Sunday, 15 November 2020

Pond update, and the bowl......

The Pond..... and it is good news, although not so good as to have the origination of the pond dispensed with, so we still do not have central heating. However, a plumber has been to 'access the situation', with the good news that the emersion water heater is alright to use, so hot water can now be had. And the pond? It is now spreading out into a very damp patch, which unfortunately is oozing itself into the vicinity of the stairs. I did put a towel on top of a plastic sheet in front of the bathroom door when the pond was in its earlier stages of sogginess, but towels on top of plastic sheets at the top of the stairs would not be advisable, I thought.   And a drip plopped down on my head when I was in the kitchen this evening. 

But, hot water! Such a blessing! I now have no excuse to leave the washing up..... and because the bathroom is like an ice box without central heating, I have taken to having a quick wash in the mornings at the kitchen sink. To be doing this with a stack of washing up piled high is difficult. It is a cottage kitchen, so is tiny, as is the sink area. Me and the dishes have no room for each other, so one has to be done before the other can  be attended to. The washing up bowl has to oblige both. I used to have several bowls back in France, but they were not brought back to the UK. I need a bowl all to myself. 

A Saturday morning trip into the outskirts of Shrewsbury, and we found B & Q, a DIY shop which Lester had been pointed to by a neighbour last weekend as having a stack of electric fires for sale, the same neighbour who had been concerned about our lack of heating, and who had brought round his Mother's electric fire for our use. Sadly it fused the electric circuit board though. I did mention to the neighbour, a man of age but with the spirit of a ten year old, if the fire had been intact when his Mother used it last, she now having moved in with the angels above. However, since he is a grand DIY person and has sheds in the back garden which house all manner of interesting paraphanalia, including a brand new big boys motor bike...... to be admired, and dreamed about, but never ridden, .........I did think that perhaps he had used the top of the fire as a perch to sit something heavy on, which would account for its buckled state and the reason why it fused our electrics, bless him. 

Anyway, the B & Q store was found, and Lester bought a couple of fires last weekend.  So I had it in my mind that the store might also have a bowl. It didn't. But we had a walk round the huge cavern of a warehouse shop, and it came into our minds that we have no need of anything to do with home decorating and DIY products, that since we are in a rented cottage we are now free of having to ' do a house up' , which is a relief after the thirteen years we spent renovating our French home. I think that The Universe decided that we needed a holiday from house renovations! 

So I am still sharing the bowl with the washing up. Not to worry. The plumber may / or may not be here tomorrow to start fixing the leak, but it does not matter because he will be here sometime in the future, preferably before the end of 2020. Keep hope alive. That is what you have to do. 

Bye for now, 


Wednesday, 11 November 2020

An inside pond, and update......

 So............. we have a pond.....but not an 'outside' pond, which is where you would normally expect to find one, but an 'inside' pond. Fortunately it is not a deep pond, but a 'splashy' pond, which is just as well because it has centred itself right in the middle of the bathroom doorway. 

OK, so this is perhaps an exaggeration on my part, but to go in and out of the bathroom does require the feet coming into contact with very wet and soggy carpet. 

And the origination of this patch is? The now defunct central heating which saw fit to blow a gasket a week ago mid way through the coldest patch of weather we have had so far in the UK, the evidence of this disaster being the splashing of water coming down from the ceiling of the kitchen as noticed by my partner, who was in the middle of a phone call to the National Health Service Help Line who was busy informing him that I ought to be taken to hospital because it sounded like I had border line pneumonia, after having had some horrendous coughing fits through the night. 

Oh well. The good news is that I refused to go into hospital, that I have recovered from that 'border line' position by going onto YouTube and looking at videos about exercises to clear congestion on the lungs, and am drinking loads of water to clear my system out. One week on, and I am up on my feet. AND..... I managed to walk 400 paces up and down the village lane outside the cottage, for two days in a row, at dusk, which was magical. Keep moving, that is what I need to do.  

Fortunately the weather is very mild at the moment, so the lack of any heating in the house is copeable with. This is our first winter here in the UK after having lived thirteen years in SW France, which is a lot warmer. Not to worry, we can cope. A neighbour was kind enough to donate a fire so we could keep warm, and a visit to B & Q on Sunday sourced a couple more. We won't have heating over all of the house, but we can have heating in small patches of it. 

Meanwhile, .... the landlord of the cottage has organised a plumber to come and assess the damage. It is an elderly cottage so things will go wrong with it, the same as it does for us. We could have done with not having floor boards and ceilings dug up, but, well, it is as it is. We did think of moving out, and we still might have to if the work is too extensive, but we are just getting settled in, and we are very appreciative of the good things about living here. The only down side is that the repair is likely to be done in the colder weather, possibly near to Christmas, if not after it. Oh well, as I say, not to worry. 

So, all is well. Everything seems quite heavy around us but it well pass. The farm in France has had people interested in buying it, so hopefully it will sell eventually. The cottage has now got a leaky insides, but hopefully that will get fixed eventually. I have got dodgy insides, but hopefully self healing, meditation, and generally keeping upbeat about things will fix me up. Keep praying to The Universe, and asking for help that all will be well, both for us, for our nations, and for peace in this world of ours,  that is what I do. Sometimes I slip and falter and fall into despair, but what good is that........ keep going, that is what I need to do. 

So sending blessings to you, and wishing you well.....


Friday, 2 October 2020

There and back again......

 I am sorry for the lapse in time since my last blog. No excuse, other than that there were no words in my head to write with......but here I am, and the good news is that Lester has made the trip down to SW France to retrieve our personal possessions, and then made it back to Shropshire with no bumps or knocks to either himself or the van. 2000 miles, in three days, leaving at 6am on Thursday and getting back 10pm Saturday, with the van loaded with boxes, instruments, the lawnmower, and some flat packed furniture. The 'posh' furniture stayed at the farm, to be sold with the house. There is no room for it in our new life. 

I think Lester is a hero. Apart from our clothes, it was mostly my crafting equipment which he brought back, plus my collection of notebooks of writings, and camera related equipment. It is good to have it back. I feel less like having half of me in England and half of me still in France. It was a very divided feeling.

Meanwhile, we are going through another series of adjustments as we leave go of Labartere, our smallholding in SW France, which has sort of faded from our life now that Lester has made the trip. I find it amazing how we keep adjusting to all the ups and downs of 2020, although we are feeling worn out with all the effort it has taken. We need some quiet time now to repair ourselves, before we start searching for our own house. Even though the cottage is a very nice place to be staying in, we are always aware that it belongs to somebody else.

......meanwhile, I am making a mess everywhere! There are partly unpacked boxes in the garage, with just four more to open so I can investigate there contents. When I packed them back in March, it was necessary to try and keep the boxes at a  minimum because of having to load them into a van for transport. So it was higgledy piggledy packing I did, with things put here and there as room in the boxes became available. Therefore there is no order. So........ I have to unpack them here, sort out what we need and what can be left in the boxes for our next move, which then have to be resealed in case little living things decide to cosy up for the winter in them. 

Only one large dustbin bag, filled with cushions, was found to be a possible hotel for larger 'little' living things (rats.....the evidence being the size of their toilet leavings).  A peek inside the dustbin bag, .....a very quick closure of the same bag, ......and a quick exit outside of the garage for the bag in case any French rats were wanting to rehome themselves.....better to have them outside rather than enjoying the comfort of the boxes. 

So..... the garage is full of unpacked boxes, and the house has bits and pieces all over it as I rehome things, in particular there is a traffic jam at the foot of the stairs as most of the things needing rehoming is my stuff. Since the stairs and me are new to each other, ( we lived on the ground floor for thirteen years so my legs forgot how to 'do' stairs)  the effort of taking the stuff  up the stairs is taking a time. I have put the things in plastic supermarket bags for ease of transport. There are quite a few bags at the foot of the stairs. It might take a time to get the backlog done with, the amount of bags going up the stairs being determined by the number of loo runs I do. We have an upstairs loo. One of the requirements for our next house is that it must have a downstairs loo. Although it is fair to say that my legs have benefitted from the exercise. 

Signing off for now,