Saturday, July 26, 2008

Come fly with me ...

Is it only this village (at least I know it's not just Genie Towers, thankfully!), or is the current plague of houseflies national? I hate using flysprays, especially in the kitchen, and prefer judiciously placed (so that nobody gets their hair stuck) flypapers. Two years ago a single flypaper lasted a couple of months. Last year I didn't need to use one at all. This year they last two weeks tops. The last one I hung up had three flies stuck to it before I'd put away the kitchen chair I'd been standing (oh god, my vertigo!) to hang the damn thing. The bloody things are everywhere.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We're all going on a summer holiday

Anyway to continue, while Mother's house moving was going through, Ned and I managed to grab part of our previously booked holiday in Cornwall. The first time we went down there the weather was fantastic and we had the most marvellous time. Every year since then the weather has been ... 'unreliable' is probably the best description. Last year was the worst when we had to come back early because the rain and gales were getting worse and worse and threatening to destroy the tent. This year wasn't quite so bad, but the overall impression was one of grey dampness rather than summer sunshine. But it was at least good enough to visit some of our favourite places, like Port Isaac, which is the setting for the fictional Port Wenn in the TV series Doc Martin. It's very picturesque

with very narrow streets in the old part of the village. We'd meant to park at the handy car park at the top of the town and walk down, but we took a different route which led us down a worrying ("Please don't let there be anything coming the other way") lane right into the centre
so we ended up parking in the harbour. Our car is one of those down there on the shingle.

We couldn't do our usual long walks, a, because the weather wasn't conducive to admiring the views and b, because Beattie's arthritis would mean she'd be in a lot of pain. So we contented ourselves with shorter strolls on the beach.

As we'd never been to St Ives before (and the Chysauster Iron Age village was shut because of the lashing rain) we thought we'd have a browse around. A word of warning to others who think about going there - when you see a sign suggesting that vehicles don't go right into the heart of the town, take heed, or you'll find yourself testing your handbrake to the limit whilst simultaneously shortening the life of your clutch by several years!

It wasn't the best place to go strolling in the rain (with a very reluctant and resentful dog in tow!) but had a better selection of art galleries than some of the other places we've been. One very nice little shop even allowed Beattie in as I was admiring the work of Stewart Middlemas. One day I'll buy something of his.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Move it and a-groove it

Apologies for the recent lack of anything more than idle random thoughts - it's been a very strange and hectic few weeks, and I'm only slowly getting my mind back onto its usual course. So randomness will probably continue for some time to come!

As you know, my mother's been in the throes of moving house, which is traumatic at any time but when you're 85 (today! Happy birthday, Mum!) is even more unsettling. She and my dad bought the house
back in 1983, and was the first home they'd ever owned (due to being in the Forces we were always in rented quarters). Unfortunately Dad didn't live for many years afterwards and since his death in 1987 she lived there alone, apart from the dog she got a couple of years later. So she was very much settled there, and it's only because of her increasing frailty and the isolation of the house that she realised she would have to leave. The sale has been reasonably straightforward, but there are always hitches and snags (usually of a financial nature and never in Mother's favour), and trying to work out a timescale to suit everyone involved has been a challenge. My brothers have done sterling work - the one Oop North where Mother will be moving to has done all the paperwork, and the other one Down South has (with as much help from me as I could) done a lot of the practical stuff, such as organise removers and order skips for rubbish and getting things out of lofts and dismantling the disability aids and all the million and one things that crop up. But at last on Thursday the money was transferred and the keys handed over and that stage of the move is done. It's very odd to think I'll never be going back there again.

Here's another picture of the Boy beside 'my' mulberry tree which I grew from a seed. I hope the new owners leave it alone.
Of course her new bungalow (somewhat smaller! Hopefully she won't find it too cramped and will be able to get her wheely-zimmer around it without crashing into things!) is nowhere near ready for her to move into yet - it needs rewiring and a new bathroom that she'll be able to use and all that sort of thing done, so she's started her 'Royal Progress' (in the manner of Elizabeth I, travelling around her realm) and is currently staying with my Southern Brother before sometime (I hope after Cropredy and not before) moving in with us for a while, and then continuing Northwards. Slow stages to help her adjust have been decided on as being least stressful for her.

Which is why I'm trying to sort out all the rubbish we've got in the back room to make room to put a bed up for her. The amount of accumulated 'essentials' - many of which are going straight to the tip - is astonishing, so it's a valuable exercise anyway.

Friday, July 18, 2008

You must remember this

Often people ring up to cancel appointments for one reason or another; often they can't find the cat, sometimes they've realised they can't make it and want to reschedule, sometimes they just change their mind. Sometimes they forget and just don't turn up.

Today was the first time we had a client turn up for the appointment but had forgotten to bring the dog ...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Where did you get that tile?

It's bugging us - what sort of hat are these chaps wearing? We thought at first that they must be trilbys or homburgs, but they're neither. Any ideas?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Hold your hand out, you naughty boy

Oh, doesn't it add to one's general joie de vivre, when one's beloved child who works with a chainsaw for a living comes home with a bandaged hand saying "Mum, I've just spent the afternoon in Casualty".

It turns out to be a minor flesh wound, but my life expectancy is noticeably shortened.