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Friday, 30 July 2021

Pictures

 My first drawings for the caravan:-




The last one is a drawing I'd done a while ago, I just freshened it up a bit and added a bit more detail before framing.  The three of them are destined for the 2nd bedroom (where I sleep).

And here's where Betty sleeps at the end of my bed (although she starts off actually on my bed, but then gets in her own after a while, thank goodness.....she weighs a ton when she's lying on my feet):-



Some fun stuff

 I didn't get round to doing any drawing yesterday, busy doing other things.  I did do a bit of research on the sort of flowers I want to draw to go in the caravan, though.  Bought several pretty frames in a couple of charity shops, some brand new and still in their cellophane wrappings.  I'll be doing some drawings today.  I was challenged yesterday when in town about wearing my mask - some rude old man who barked 'what you wearing that for?  the rule doesn't apply anymore'.  I just said 'It's personal choice - if I choose to protect you and you choose not to protect me, well we each have our own conscience!'.  He just stared at me with his mouth open (fortunately not too close to me!).

Having had several doses of pain meds yesterday and slept quite well last night, my shoulders are now feeling much better......hip is still just as painful though.  Quite surprised I slept so well, as there was apparently a howling gale through the night, it kept husband awake and this morning our garden furniture was scattered around the garden, along with several pots.  Our gazebo is only just managing to survive, it's well anchored down but is bending sideways quite alarmingly.  Husband has been out and tied it to the fence, which has made it a bit more stable.  If we took the canvas roof off, the frame would be fine.  It's forecast to be very windy all day today, calming down tonight.

As well as finishing off the last few jobs in the caravan the next time we go, we're also (finally) going to be doing some fun things.  There's a very nice independent garden centre a short distance away, which our fellow residents say is lovely and not overpriced, so we'll be going there to get some plants for the caravan garden.  And there's a Thursday market with local artisan bakers, crafts people, cheesemakers, farmers produce etc in the next village, so we'll go and have a look at that.  And one of the days husband will be leaving Betty and I in the caravan and going out for brunch with one of his mates - the one who helped him fit the caravan kitchen, husband is treating him to say thank you.  So they'll have a nice male bonding session, with a big Wetherspoons cooked breakfast, and Betty and I will have a peaceful few hours in the caravan - win win all round.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

A drawing day

 Didn't sleep at all well last night (having to get up for the loo 3x didn't help.....must have been all the water I drank yesterday after the dentist visit), and my shoulders are really painful - just shows how tensed up I was at the dentists.  So I'm not doing anything much today.  Might do a bit of drawing, and have some lists to make for the next caravan visit.  Tuna salad for lunch, and dinner will be homemade chilli from the freezer and a jacket spud....no wait, husband's home grown new potatoes are ready, so it'll be those.

I want some picture frames for my artwork (seems pretentious calling it 'artwork' - I wouldn't call myself an artist at all, I just like drawing, flowers mainly), so will have to visit a few charity shops, they generally have plenty.

Sun is shining and there was a beautiful sunrise this morning.  Yesterday we had several torrential downpours, really hammering it down - whilst waiting in the car at the dentist (we got there a bit early, and you're not allowed in until your actual time) it was absolutely chucking it down yet there was bright sunshine too - weird!

We did our shopping Tuesday - I would say 2/3 of people were still wearing masks, me included, the rest weren't.  And there were LOADS of gaps on the shelves, it was just like the start of lockdown when everyone was panic buying (or was it Brexit panic buying?  I can't remember now).  Anyway, I didn't notice anyone stockpiling toilet rolls (or anything else), just sighs of exasperation from people at the empty shelves.  It's to do with lack of staff at the warehouses and delivery depots, I think - so many people being pinged by that damn app.  I know several people who have said they've deleted it off their phones now, and I can't say I blame them (I never downloaded it in the first place).

Husband has just got up, so peace is about to be shattered as the TV will go straight on ....perhaps I'll hide the remote 😂😒

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Done and dusted

 Well, I didn't have the wobbly tooth out, nor the gum treatment.....all that build up of anxiety for nothing.  I have no idea why she didn't do either.....my brain freezes up with fear so I don't really take in anything much she says.  Not only that, she wears a huge thick black mask with a clear face shield over the top of it, so as I'm partly deaf, I can hardly hear a word she says anyway.  I just had my teeth cleaned, and another mould taken of my lower jaw with that horrible pink rubber stuff....apparently it didn't work very well last time.  And I still wasn't allowed to rinse my mouth out!!  Although this time she did give me a tissue to spit all the stray rubber bits into.  I do understand all the Covid precautions, but honestly, they're very OTT there.  Not allowed to sit in the waiting room or use the loo either.  All I know is I have another appointment in a fortnight's time, I think to take the tooth out.

Oh, she did say I apparently have another 2 loose teeth, and did I want her to take them out at the same time as the other one?  Erm, no thanks!  The 2 teeth she mentioned don't actually feel very loose to me, so they can stay where they are.

My shoulders feel like I've been carrying a ton of bricks on them.....tension I expect.

Still, it's over for another fortnight.

D-day and power supply

 Dentist day today.  I know what the treatment will be like, as I've already had it twice before, and the extra complication of a tooth out today will add to the discomfort.  I'll take one of my anti-anxiety pills and a couple of paracetamol before I go this afternoon.  That's all I can do really.  Must remember to take a bottle of water with me, in case they're still not allowing mouth rinses! (how ridiculous is that).

Got washing in the tumble dryer, not ideal but showers are forecast all day today, again.  Next door has had a load of washing out for the past 2 days.....keeps drying in brief sunny spells, then gets soaked again.  Don't know why they don't take it in!  Mind you, she was out at work all day yesterday, her OH was in but I guess, being a man, he just didn't think to take it in.  I've got another load to go on overnight, it's supposed to be sunny tomorrow with no rain (we shall see), so hopefully it can be line dried tomorrow.

When I first organised the electricity supply to the caravan and set up the direct debit, the supplier wanted £65 a month - I immediately queried it in an online chat with them, saying that was a ridiculous amount as it was a holiday caravan and we'd only be there for around 2 weeks a month, for just 8 months of the year.  Their answer was basically....well we have to start somewhere, you'll only ever get charged for the amount you actually use, and you can adjust your payment amount after your first bill.  Fair enough, although I still think they just plucked an arbitrary (high) figure out of the air.  Well, we've just had our first bill in.....just over £10!  and that was with husband using umpteen power tools a lot, which he obviously won't be doing now.  So I've downsized the monthly payment to £5, and as we're over £50 in credit with them, that should pay our bills for the next year or two!  And our home supply will cost us less too, seeing as we won't be there using it whilst we're at the van.

Husband's bought himself a weed control tool.....a flame thrower gun thing.....to tackle the jungle that is the back garden.  Boys and their toys 😒  What is it with men and fire?  Must be a caveman thing 😂  Still, so long as it keeps him happy, does the job - and he doesn't set himself or his shed/polytunnel alight!!

Right, I'm off to mince some chicken breasts to make this sort of cottage pie, just in case I feel like eating something tonight (doubtful), otherwise tomorrow.  Betty's going to the groomer this afternoon, finally, as it was postponed before because of that damn 'ping' app.  She really needs to go, her claws desperately need cutting and she hates me doing it.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

A kick up my (fat) arse!

 Had my annual diabetes tests first thing this morning - bloods, BP, weighed, wee checked, feet checked.  Bloods and wee will be sent off, I'll get the results in a couple of days.  My feet are fine.  My blood pressure, generally a bit high, is absolutely fine - I put that down to the caravan effect!  My weight has gone up a bit.....2.5 kg to be exact.  Oh dear.  I'm not surprised, I know why it is - not cooking many healthy meals lately but relying on takeaways and even *shock, horror* quite a few bought ready meals.  Oh, and a few bags of crisps and the odd chocolate biscuit might have jumped into my mouth too.  

Well, it's the kick up the backside I needed - and now we're not so frenetically busy with the caravan renovations, I have the time to get back to cooking proper, healthy meals that aren't carb laden.  Went shopping afterwards and have stocked up on loads of veg and fruit, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, lean bacon medallions, low fat minced pork.  We already have loads of chicken and fish in the freezer.  So no excuses!

We'll have a chicken and Mediterranean veg tray bake tonight.  I'll also make a minced chicken cottage pie with a topping of low fat cauliflower cheese for tomorrow.....soft food as it's the dreaded dentist day tomorrow and I won't be able to chew anything for 2 or 3 days.

Some of you have mentioned how upbeat I am lately - thank you.  It's true, I am, I feel like a different woman.  The caravan has rejuvenated me and given me a purpose, I can't begin to tell you how happy I am to have found it.  The van is just lovely, I'm so pleased with the way it's turned out.  The garden will be lovely too - it's a blank canvas at the moment, and I have a good idea of what we're going to do with it.  The park and all (well, nearly all!) the residents are wonderful, we feel so much at home there already, we've been made very welcome.  It will be so nice to start exploring the local area, in a couple of weeks when we have more time, having completed most of the work.  We do have some knowledge of the nearby towns and villages, having visited some briefly over the years, but there are areas we're not familiar with at all.  We've already been told about a nearby cycle path that runs for several miles through some nice countryside, that'll be good for long walks with Betty.  There's a local farmers and craft market on a Thursday, and a huge boot sale that's on every Sunday, we'll look forward to visiting both of those.  The seaside town of Weston super Mare is only 20 mintues or so away, it's improved vastly over the years since we first moved down here to Somerset and is actually quite nice now, although not somewhere we really want to go during the school summer break, far too busy with tourists.  Come September though, it'll be nice.

My attitude to stressful stuff has changed a bit too, partly because I don't have time (or the inclination) to worry about it too much.  There's still stress going on, a family member is still being a complete pain in the backside and goes through phases of bombarding us with dozens and dozens of WhatsApp messages.  I'd worry about it a lot before.....now I just mute notifications for a few hours and ignore it.  By the time I switch notifications back on several hours later, or even the next day, things have generally calmed down.  I've also 'unfriended' a couple of people on FaceAche, people who I felt obliged to be 'friends' with, owing to the fact that they're extended family, but who give us nothing but trouble (and have a habit of badmouthing anyone who doesn't do what they want, basically).  Life's too short to be putting up with unwanted crap, Covid has taught us that, so I just don't anymore.  And, guess what, the ceiling didn't collapse, no bombs dropped and nobody died!

If I've bored anyone to tears, or lost readers lately because of all the dreary caravan renovation stuff - sorry about that.  It's such a massive and joyful part of my life now, so I'm afraid there'll be lots more 'caravan life' posts!!

Oh, this week following my nasty dental stuff tomorrow, when I won't feel like doing anything much for a few days, I'm going to be experimenting with some artwork to go in the caravan.  I have a few ideas I want to try out.

Monday, 26 July 2021

Back home and some observations

 Back after 5 nights in the caravan, our longest time yet....think we had 2 nights first of all, then 3 a few days later.  By October we might stay there the whole month......😂😂

We achieved quite a few things whilst there, doing them at our own pace and being able to stop for a rest and chat with the neighbours was really good, so it's not been all work and no play.  One of my plans didn't work out which was a bit of a disappointment, but there's always next time (hopefully).  We had a couple of boiling hot days (quite unpleasant in a tin box) followed by a few heavy showers and a thunderstorm in the early hours of one morning, which Betty didn't like at all, but she soon settled down after I got up and cuddled her.  The last couple of days have been warm, but pleasantly so rather than scorching.  Having spent some time living there now, I have some observations:-

1.  I am very tidy and organised - not obsessively so, but I do like everything in its place, I don't like mess and stuff scattered everywhere.  Husband is the complete opposite of me - he is extremely untidy and the most disorganised person I know.  After being with him for 40 years, I've learnt to live with his mess at home - to a certain extent, and provided it's contained within a small area, until it gets out of hand (every few weeks) and he knows then he's got to clear it or else!  Well, in a small space like a 31 x 10 feet caravan, mess is not tolerable.  Whilst he's working, he has 'stuff' scattered everywhere - and I do mean everywhere.....there's a trail of mess and destruction wherever he goes.  I have done my best to close my eyes to it whilst he's doing a job, despite having trodden on loads of bits and having to move a ton of stuff out of the way of doorways or cupboards I want to get into.  But when he's finished, the mess has to be cleared away - I can't stand sitting down and having piles of random DIY stuff wherever I look, it drives me nuts.  He also has a habit of leaving shoes, slippers, discarded t-shirts he's taken off because it's hot, or one of his 3 hats (no I don't know why he needs 3 at the caravan) just lying around everywhere - nope, I'm not having that in the caravan either!  One thing we're not short of in the van is cupboards, so he's got no excuse for not putting things out of sight.

2.  There's only one double electric socket in the 2nd bedroom and it's in the wrong place - wish I'd noticed that before the electrician came last month.  We'll have to get that sorted somehow, need a reading light beside the pillow end of the bed (it's not much use at the foot end!).  And no I can't sleep the other end of the bed.....there's no room for a bedside table at that end.  

3.  For the last 2 nights I've slept in the 2nd bedroom and have had the best sleep, both nights, I've had in months.  Bliss.

4.  We need to fence or box in the rear part of the garden behind the caravan, asap.  Our next door neighbour, the one who was offhand at first (she's not now) and has 2 small yappy ankle biter dogs, has a nasty habit of opening her van door early morning/late at night and simply letting the dogs out loose to do their business - which they do right beside or behind our caravan!  Husband has already had to ask her twice to pick up poo - she did it straight away and was very apologetic, but that's not the point.  We don't let Betty loose to crap wherever she likes, and we certainly wouldn't do it in the caravan park (it's not allowed anyway!  It's in the park regs).  Oh and we came back from shopping the other day to find that the neighbour had tied both her dogs to our aerial pole "because it's in the shade, whereas it's too hot outside our van"!!!  Honestly, some people are just oblivious to social etiquette.  Or is it just me being too fussy?  We don't want to report her to the owner, and we certainly don't want to fall out with her.  So I guess all we can do is just to fence our rear garden in so her dogs can't get there.  Fortunately, she and her husband are going home on Wednesday and not coming back until the end of August, so we'll have some peace for 3 or 4 weeks.

5.  Our neighbours on the other side, however, and the ones the other side of them, are all absolutely lovely, we get on so well with them all, it's like we've known them for ages.

6.  Although I have WiFi on my phone, using it absolutely eats up both data and power, so I haven't used it much (hence the lack of posts and comments on your blogs).  And I have to say I haven't really missed it all that much......I thought I'd be lost without my laptop!  It would be useful to be able to take and use my laptop, however, there are things I can't do easily on my phone.  Will have to sort something out.  I did ask neighbours what they use, if anything - they don't!!  (they're mostly quite a bit older so not big internet users).  Something to think about.

I've got half a page of small jobs to do next time we go back (probably Sunday).  The list is getting smaller and smaller.....😁

Oh, and I meant to take lots of photos before we came home today and completely forgot!!  So the big photo reveal will have to wait till next time we go, sorry.