Breathless

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.



Comeuppence

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.


Delilah

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.

Blogger Playing Up? EDIT

I noticed today that my Blogger profile picture has suddenly disappeared and I am now an anonymous blue and white silhouette. 

After an hour of trying to re-upload the original in various sizes and formats, clearing the browser cache and using different browsers I have given up in despair.

If anyone has any helpful advice  please pass it on!

EDITED: the photo function has magically resolved itself today. What larks!

Laxey

This morning (Wednesday) started off dull, grey and cool but we decided to take a little bus trip out to the village of Laxey,  halfway along the east coast road towards Douglas. 

We swiped our wrinklies bus passes as we climbed aboard and were lucky to bag the front seats on the top deck. Great views as the bus swayed along, hugging the coast around all the bends.

Laxey derives its name from the old Norse word Laxa (Laksa) meaning salmon,  for the salmon river. The village sits in a steep, wooded valley that runs down to the sea  - a good workout walking down from the main road to the beach  then back up again.

The first thing we did after getting off the bus was to pop into the Laxey Kitchen, a tiny little cafe on the main road that serves very good coffee and amazing cakes. We shared a pastel de nata .. too many calories in a whole one.

Before walking down to the bay we crossed the road to wander through Laxey Glen, the first time we had visited it in our thirty years here on the island.  It was very peaceful and we saw some impressive fungi growing alongside the  trees.





Walking down to the sea, I noticed a  few interesting sights that caught my attention...

Laxey is famous for the Lady Isabella  higher up the valley. The largest working waterwheel in the world.  


It also has the smaller Snaefell Wheel which is in the Laxey Glen Gardens washing floors.


After a two hour stroll, we walked back up the steep road from the beach to catch the bus from the tram station.

It was the same bus and driver that had taken us there earlier and we had the same top deck seats on the way back...

Now that we are back home the sun has come out.


That bell tower in the trees is attached to the house we are buying. Excited? Moi??





Sneak Preview

Offer accepted.

Survey completed.

Conveyancing process initiated,

Hopefully, if nothing scuppers our plans, we may be in by Christmas.







Sunday's Slog

Sunday morning was a fine one; dry with some low cloud but the promise of warm sunshine later.

P had been keen to show me a different route to try out for the Sunday Girls' walking group so we drove the five minutes to park at the tiny Port Lewaigue beach car park to start our walk at 9:30 a.m.

The walk was up and down several hilly stretches (thanks P) and when the sun had burned off the cloud I felt quite hot and bothered.  The views were pretty good though.




The hedgerows are starting to prepare for autumn. We know where to come if we want to pick blackberries.


It is good of the Manx Electric Railway to provide luxury seating at the Dreemskerry Halt.




YP... I tried to find a pretty one for you....


Two hours and 4.5 miles. I had a little siesta after lunch.



Balancing Act

For those who were interested in the fate of the cargo ship that was balanced on our fine sandy beach, there was a successful second attempt at refloating it on the 3 a.m. high tide.  During the day a man with a digger had been scooping out much of the sand around the ship's bottom and then the tug towed it back out to sea when the tide came in.

Needless to say, there was much local interest and quite a few people had headed up there to camp out overnight and watch the proceedings . Lots of night shots and videos on local social media!

The ship is now in Douglas Harbour having its bottom checked by divers for any damage.

Now to balancing of a different kind.

I had been chatting to a friend and mentioned that I was thinking about getting a bicycle as it could be useful for nipping down to the library or the newsagents. Yesterday she turned up with a gift for me...

She is a bit of a Womble (like northsider) and picked this up in the local tip's reuse and recycling shed, which she visits on a daily basis looking for treasures. Her husband had cleaned off the rust, oiled it and given it a thorough check before loading it into their shooting brake and driving up here to deliver it.    It even has a bell that still works. They are both very kind and thoughtful. 

P lowered the saddle for me,  as I am quite short with little legs, then I couldn't wait to try it out.

The road outside the house is on a slope  and has lots of potholes and parked cars all the way along.  As I haven't ridden a bike for over 30 years I was very wobbly plus I hadn't thought to put in my hearing aids so couldn't hear the car which inevitably came up behind me as I wobbled from side to side. 

To try it out properly I am going to take it down to the North Shore promenade which is very wide, very long and flat and not very busy. Perhaps I should wear something padded.

Oops!

A container ship ran aground on the beach here early this morning.

It was travelling between Liverpool and Belfast.

Forgot that the Isle of Man was in the way?

 



Monday

We had a trip down to Douglas yesterday morning. P dropped me off in town before heading off for his dentist appointment. 

After my couple of errands I had an hour to kill so thought I would browse through the shops.  I quickly became bored with that. I don't really need any clothes and I can't buy anything for the home until we know where we shall be on a permanent basis.  Instead  I headed to the Sea Terminal, bought a takeaway Costa Coffee and sat in the empty departure lounge to wait for P.

Back home,  the afternoon turned out to be wall to wall sunshine. Around 4 pm we decided to go out for a walk.

The view from the kitchen door as we left... (I had walked up to that tower the day before with the "Sunday Girls")...



A three minute walk down to the beach. There were lots of people walking on the sand and swimming in the sea.



We walked past the harbour and around to the park where we discovered it was aperitif time...








Transport Museum

Thursday morning was another grey, damp one so we took a little drive out to visit the Transport Museum, tucked away on the Jurby Airfield site.

It is a small museum  housed in a hangar type building and run by volunteers so not open every day.

Although small, it is packed with quite a few lovely old buses, tram cars and other assorted vehicles. 

 



For the big kids  there are displays of Dinky Toys, Hornby trains and a (working) model railway layout.



I quite liked some of the signs dotted around...



Entry is free but donations are appreciated. 

Definitely worth a visit on a damp  miserable day.