16.11.18 – 12.12.18
As mentioned at the end of my last blog, the garden work has happened. It’s been a long time coming! I’d always planned to take out the dead conifer hedge in the front garden. (The property is enclosed by walls, mostly about 10′ high, although some are higher). The wall in the front garden, for some strange reason, had had a conifer hedge planted in front of it. I hate conifer hedges with a vengeance. This hedge, like so many conifers, had died and because of years of neglect; brambles had grown through it, tree saplings had set themselves and grown to well over 12′, the azaleas had toppled and grown horizontally and masses of ivy had grown up the wall. So – Operation Digger! It only took one day the dig out the roots and pull up the old shrubs. Also, (thankfully) the hole where a rotted tree root (felled many, many years ago), has been filled in and I no longer have to fall in it when tortoise hunting! Since Operation Digger, my gardening lady, Sue, has cleared 95% of the ivy off the walls and I can begin to see a blank canvass. I’ve not really any idea of what to do with it all yet, but I think priority will be a new path. Also in the front garden is an old, de-funct air heat pump. This also has to be removed, but it’s not going to be cheap as only a specialist can do the job – there are refrigerant chemicals in the works. Just another 500€ at some point in the future.
I’ve been back to the UK. It was Owen’s birthday and I needed to see my Dad. I spent a couple of days sorting out my Dad’s spare room which had become a dumping ground for redundant equipment and deliveries of essential supplies. There are things in there that are no longer used and should go back to the NHS but apparently it cheaper not to have them back because they need cleaning and sterilizing. No wonder the NHS is losing money. I’m sure there’s a niche in the market there for someone to develop a business. What a waste. I also updated his clothes, bedding, PJ’s towels etc etc. He seemed as well as could be expected, but it’s hard seeing him weaker and so tired.
I managed to catch up with one or two people; a good excuse for coffee and a meal out!
Louise managed a day off work on December 7th (Owen’s birthday) and he drove up to Grantham to celebrate his day. Because of train times and journey times we were slightly limited as to what we could do, but nevertheless it was a lovely day. Another nice meal out in the evening.
Travel was a bit overshadowed by the gilet-jeune protesters. I added extra time into my journey, knowing some people had been stuck in blockades near the airport. I wasn’t affected, but it was early morning for the outbound flight and the protesters were around but the roads were open Similarly on the way back, as soon as we landed someone said the A20 was disrupted, so I diverted through Limoges and avoided the problem.
I’ve bought a new phone. Dual SIM. Haven’t got it set up yet, as the new SIM issue is taking a little sorting out. And actually, even when I have them, I won’t have a clue how to do the set up. It’s probably going to be a long and painful Skype! Hopefully I will keep my old number. Current phone is on it’s way out (actually, it’s been on it’s way out for some time now).
In an attempt to reduce heat loss through my single glazed kitchen doors, I’m making a blind. I’m not at the end stage yet. The difficulty is going to be fixing a batten to the ceiling/walls (granite). Not at that stage yet – I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. My little helper has been sticking her paws in…….
Christmas plans have changed. I was hoping Louise and Owen would be here together, but travel costs are too high. So I’m not feeling very festive – don’t think I’ll bother with decorations this year. Feeling a bit Bah humbug.