Happy Birthday To Me.

 Sixty years ago.  The hairstyle is still the same.

We had to get up early this morning as P has arranged to meet a friend for an early run over the hills. 

There were two birthday cards on the kitchen table, one from my sister and one from P.  His was a "sort of" funny one about a husband standing at a bar with a mate joking about his wife buying clothes.  I had quite hoped that there may have been a birthday present, but no such luck.

It doesn't feel like a special kind of day at all.

I must stop feeling sorry for myself.

We have six friends coming over for supper this evening so that will cheer me up.

This will be me later on in the kitchen, preparing supper...

So That Was Christmas

Christmas Day was very quiet with just the two of us.

We had smoked salmon with scrambled egg on toast for breakfast then, after a suitable pause, P went out for a 6 mile run. After his return and a shower we had morning coffee. and opened our presents - one each.  P said that he had no idea what to buy me so had gone into Peel at the last minute and bought me a pair of "granny" slippers in the little shop on the corner.  Unfortunately he didn't know the correct size so they are too small. I shall have to exchange them after Christmas.

I cooked a Christmas dinner for two - roast chicken instead of turkey,  with home made pork and chestnut stuffing, pigs in blankets, yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, honey roast parsnips and carrots and sprouts (which P detests so I had them all to myself).

I felt in need of some exercise after all that so after loading the dishwasher we went for a short stroll along the lane. It was very cold with a biting wind but lovely nonetheless.

When we got back, we had our dessert. As neither of us eat Christmas pudding, we had a Belgian chocolate, melt in the middle chocolate sponge pudding. Oh God, how I wish I hadn't eaten that. I still feel full now.

It will be another quiet day for us on Boxing Day but we shall be going to our friends' house for supper in the evening.  Unfortunately, there is a storm forecast for tomorrow so I expect it will be quite a wild drive there and back.

Hope everyone had a wonderful day.  

Oh Bother

Last night we had a message from the couple who were buying our house.  It seems that the banks will not offer a mortgage on it as it is of non- standard construction. Although the survey report shows that it is in good condition, well maintained with no visible defects, the fact that it is a 1920s timber framed concrete construction means that it is apparently unmortgageable. 

We shall have to speak to the agents when they reopen after Christmas to see if they think we may be able to sell at a lower price to a cash buyer who could get planning permission to demolish it and build a new house in its place.

In the meantime, we shall need to find a loan to go ahead with the cottage we are buying, and just hope our sale doesn't drag on too long.

Needless to say, not much sleep was had last night.

Oh well, Merry Christmas!

This Is Not Just Panettone...


As neither of us like fruit cake of any description (nor mince pies or Christmas pudding) we have indulged this year in a Marks and Spencer triple chocolate panettone for our Christmas treat.

We have just tried our first slice along with a mug of hot chocolate.

Do you think that may have been too much chocolate?

Tuesday's Doings

This morning we had just finished a late breakfast and were still in our dressing gowns at 9 a.m. when the doorbell rang.  There were two gentlemen who had arrived to carry out a survey on our house on behalf of our purchasers' bank.  It seems the bank had made a bit of a mistake as they have already sent another surveyor who carried out a full survey  last week and has submitted his report. P explained this to our two early visitors but they became quite stroppy and eventually left in a state of high dudgeon.   Not the best start to the morning.

We had a couple of errands to run today, the main one being to collect some books from the library as they will be closing this afternoon until early January. As it was a fine, dry day we drove down and parked on the promenade and walked alongside the beach to the House of Mannanan museum, dropping off a couple of bags of donations to the charity shop on the way.

The museum coffee shop are offering special Christmas baps this week.  Large wholemeal soft baps filled with "proper" thick cut ham, turkey, stuffing and cranberry jelly for only £4.  Very tasty they were too.

After that huge lunch we walked around the quay to the castle and then back around the marina to the library.  

The news here at lunchtime is that new restrictions are being introduced from midnight to further limit non-resident travel to the island, in light of the recent discovery of the mutant strain of the virus in the UK and beyond.

It just goes on and on.

Local Skeet...

 .... has it that the jetski man's adventure this week may not have been inspired by romance after all.

Although not mentioned in any of the formal news reports, locals have been whispering that he allegedly did not make the  whole four and a half hour journey unaided and that the large backpack he was wearing reputedly contained a haul of prohibited substances which were quickly offloaded before the police could catch him in possession.

Who knows?  

And All Because....


Do you remember that old Cadbury's TV ad with the "man in black" jumping off cliffs and other dangerous stunts in order to ensure the lady got her box of chocolates? All because the lady loves Milk Tray.

That ad came to mind this week when a local news item revealed that a 28 year old man from Scotland apparently crossed the Irish Sea on a jet ski - a journey of four and a half hours - to land at Ramsey, then walked the fifteen miles to Douglas.  He had come over to visit his girlfriend and spent the weekend going out to nightclubs, something which he presumably cannot currently do back home.

He has now received a four week jail sentence for breaking the island's coronavirus laws.

How anyone would contemplate crossing the Irish Sea on a jet ski, in the middle of December is beyond belief.  Surely it is not 1st April already?

In other news, our offer on the cottage has been accepted and we are waiting for a building survey report.  Full steam ahead... hopefully.

I Think I'm In Love

For the past week, whilst endlessly browsing the estate agents' websites each day for suitable "downsizable" homes, my eye has regularly been drawn to one particular property.

Originally discounted by us as too expensive and too small I just could not resist having a look every time I checked online.

It is a very pretty stone cottage, one half of a pair built in the 1860s in a quiet residential street just around the corner from the pedestrianised shopping area. It has a small garden and off street parking, which is a bonus, and has been very tastefully modernised by the current owners.  It requires very little work to speak of, just the removal of a stud partition wall to open up the main bedroom.

Today, I finally managed to persuade P to book a viewing after we had seen a couple of similar priced properties which, although larger, would require more work on them than he is willing to undertake.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that he can see the plus points and not just the fact that it is very small.  After all, we are supposed to be downsizing.

Now, Where Was I?

It's Tuesday again. Where did the weekend go?  What happened to all those days since last Tuesday?  What planet am I on?

As you can tell, I am feeling a little discombobulated at the moment.  

The house sale is inching along. A reasonable offer accepted and the surveyor due next week to take a look for the purchasers. Still no new home in sight for us yet, so we may need to rent for a while if it all goes through smoothly.

The local charity shops, Samaritans collection bin and the recycling centre have all been blessed with our donations this week. Still more storage cupboards to sort out, but we are progressing.

I went for my usual Sunday morning walk with the girls, despite the freezing temperature and icy roads and fields.  It was too cold for my numb fingers to take any decent photos. We then had supper with friends that evening, a chance to all get together before they go across to spend Christmas with their daughter in the UK.

Monday morning saw me with a head cold. Lots of sneezing, sniffling and coughing. It seems to be receding now but I hope my friends have escaped infection.

This morning I braved the squally rain and battled my way through the gale force wind to collect my prescription from the pharmacy. I couldn't leave it another day as I was down to my last Thyroxin pill.

Back home to poached egg on toast for lunch and my feet up by the fire.

Wake me up in time for next Tuesday.

Clint Eastwood And My Dad

Yesterday northsider blogged here  about Spaghetti Westerns and mentioned Clint Eastwood.

As a kid, I liked to watch his films as I always thought he looked like my dad..my hero.

Well, close enough...


Clearing Out

I decided to have a rootle through the wardrobes today and see what could go either to the charity shop or for recycling.

There are four double wardrobes plus two singles that have been jam-packed with clothes for ages. I have kept things "just in case" even though they no longer fit me. Even when I buy new clothes (which I am ashamed to say, I do far more often than is really necessary), I never get rid of anything.

 However, there are now four plastic bin bags full of clothing to be disposed of and much more space in the wardrobes.

P contributed three of his shirts to the pile.

Oh, and look who has just arrived. He has been elf-isolating.

Is It Tuesday Already?

This past week seems to have whizzed along too quickly.  The turmoil of planning and arranging the house sale has played havoc with my sleep patterns and I have had more nights awake than asleep.  I have been getting up around 2 a.m. and just sitting on the sofa in the dark looking out at the lights down by the castle and the harbour. Too tired to make tea or read.  I doze off now and then but fall into a deep sleep some time after 5 a.m.  I have been thinking of buying some over the counter medication from the pharmacy to see if that helps. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Today we drove up to Ramsey to meet friends for coffee in the park. Whilst there we called in to the Park Hotel and have booked a one night staycation to celebrate P's 70th birthday in early January.  We are hoping some of our friends will come along too - separate rooms of course!

It was a very grey day and the light was poor but I still took a photo of the lake as it was unusually calm with the reflections in the water clearer than usual. The wind usually whips up wavelets and ripples.