The Big Move

I left home at 8am and made a quick journey up to Bath to collect Verity and then onward to Bexhill to assist Mum in her move to Hillborough House. We arrived to find the bungalow at 4 Beech Close somewhat denuded of furniture and mum sitting in a picnic chair dealing with high finance over the phone. 

We did some sorting out ready for the removers to come the next morning. Mum was up with the lark but unfortunately the removal men didn’t turn up until 11am so we were sitting in the garden enjoying the sunshine. Once they arrived they were very efficient so that by 2 we were at the other end and starting the business of unpacking! But I get ahead of myself, first there were the sandwiches, sausages, cakes and Prosecco which we were invited to eat for our lunch and an enormous bouquet of flowers was presented to mum as well. 

We were unpacking boxes, taking the cartons to the bin store, recycling all the paper and trying to fit everything in the new apartment for some hours. In the end we had to go through everything and slim down her clothes, bedding and towels and cull her kitchen ware stuff still further! Once that was done and bagged there were journeys to the charity shops and to Ravenside for ‘storage solutions’ on the Saturday. 

I had given mum my old IPad so in between everything else there were lessons in its usage, programming the TV, teaching mum how to use the microwave, washing machine, entry system, etc, etc!

We went down to the beach for a breath of fresh air the Friday evening but stayed in Saturday night as there were too many jobs that needed to be finished off if we were to get away on Sunday morning.  I am sure mum will be very happy there and very secure but it will help if she remembers to take the right keys with her!

Catching up on the gardening

What with the weather having been indifferent, going to Scotland and Bexhill, the garden has been sadly neglected of late. It started out as a dull day, just the sort of weather I like for gardening but before too long it turned into a scorcher so I was soon rather hot and sticky. Still, I managed to clear the bed I had set out to do, cutting back and ripping out all Vipers Bugloss which has now past its best. The roses needed deadheading and so did the Hidcote Lavenders. I finished off by trimming the edge and then went on to start on the central beds but it really was too hot. After a read of the Economist and several glasses of I felt suitably refreshed so I tidied the area at the top of the steps. All in all, a good day’s work.

In The Loft

Having travelled along the south coast to sunny Bexhill on Monday I immediately set about helping mum with her house clearance. This mostly entailed going into the loft, which had to be emptied, and then sorting everything into the various categories of recycling and charity shops and the rubbish tip! I am not very good at heights these days so I went straight into the loft the first day to get it over and done with, what I didn’t manage to clear, I dragged to the entrance of the loft so that the next day I could reach the remaining rubbish from the top of the ladder. We were lucky with the charity shops as they grudgingly accepted all that we had sorted out for them. The rubbish tip was very well organised with lots of different categories so although we had rubbish even that was recycled.

From then on the sorting out was fairly easy, most of the furniture, pots, pans and clothes will be packed by the house movers. Tomorrow we have auctioneers coming to look at what furniture they might take, hopefully they will take quite a bit but if not the house movers will clear the remaining bits.

Tomorrow I head back to Devon and then Thursday next I come back for the big move on Friday!

News catch-up

Off to Bexhill next week to help mum with packing up her house ready for the move to her brand new apartment ( fully furnished!) on the 12 August. The days seem to be flying by and the garden is looking a mess but luckily Tim is coming later today so I can offload some of the jobs onto him.

I had a stall at the local church this Saturday, against my better judgement, but It was combined with a bell ringing festival so I thought we would have some new customers! Well it seemed to get off to a slow start and then I overheard one of the bell ringers saying he had invited 60 local teams to come and take part and not one of them was coming! I was furious as we were committed to be there all day. I honestly think the organisers should have cancelled it or at least have given us the option of pulling out of the event. I took the princely sum of £16 of which I am supposed to give 20%, I will not be going to the next one!

I had to send off my application for the next exhibition of the Newton St Cyres art club today, I don’t hold out much hope of selling anything but it’s good practice and raises money for the group so I don’t mind really. Who knows, I might even pluck up courage to enter for the RA Summer Show one day.

 Two of the four paintings I am entering for the exhibition

Bonnie Scotland

A few days exploring the Scottish Borders with a view to a possible move there. We explored all the towns in the locality including Galashiels, Jedburgh, Coldstream but kept returning to Kelso as it seems to offer ( minus a cinema) the sort of town where we would like to live. Now we are back in Devon it seems a long way off but as Lol said,a long way off from where? – I guess Taiwan seems like even further, but somehow the continent is a long way away even if Nicola Sturgeon does want Scotland to remain in the EU. 

So, Kelso sits on a confluence of the Tweed and the Teviot rivers and is also prone to flooding. The countryside roundabout is rolling fields and twisty lanes and it doesn’t take long to be in the really hilly country of the Cheviots. It is only 45 miles to Edinburgh which you can reach by train from Berwick or the new Tweedbank or drive. The town itself has a variety of small shops and pubs and restaurants as well as a Sainsburys and a Lidle. The roads in the town leading to the main square are all cobbled, as is the main square. It is very fine and some websites describe it as Flemish style. 



‘It’s Time To Call It Day’

We had good intentions of going to Menaggio on the bus but somehow it was so much more relaxing to spend our last day pool side, sipping Hugo and Aperole Spritz! We spent the day under parasols, intermittently going for a dip to cool off. In the evening, we had our last meal on the terrace and Verity helped a woman out trying to book a place to stay on as her husband had gone into hospital. We packed our bags as we had a fairly prompt start in the morning. It was just as well we did as when we woke up this morning apart from there being a most horrendous thunderstorm there was also a power cut on our floor. Our driver came to collect us and this time was a very safe driver which was just as well as the heavy rain followed us all along the lakeside. Luckily by the time we had reached the plain of Milan it was sunny. Our plane was only 25 minutes late and luckily we had speedy boarding! All was going very well with our travel arrangements until our train connection at Hamden Park, the train driver just pulled out of the station as everyone was on the footbridge. I am sure it was deliberate as there is a lot of discontent on southern rail at the moment. To cap it all, all further trains were then cancelled. We caught a bus all round the houses, transferred to the 99 bus and got to the Wheatsheaf at 5 pm. We then had to walk all up Pear Tree Lane which is a bit tiring after a day of travel. Still, we are home now and none the worse for our adventures.


The Hunt for a Market and Stranded in Varenna!

We had an earlyish breakfast and set off for Tremazina to find the market. We walked a fair way, and it was fairly humid but all we found was a cheese stall, a honey seller and a few vegetables for sale in the local park. Not what we had seen when we were on our way to Como the other day. We explored a bit more but decided to cut our losses and took the water bus from Tremezzo to Varenna. We had a lovely journey with a refreshing breeze blowing in our hair. Varenna itself is relatively small but far fewer tourists than Bellagio and only a few shops. We had a beer and bits and later an ice cream but decided that we had seen Varenna and to head back to the hotel. Imagine our horror when we found that we had missed the last boat of the morning and we would have to wait until 3.15, at this moment it was 12.30!  If we had felt like lunch it would have been fine but having had a big breakfast and the ice creams etc. we couldn’t squeeze anymore in. I might add, we weren’t the only people to find ourselves stuck and I almost think that they have a deliberate plan to make you eat in their restaurants! Anyway, it wasn’t so bad, we sat in the shade and roundabout 2 ish we decamped to a local cafe for toasted sandwiches and before we knew it, the boat came in. A quick dive in the swimming pool and all was soon forgotten.