Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Allotment News!

Thank you so much to all of you who commented on my last post.  The kind words and suggestions were very much appreciated so a big thank you.  Cherie, the idea of a lovely bungalow for £125,000 in a good area is something I would love to have but we need to stay in this area, or at least within a short radius.  I can't bear the thought of moving away from my GC and my lovely DD.  I would be bereft, as would they I think :)  House hunting has already become such a chore.  The bungalows and semi's we like the look of are way beyond our means and the ones we can afford are so tatty they would need gutting and renovating.  We have neither the money nor the expertise to do any of the work ourselves and the thought of living in it whilst work is carried out over several months fills me with horror.  Only this afternoon we put in an offer for a decent small bungalow which was rejected.  We can't offer more because we simply don't have it and can't get even a small mortgage at our age (we tried) Bugger....

On to more pleasant things...Remember the allotment we took on last year?  We covered it with black polythene to supress the weeds...

We had a few sunny days over the last two weeks so have slowly begun to prepare the ground.  After peeling back some of the polythene we turned the soil with a fork and removed as many thick weeds and stones as we could....

It took us two days of hard(ish) graft and then G made two raised beds and set them on weed suppressant membrane, covering the paths between with some free bark chippings....

Over the following week G turned a bit more soil to make a bed for a row of potatoes (free from a gardening neighbour), a row of chard (seed free from a kind allotment neighbour) and a row of broad beans.…..

You can just see the broad beans, our first sign of a crop!  I have absolutely NO idea if what we are doing is correct and G is working from a planner and with advice from seasoned gardeners, but it's exciting!

We have a gooseberry bush in a pot at home (thriving) and a blackberry bush also in a pot (not much sign of life yet)  which we intend to plant at the very top of our plot eventually.  At the moment we must take it slow and easy, I think.....

Thanks for popping in once again and stay safe wherever you happen to be x

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

I Know When I'm Beaten......

Phoo (says I, blowing out my cheeks) it has been so long since I last posted that I have forgotten what I was talking about and lost the thread completely.  Since we last 'spoke' so much has happened.  We have had a horrendous couple of months.  A time so stressful that I thought we were going mad at times.  Regular readers will know that the park on which we live closes down for the whole of February making us all move out to pastures new until 1st March.  In the past, anyone ill and having hospital treatment, chemo or serious mobility problems has been allowed to stay upon production of a note from the GP.  Not so this year; the very year that G needed to be at home to continue his treatment. We paid £15 for a note from the GP (it was insufficient), we requested a note from the Consultant (who said that a GP's note should suffice) and we had to supply copies of the clinical notes in the end (what about the implications of a breach of the Data Protection Act?)  Slightly threatening letters were pushed through the door on several occasions along with a demand for a payment of £170 for the privilege of being ill at home.  We spent the first week of Feb in a hotel then came home because G had about 6 different appointments and telephone consultations during the final 3 weeks of the month, most of which we had to pay for privately.  The culmination of these was that he had 5 Botox and anaesthetic injections in his neck at the very end of the month. The consultant was lovely and assured us that G can remain on the NHS waiting list for an appointment at some stage in the future, although heaven knows how long the wait will be.  The Botox has helped with the pain enormously although the head tremor remains.  I think G is learning coping strategies.  At least he is getting some sleep now so is better able to cope, at least until the effects of the Botox wears off.
Me?....Since we came home I am sleeping like a baby most nights although occasionally worry gets to me and keeps me awake until the wee small hours.

We have decided that we can't risk another worrying February next year, as G's neck problem isn't going to go away, so have decided the time has come to move home.  We would love a new build, detached bungalow in a quiet area but that simply ain't gonna happen, so we are searching with an open mind to see what we can afford.  We have sold the beloved caravan (as G can't tow it any longer) and I'm eBaying like a mad woman to raise as much money as we can for all the fees involved in a house move (Stamp duty, solicitors, removal company etc) as well as to pay the hospital charges for G's treatment.

We are now ON A MISSION!

The allotment will be our recreation for this year.  It is now officially Spring!  Do stay tuned for allotment news in the next post :)

Stay safe everyone, wherever you happen to be in the world.  Thanks so much for popping in after all this time x

Saturday, 12 January 2019

An Expensive Time of Year

This is an expensive time of year. At the very end of December we have to pay site fees as well as  rates, water & sewerage charges to the park owner. These alone add up to £2,500.  In addition, the home insurance is due next week.  The renewal premium has gone up by 10% this time so I tried to find a cheaper policy elsewhere to no avail, so I rang the company and politely asked if there could be any movement on price.  Straight away they offered me a £10 loyalty discount which I accepted.  We always pay in full to avoid interest charges so that's it... sorted for another 12 months. The moral of the tale is just ask!  The TV license was due at the end of December too and, although it had increased to £150.50 I think it's a reasonable price for a year's viewing (assuming we can find something interesting to watch that is )

The 2018 account book has now been written up and the figures tallied. There is a small surplus which will be carried over and if we are careful this year I don't think we need to increase the weekly/monthly sum we put away.  The budget for 2019 has been set at the same amount which is a bit of a blessing at the moment what with buying the new bed and paying for G's osteopathy massages.

He had to visit the Osteopath on Thursday to try to relieve pain in his shoulder this time.  She pointed out that he has lost a lot of muscle tone on the left side; in his shoulder, upper arm, and it even shows in his face.  The left side is much thinner in the cheeks than the right. Last night poor G was awake again by 4am.  He's gone to work but is really tired. I really don't know what's to be done.

With G at work I had a leisurely morning. A bit of housework was done, then I spent a heavenly couple of hours crafting toppers to sell. It's now 3pm and the light is failing fast so I'll pack up and do a bit of shopping.  I only need bread and something tempting for G when he comes home at 6.30pm.  There's £5 left in the food budget and the family are not visiting today so perhaps omelettes or fish . There might be some YS available....who knows...

Anyway, stay safe everyone and have a super weekend.  Thanks so much for popping in x

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Slumber Deep & The Birthday Boy

Thank you to everyone who wished me a good night's sleep on the new bed. Last night was the best night I have had for weeks, nay...months.  I slept solidly from 10.30pm to just before 6am, then snoozed until 7.20am when I heard G knocking about in the kitchen and I got up to wish him a happy birthday.  He is 69 today.  I had filched all his cards from the post in the last few days and stored them up in a secret place, then I left them out on the breakfast bar last night before I went to bed.  I treated him to lunch out today as we no longer buy each other birthday gifts. DD bought him a lovely warm hoody, a good friend gave him an M & S gift voucher and he had several scratch cards in his birthday cards (no winners but it was exciting trying).  He is dreading next birthday when he will be 70 but I will get there first on November 1st THIS YEAR. 

I simply refuse to dread it.  This year could be a much better one than the last two ( I hope!!)  Can you hear me Ernie?  My premium bonds are due a win and we could do with a nice warm bungalow with 2 decent sized bedrooms! ;)

Stay safe everyone wherever you are x