Radio Silence

 Still waiting for Manx Telecom to connect our broadband znd Internet.   May be 5th January if we are lucky.

In the meantime I shall be absent from here as I don't have much data allowance on my mobile.

Hope you all enjoy your festivities,  whatever you'll be doing.

We Have Keys!

P collected the keys on Friday and has spent the past couple of days ferrying boxes and small items of furniture up to the house.  Thank goodness it is only around the corner from here.

I have been very frustrated being confined to the sofa here but as I am no longer in pain and the wound doesn't appear to have been bleeding  I asked him to drive me up there to take a look around.

I took a few photos to remind myself of room sizes and configuration etc so thought you may like to see some.  Excuse the mess. 

(That is a waterproof TV on the wall at the end of the bath 😶)

Plastic Surgery

I am not going to bore you with a blow by blow account of the gory details but my lesion excision and biopsy went well yesterday,  thanks to the Plastic Surgery team at the Cottage Hospital.  The utterly charming Professor Rai and his team of wonderful professional, kind and supportive nurses all did their utmost to put me at my ease.  They are a shining example of all that is great about our National Health Service.  Not for profit but for the patient.

I was impressed by the little hand held buzzing device that the surgeon held against my leg to block the pain whilst he injected the anaesthetic.  Apparently it works by blocking the pain signals from travelling along the nerve to the brain. What a great little gadget.

The lesion was quite large and the healing and recovery process is going to be longer than I originally anticipated.  Two weeks of complete rest at first, keeping my leg raised as much as possible and six weeks of further care before it is properly healed. No walking around and just limited activity for a while.  I should get the biopsy results in a couple of weeks and feel hopeful that further surgery will not be required.

Although only a minor procedure it has still caused some pain, discomfort and inconvenience,  however, for me it is worth it if it means that I am less likely to become seriously ill from skin cancer.

I really do not understand how so many people are willing to put themselves through far more invasive procedures purely in a quest for youth and beauty.   It seems like madness.

P has been looking after me since the op.  He made lunch,  endless cups of tea with hobnobs and paracetamol and even braved the rain last night to get a takeaway.  He's a softie at heart really.


I have just had a call from the hospital to tell me that the appointment to remove the lesion from my leg is 8:30 this Thursday.

The day before our house completion.

I was told that I shall need to avoid touching or accidentally knocking the wound for a couple of weeks whilst it heals.

That should curtail my house move activities a little.   I shall just have to supervise instead.


I decided after lunch today that I would get on with writing all the Christmas cards as we are likely to be busy packing and moving very soon.

An hour or so later I felt very pleased with myself, with a pile of cards duly enveloped, securely sealed,  addressed and stamped.

Until I realised that I was supposed to have enclosed the change of address notes that I have yet to print off.

Silly me. 

Typical December Day

... weather wise anyway.

Woke up late this morning after a restless night.  The "suspect" mole on  my leg was itching like mad and keeping me awake.  Much as I dread scalpels and blood I just want the thing gone now.

It was blowing a hoolie outside with horizontal rain so we gave up on the walk into town and got the car out instead for the 3 minute trip to the Co-op store for the Saturday newspaper and some fresh fruit.

Although it has now stopped raining it is still windy and a sharp overnight frost with icy roads is forecast.

I have  a beef stew bubbling in the slow cooker,  some olive sourdough bread warming and the Croft Particular is about to be opened.

Tomorrow is another day as someone once said. (Wasn't that connected with wind too?).


We don't usually bother too much with Christmas trees and decorations but last week I saw this fellow in a  shop window and thought he was quite sweet.

He is now on the mantlepiece, reminding me that we are supposed to be starting to feel festive as it is 1st December.

That is the extent of our decorations for this year (although I am sure we may be tempted to be less Scrooge-like after the move).

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Going Backwards

From today we shall need to start wearing masks again when out and about, something we have not had to do over here for a while. 

It doesn't bother me although I sometimes struggle to understand what people are saying to me, even with my hearing aids turned up. 

Our cold and stormy snap has now turned to a mild and wet spell.  I think I prefer the rain to the gale force winds. At least I can stand up when I go out!

P went for a stroll up to take a look at the new house yesterday morning while I was out with my walking partner.   The vendors were in the process of moving their belongings to their new temporary rental and invited him in to chat about the final preparations for the sale completion date.  It is getting so close now.

Soon we shall be able to look forwards rather than back.

Out For A Blow

It was a gorgeous sunny morning today but with a very strong, freezing wind left over from last night's storm. 

I had gone off to bed last night at 10 p.m. and, without my hearing aids, heard nothing of the storm force winds blowing wheelie bins and garden contents around the streets.  P was there when I awoke at 8 a.m. so he obviously made it home in one piece, despite having to drag a large tree branch out of the way that had been blocking his side of the road.  Fortunately there were no other cars on the road at the time.

We walked into town after breakfast, stopping to take a look at the white caps out to sea.  My goodness though, the wind was so strong and so cold I struggled to get this shot. My fingers were frozen within seconds.

Of course,  as a result of the stormy weather the ferries had been cancelled so there were no UK newspapers or UK foodstuffs on the shelves.  No Saturday crossword for us this week.  

We did buy some Manx milk and local cheese  and some veg and a pie from the Farmers Market then battled against the wind to get back for hot chocolate and a slice of coconut cake.

Last week I collected the framed photo collage of old Ramsey that I had won in the local British Legion prize draw.  Apologies for the poor quality photo here, but I am quite pleased with my prize.

Honking And A Storm Brewing

Yesterday was sunny but cold and P decided to go out for a run after lunch. He wanted to recce the route of an upcoming fell race on North Barrule, the second highest peak on the island. 

He was out for an hour and a half, having got himself lost on the descent. He had ended up wading through the deep, marshy upland, past his ankles in sludge.

Whilst he was in the shower I went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. There was an overpowering stench which appeared to me to resemble  very strong cat litter aroma or blocked drains.  It turned out to be his fell shoes and their rubbery insoles drying on the radiator.

Boy, did those shoes honk!

This morning we took the early bus to Douglas as P was due his booster jab.  We had brunch afterwards in The Caff, opposite the bus station. P had the pensioners ' size all-day breakfast and I had an omelette, which turned out to be a 4 egg omelette (!) with a huge slice of buttered extra thick toast.  I struggled (wo)manfully but had to admit defeat halfway through.

P is planning to drive back into Douglas this evening to attend the Fell Runners Club AGM, despite the severe weather warning for tonight. The Mountain Road will be closed due to the forecast so he will have to travel the long way via the coast road.  Nothing is going to keep him from the annual fell league awards and prize giving  with its carb loaded buffet. Not even the forecast severe storm force winds accompanied by wintry showers.

Worried? Me?  Whatever makes you think that.


With less than three weeks to go now until our completion date I am thinking more about the little things I want to do in the house.  In my head I have arranged the furniture and chosen which pictures are to go on each wall.  I have already bought new cushions and have been thinking about replacing our worn out towels.

My biggest conundrum is the downstairs loo.   It is quite small, no window, tucked away off the entrance hall, and currently painted a bright orangey / red.   I am not really keen on the colour and want to change it but am having trouble deciding what to do with it.  P has already decreed "No wallpaper; No tiles" as that is too much work. So, paint it is then.  But which colour do I choose?

I have spent (far too many) hours browsing home decorating magazines and websites looking for inspiration.  Do I go for the safe option and paint it all white or should I be brave and opt for a rich,   dark colour?

These three appeal to me, but I shall have to wait until we move in before we can decide what do.

I quite like the art gallery.

What would you prefer for your smallest room -  light or dark?

Picking A Winner

Last week we visited a small exhibition in the old Ramsey Courthouse in the square beside the war memorial. The boards arranged around the old courtroom displayed old sepia photographs and newspaper cuttings depicting the town's retail and business heritage.  Many of the businesses are, of course, now long gone but some still remain and the old buildings are still recognisable. 

The exhibition was in support of the British Legion and Remembrance Day so we dropped our donation into the collection bucket  where we noticed that we could also leave our name and telephone number to be entered into a draw.  The prize was a large framed collage of old photos of the town centre.

Yesterday evening I had a phone call from a very charming gentleman who told me that I had won the prize draw.  I was very pleased as I have never previously been very lucky with draws or raffles.

I am going to collect my prize from the Courthouse building on Saturday morning.

It will look very well on the wall in the hallway of our new home.

An Eventful Morning

Today did not quite go to plan. 

Yesterday evening an elderly family friend rang and asked P if he would call round to her house this morning to "open up".  She had given him a spare key last week, "just in case" as she said.

Over the past few months she seems to have become a little more confused, or perhaps confusing, saying and doing slightly odd things. We put this down to her age - 96 - and increasing physical frailty, although she has managed living on her own ever since her live-in companion (P's father) died 11 years ago.

P popped round to her house after breakfast at 8:30 as he was due to meet friends in Douglas later this morning. 

I received a phone call from him soon afterwards telling me that he had found her body on the kitchen floor and had called 999.

I wonder why she had insisted that he visit her today as it seems such a  coincidence and was not something she had ever asked before.

Poor lady.  She had been telling us for a few years now that she was getting very tired of living and wished it could all be over. 

Poor P for being the one to find her like that.

Cut Short

I went for a Sunday morning walk today with my friend Babs. She lives close by so came up to meet me before joining me on our planned walk around the footpaths above the town. 

The first section is paved and car-free so was an easy, if uphill, stroll to the Hairpin bend on the TT Course. 

We crossed the road and joined the next section of footpath but,  after the recent rainy weather, this section was very muddy and slippery with wet leaves. 

At the bottom of the track we were going to walk down through the houses into town for coffee but at this point the low, grey, damp cloud turned to a persistent,  drenching drizzle.  We decided to follow the series of ginnels / alleys between the houses back towards our starting point. 

We surprised P by arriving home earlier than planned but the three of us spent a very pleasant hour together chatting over coffee and sharing a rather nice date and walnut cake which I had bought yesterday at the Farmers Market.

Who cares if it rains when you have cake!

To Goggle Or Not?

We have had a couple of quotes from local tradesmen to sand the worn and stained solid oak kitchen floor in our new house before we move in.  The amount quoted is quite a lot higher than our budget so P has decided that he will hire a floor sanding machine and, reluctantly,  do it himself.

I asked him if he still had his dust mask and protective goggles.  He grumbled a bit and said he had a mask but was not going to wear goggles as they made his face sweat.

When I expressed concern that he may get sawdust particles in his eyes he dismissed me with the comment "you obviously don't understand anything about floor sanding".

Well. That's me told then. 

A Touch Of Colour

Although not as spectacular as the autumn foliage that can be seen elsewhere, I think that the colours on the hillside viewed from our window are quite pretty, especially on this grey old morning.

We are due to exchange contracts on the new house sometime today.  I am on tenterhooks.   Until then I can peek across to the bell tower in eager anticipation...


The morning turned out to be dry,  albeit quite overcast and windy. 

We walked into town,  had coffee and almond biscotti then went down to the library to choose a couple of books each; enough to see us through the next few wet and windy days.  On the way back we squeezed down the very narrow lane / ginnel / twitten to take a look at the old post boxes on the wall - one for each monarch's reign.

After lunch the sky brightened up so we went for a walk.  A circular route up behind the house then along the lane that runs between the tram track and the woods . Plenty of fallen leaves to kick our way through.

Later on, as dusk fell, I happened to look out of the window and caught the last gasp of what had been a vividly colourful sunset.

Just managed to snap it in time...


I have suffered from poor eyesight since childhood.  At the age of seven I had to wear those hideously ugly round, flesh pink NHS specs for my short-sightedness, graduating to equally unattractive "Dame Edna" blue plastic, winged frames in my teenage years.

In my twenties I was able to change to contact lenses for a  time  although eventually these became uncomfortable and I started to experience irritation and blurriness.

In 1991 I took the plunge and underwent a surgical procedure called radial keratotomy to correct my short sight.  This was successful in giving me near perfect vision, although leaving me with permanent scarring of the cornea.

Eventually, as I reached my fifties, my eyesight began to change and I became long sighted which meant I had to wear glasses again.  Three different prescriptions - one each for reading, driving and computer work.

When I retired I had cataract surgery which has thankfully given me back near normal eyesight but I now find that a combination of the artificial lenses plus the corneal scars means that I suffer from extremely poor night vision.

Last night we visited friends for a birthday meal.  I offered to drive the 40 minutes each way so that P could enjoy a glass or two of wine.  

I haven't driven at night for quite some time so was horrified to discover on the way there in the dark that each time  vehicles approached from the opposite direction I was totally blinded. On a couple of occasions I had to slow to a standstill until they had passed.  Once we finally reached our friends' house P said he would happily forego his wine in order to drive us home safely.

It is quite a shock to discover that something I had taken for granted is now lost.  No more night driving for me.

Spend, Spend, Spend

 Today has been a very "spendy" day.

It was a beautiful bright, sunny but very cold morning so we drove "over the mountain" , as they say here, to the busy metropolis of Douglas.

P dropped me off first as he wanted to visit his favoured small, locally owned sports shop to buy some compression sleeves for his leg, which has suffered from several muscle injuries. I walked down to M&S to collect my recent online order - cushions and a warm, chunky sofa throw for the new house.  These were courtesy of last Christmas' gift vouchers from my lovely sister. Thanks Sis x

We met up in the Sea Terminal for coffee and a chocolate biscuit then set off to spend some money.

First we visited the Crossroads Care warehouse shop which sells some lovely second hand, donated furniture and homeware. We came away with a large ceramic table lamp complete with shade for £20 - a bargain.

Next stop was the Hospice warehouse shop which was actually a little too busy for me. We only had a quick browse there but still found a couple of things for the new house. A seagrass lidded basket and a curiosity which will make an ideal umbrella stand for the hall.  I noticed the stand as we were walking towards the till to pay for the basket and tried to find a price ticket on it. We asked the young lady how much it was and she told us that it wasn't actually part of their stock - it had been used to transport some of the tall upright Christmas decorations that had just been delivered and had been put to one side whilst they were unpacking.  She was happy to sell it to us though and said how about £4?  Yes please!

Our last stop was our locally owned electrical retailer where we ordered and paid for a new washing machine - the house vendors are taking theirs with them.  I had seen the one I wanted and it was on special offer. They are happy to keep it until we move in and will deliver it then.  They may not be as cheap as Currys, but they are locally owned, very friendly and have amazing after sales service.

We drove back - over the mountain - enjoying the beautiful scenery with all of the island spread out below us in the sunshine as we passed Snaefell . We could clearly see the mountains of Scotland and Cumbria on the horizon, so close we could even make out some of the buildings on the coast.

After all that spending I needed a cup of tea and a lie down. 

I am soooo looking forward to moving in and playing house.

Something To Look Forward To

I am just back from a hospital appointment with a Dermatology Consultant, having a mole on my leg investigated.

I was a little taken aback when he said it needed to be removed and sent for biopsy, as I was expecting him to say it was nothing sinister.

He is referring me to the Plastic Surgery team as it is quite large and will require a skin graft to cover the wound.

It seems my procedure is likely to be done before Christmas. 

What's the betting the appointment falls at the same time as completion on the house?

Just Leave It To Me

Yesterday morning we had a trip into Douglas to visit our Advocate in order to sign the purchase contract and hand over a cheque for the deposit payment.

We were advised that we have to take out the Buildings Insurance cover before contracts can be exchanged so I was going to contact the broker yesterday afternoon to get a quote. P said that he would deal with so I left it for him to sort out.

This morning I met my walking buddy, who is slowly recovering from the cold bug, and we went for a short, leisurely walk to the park for a coffee and chat.    When I arrived back home at lunchtime P was a little sheepish. He had received another one of those scam 'phone calls from "Windows" in India. Immediately after hanging up on that one the 'phone rang again. This time he said it was a young woman with an Eastern European accent saying that she was calling from our bank. He apparently said "No, you're not" and hung up again.  Shortly afterwards he realised that it may have been a genuine call regarding the rather large cheque we had handed over yesterday but he was unable to find the number to return the call. He then walked into town to visit the local bank branch and they confirmed that it had indeed been a genuine call from Head Office and that as he had been unable to verify that the payment was genuine the cheque had been stopped.  Great.

Straight after lunch we both went back to the bank branch and arranged a telegraphic transfer to the Advocates' account which, thankfully, went through OK.

When I asked P if he had sorted out the insurance cover he said that he was still waiting for the vendor to get back to him about it. (Why was he asking the vendor???).  I emailed the insurance broker and requested a quote but by this time it was too late to arrange it so that will have to be done tomorrow so that contracts can be exchanged.  

P gets cross with me because I always want to take control of any admin issues and says that I don't trust him to do it himself.  I wonder why.

What Would You Do?

Yesterday we had some errands in Peel so caught the bus there.  It was a horribly wet and miserable day with localised flooding and standing water. We got soaked just walking to the bus stop.

On the bus back home there were not many passengers, just us, a young woman with three toddlers and an elderly lady sitting behind the driver.

A young teenage lad boarded the bus about halfway into the journey and sat across the aisle from us, one row in front.  That row has seats facing each other rather than all facing the front of the bus.  I noticed, from my window seat position, that he immediately put his feet up on the seat in front of him (his shoes would have been very wet and mucky I would think, given the weather conditions).

I inwardly sighed and rolled my eyes but as soon as P noticed what he had done he lunged across,  tapped the lad firmly on the shoulder, which startled him  (the boy was wearing earphones and looking at his smartphone) and demanded he take his feet off the seat.

The boy glowered but did as he was asked.  I felt very uncomfortable about the incident and was concerned that P may have overreacted. What if he was reported for assault or worse?

In my day, a telling off from an adult was to be expected if we did something wrong.  I really don't know what is acceptable these days.


It seems that the profile photo I uploaded a few weeks back - when Blogger "lost" my original sunset picture - appears to have caused some perturbation in some quarters.

Not sure why, it was only me at the age of four.

Anyway, I have now uploaded a replacement one which should hopefully not offend anyone.


An Autumnal Stroll

For the past couple of weeks I have not felt up to walking further than the Library or the Co-Op store, however,  Sunday morning started off dry and bright so we decided to try our "around town" walk, which usually takes over an hour.

The south shore promenade is just a 3 minute walk to the bottom of the street but we took a short detour first,  around the corner to take a little look at the Church House.  Nearly there.

Walking along the promenade towards the harbour we noticed the lifeboat crew dragging the boat up the beach. I liked the light shining on the scene.

We crossed the harbour swing bridge then walked halfway along the north shore promenade,  ducking into one of the shelters to avoid a short, sharp shower.

A couple of the shelters have been painted by local artists, using a grant from the IOM Arts Council. I preferred this one.

We crossed over the road at this point to walk back through the park, getting caught in another shower along the way. Luckily the witches were wearing their waterproofs...

An hour and a half. I needed a good, strong coffee at the end.


I have been a little out of sorts for the past couple of weeks.  Probably the result of the pesky cold virus and the ongoing house purchase saga, combined with a sudden change in the temperature.  

Last night P filled a hot water bottle  for me as I suffer from very cold feet when I get into bed.  It did help and I was very grateful, however, I discovered this morning that he hadn't securely screwed the top on so it had been gradually leaking overnight.  I hadn't wet the bed  honest!

As I have mentioned here before, for many years I have been in the habit of taking a couple of glasses of wine every evening with our meal.  About three weeks ago I found that my usual tipple of choice didn't seem to taste as good and I found I didn't really fancy a drink anyway.  I had also noticed at around the same time that my cheeks were looking quite flushed.  Whether this was due to the incipient cold virus or alcohol related rosacea I don't know but I made the decision there and then to give up my usual evening drink.

I haven't missed it really, although I did have a glass of Italian fizz last night.  I am not sure if I feel any different from my abstinence but then I have been a little poorly anyway for the past couple of weeks.

My liver and my bank balance will be very grateful I am sure.

Inching Closer

I had an email this morning from our Advocate telling us that he would shortly be sending out the searches summary report and was almost ready for us to call in to sign the purchase contract.

We are trying very hard not to feel too excited just yet as the vendors could still withdraw from the sale if they are unable to find a property to rent.  The type of property they are looking for is in very short supply.

I keep looking at the photos of the house on the agent's website and planning how each room will look.  Oh, I wish I had more patience. 

My cold has finally gone but has left me quite breathless most days. My walking partner also had a very bad cold at the same time and is still struggling back to fitness. She took a lateral flow test, just in case it was not just a cold,  but she was relieved to find it was negative.  Just a common cold  but a nasty one.

It has turned chilly here this week. The heating is now on for an hour each morning and evening and I had to wade through all the packing cases to dig out our winter duvets.

Inching closer to Christmas.....

Weird Weather

These photos were both taken just now from the side door.

The first shows the view across the road at the front with blue sky and a rainbow.

Turning round,  this is the view from the same spot showing the heavy rain sweeping down from the hill across the back garden .



I ventured out this morning to walk to the library as I am starting to feel much better now.

I did have to stop for a rest on the way there,  in the coffee shop of course,  and then on the way back  I sat on a seafront bench as I had become quite breathless. 

It was a glorious, cold,  crisp, sunny day and the sight of the waves gently tumbling onto the beach certainly took my breath away.

(I had a go at the Panorama setting on my camera).

I enjoyed my short rest... until the chap in the mini 4x4 pulled up and chucked a bagful of bread out of his window for the seagulls.

I beat a hasty retreat.


Yes, after poking fun at P's  exaggerated common cold symptoms, I then caught his pesky bug and suffered all over the weekend. Generally a common cold for me is just the usual sneezing and sniffles with a sore throat and mild headache . This time it seemed much worse and I ended up spending the whole of Sunday in bed, mostly asleep.  I don't know if this was a particularly nasty cold virus or whether my symptoms could have been combined with a reaction to my first ever flu jab on Tuesday.

As Tasker commented in my previous post  there are some medical opinions that suggest that a male's reaction to such viruses is worse due to the lack of female sex hormones which apparently offer more protection.  Perhaps as I am now way past child bearing age  my hormone levels no longer offer me the same level of protection. 

Whatever the reason, it knocked me sideways and I certainly don't want to catch anything else.

Mid Week Already

My, how quickly time drags.

Fortunately Mr P is back to his usual bouncy self, even after a bout of weekend D&V then a flu jab yesterday. 

This morning was bright and sunny so we went for a two hour walk beside the river up to Glen Auldyn and back.

I had never heard of St Fingan but it seems he may have been one of the 15 or so Irish saints originally named Finnian. 

There are some really lovely houses along the lane, but a little out of our price range - one that we briefly paused to admire turns out to be for sale at £1.1m.  

This one looks more within my budget.

Not Much Fun

Poor P has been poorly for the past few days, and I am not much use as a nurse.  On Thursday he became ill with some sort of stomach bug - thank goodness this rental property has two bathrooms! 

It didn't seem worth cooking a meal that evening just for me so he went to bed early with a hot water bottle and I had a poached egg on toast and scrolled through the few TV channels on Freeview that had programmes available with subtitles.

On Friday he was a little better but couldn't keep much down and I was starting to feel a little bit iffy too, although thankfully that hasn't developed into anything.

This morning - Saturday - started off really wet and windy but I decided to walk into town to get a carton of milk and the Saturday Telegraph, which we like for the crosswords and the TV guide.   P said I should drive but I insisted that I would be OK with my boots, raincoat and the plastic see-through dome umbrella that I used when I was commuting to work.  Ha!   The wind was so strong that the spokes of the umbrella bent and, after seven years of trouble-free wear, my boots have now sprung a leak so, by the time I reached home, my socks were sodden and my feet soaking wet.

After drying off and changing into warm clothes I felt that comfort food was required for tonight so I spent the afternoon making a "proper" cottage pie.  It was pretty good and even P managed to eat a respectable sized portion.. He seems to be recovering - thank goodness as I am certainly no good as a nurse.

Well, That Went Down A Bomb

 Yesterday afternoon there was a widely  reported incident at a Douglas primary school.  Children and staff were evacuated and the area was cordoned off by the police for several hours. 

Later that evening it was confirmed that there had been a bomb threat made to the school which inevitably turned out to be a hoax.

This morning it was revealed that the call had been made by a 12 year old boy.

Social media is now full of comments about the whys and wherefores, with one side condemning the boy's actions and calling for strong punishment whilst others argue that it was just youthful high spirits.

I imagine that the incident was possibly frightening and stressful for the children and adults involved at the time so it is difficult to say which side of the argument is right or wtong.

Still, it was a very stupid thing to do.  I hope he learns something from it.


Just before I awoke this morning I had been dreaming that I was walking along the street in a strange town belting out Tom Jones'  1960s hit "Delilah" which was playing through my earphones, much to the astonishment of passers by.  For some strange reason, a Sikh gentleman in a turban was cycling past also singing Delilah,  but in a Brummie accent.

Now I can't seem to get that song out of my head.  I don't even like it so have no idea where that came from!

It's All Chinese To Me

 At least it was yesterday on my laptop.  When I switched on to catch up on email messages etc I noticed that some of the taskbar icons were displaying Chinese characters.  When I opened a new tab on Internet Explorer, a Chinese Home Page opened up.

I was unable to view any videos from the BBC and ITV web pages as I was told the programmes were not available in my location.  A few other glitches on Blogger and other applications made me frustrated so I switched off and left everything.

At around 3 a.m. I suddenly remembered that last week Manx Telecom posted on social media that they were changing the WiFi system in our area on Tuesday night and that we would need to reboot our routers on Wednesday, which I had forgotten to do. I got up and fumbled around in the dark to switch it off.  I switched it back on again before breakfast this morning and it seems that I am no longer in China.

Good news!

Christmas Shopping

That's what I did today. Nothing like getting prepared well in advance.

As today is supposed to be our last sunny one for a while we took the bus into Douglas. I quite enjoy the ride... 50 minutes tootling along the coast road  with no driving or parking hassles.

Fortified by a strong coffee and a chocolate shortcake I managed a two hour amble around the shops to choose gifts for my niece's two children.  I also bought myself a walking pole and a lightweight rain jacket that will pack into my bumbag. 

P was quite horrified at the amount of money I was spending willy-nilly so  when I suggested stopping somewhere for  a sandwich for lunch he quickly proclaimed himself tired of shopping and we had to hurry off to catch the next bus that was due to leave in five minutes. 

We had a little excitement on the way home. As the bus was negotiating the main road out at the edge of town, two police vans passed us at great speed, lights flashing and sirens wailing.  A little further on we saw the police officers dealing with what appeared to be a domestic incident,   with one officer assisting a young woman who was clearly in distress and a young man being restrained up against the wall.  The bus passed by too fast for us to gawk in any detail.

It made me realise how thankful I am to only have a Grumpy Old Man to deal with and not a violent one.


Well, That Was A Long One

A friend invited me to join her for a walk this morning.  It may be a bit hilly, she said, but it is all on tarmac so no steep, muddy paths to negotiate.

The route was a circular one, climbing up above the village of Laxey and around the top of the "bowl" that encircles the valley.  Great views but boy was that hard work for me puffing up and down all those steep bits.

A little over two hours walking, but the reward was a very pleasant lunch in the Laxey Glen Cafe at the end.

Stop Me From Buying More

Now that I have our new home in my sights I am keen to find some suitable items to furnish it.

Last week we bought this coffee table in the little second hand emporium around the corner ...

On our way to buy the newspaper this morning P said he wanted to take a look in the window to see what was new. I saw a rather lovely carved oak chest and a bookcase and suggested that they would go well in the new house. P just rolled his eyes and pointed out that we were not yet even close to exchanging contracts so there would be no point in buying anything yet.

I pouted and sulked and trotted off in a huff.

Why show me pretty things and then say I can't have them!

Just Strolling

Monday here was a bit of a washout. It rained all day and felt quite cool.

We had spent Sunday night at a friend's house. They had invited a group of us for supper and offered us the use of their spare room for the night so that we wouldn't have the 45 minute drive home after a glass or two of wine (not that we would drink and drive anyway of course).   P was having some particularly violent dreams so I ended up sleeping on the floor.   After a very pleasant breakfast (croissants, homemade rhubarb and ginger jam and good strong coffee) we drove home through the rain. The rest of the day was spent reading on the sofa.

This morning was dull but dry so I walked up to the Cottage Hospital to collect some hearing aid batteries as I have almost run out of them.  I decided to return the long way as I didn't get much exercise yesterday. Behind the hospital is a path which leads down to the park so I took that route, stopping briefly to watch a small group of very mature enthusiasts having a gentle game of bowls. The bowling green's grass must have still been quite wet as they had to keep stopping to wipe their balls.... or is it bowls?

Now the sun is out at last. Time for a cup of tea and a hobnob.

Little Owl

We met this wee fella yesterday at the Farmers' Market.  Two of the wardens from the Wildlife Park brought this Little Owl and a Spectacled Owl along for a day out and they were attracting quite a crowd. 

This one is only the size of a large blackbird and was very still and quiet. His colleague  being much larger and rowdier had a bigger crowd around him so I wasn't able to get any photos.

Beautiful creatures.

Wednesday Wander

Today was overcast and breezy but still very warm,  well 22C feels warm to us anyway.

P was meeting a friend for a long run over the fells so I went out for a wander around town.  I enjoy being so close to the beach and being able to walk along the Prom looking out to sea.

This morning I walked along to the harbour, over the bridge then along the riverside to the park.  The coffee shop had only just opened and I was their first customer of the day so was served very promptly.  

I had a flat white with a couple of almond biscotti for dunking before a crowd of yummy mummies arrived with their very excited pre school offspring. Time for me to beat a hasty retreat before my hearing aids exploded.

Continuing my walk around the lake it was apparent that most of the summer flowers were well and truly finished. Just a couple hanging on still ...

I am sure northsider Dave can tell me what these are.

On the way back I saw this beauty parked in the square. It was attracting a lot of attention from a couple of gents but I managed to grab a shot without them in it...

There is rain forecast for this evening and a few more wet days to come so I may be stuck inside for a while.  I have plenty of library books to keep me quiet.