A Different Take Away

Tonight we were supposed to be having supper at our friends' house with a few other couples, around 10 of us in total.  Each couple (well, wife really) was going to provide a different element of the meal.  My task was to make a chocolate trifle, which I did with great care and considerable amounts of chocolate and Cassis.

At around 2 p.m. there came an announcement on the local news feeds online that a further virus outbreak had been identified and that all residents were being advised to remain at home.  A Government briefing at 3 p.m. said that although an official lockdown has not yet been put in place, further information will follow tomorrow, Sunday, once more test results were in.

So, our soiree was off but we all had huge amounts of food that had already been prepared and waiting to be eaten. We hatched a cunning plan.  At 6:30 p.m. we all convened in a local car park, where we could all maintain social distancing, and brought along plastic takeaway containers. We then visited each car boot where the food was laid out and helped ourselves to our supper then drove home to eat it.

It was delicious, and we didn't break any rules!




Wild

 Today we have severe gale force winds with gusts of around 65 mph.  A bit of a let-down after yesterday's bright, sunny weather.

P went to visit a friend this morning to play chess so I was home alone, but the weather provided me with a little entertainment.  

As the gusts grew stronger and stronger I looked out of the window to see that the sturdy plastic lockable garden store that our neighbours, Mr & Mrs Three-Sheds. had left lying around in their garden was being blown around by the gusts.  As I watched, it was sent tumbling head over heels towards our boundary.  It is quite a large, heavy duty box so the sight was pretty alarming. At one point it became lodged against the fence, then another gust lifted it into the air, ripped off both doors and flung them over the fence into our garden, where they rolled over and over before becoming wedged against one of the apple trees.  The box was still leaping and bounding in the air, trying to vault over the fence to join its doors.

Eventually the doors shook themselves loose from the tree and continued their journey towards our greenhouse. I grabbed my wellies and strode out across the bog patch that used to be our lawn. I managed to wrestle with the doors and dragged them up into the workshop beneath the house, locking them in for safety.

i returned to the house and nervously watched the box as it continued its frantic efforts to leap over the fence.  Suddenly, a particularly strong gust of wind picked it up and tipped it unceremoniously over the fence - into our other neighbours' garden where it lodged itself amongst their shrubbery. Phew!  A lucky escape.

When P returned home he told me that the road back from Peel was strewn with wheelie bins and other detritus from people's gardens.  Quite a danger to traffic I would think.

The winds are forecast to die down overnight, but I wonder what damage will be wreaked in the meantime.

Getting Twitchy

It has been almost a week since we had to visit Douglas, against my will as we have been trying to avoid crowds.

Gradually, over the intervening days, we have been receiving news reports of an increasing number of positive cases of the virus that have been spreading amongst customers at various venues around the town.

Neither of us have yet had our vaccinations; the programme here is moving much more slowly than across in the UK, mainly because we are only allocated a small number of vaccines at a time from the UK supplies.

I am therefore very nervous about the potential for infection and that I may have been exposed to it last week.

This morning I woke up with a sore throat.  I hope that it is just one of my allergy symptoms so I shall take a paracetamol and use my throat spray.

P thinks that I am being over dramatic and just rolls his eyes, but I can't help getting twitchy.

He'll be sorry when there is nobody to wash his running kit and cook his sausages!


An Interesting Week So Far

Well, so far this has been a week to test my stress tolerance levels, such as they are.

On Monday afternoon the estate agent listed our house for sale, at about the same time as we were leaving for our overnight stay in Douglas.

On Tuesday morning I attended the jury service ballot, as mentioned in my previous post, and was excused eventually.  By the time I met P for coffee afterwards and checked my text messages we learned that the agent had already received 22 requests to view our property and was in the process of booking appointments over the coming days.  This would entail us being out of the house whilst the viewings were being held - Wednesday through to Monday!  We were a little gobsmacked to say the least and were desperately trying to work out where we could go each day to wait until the coast was clear and we could return home. 

Tuesday afternoon was spent doing some last minute cleaning and tidying ready for all these viewings.  No, P, don't sit on that sofa and mess up the cushions!

The first couple who viewed the house on Wednesday loved it and offered the full asking price before leaving, saying that they were cash buyers and did not need a mortgage so would be ready to proceed provided a survey report was favourable.

We were taken aback, in a good way, and obviously very pleased so accepted the offer and the agent cancelled all the remaining viewings.  We just have to hope that it all goes through now.

Today, Thursday, we were due to attend a second viewing of the bungalow that we want to buy but the Vendor cancelled at the last minute.  We think it may possibly be due to the evolving news coming throughout the day that the island has had seven new cases of the virus in the last 24 hours, resulting from a crew member of the ferry company testing positive.  We were all fully expecting another lockdown to be announced this evening but the 6 p.m. briefing said that, for now, there would be no immediate restrictions but we should all take extra precautions.  Well, I am certainly pretty ticked off that I was forced to cram into a tiny jury room with 21 other people for 2 hours on Tuesday morning when there was a potential virus threat at the time!

Tomorrow, we are hoping to go for our postponed second viewing of the bungalow, suitably masked, and our buyers have asked to have a second viewing of our house at the same time.  We hope they don't change their minds as it all seems to be too good to be true.

We shall see.



Excused

I was relieved to eventually be excused jury service this morning.  Although I had explained beforehand that I was very hard of hearing and struggled in a group setting even with my hearing aids, I was told that I still had to attend.

After a 2 hour wait in the jury room, all 22 of the potential jurors were taken to be lined up in the courtroom ready for the selection process, The Deemster (judge) sitting up high, shielded behind his plastic screen, began to describe the process, and the name of the defendant, the various witnesses and the nature of the crime were read out.  I understand that any of the potential jurors who may have known those being named could ask to be excused on that basis.  Unfortunately, I could hear absolutely nothing of this and looked on in confusion as hands were raised and conversations took place.  The court usher handed a notebook to a couple of the potential jurors who wrote notes that were passed to the Deemster for consideration. I tapped the usher on his arm as he passed me and told him that I couldn't hear anything of the proceedings. He handed me the notebook and I wrote a short note to explain my problem. With a little tutting and eye rolling, the Deemster and the Advocates agreed to excuse me and I was able to escape.

I was told that I could claim back my bus fare(!) however, I had used my pensioners bus pass so had a free trip into town and back.

As I had been told to be at the Courthouse by 9:15 a.m. P and I had travelled into Douglas yesterday afternoon and stayed overnight at the nearby Premier Inn.  Comfortable and budget-friendly and a 2 minute walk from the Courthouse.  No battling through the morning rush hour traffic to get there on time.

A big sigh of relief and a coffee at the Sea Terminal coffee shop with P before catching the bus home.

I wonder who the accused was and what he had done, though.


A Bit Of The White Stuff

We have finally been "blessed" with some of the stuff that has been falling all over the UK recently.



Not a lot, but just enough for the gale force winds to cause drifts and close some roads.

Very pretty, but hoping it disappears tomorrow, as forecast.


Up And Down

That has been me for the past week or so.  My mood seems to swing from being cheerful and positive one day then suddenly to anxious and fed up the next with long bouts of sleepless nights

I haven't felt much like writing any blog posts and have not been commenting very much on other blogs so my apologies if that has seemed rude.

I know that I don't really have much to complain about compared with very many people who have lost their jobs or face severe illness so I am telling myself to get a grip.  Sometimes it works.


On Monday we saw a bungalow that we liked and our offer has been accepted, so if nothing untoward happens, we may be moving house at the end of April.

The agents came to our house today to take photos and a video ready to put it on the market at the weekend.  A lady had asked to view it this morning before it was listed but it seems it wasn't what she wanted after all. The agent thinks that the non-standard construction issue is going to put off a lot of potential buyers. We shall just have to wait and see.  In the meantime, we are just going to cash in our pension pot (carefully saved over 43 years of hard work) to buy the new bungalow and pull in our belts until we get a sale.

Bread and dripping for tea every day!

Oh, and I still have the jury service ballot to look forward to next week. 






Worry

I had a message from my sister this evening to tell me that my lovely niece had been admitted to hospital this morning.

It seems that she has been experiencing chest pains  on and off recently and today tests showed increased levels of D-Dimer. I had never heard of this so obviously consulted Professor Google.

I do not advise consulting Professor G.  He scares the hell out of you.  I was ready to anticipate her imminent demise.

It transpires that, after a COVID test, blood tests, X-Rays and MRI scans she was pronounced OK to be discharged and is awaiting collection by her anxious husband to take her home to her two small children.

I am still unsure as to the reason behind the original test results and hope that she really is well enough to be sent home but we should trust the judgement of the hospital staff.

I have never had children of my own  but my niece is the closest I have have ever had to a daughter and I would be devastated if anything should happen to her.  

My sister and I are really thankful tonight that she is safe and well for now.




Summonsed!

 This morning the Coroner for our local area arrived to serve me with a summons to attend court in two weeks time for jury service.

I rang the courts officer to explain about my bad hearing but was told to turn up anyway and see if their loop system would enable me to follow proceedings.

I am hoping that I won't be selected on the day as I am sure that I shall find it a struggle to keep up.



Good Luck....Or Not?

Today was our first day of freedom from our recent lockdown.

We had booked a viewing for a property we liked and drove up to Ramsey after lunch. We had decided to do our shopping in the Co-Op store before driving on to look at the bungalow.

The Co-Op car park was full so we had to park down on the quayside. The moment I stepped out of the car a passing seagull decided to release  a full load from its undercarriage. I was covered in the revolting white stuff.



Moaning (me) all the way, we walked to the supermarket where I grabbed a handful of paper towels and tried to scrub away the offending white stains from my jacket, scarf, trousers and boots, much to the amusement of the other customers.  One kind lady suggested that being pooped on by a seagull is good luck.  Not too sure about that one!

We bought the fruit and veg that we needed then returned to the car to pack the shopping into the boot.

As we still had half an hour to kill I suggested that we visit the coffee shop on the corner. I didn't really need a coffee but I wanted to use their loos to try to wash away the stains which were starting to dry into my clothes.  I was mostly successful but I had to put everything into the washing machine once we were back home.

Unfortunately, although the house we saw was very nice, we found out afterwards when searching the online planning applications that the house next door had recently applied to build a ginormous extension which would have looked right down into our windows.  Perhaps the four white vans and three cars parked outside should have given us a clue!

Oh well, something else will turn up.