Sunday Evening Stroll

 It has been a gloriously warm and sunny day today.

We finally finished clearing out our old home after an early 8 a.m. start and arrived back here in time for morning coffee by 10:30.

A walk into town after lunch to buy fruit and sit on a bench with an ice cream then lots more unpacking and sorting out.

After supper P suggested a short stroll as the sun was still shining and because easy access to walks was the main reason for moving.

It only took one hour ...

Sunny Saturday

This morning dawned bright and gloriously sunny with a promise of temperatures in the high teens.

P left the (new) house at 10:00 a.m. as he was taking part in the Manx Mountain Marathon so I had the entire day all to myself.

I walked the 5 minutes down the hill to Ramsey Town centre then enjoyed a stroll in and out of all the shops, browsing and generally getting to know what was what.

Saturday is the farmer's market day in Ramsey and the stalls were all laid out in the square, with deckchairs out on the grassy area for the customers. It was a great atmosphere with the sun shining.

I bought a couple of gifts and some bits and pieces for the house then made my way back up the hill to our new home.

I was surprised to discover that I had been out for two hours walking around  but had enjoyed myself.

Back home, lunch was  a smoked trout sandwich and then fruit. Luxury.

I spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking boxes and moving things around until P returned home, exhausted .

Now we are relaxing after supper watching the evening sun catching the trees on May Hill behind the house. 

Nail Biting

The lease on our rental bungalow started today so we had to go into Douglas to collect the keys before driving up to Ramsey to unload a carful of boxes.

Exchange of contracts on our house sale was also due today and I kept checking my email inbox every 5 minutes to see if it had happened.  Although we were 99% sure it would all go through OK there was still that tiny seed of doubt.  What if they had a last minute change of heart?  What if they suddenly revised their offer? What if we were left with an unsold house and a 12 month commitment to this rental?

Finally, at 4 p.m. the email arrived confirming exchange of contracts has taken place, with final completion next Tuesday.  At least we have the weekend to finish packing and transporting all our worldly goods (and trying to squeeze them into a much smaller house).

Perhaps I shall be able to sleep better tonight.

Washing Up

I was chatting to our friends at the weekend about the bungalow we are moving to and mentioned that we would need to buy a dishwasher as we are leaving our old one behind.

One of our friends was horrified - "But there's only two of you!  You don't need a dishwasher!"

I suppose it does seem like an extravagance to some, however, I have been fortunate to have had the use of a dishwasher since P and I first moved in together, back in the early 1980s and do not enjoy washing up by hand on the odd occasion that we are on holiday in self catering accommodation.

It may stem from my childhood perhaps. My mother was not exactly keen on domesticity and so, from a very early age,  my sister and I were made to do the washing up every day for our family of five (as well as taking the family washing to the launderette and doing the ironing).  I really hated it.   One evening we rebelled. Mum and Dad had gone out to visit friends and my sister and I went up to bed without having done the washing up. When Mum came home and saw all the dirty dishes, she scooped them all into the plastic washing up bowl, opened the back door and flung the whole lot out into the garden, shouting and swearing all the time.   My little brother was terrified and crept downstairs to try to retrieve everything and bring it back indoors but Mum sent him back to bed with a flea in his ear.  We didn't rebel again after that episode.

I still hate washing up to this day.

Goodbye Garden

Today has been a rare day of sunshine, albeit with a very cool breeze.

We are due to collect the keys to our rental bungalow on Tuesday but the landlord kindly offered to let us in today so that we could store some of our boxes of stuff before the removal date.  Just one carful as we didn't want to do the half hour trip each way more than once, but it was surprising how much we managed to clear.  Lots more space now for me to carry on with emptying cupboards and filling boxes ready for next week.

The weather forecast for the next few days is pretty much wall to wall wind and heavy rain so I took one last tour around the garden before we leave it for good. 

 Although I shall miss our garden, I am looking forward to starting a whole new chapter in our lives next week.


A Bacon Sandwich

I had a real treat today.

We caught the bus into Douglas this morning as we had a few errands to run. Well, when the bus eventually arrived 20 minutes late, that is.  There was a bus inspector on board who greeted us as we boarded and apologised for the delay. Amazing.

The delay meant that we had to shuffle our schedule a little when we arrived but as we are only old fogeys with nothing important to do that was not a problem.

First, we met with our Advocate in order to sign our part of the house sale contract, ready for exchange next week.  If all goes well we may be able to complete on the sale at the end of next week.

Next was the letting agents to deliver proof of identity documents and complete a bank reference request, to prove we had some funds to pay the rent (even though we are paying the full 12 months rent in advance!).  We have to meet the landlord tomorrow so that he can make sure he approves of us as tenants.

By then it was time for P to go for his second vaccination appointment so I waited in the nearby shop as it was a little cool and windy outside. He was only 5 minutes, which was pretty impressive.

Next was my treat. A smokey bacon bap and a flat white in the coffee shop. Heavenly. I only eat bacon once or twice a year so this was a real treat for me.

A brief detour via Boots for some "Lady stuff" then another shop for some more packing tape (we are going through that by the bucket load at the moment) then it was time to catch the bus home.

Boy. That was an exciting post wasn't it?


A Wet Walk And A Dilemma

Sunday's weather forecast was for just a few passing showers in the morning, clearing into the afternoon so I met the girls as usual for our walk along the Heritage Railway Trail.  

Within 2 minutes of leaving the car park the rain started and didn't stop until we reached home two and a half hours later... sodden through and through.  At least the afternoon did turn out to be bright and sunny.

This morning we had an appointment to view a long-term let, to give us somewhere to live following the collapse of our house purchase.  We said we would like to take it but the agent said the landlord has asked for either a guarantor or for the full 12 months rent in advance.  We agreed to pay in full up front but said exchange of contracts on our house sale will not happen until next week so we could sign it all off then, once we were sure our sale is secured. The agent helpfully pointed out that we were just one of many applicants wanting to rent the property and if we didn't go ahead now we would probably lose out.

Trawling through the rental properties on all the agents' books shows that there is virtually nothing else available... unless you have over £2000 per month to spend for a minimum of 12 months or choose a small flat in a dubious location.

We agreed to call him back in the morning after having a think about it.

Looks like another sleepless night ahead.


A Bit Of A Setback

 Just when everything all seemed to be going so well.

We have agreed a tentative completion date with our buyers for our house sale in a couple of weeks and our Advocate has been chasing up a date for the purchase of our new place.  This morning we had a call from the Agent telling us that the bungalow we were buying has now been withdrawn from the market as the vendor's onward purchase has fallen through.

Very slight panic mode ensued.  We may be homeless in two weeks with nowhere to live.

Most of today has been spent frantically calmly trawling property rental sites for houses to rent but there are hardly any suitable ones available.  Holiday lets are also mostly booked up with staycationers or are outrageously expensive.  We have managed to find just one bungalow at a reasonable rent on a 12 month lease so have booked a viewing for Monday morning. Just hope it doesn't get snapped up in the meantime.

As a backup we have enquired about a long term holiday let for a couple of months but are waiting for a quote as to costs.

Meanwhile, the packing of many boxes continues apace.

Serves Me Right

Last night I was too lazy to cook a meal from scratch so I  cheated...again.

There was some leftover chicken from Sunday's roast which I put in the pot with a pack of rice and mixed veg from the freezer and added a jar of Thai green curry paste.

It tasted fine but at 2 a.m. I awoke suddenly with a very painful attack of heartburn, I suspect from the curry paste.

That'll teach me not to cheat.

Swallows And Rain

This weekend so far has been dull, grey, wet and windy.  Oh, and cold too so the heating has been on most of the time.

Saturday morning saw a bank of  heavy, low cloud hanging over us, leaking drizzly wet stuff, but that was the day that the swallows arrived.  Due to the cloud cover, all the flying insects seemed to be quite low down so the swallows were putting on their aerial acrobatic display over our garden, swooping, diving and  performing daredevil stunts in pursuit of all the insect delicacies.

(Please excuse the poor quality video.  They wouldn't stay still)

We had a grand view of their antics from our windows and I spent most of the morning watching them. Not much else to do on such a day anyway.  By the afternoon, the cloud had lifted and so too had the insects so the swallows were, presumably, much higher up and less visible.  Still, it was great entertainment while it lasted.

This morning (Sunday) was also grey, misty and drizzly but I went for a walk with the girls around South Barrule plantation. We only got caught in one brief shower but were able to stand under the trees to miss most of it.  An hour and a half with some steep bits but overall not too strenuous for me.  I was ready for the coffee and cake at the Coffee Cottage in the woods afterwards.

Now, a hot shower and feet up for the afternoon I think.

How I Met P

Responding to my comment on Yorkshire Pudding's recent blog post about "Ordinariness", he recommended a few topics that I may wish to blog about when I suggested that my blog was...well.. just ordinary.  One of the suggested blog post subjects was how His Lordship and I got together.

So, for those who may be interested, this is how it all happened forty years ago.

I had, unwisely, married at age 19 to my first ever boyfriend thinking at that time that nobody else was ever likely to ask me.  We moved from the London suburbs down to the south coast in search of jobs and cheaper accommodation costs.  Within three years I realised that I had made a huge mistake and so the marriage stumbled to a halt.

At the same time P had just moved back to England's south coast from Australia, (where his parents had moved their young family back in the early 1960s as "Ten Pound Poms" in search of a better life).

I was staying with friends who had kindly taken me in when my husband and I split. One evening they took me to their local bar to stop me moping about in their house.  We were having a quiet drink together in the front bar when we became aware that a fight had broken out in the back bar (not as refined as the front bar!).  Their friend, the bar manager, broke up the fight, called the police and ambulance then came to sit with us when everything had calmed down.  He chatted to us, totally oblivious to the blood stains all over his shirt front, and after a while suggested that the four of us go out one evening to try out a new restaurant that had just opened.  

Obviously, that was P. We all went along to the restaurant a few days later and had a very pleasant evening.  He found out where I worked and the next day called my office and asked me to go out for a drink.

And that, my friends, was that.

Very ordinary indeed.

May Bank Holiday Weekend

I seem to be losing track of the year and the public holidays so far.  This one crept up on me suddenly. 

Friday evening we invited our friends over for a takeaway supper. One couple volunteered to pick up our orders on their way over and we were all ready and waiting, beers and bubbles in hand, when the food arrived.  We provided a cheese platter and a fruit salad in case they were still hungry afterwards.  It was a lovely evening with lots of interesting conversation and good humour.

Today (Sunday) I met three of the girls for a walk. It was dry  bright and sunny but with  a cool breeze. Just right for walking.  We walked up the steep lane to Slieau Whallian  then followed the old railway trail back to St John's.

It was only an hour and a half walk but I have been suffering recently with my hay fever so my lungs were a bit congested and couldn't manage any more steep climbs. I managed coffee and cake afterwards at Green's though.

P is taking part in a fell race this afternoon so I have showered and am enjoying a few peaceful hours of solitude .  He had already left before I returned home so I had a brief wander around the garden, checking on the progress of the bluebells and pansies. (Excuse the rubbish photos. I am tired).

I am making a pork and apple casserole this evening which should be quick and easy to prepare. Another "bung it in a pot" meal.

Wake me up when it's time to go to bed.