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Showing posts from November, 2016

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all.  Another sub-zero start to the day, fortunately, I remembered yesterday to bring in my kafir lime plant which is very definitely not frost hardy.  It has spent the summer on the patio soaking up the sun.  I did a fairly major shop yesterday and was surprised how quiet Tesco was I guess it is the calm before the storm.  It was boring shopping you know stuff like toilet paper, bleach, washing up liquid really interesting stuff but anyway it is done so we should be well stocked through to the new year.
Today is bin day so my suite should get picked up and disposed of.  Elaine is stopping by for coffee with my surrogate grandson Benji the poodle pup.  Shiona is coming over later and I hope she is going to walk me through the last of the forms then that too will be done.  Even better news Gary came around yesterday and had a measure up to convert the garage into a utility room which he thinks will be an easy enough job all I need now is next doors permission to drop a gr…

Tuesday morning

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Good morning all, now you all know what a clothes horse I am, look what Diane has bought herself.

How could I resist
Very chilly this morning the first frost has coated the car and the suite which is on the drive but the garden is clear and the thermometer is reading below zero.  The house looks naked without the suite but I am glad to see the back of it.  Actually, the house has been cluttered for so long perhaps it just looks tidier.  The carpet is being done tomorrow afternoon and the sofa arrives on Thursday so everything has gone according to plan.  Of course what I had forgotten is that the wonderful Denny is due today she has gone back to coming on Tuesday instead of Wednesday but fortunately I was up to let her in.
I got a chicken out of the freezer last night and thought I would roast it for lunch today but actually James is going out so I don't know if I had better put it off until tomorrow when Shiona is here.  I am looking forward to the broth from the carcass which I …

Monday morning

Sorry sorry to be so late I was up early then decided to try for more sleep and succeeded. Except all that happened was I had a mega nightmare.  Anyway, I am happy to be awake but have the mother and father of headaches. The blackout curtain certainly works as my room is very dark despite the bright sunshine.

Some good news is that the sofa is being delivered the day after the carpet is cleaned so that has gone according to plan. I am hoping it will not be too much hassle to get assembled. A sofa should be easy unlike things with multiple draws. James is the acknowledged expert when it comes to furniture as he spent some time working  for Kumfort who make up market office furniture before he joined the police.
I had great plans for today but I'm no longer in the mood.  I find my moods are still a bit labile but I am sure it will all pass with time. If there is one thing I have learned it is that everything passes with time. I just hope it doesn't take too long for my mojo to …

Sunday Morning

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Good morning all I had quite a nasty surprise yesterday.  I was scanning the local paper when I came upon an article about the stables where I used to ride in the dim and distant past.  There was an elderly man named Trevor who lived in a caravan on site and kept an eye on the yard to my horror he has been murdered by a seventeen-year-old youth.  Trevor always struck me as not having a penny to his name so I cannot imagine robbery was the issue.  I always passed the time of day with him and he seemed an affable sort of guy.  What is the world coming to?
That aside it was a pretty normal sort of a day.  I had all but finished 'a life of happiness and fulfilment' when my life went belly up so I got stuck back into doing a couple more chapters and today should see me finish that course and then I will be on the hunt for a new one. Because I don't want the certificate it is all for free which is really amazing.  I can't decide at the moment which course to choose there is…

Saturday morning

Good morning all yesterday was a bit crazy I pottered about in the morning making some more braised cabbage and also some chicken and rice for lunch.  I made a start in my room by stripping and changing the bed and getting that lot into the washing machine.  I phoned the builder and have got him coming one day next week to see if my plans might work.  There has been a hiccup with the three piece suite in that James knows of someone who has just undergone a batch of chemotherapy and is being moved into a ground floor flat but she has no furniture.  I would much rather see the suite go to a good home rather than landfill.  It does, however, muck up my dates but I am sure we can get around that.    Anyway, after lunch I thought I would put my feet up and watch a bit of TV, however, the next thing I knew was it was 22:45 there was a stone cold mug of tea by my bedside.  I had been sparko for the whole afternoon and evening.  The only thing I can say is I must have needed it and the off b…

Friday morning

Good morning all I had a bit of down day yesterday as I was feeling a bit under the weather I did a lot of sleeping and I must say I feel better for it this morning.  I must admit it is nice to be so self-indulgent for a change.  The boys concocted a wonderful supper but halving some mini peppers  and stuffing them with chorizo and cheese before flashing under the grill.
Shiona rang to say she was back from Scotland in one piece and while it was cold it was the east side that took the brunt of the weather.  She is going to come over on Wednesday next week which is sofa out and carpet shampoo day and now it will be form filling day also.  Nothing like getting it all done in one day.  
Henry and Angela are back from Spain and what do you think they brought me - yes, a box of good quality saffron which will be saved for a risotto Milanese where it can show off its lovely flavour.
Sandie also rang and she is short of a set of cutlery for the hoards at Christmas so I suggested she might l…

Thursday morning

Good morning all.  A nice productive day yesterday I have organised the council to come and collect the sofa which should happen next Wednesday morning then in the afternoon I have the carpet shampoo people coming then it will be just a case of waiting for the new sofa bed to arrive delivery was 4 - 10 days so it could be anytime. I got some of the paperwork done and reimbursed Mikes pension the overpayment of £1300 ouch!!! I also converted my current account to one with cashback on bills.  Denzil had a look at the finances and checked through our outgoings and hopefully we should be able to manage with my pension.  We have spent a lot making the house cheap to run and now it is paying off.
I made a cauliflower cheese for lunch and for supper we had some chicken breasts wrapped in bacon with some braised cabbage.  Today I thought I might make a curry, something we haven't had for some time.
Now I don't have to tell you how crazy I am but after a discussion with the boys we ha…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all, everything has changed on the site so it has taken me a while to find out how it is now functioning.  Personally, I don't think it is an improvement.  Yesterday morning I successfully managed to freeze myself to the marrow fiddling on the computer and in the end there was nothing for it but a hot bath to rewarm myself.  All is quiet in the garden this morning no thrashing rain or gales it just looks a bit sorry for itself.  I took the plunge yesterday and ordered the sofa bed which now forces me to get on and ditch the current suite and get the room sorted out.  
I went ahead and made chips to go with our steak lunch.  It is ages since I made actual chips not wedges in the oven.  I had forgotten how long they actually take to brown.  I did the first  cook in water then left them to steam and dry off before dunking them in hot oil.  They were delicious as I made them rather chunky and were just right to go with steak, egg and wild mushrooms.  Today's menu is …

Tuesday morning

Good morning all it is raining cats and dogs here and blowing a gale not a very pleasant start to the day.  Yesterday was a fairly quiet day for some unknown reason I felt very tired and sleepy.  We did get a visit from Benji the new puppy in the spirit of socialisation Elaine brought him around while she had a coffee with us the dogs introduced themselves.  Tubby was a bit boisterous and Dan was scared but they soon settled down.  I made a start on the forms but lost the will to live after I had written my name, address, telephone number, hat size and inside leg measurement a dozen times. At least they are questions I can answer but there are plenty that don't make any real sense to me. I think I might wait for Shiona's assistance as she speaks legalese and I don't.  However, I am not sure when she is due back from Scotland.  In the meantime, I will get on with sorting out the sitting room.  I need to get the boys to throw out the three piece suite and book the council t…

Monday morning

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Good morning all.  Well, yesterday was Christmas day for me.  What on earth is she talking about you ask yourselves?  I got a text message asking if I would be a willing accomplice in a secret mission. Well, that was an offer I couldn't resist so Elaine came and fetched me as I would be needed to carry the precious cargo which we were picking up from Epsom in Surrey.  Are you intrigued? Ok, I will tell you what we were picking up a most beautiful 12-week old standard poodle a Christmas present for the boy who never thought he could have a dog because of allergies.

Isn't that what you want to see on Christmas morning a child in extasy with his new puppy.


This is Benjamin I guess it will be Ben for short.  It was interesting choosing a puppy actually the choice was not ours the puppy chose us.  He snoozed happily in my arms on the way home he is a total sweetie and came fully vaccinated chipped and with all his paperwork not to mention some food to tide him over until the family…

Sunday morning

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Good morning all another good day yesterday I got a few niggling jobs done like the bannisters which were filthy,  it took me over an hour to wash them down. Lunch was good the mussels and fish were lovely.


Well that is the omega 3 for this week
I slept like a log last night as I think most of the upset has settled and my sister has been in contact.  She was forced to leave her property and wait for rescue as you can see from the picture the cracks are pretty terrifying.
However, you can see from the view why it is such a lovely place to live


Last night was pretty gusty and it poured with rain which has brought down much of the autumn colour.
Denzil  has taken some leave so he is at home today.  I put my three piece suite on a free site but no takers so it will have to go out for the bin men.  I have spotted the sofa bed that I think might be just right in Ikea.  Which will mean a bit of home building but at least we should be able to get it into the room without having to have the wi…

Saturday morning

Good morning all what a lovely day I had yesterday.  Denzil was a day off so he got stuck into the laundry while I did the Aldi run and James ran the hoover over the house.  The three of us work well together and the jobs all got done.  I made a venison pie rather along the lines of a cottage pie; I guess it should be called a hunter's pie. Then the fish monger delivered some stunning mussels which we had for supper but there were so many that I have a portion on the half shell which I will gratinate as a starter for lunch today.  Followed by some wonderful mackerel, a fish I really like.  I have two cabbages which need dealing with so I am going to make some braised cabbage with loads of pancetta.  As yet I don't know what I will be serving with it but it can go in the freezer until it is needed.
I have abandoned the paperwork for the weekend and I will start again on Monday as everyone else is working office hours only, so will I.  Apparently I owe Mike pension company £1,0…

Friday morning

Good morning all well it is 5 degrees and getting colder is it worth a flutter on a white Christmas.  I have very rarely put a bet on anything and wouldn't know how, so mine would have to be a hypothetical flutter.
Foolishly I was hoping to have got the lion's share of the paperwork done this week but so much is reliant on others doing their bit and everything takes so long via snail mail, that the pile is still there.  The boys and I had a bit of a discussion as to what we want to do for Christmas and the consensus is that we batten down the hatches and have a mid-winter feast.  We will still be without a sitting room so that does kind of cramps your style.  My friend Mary, who lost her husband around this time some years ago asked to spend Christmas with us as she couldn't face all the fuss.  I was happy to offer her the mid-winter feast experience.  I must admit I love to go for a walk with the dogs on boxing day and notice all the people who are out walking off the Ch…

Thursday morning

Good morning all, what a strange day it was yesterday.  Poor Denny was full of cold so I told her to go back to bed.  I started to fill out some of the forms but as yet I don't have all the information I need.  I contacted the land registry who are going to send me another pile of forms.  So I gave up and form filling  came to abrupt halt. 
I went and played in the kitchen chopping and frying off ingredients.  Relaxing with the music playing. Then I suddenly realised I was not responsible for anyone but myself. This a very strange sensation. I haven't been clear to do as I pleased for donkey's years. It didn't matter what the time was I could just potter.  This is going to take some getting used to. The bed was out for the dustmen by 7 am as requested but it was not taken until lunch time.  James served himself a bowl of ratatouille with a couple of doorsteps of crusty bread.  Denzil had eaten at work and I wasn't in the mood but I did have a snooze and felt a bit…

Wednesday Morning

Good morning all.  A bit later this morning I was awake at 4 when next doors dogs had a barking session.  I would have liked to go back to sleep but nothing doing.  Denzil left for work at 5.30 so I stayed out of the way and came down once he had gone.  It is raining this morning so it was just as well that I cleared up the garden yesterday while the weather was fine.  The bed is on the drive ready for the council dustmen and the three piece suite is photographed and put up on freecycle.  Now all I have to hope is that someone with a van would like to have it. If that fails then it will go out for the bin men.  Once I have dealt with that I can then start to think how I would like to sort out the room.  
I got as far as printing off the correct forms for probate after I had a chat with a very helpful young man at the probate office who agreed it would be better to fill them in even though it is not necessary.  However, before I got stuck in I got a call from my friends Len and Margar…

Tuesday Morning

Good morning all - well it is just morning 3am and I am wide awake as you can imagine my sleep patterns, which were never very good, have slightly gone to hell.  However, it is not a problem as I can sleep whenever I want to.  I had my alarm set for every 2 hours through the night but that has been switched off though not apparently in my head.
James had a rough day yesterday all that has happened has stirred up emotions for him too, Denzil's buddhist leanings means he is better able to let things roll over him. I envy him his ability to roll with the punches.  
I had a lovely breakfast with Sandie and restrained myself when it came to shopping the only vegetable I bought was a nice aubergine and a £1 bag of tomatoes.  Now I will be set with all the ingredients to make a ratatouille.  I couldn't resist some veal chops and also some lovely venison mince.  None of us felt like our sunday lunch so the roast lamb will become a shepherds pie today and go in the freezer until we ar…

Monday morning

Good morning all what a glorious day I had yesterday I pottered merrily in the kitchen with music on for the first time in years.  Then I watched "walnuts last walk" and cried my eyes out. At last, I could grieve for all my losses over the past few years none of which have been properly dealt with as there was always someone else who needed support. Both my parents had been ill but were recovering my mother from a benign brain tumour which had left her with a Bell's palsy and my father from bladder cancer the treatment for which had been intense DXT and extremely debilitating. Mike went to pieces when the police came to the house to break the news that my parents had died and the boys were devastated grandparents are important, and I was up to my armpits dealing with the press, identifying bodies and making arrangements then the inquest.  My sister son had only recently died and then my uncle shot himself within the month so I bought his girlfriend a ticket from Italy a…

Sunday morning

Good morning all what a wet miserable day it was yesterday I ended up doing my impression of the three-toed sloth.  I have put the paperwork to one side for the weekend.  Interestingly the undertakers have sent me a booklet of what to do next  and what to expect much of which is based on the famous Kubler - Ross work on grief.  When I re-read the work I realised that I started the grieving process quite some time ago, the man I married was long gone. However, my comment about my sisters in law has lanced the family boil.  People will put in writing what they are not prepared to say to your face. Better shredded than hung on to. I must admit to being guilty of pressing send instead of delete, oops!!! there is something about putting things in writing, it some how makes thoughts concrete.
Today I have a leg of lamb out of the freezer so I thought I would go for the full roast dinner as we have been doing a lot of grazing.  Denzil will be at work until late but he is always happy for a …

Saturday morning

Good morning all, what a day I had yesterday.  I started filling in forms online only to discover after an hour of n/a questions it then required a signature, fine, no problem print them off, oh dear, printer dead despite new inks. Off I go to Staples to query this and to cut a long story short I came home with a laser jet which was in the sale.  Set it all up, everything, fine until both the computer and printer complained of no toner. Back to staples after trying every possible option. Toner cartridge defective swapped for a new one. Back home and finally success. By which time I was so fed up I gave up and sat down and enjoyed my macaroni cheese which I had been making with the other hand.
Today I really must ring the council and get them to remove mattress.
How lucky am I, the dog trainer rang to say he is about to have knee surgery so he is looking at starting in January which suits me down to the ground. All the dust should have settled by then and with any luck, we may be maki…

Friday morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday I tackled the bank who were very helpful.  The minute the manager saw me standing with a death certificate in hand I was ushered into a private little office.  I explained that my printer had also died so they printed off six months of bank statements including all the standing orders and direct debits, so I could sit and study them at my leisure.  However, the one question that they couldn't answer was where did Mikes pension come from? It has taken my two days of googling and phoning from companies house to the pension tracker, not a soul knew a thing.  Then in desperation, I rang a very old friend of Mikes who we haven't seen in 20 years as luck would have it not only was he at the same address but was still alive and drawing his pension so at last, he gave me the details I needed.  Today, I have to post off to them my birth certificate [original] marriage certificate [original] the death certificate [original] and my national insurance number …

Thursday morning

Good morning all it is 3.30 am but I am wide awake my sleep patterns have gone completely to hell but I don't feel tired so I thought I might just as well get up.
So, what do we think of what happened in America? Any bets on how long before he meets with an unfortunate accident or is caught on video doing something to get himself impeached. They seem to like long drawn out elections so perhaps they need to start now ready for the next one!!!! I had all but lost the will to live with this one which seems to have gone on for years.
I got the solicitor out of the way and did a big shop yesterday so we are now fully stocked again and can get back to proper meals rather than grazing in the fridge. Today I am off to the bank to sort that out, not that there is much to be done but so many people need to be notified.  I have a big box of paperwork to wade through.  I also need to change my will as circumstances are now different.  The difficult bit is who to leave things to should the bo…

Wenesday morning

Good morning all, today is the first day of a new and different life.  Now I need to take my time to readjust and not go at it like a bull at a gate.  I have an appointment at the solicitors at 10am to pick up the will and then I can start making tracks with some of the paperwork.  Having just spent a fortune on some new inks my printer has now gone on strike.
Yesterday went according to plan and from my perspective the ceremony went very well however it was quite clear that Mikes family were not so pleased and pointedly avoided the boys.  I have three sisters in law and not one of them ever picked up the phone to see how we were.  By contrast, Elaine rang me every single day since Mike died just to check on me.  Henry and Angela drove up from Bristol to be with me for which I am deeply grateful it is a hell of a journey.  The locals who came back for bacon butties and coffee not to mention the odd bottle of red were a delight.  I was banished from the kitchen and Shiona manned the s…

Think of us

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8ZScAdV8qE

Poem –  One at Rest –
Think of me as one at rest, for me, you should not weep, I have no pain, no troubled thoughts, for I am just asleep. The living, thinking me that was, is now forever still. And life goes on without me, as time forever will.
If your heart is heavy now because I’ve gone away, Dwell not long upon it friend, for none of us can stay. To those of you who liked me, I sincerely thank you all, And those of you who loved me, I thank you most of all.
The answer to life’s riddle in life I never knew But I go with hope that now I will, and even so will you. Oh foolish, foolish me that was, I who was once so small, To have wondered, even worried, at the mystery of it all.
And in my fleeting lifespan as time went rushing by, I found some time to hesitate, to laugh, to love, to cry. Matters it now if time began, or if time will ever cease.
I was here, I used it all – and now I am at peace.

Monday Morning

Good morning all as expected my sleep patterns are all to hell but I am managing to get some rest so I am fine.  I am however revving up for tomorrow. I will be so relieved once it is all over so in many ways an early appointment at the crematorium suits me fine as I would only be pacing the floor if it were later in the day. I am terrible at waiting and go into caged tiger mode.
Yesterday passed peacefully James insisted I had both lunch and supper.  I wasn't really hungry so he made me a piece of toast with a big pile of scrambled eggs, baveuse just as like them.  He is really getting quite good in the kitchen.  Apparently, he is going to do the bacon butties while I chat with friends.  Anyway, he will no doubt be supervised by my chef friend who is coming.  I am only expecting a select few who live locally as I am sure everyone else will be eager to get home. Especially the brothers who have a lunch to attend and will need to make a hasty getaway.

I have tried to make the fron…

Sunday morning

Good morning all, Now what did I do yesterday extremely little, a bit of ironing, a bit of washing up a bit of cooking and lots of sleeping.  Over the last few days, I have completely lost my appetite and forgotten to eat until the evening.  I have now moved into delegation mode and organised the boys to sort out what seating we have.  The thought of bacon/sausage butties and teas and coffees is my next job.  One great thing is that if we cook to order then there will be little waste and bacon sausages and bread never go to waste.
I have discovered a new freedom I can just leave the house and not worry what I will find when I get back which is a strange and new sensation.  I have delegated the boys to household finance so they are going to make up a spreadsheet so we can see just how things are going.  Obviously, the financial situation is going to change so we will need to keep a close eye on outgoings. I think I have enough put by to redo the front room and get the flooring changed…

Saturday morning

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Good morning all - today might be bonfire night to you but to me, it is my wedding anniversary how's that for timing.  I took myself off at the crack of dawn yesterday to M&S and found a member of staff to help me, I needed a black skirt.  Two lovely ladies helped me and as I have no idea what size I am these days I grabbed an 18 wraparound A line and a pencil size 16 which I thought would just be a joke.  To my surprise, the 16 fitted like a glove and comes to about mid knee the ladies assured me that I didn't look like a tart and it was suitable for purpose and commensurate with my advanced years.
So that done I had to buy some black tights and decided to be clever and get two pairs as I know if I only have one I will stick my fingers through them.  So belt and braces.  I then dashed off to have my nails done, again a bit of discussion, I like bright dark red but it is a bit garish for a funeral so I have gone for a nude colour.  I think my hands could do with an iron!!…

Friday Morning

Good morning all.  Yesterday went well and I got a few more things done.  The celebrant lady advised me not to print my own order of service but email it to Staples, which I did and what a brilliant service. I had 25 copies which included a colour photo on double sided A4. They were ready for collection in half an hour and cost me £26 which I think is very reasonable.  Particularly as I bought a new set of inks at the same time and they cost me £60 so it makes economic sense too.  If ever you have to produce a flyer or some such I would strongly recommend Staples.  The solicitor finally got in contact with me apparently their answer machine was on the blink so they only got my last rather curt message.  I have organised to pick up the will the day after the funeral so I can then start filling in all the forms for probate etc.  I know I seem to be rushing but there is a hell of a lot to do and not that much time to get it done.  I also want to get this all behind me so I can start the…

Thursday Morning

Good morning all, I am pleased to be finally awake I was really tired last night after a busy day but having gone through Mikes life with the celebrant my mind was in a total whirl and sleep was impossible until the wee small hours. 
Shiona, Elaine, Denny and I tackled the front room and in what seem like a moment we had the bed dismantled and the matteress is now in the front garden awaiting collection by the council.  Clothing has gone to the charity shop and rubbish dumped at the tip. I didn't do any of the running around I just made sure the shepherd's pie was in the oven.  Shiona, with her barristers hat on, scrutinised the paperwork and filed it all neatly for me. Elaine took all the drugs back to the chemist and posted off a couple of forms.  The British heart foundation is going to collect the three piece suite on Friday but I am not going to phone the council just yet in case they turn down the suite [fire labels etc] in which case I will have to get the council to t…

Wednesday morning

Good morning all well yesterday was a better day I finally managed to get the death registered which can you believe took ages because their computers were down and they had to do everything manually.  Good job I left plenty of time between that and the appointment with the undertakers. Everything is now arranged for Tuesday next week the crematorium was booked solid so time slots were at a premium.  Anyway, all done and dusted so now it is just the mountain of paperwork to sort through, but that can wait.  Sandie dropped by and being a real gem she brought me a fish pie made that morning so I can either eat it or freeze it.  
Today I have hoards coming, Denny is due and Shiona and Elaine are coming to help me clear out the front room. There will be loads to take to the tip and to charity shops and I think I may have found a charity who will take the furniture. The humanist lady is due at 3pm to discuss the service.  I got some lamb mince out of the freezer so my first job is to make…

Tuesday morning

Good morning all, well we have movement, at last, we finally got a death certificate at 3pm but the registrar closes at 4 so I have booked an appointment for 10.30 this morning by which time I should also have the cremation certificate, or what is known in the trade as the 'ash cash' as doctors get a nice little reward for signing.  Hopefully, all will go smoothly as I have booked the undertakers for 12 midday and we can finally get the ball rolling.  I tried in vain to get hold of our solicitor yesterday as I only have copies of the will and next thing is probate which can take some time so I would like to get that started.  I am the sole executrix of the will so at least I can get all the paperwork done and posted off.  I think that is the first time I have ever written the word executrix it doesn't crop up often in conversation!
I have been astonished at the people who have phoned me to offer condolences including my ex-gardener and cleaning lady and a 90-year-old Amer…