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Sunday, 21 February 2021

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Not a good week

 Sorry for the lack of posts recently, nothing much to say and it's not been a good week, one way or another.

I've been tearing my hair out (already thinning!) trying to work out how we're going to adjust to our new reduced circumstances and what to do for the best, it's been giving me a lot of sleepless nights.  We've now come up with a possible plan, but it needs a lot more investigation before I know if it will be viable for us.  I know I'm not giving out the full picture....well, I won't be, I'm not publishing all our personal details on the world wide web.

To make things worse, my friend told me midweek he's having his jab today - he is several years younger than me, at the same surgery as me and has no underlying health conditions.  Whilst I'm happy for him, I was a bit upset about that, I felt like I'd been forgotten, especially since the website told me I still wasn't eligible.  As it happens, I have now got mine booked for next Tuesday, but I do wonder how they work things out.  And, just to add to my misery, I have a cold and have felt quite rough for the past couple of days.  Must have caught it when we went shopping earlier in the week...I've not been anywhere else and not come into contact with anybody, nor has husband, other than taking Betty out.  In fact, I've hardly had any contact with anyone this week, not even by text or phone.  Hope the cold's gone by the time I go for my jab, don't want to be coughing or sneezing there!

It's absolutely peeing down again, standing water everywhere, the fields are swamps.  It's so depressing.  Apparently we are going to have some sunshine next week....I bloody hope so.


Sunday, 14 February 2021

Blah blah, same old

 Not writing much because there's nothing much to write about!  Stuck indoors and stuck in a rut.  Sorry, wallowing in self pity today...well, the past few days if I'm honest.  Lockdown has really got to me.  I'm so sick of not being able to go anywhere or see anyone or do anything nice.

Oh, I read up on our local Council's social housing policy....seems they do a bid system here too.  I don't know much about it (didn't read it all), but it appears applicant/s are put into a 'band' according to their housing needs...we would be Bronze, i.e. the lowest/of least urgency.  And you are only allowed to bid on properties the Council deems suitable for 'your' needs.  So doesn't look very hopeful.


Wednesday, 10 February 2021

A rare treat

 Husband had to go to the hospital again this morning, to have an x-ray.  I went with him again - not allowed to accompany him into the hospital, of course, but it's just nice to get out of the house.  Anyway, we had a rare treat in mind, as it was a lovely sunny morning - a picnic at Uphill beach, which is a short drive from the hospital.  I took sandwiches and a flask of coffee and we parked right on the beach - the tide was out (obviously 😂).  There were half a dozen other cars there, well spaced out (it's a big beach), several walkers and lots of dogs.  We didn't actually get out of the car....although sunny and bright, it was blooming cold still, although just above freezing, unlike the last few days.  But it was lovely to sit and look out towards Wales (we could see the Welsh coastline clearly as visibility was so good this morning) and watch all the dogs running about on the sand.  Both of us said how good it felt to do something that we used to do regularly, but haven't been able to for months.  A little bit of normality, or what used to be normal!

Husband is dithering over the car we saw the other day now, he can't make up his mind whether he wants it or not.  I've given him my opinion but it's up to him, he's the one who'll be driving it, not me.

I made yogurt for the first time yesterday, in my Multichef, it was dead easy, just a litre carton of UHT milk and a few spoonfuls of Greek-style yogurt and on the yogurt programme for 8 hours.  It's not as thick as I'd hoped, but apparently a couple of teaspoons of milk powder added, or a bit extra time, should help thicken it the next time I make it.  Or I could strain it overnight and use the whey to make scones or soda bread.  The yogurt does, however, taste really nice, it has a cleaner, purer taste than shop bought yogurt.  I will definitely make it again, we use a lot of yogurt.it

I don't feel like cooking today, so we're having burger, chips and beans for dinner tonight.  I suppose that's another treat, it's something we rarely have, although I do keep some burgers (beef, chicken or fish ones) and chips in the freezer for just such an occasion.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

A sneaky look!

 Thank you for comments.  Some of you mentioned Council or Housing Association properties...that had crossed my mind, our very first house nearly 40 years ago was a Council property, it had nice big rooms, although wasn't in a very nice area.  Then we bought our next house, an ex-Council house on a lovely estate.  I really loved that house, until the neighbours from hell moved in next door and proceeded to ruin our lives for the next couple of years 😠. I think the whole Close heaved a sign of relief when they finally moved out, after repeated visits from the Police interfered with their chosen lifestyle too much!

What's always put us off applying for social housing now (as it's now called) is the fact that we would probably only get offered a 1 bedroom flat, meaning we couldn't have family or friends to stay.  And neither of us could stand the thought of living somewhere with no garden - not practical with Betty anyhow.  And we might not get much choice about the location, whereas we really do want to choose.  I know - beggars can't be choosers, we should be grateful, etc etc.  Well, we're not beggars yet!  So that idea is on hold for a while.

Husband's consultant says his foot is healing as it should, it just takes time - up to a year! - and the pain should subside in due course.  She wants him to have another scan, though, and see a podiatrist about having specially designed insoles.  She's also given him pain medication to tide him over.

Whilst we were in Weston for the hospital, we took the opportunity to visit a small local car sales place to have a look at a particular little car they've got for sale.  Well it's lovely, we both really like it and it meets all our requirements, and the garage will take our big gas guzzler in part exchange.  Unfortunately, due to lockdown restrictions we couldn't have a test drive (although the salesman offered...naughty!  We declined though).  Husband won't buy the car without a test drive, quite rightly, and in any case, buying a car doesn't come under 'Essentials' during lockdown.  So we'll have to wait and hope it's still there once restrictions ease.  I suppose we could put a holding deposit on it, although it's not as if the garage is doing much (or any) business right now.  The garage is about half an hour's drive from here, so too far and not an essential journey during lockdown.  The only reason we went yesterday is because we were there for husband's hospital appointment anyway and the garage is only 5 mins drive away from the hospital, and we got a tiny bit of essential food shopping after.  Even if we don't manage to get that particular car, we now know that it's just what we want and need, so know what to look out for when restrictions are lifted.

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Moving forward but staying put

 Thank you all for your very supportive comments.  One of my lovely regular readers offered to help look for a new house for us - thank you GP.  I've said before that we'd like to move, and we will need to at some stage, it won't be practical for us to stay here in this very rural area when we're old and feeble.  However, with our newly changed circumstances, it will be extremely difficult for us to move.

We are fortunate that our rent here is cheap, due to the house being on farmland, with no amenities or public transport nearby.  Properties nearer to towns (and thus amenities) cost more, a fair bit more than we currently pay.  And rental prices hereabouts are currently going through the roof....owing to the nearby nuclear power station under construction.  They already have I think around 5,000 workers onsite, which is a reduction for Covid safety reasons - but they have recently said they want to increase the workforce by about 300% - that's another 15,000 people!  And they've got to be housed.  So landlords are cashing in on this and advertising their properties as being suitable for Hinckley workers, and putting the rents up massively.  Local people are being priced out of the market, just like locals in popular tourist areas such as parts of Cornwall.

We are lucky that there are laws preventing landlords from evicting tenants without good reason, otherwise I'm sure we'd be given our marching orders so that our landlord could get Hinckley workers in here at a much higher rent - he's already said it in jest several times!  At least I think it's in jest....😒

Husband has to go to hospital tomorrow to have another x-ray and see his consultant for a further assessment on his foot.  He's been having increasing pain in it lately, it seems the more the swelling goes down, the more painful it gets.  His consultant did say the last time that if he still has trouble with it, she may need to operate again and take out the 4 or 5 pins she put in it.  And that will mean another few weeks when he's unable to drive.  Sigh.  Whatever happens, I hope she can reassure him that the pain will go soon, he's really struggling again. 

Meanwhile, my nephew is still in hospital (2 weeks now), with no firm diagnosis...they do have a couple of possibilities in mind but don't have much experience or expertise in these in the local hospital he's in.  They're talking about him possibly seeing a specialist in London (he lives in the Midlands).  Nephew and his fiancee just want a diagnosis and treatment, as does his mother, my sister, who obviously has been unable to visit him, nor has his fiancee.

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Acceptance and moving forward

 Thanks so much for all the kind comments, they mean a lot.  I sometimes think our life wouldn't be our life if we didn't have all these challenges and problems, although it does get a bit wearing at times.  We've rarely had a time when things haven't been stressful for one reason or another (sometimes several at once), so I can't really imagine what it would be like to have a peaceful, happy, stress free existence!  Oh well, you have to deal with the cards you're given.

The fact is, we need to keep a very tight rein on finances now, and make savings where we can.  One of the first things we're going to do is change our car - we currently have a big gas guzzling 4x4, it's a lovely comfortable car and we like it a lot, but it's expensive to run and has needed some costly repairs lately....as it's quite old it may well need more in the future.  Husband has been looking at likely replacements - it did take a while to get him in the mindset of actually looking solely for a smaller car - we've had several big 4x4s, he really likes them.  I've had to convince him that we don't actually need a huge car, there is only the 2 of us plus the dog.  She currently has a big travel cage in the back, but doesn't need to have it, she'd be fine with a dog bed and a harness.  She travels well, she's as good as gold in the car.  I have to say, looking at cars bores the pants off me, I've got no interest in them, but have had to get involved to make husband stick to downsizing.  We've narrowed it down to 2 or 3 makes/models, all of which would immediately save us around £300 plus p.a. on tax, not to mention fuel savings.  Although, to be fair, we're not spending a lot on fuel during lockdown as we hardly go out in the car.

I've had shopping delivered quite often during lockdown, I don't like it much as the substitutions aren't always what I'd choose, or things get left out altogether.  And sometimes the fruit and veg delivered isn't of good quality, the fresh meat too fatty, and sometimes short dates on fresh stuff like milk.  But one advantage of getting it delivered is I'm not tempted to go 'off plan' and throw other stuff in the trolley just because it caught my eye, so I don't spend so much.  I haven't done shopping every week for ages, whereas we always used to go weekly...I've found that we can actually manage to go 10 days or even a fortnight between shops.  So from now on I'm going to stick to fortnightly shops, alternating home delivery and actually going to the supermarket.  I reckon that will save us money, as will writing a list and sticking to it!