goodly quantity left from last year so the folk coming into the house will start with plenty), all the signs are there.

Now the forecast is for a warm week-end, so let's make the most of it.

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Guilty as chargedn

Yes, it was me - I admit it.   The reason yesterday's post was back to normal was that my son called in
and corrected things in a flash.   How did he do it? He went to my site, clicked on 'compose' and everything jumped into place;  I had accidentally clicked on HTML!   The trouble is that what I know about I can do alright on the computer - everything else is a foreign language.

Only a short post today because it has been a long day - lunching out (Caesar salad since you ask) and sorting out a lot of music.   Three walks for Tess and a bad night's sleep last night - so see you tomorrow.

Monday 9 October 2017


...whether I feel like it or not. Rachel says today she just doesn't feel like doing anything. I woke up feeling much the same but of course I had to get up; there is no lie-in when you've got a dog. I ate my solitary breakfast and watched my usual half hour of Breakfast Television (I turn it off after half an hour because it repeats itself). Then I had a sudden spurt of energy and sent out a rush of e mails and the result is that I have got a tentative moving date. 
Nothing is absolutely sure (is it ever?) but it is sure enough to book the removal firm. This fired me into a spurt of doing one or two jobs - packing all my shoes into one suitcase and all my summer T shirts into another. This has been done on the advice of the chap who came to look round regarding removals. Then I wrote one or two letters about moving and ticked them off my list and I must say that at the end of all this (and cooking a lunch) I did feel decidedly better. 
 Not being able to drive is very frustrating - I do appreciate that it is necessary but that doesn't make it any easier to bear. I live a couple of miles out of town and a mile from a bus stop so I rely largely on friends, although I have managed to book a taxi for the morning when I have to have an E C G and then later on a hairdressing appointment. But being in a state of limbo is not an easy thing to put up with, especially when one is used to being so independent. Patience is never a quality I have been particularly endowed with. I apologise for the lack of paragraphing. I have written the piece in paragraphs but blogger has decided to have a mind of its own and is refusing my size of print and my paragraphing. I shall be patient. 
**I now see that John's post on Kingfisher 'doesn't exist' according to blogger so at least I am not alone in my problems.
No posts at the moment as something has happened to my blogger page and I can't seem to get a sentence to stay on it and I cant control the size of the print so it is almost too small for me to see - so back soon (I hope!)

Saturday 7 October 2017


The weather is very chilly today; winter seems to have crept up on us and suddenly presented itself, demanding that we get out our heavy coats and scarves.   Maybe it is just me and old age.   Whatever the reason I was pleased to get in in the warm this evening.

Nothing like as nice a day as yesterday when our trip out to Kirby Lonsdale gave us such wonderful views, today has been cloudy and there is a sharp wind blowing. At least now that the sun is setting the sky is clearing and that should present a good view of the promised meteor shower for tonight.

Not being able to drive is proving such a handicap as I live so far from the main road.   Friend W is, as usual, being stalwart but there will still be some difficulties.   Thursday is a day when there are problems as I have to have an ECG quite early in the morning and then a hairdressing appointment later.   And the distance between the two venues is quite a long way for my arthritis too.   I am trying to arrange taxis but so far can't seem to raise a reply from the taxi company.   But I'm sure something will work out.

This morning was our local church coffee morning
and lunch was a delicious beef lasagne bought at the church hall and made by A - she always saves us two each.   Then this afternoon was ukulele practice - not so many of us today but we had a play together.   Now it is in, light tea after the lasagne and I shall now repair to the kitchen by the Aga to watch Strictly Come Dancing and try to do The Guardian crossword.   Enjoy your Saturday evening - and if you are in the UK I hope you manage to see the meteors.


Friday 6 October 2017

Two days out

There was no time to put a post on yesterday as I spent all day at our local hospital.   I have had a couple of T I A's and so was given a complete health check yesterday and am now wearing a twenty four hour heart monitor.   I feel fine and expect there is nothing to worry about but at this time of stress it is something I could have done without.   As usual very dear friends are rallying round.   So that was my day out yesterday.

Today's day out is much more pleasureable - yes, as many of you will have no doubt guessed by now - it is Kirby Lonsdale.   Over the Pennines go friend W and I on the most glorious Autumn morning (clear blue sky, bright sunshine now at 8.30am) to meet friends P and D in Avanti, our favourite Italian Restaurant in Kirby for a leisurely lunch.   We have, as usual, both decided what we are going to eat (we more or less know the menu off by heart by now) but may very well change our minds when we get there.

As my son and I were saying last evening - this has not been a brilliant year for us.   I suppose all families have years like this.   My beloved farmer died in March, my daughter in law, who is a semi invalid anyway, has had to have a new hip and is still recovering, my great nephew has some unidentified illness which has put him in hospital for months, many of them in Intensive Care - and he is still not in the clear yet by a long way.   In addition two more friends have died.   I suppose we all have years like this, when crises bunch together, but it doesn't really hit home until it happens to you.

The other outcome of the blip in my health (I feel fine by the way) is that for the time being I cannot drive.   As I live down a long lane a mile from town this is a nuisance.   Friend W ferries me everywhere (for which I can never thank her enough) but events like the hairdresser each week present a problem.   I shall go back to on line grocery shopping this week and this will solve the problem of food so at least I needn't worry about that.   I have been trying to keep my food shopping down to the minimum because we eat out a lot (!!) and I don't want to be carting food when I move houses.

Speaking of the move - it does look as though it is on the horizon and may well take place before the end of October.


Wednesday 4 October 2017

Several days rolled into one.

Today has seemed like a week of days all crammed into one day.    By tea time I was a complete nervous wreck and my shaking (Benign Essential Tremor) was so bad that I could hardly write.   My son came round between school and evening private music lessons in an effort to calm me down a bit, but really things are getting all too much for me now and I shall be relieved when the move is completed.  (Probably by the end of the month the solicitor says).

Over the past month I have had a couple of T I A's which the doctor feels should be investigated.   This morning I had to go for a series of blood tests - all went well.   Then back home for lunch and then to the hairdressers - all went well.  A friend, S, was calling while I was at the hairdressers to take Tess for a walk.   I am most grateful for her help and so is Tess of course.

I had another appointment, this time at what I thought was 4.40 to have an E C G.  At four o'clock the friend reminded me of the fact and when I looked at the calendar I had missed the appointment by an hour.   Ringing up and apologising was so embarrassing but the surgery were very good about it.

Then there was a message on my answer phone asking me to ring the hospital, which I did.   I was given an appointment to see the specialist in the morning.   I wrote it on my calendar but trying to read it back later I can't decipher the time.   When I tried to ring and ask, the desk was shut for the night.

I have now been sitting down for an hour, have had some tea, and am at last relaxing.   I really don't want many more days like today!

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Is there anything better?

Does anything beat a warm toasted tea cake with butter and a cafatiere of Italian Coffee on a cold windy wet morning?   Well I am sure both John and Tom can suggest something but we won't go down that road.

This evening has been our Ukulele Social Evening at our local Golf Club who put on a first class buffet for us at a very reasonable price.   It was a hot buffet with plenty of choices - lots of salads and garlic bread - veggie dishes - curries etc.  And three excellent puds.

We played for our friends and relations and some members played special numbers they had practised.   It was all light- hearted and great fun and a lovely evening was had by all.   I am now home again at ten-thirty and sitting up a bit later to give my meal time to digest.

Monday 2 October 2017

Physio .

It was my monthly visit to the Physiotherapist this morning.  I have arthritis in various joints and she just keeps me moving about.   Also, because it is now well over six months since I lost my beloved farmer and I still have not moved house, I really am beginning to feel the stress of it all.

Neighbours and friends are being absolutely wonderful - I am sure I could not have kept going without them.   But even so my shoulders have tensed up so much that they are now very painful. The Physio worked on these today - they hurt more now than they did before I went! but I know that in a day or two their condition will have improved.   There is no gain without pain.

Tess and I went for a walk on the way back but after only a hundred yards or so the wind was so strong that it almost blew me over.   I thought it best to get back in the car and come home.   I felt really mean but daren't risk it.   I then cooked myself a quick bacon, egg and tomato for lunch as it was ukulele practise this afternoon and as a treat I cooked Tess a slice of bacon (nice and crisp) - don't know whether she connected the two events but it made me feel less guilty.

The shooting in Las Vegas is so shocking - so many dead, so many injured, such a seemingly 'ordinary' man committing the crime it seems.   We will never understand these things - and I for one just can't understand the Gun Laws in a country where these things seem to happen with terrible regularity.

Then there is the collapse of Monarch Airlines and the many people it has affected.   The staff all out of work, the people on holiday abroad who have to get home (the C A A are flying all of them home at or near to their appointed end of holiday time) and then all the thousands who have booked a holiday with Monarch and now are left with no way of getting to their holiday place - and also the worry of whether or not they will get their money back.

The world suddenly seems a crazy place to me today.

Sunday 1 October 2017

Lovely Sunday

Today has been what has become a normal Sunday - four of us going out for Sunday lunch.   We have now gone to the Golf Club for so long that we know a lot of people and there are always folk to chat to.   Also today, after a bit of a misunderstanding over a Parking problem we made friends with another group of four people and had a good laugh with them.    When you live alone this chunk of almost four hours out of the middle of the day helps enormously.  (half an hour in the bar sipping our pre-lunch drink, an hour eating our lunch, then the rest of the time back in the bar with a tray of tea and coffee just chatting).
I always come straight in and take Tess for her walk so that is done for the day.

Today's lunch for me was a Vegetarian Lasagne with garlic bread and salad.   It was delicious and I shall attempt to make it myself.

The ' season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' (ha-ha - you know who you are) has really hit with a bang today.   It is damp and cool and the breeze is beginning to get to 'wind' force.   The leaves are falling from the beech trees in showers.

Friend W has just rung to tell me there is a programme on the poet Charles Causley on BBC4 tonight - Auden last night and Causley tonight - two of my favourites - what a treat.

Time for Tess's tea - goodnight and sleep well.