Monday, 16 May 2022

Staying longer

 Had a text from the landlord this morning.....the roof's not now being started until tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on the weather.  We'd guessed as much, as the forecast is for possible thunderstorms today (had a heavy rain shower here at the park hour ago, no thunder though).  Makes no difference, we'll just stay here in the van until the roof is done.  I'm so relieved we have this place to stay whilst the work is being done.  I really dislike loud noise, it's one of my stress triggers. 

It's not cold at all, humid if anything due to the rain, but the weather is so changeable at the moment, it's hard to make any plans to go anywhere.  I don't want to go out somewhere and then be caught in a sudden downpour.  Unfortunately the forecast is changeable for pretty much the next week, so we'll just play it by ear.

It's back to being very peaceful here, most of the weekenders have gone home, I think there are only 3 or 4 other owners still here.  At the garden centre yesterday, I bought some geraniums (or rather, pelargoniums), cosmos and more petunias, I want a big colourful display of bedding plants this year.  In between showers yesterday, we planted some in the little front bed and the rest in pots....have to try and ensure they're not all eaten by slugs and snails in this damp weather.

Is anyone doing anything for the Queen's Jubilee weekend?  We're expecting to be here at the park, as no doubt will lots of other owners be.  I've not yet asked the park owner if he's planning anything special for that I said previously, knowing him I'm sure he'd say "No, but what a good idea, you can be in charge of that Sue!".  No way, I'm not being roped into that.  I've got bunting to put up on the van and our garden fence (I love a bit of patriotism and am a fan of the Royals) and I expect I'll make some cakes to share with our van neighbours.....that'll be the extent of my involvement though.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Going with the flow

 Having had several bad nights in a row last week, last night I slept really well.  It rained heavily a few times during the night, waking me up (rain is very noisy in a caravan), but I went back to sleep quickly each time, consequently I feel refreshed and calm this morning.  Cloudy but with blue sky showing in patches, we're forecast possibly a few light showers with a bit of sunshine today.  We'll go to the garden centre in a nearby village this morning, they grow all their own plants, are reasonably priced, and there definitely won't be a massive scrum of people there like yesterday at the plant sale.  Hopefully I'll be able to get the plants in this afternoon.  Other than that, we have no firm plans for the next few days, we'll just go with the flow - and the weather!

I've been terrible at replying to comments recently, and commenting on your blogs, sorry about that.  Jessica, yes good idea to 'half diet' - when I'm very depressed or stressed, healthy eating is the last thing on my mind.  However, I am trying to eat more healthily (less carbs and more veg) on days where I'm feeling better....well, less stressed or depressed.  HH, yes I should think the lily, whilst being killed off for this year, will come back next year.  Thank you all so much for all your comments, emails and continuing support, I appreciate it very much indeed.

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Stressful and then good stuff

 Huh, turns out the scaffolders weren't as careful as I thought.....they'd trampled on one of my lilies which had lots of buds on, squashing it flat and breaking the stems.  An adjacent gorgeous deep pink rose bush which is just coming into bloom, a 60th birthday present from my best friend, also had one stem snapped and some leaves and shoots bruised and bent.  I've cut the broken bits off the rose, it'll survive, the lily won't though.  We left yesterday morning before the men arrived, otherwise I'd have had words with them.

The garden here at the van is beginning to look really nice, it'll be absolutely lovely in a few more weeks when there's lots more in bloom.  The salad leaves and radish seeds I sowed last weekend have already started to come through, we'll be eating fresh salad from the van garden in no time.  I'll be doing successional sowing so we'll have salads throughout the summer.  The 2 tomato plants we brought with us last weekend are also doing ok.

Went to the plant sale in the village this morning, got there about 20 mins before it opened, I stood in the already quite long queue (it's very popular) whilst husband went off to the post office.  Don't you just dislike old women (and it is always old women!) who come up behind you, then start sneakily sidling up beside you and then worm their way in front of you?  Yes there was one of those.....I'd rather they just came straight out with it and asked if I mind if they go in front?  The plant sale I felt was very disorganised - it's held on an empty car sales forecourt and, as I said, is very popular.  It was extremely busy this morning and all the stalls were packed out, I think the organisers (RNLI volunteers) should have just let in a dozen or so people at a time, rather than all at once.  The number of times I got kneed in the leg, bashed in the back with bags and elbowed - again, mostly by old women who clearly thought I should give way to them, being younger (marginally!) than them - meant I quickly got to the stage where I'd had enough.  I only managed to buy 1 tray (6 plants) of petunias - not labelled so no clue as to colour or whether they were trailing or not, and not even priced up, the volunteer guessed at the price.  She didn't even know that they were petunias! (luckily I did).  There was no chance of looking at any other plants - unless I did what everyone else was doing and elbowed my way in - and anyway it was far too crowded for my liking, so we left.  Husband did manage to get a couple of courgette plants (for home) from a different stall, after shoving his way in (he's not as polite as me).  I was glad to get back to the van.....even if husband did immediately put the TV on.

And then.....hooray, a phone call from Landlord saying the roofers will be making a start on Monday.  So it'll be all over and done with whilst we're here at the van out of the way, just as I wanted.

It's such a nice day, we went out for a drive.  Took a picnic for us and Betty, and stopped off at Chew Valley Lake to eat it, enjoying the view.  Didn't stay out too long, as it was very warm in the car, too warm for Betty (she's now flaked out under the garden parasol) and I want to get some pots planted up for summer flowers.

Friday, 13 May 2022


 The scaffolders turned up just before 9 am yesterday, 3 of them.  Betty did a fair bit of woofing initially, but surprisingly soon settled down, just sending anxious glances out of the window occasionally.  After 3 hours of poles clanging, the poles being fixed together with a heavy duty electric drill thing, and the 3 blokes all shouting and laughing loudly, my nerves and head were on fire.  Whenever we've had workmen in (when there's more than one of them) for whatever reason, it always seems to be the same - they're all quite jolly and laugh/talk a lot, but they don't actually talk - they shout.  Loudly.  Presumably because the work is always so noisy, so they get used to shouting to be heard above the noise.  At least these guys didn't have a huge great ghetto blaster radio blaring out, which often seems to be the case with workmen.  Husband was out (lucky him) away from the noise, mowing lawns for 2 neighbours, but did come back to check Betty and I were coping.  Once we'd had lunch we went out, all 3 of us.  Nipped into town to get a couple of things from Wilko and some cash out (I almost never use cash nowadays, but will need some for the RNLI plant sale on tomorrow) and then stopped off at the nature reserve on the way home, to give Betty a walk and all of us some welcome peace.

Got home mid afternoon to find they'd gone but hadn't finished.  They came back about 3.30, having gone to collect more supplies, so then another hour or so of banging and shouting.  One thing I will say in the workmen's favour - they were very careful not to trample on my flowerbeds, thankfully.

By dinnertime when they'd finally gone, I had a banging headache and felt totally frazzled, resulting in another bad night.  Thank goodness we're off to the van again today as I assume they'll be back this morning to finish off, and I really hope the roof gets done next week whilst we're at the van.  If not, well we will simply go to the van again for a few days whenever the roofers turn up, at least we can up and go with very little notice or preparation.  There are a couple of appointments on the calendar for next week and the week after, but fortunately husband will still be able to go to them from the caravan park.

I'd decided to start dieting again, but with my nerves stretched almost to breaking point with all sorts of things right now, that ain't happening.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Sometime when

Yesterday the scaffolding (for the new roof to be done) was going up, the men were supposed to arrive early, around 8 am.  We'd decided to go shopping, taking Betty with us (she'd be doing her guard dog duty, running around the house and barking at the men outside in the garden if we left her at home).  Husband of course stayed with her in the car (he sits in the boot with the door open, Betty likes watching the world go by) whilst I did the shopping by myself - which I prefer to do.  Well, they didn't come, and no phone call to inform us either.  I guess the rain in the morning put them off, although it had stopped by lunchtime.

The window man came as arranged though, to measure up for the new windows which are to be fitted in August.  Although we're not paying for the windows (the Landlord is), I was pleasantly surprised to find that we did have some choices - types of window openings, style of front door (the other 3 houses owned by our Landlord have all had/are having full glazed front door, whereas I wanted a half glazed).  We could also choose the pattern for the obscure glass in the bathroom and front door.

I'm assuming the scaffolders will be coming today, fine weather is forecast so they can't use the weather as an excuse.  If they do arrive, then I'd thought we could go out again with Betty.  I need a few things from a garden centre anyway, and we could sit outside with Betty for a coffee, and then take her for a walk.  Only it appears husband has now made plans to go and mow the lawns for 2 of the neighbours 😒  

As to when the new roof is actually being done....we don't know, all the Landlord could say was 'within the next few days'.  Typical Somerset.....'sometime when' being a familiar phrase here.  I'm hoping they'll do the roof next week when we're at the van - neither Betty nor I would cope very well with the noise.

Husband has a GP appointment this afternoon, I'll be packing again for the caravan, we're off there again tomorrow.  Not too much to pack, as we both have clothes there and I left plenty of food in the cupboards and fridge, as we knew we'd be back there again this week.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

A blessing

 We're home again for a few days, journey this morning took us twice as long as normal due to traffic jams everywhere.

It's been so nice at the caravan, hardly anyone there, just 4 or 5 others, and none of those around us so very peaceful.  Spending time at the van is healing me, I'm not fixed yet but better than I was.  There are some issues that are still unresolved and which are really upsetting me and holding me back....I was hoping it could be cleared up, but no such luck.  I realise this won't make much sense to most people reading this, sorry but it's one of those things that I won't be giving details of on here....although my blog is often warts and all, there are some things that I don't share with the whole world.

We had such lovely weather at the van, lots of time spent outside doing a few jobs in the garden, sowing some seeds (salad leaves and radishes) and potting on a couple of tomato plants, tying in new shoots on the clematis and climbing rose which both seem to almost be growing inches before our very eyes.  Did some weeding, dead heading (all the Spring bulbs have now finished flowering) and tidying up pots.  Planning what to put in next - I want the caravan garden filled with colour for this Jubilee year (our Queen's Platinum Jubilee, for overseas readers), so I shall be putting in lots of colourful bedding plants this coming weekend.  There's a plant sale in aid of RNLI (Lifeboats) in the village just down the road from the van park this coming Saturday (we'll be back at the caravan then), so I'll be picking up a few packs of plants.  The weather is forecast to be even warmer from next weekend, the van is quite sheltered where it's situated so it should be fine to put the plants in.

We've come home as we now have several appointments we need to be home for over the next few days.  Someone is coming to measure up for the new windows and he needs to do it inside as well as outside, the mechanic is coming to do another thing to the car, and husband has a GP appointment.  Oh, and the scaffolding is now being put up tomorrow for the new roof to be done, so all my pots have to be moved away from the house.  We'll be going back to the van on Friday though - unless something else comes up....I hope it doesn't as I'm already feeling stressed again with all that's being done this week.

Having the van is truly one of the best things ever - the peacefulness, lovely new friends and beautiful surroundings help to soothe my soul.  The fact that it's not far away from home means that we can just come and go between home and the van at the drop of a hat.  Yet despite being just 35-40 mins away, it feels like we're on holiday in our very own holiday home.  There are few responsibilities at the van, very minimal 'housework' and cooking, I can, and often do, switch off my phone and laptop so 'real (and often problematical) life' doesn't force its way into my consciousness like it does at home.  We're so very fortunate to have the van, I don't know what I'd do without it, it really is a blessing.

Thank you all so much for your lovely caring comments, I really appreciate them.

Friday, 6 May 2022

A bad week

 We're at the caravan now.

It's been a really difficult week, probably the worst one in this period of depression.  I've been terribly low mentally, crying a lot behind closed doors.  I've had stomach upsets all week, awful tension headaches making my head feel like it's got an anvil sitting on top of it and the back of my neck feeling like it's being squeezed in a vice.  Eczema has flared up, and a cold sore.  Sleep has been even worse than usual, which means I feel like a zombie.  All this is stress and anxiety related, I know.  Don't think I've eaten a full meal this week, most days my appetite has disappeared halfway through whatever meal I've served up.  Cannot think straight at all, twice when using my debit card in shops this week I tapped in the wrong pin number, husband had to pay as I couldn't remember the correct number so ran the risk of my card being locked.  I've dropped things, misplaced things, overcooked several things as I simply forgot how long they'd been cooking - all of this is just so unlike me.  I've felt like I had no purpose in life, that nobody would even notice, let alone care, if I wasn't around.  Sometimes it just feels like people don't take any notice of me or really listen to what I say, it's what they want that's important, not what I want or need.

Hopefully, being here at the van will help....I'm sure it will.  All the holiday crowds have gone, there's hardly anyone here and it's so peaceful.  We'll be here for at least a week, probably longer.  Husband has a hospital appointment tomorrow and will be gone for several hours, he's also going home a couple of times during the week to water the veg in the garden and collect post (I'm expecting some important stuff), so I'll have some quiet time on my own.  He'll be taking Betty with him so she can have a good run around in the field behind our house - there's not really anywhere close to the caravan park where she can safely be let off the lead.

Already I can feel the tension in the back of my neck easing off.  It's going to be nice weather for the coming week, I've got loads of books here in the van and I've brought my art and craft supplies with me.