Friday, 19 July 2019

1,000 Christmas presents

For the last couple of years we have chosen to use Christmas as an opportunity to plan family gatherings in the summer in lieu of presents. We have holiday'd in North Yorkshire twice, Brittany and this year to celebrate my retirement we booked the Ski lodge my sons use in January in the Alps for a fully catered week. The location was Morzine just over the border from Switzerland, we actually flew to Geneva and walked thru the border in the airport to collect our hire cars in France !

Very hot, beautiful location, great hosts, good company, lots to do and a week with Teddy Wells our grandson who loves cars and playing games - he's just over 2

Pictures are better than words so here are a few of the 1,000  I/we took while over there.

The best type of present, memories and something to look forward to in the darker months of winter.

Roll on 2020 !!

Monday, 24 June 2019

Nature showing itself as the natural woods person.

On our walk the other weekend to Norbury we went off the canal path just before it enters Grub Street cutting and walked through the woods above the Rolls Royce mooring (The fella who has the old Rolls Royce under a cover by the offside  - bizarre).

What was apparent up on the bank above the canal was how nature was clearing the old and weak trees to make way for the saplings. Ivy was doing the job of overloading the trees and the weaker damaged ones were being brought down by the winds (and soft soil with all the recent rain) I guess the extra weight and wind resistance of the Ivy destabilises the weaker trees and they come down.

It was certainly very different up there from the last time I walked the path. Much more growth but a couple of trees down also.

Nature does not need us but we need nature.

Friday, 21 June 2019

A day a long time coming

Life is short, memories make it so. I can remember clearly a lot of things done over 40 years ago now that seem like they happened just yesterday.

We (well I have) been planners in all aspects of this life so far. So today just a few days after Rachels 55th birthday we got the confirmations through of her retirement from the NHS. That is a long and dedicated shift, not quite finished with them as she is now a bank worker - and lecturer.

But today on the longest day in 2019 we get to celebrate her retirement from a career in the NHS. I am immensely proud of her and her commitment to all of the patients and their families she has helped over her career. Anyone who has experienced the NHS knows of the skill and dedication of the nursing staff. With pride and a bit of emotion I know Rachel is one the the best of the best in all ways  - a real credit to the ethos of the NHS and the Nursing profession.

I wanted this up there as it is something to reflect back on in years - hopefully many to come.

What better way than to celebrate with the bottle of Champagne that was given to me on my retirement by the Vice Chancellor of the University where Rachel now works.

A fitting time to open it!

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Boat time on fathers day

It's a sad fact that both myself and Rachel have lost our respective dads, so no visiting or presents just some reflection and the odd whisky raised to them both.

So I demanded ( a bit dramatic) an overnight on the boat. Part of the reason was our front room - or rather left hand room as we have three front rooms, was used by the cat as her toilet while we were away (we do pay for the local cattery lady to come across to feed and change the litter tray, only the flippin cat pood and wee'd in the house so its in the process of being de stinked so the boat was a good option.

We did have to give it a clean  - hoover and bathroom plus fresh bedding etc. The little Honda genny and the new wiring worked a treat. Food, scrabble and bed....

... Fathers day we took a lovely longish walk to Norbury via the back route for a beer and ploughmans plus cake and coffee - we did walk it off going back via the canal - about 7 miles I think all in so not too shabby.

All over far too soon as Rachel was doing an overnight with her mum. So we loaded up and went back to the cottage, me spending the rest of the evening on my own while Rachel traveled on to Derby for some time with her  mum. 

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Not the best time ...

.... to be having foundations dug out  !

Hopefully it'll be good to look back in a year or two at this most un-flaming June month, the June month when our porch and garage build started and instead of a garage we got close to a swimming pool, or to maintain the waterways link, a small canal.

When I was a young lad we lived in a terraced house that had a cellar. We had a cellar grate for coal and in times of heavy rain - not sure if it was water table or water in via the grate but the cellar flooded. Not for us all the distractions of modern day living then (we had a black and white telly and three channels IIRC) so on with my much trusted and loved wellies and into the cellar for it was now a cave when I could make and float all manner of boats  - I fondly remember spending many hours down there in that damp play centre, simple things as they say !

Its keeping me off the boat once again- making tea for the builders. We spend a half day buying hand made bricks the other day to pass some rain time. Did make me wonder what level of inflation the bricks had seen from when they were made well over a hundred years ago to me buying them for a quid each to try and match the 200 year old face of our cottage.

I spent a happy hour lifting floorboards last night to get a power feed out to the new porch, can you tell I'm bored being stuck in the house !! I've two ledge and braced doors to build for the kitchen and a cupboard but can't get outside to make them up and trim them down !!

Fathers day on Sunday .... I'd have liked to have been on the boat somewhere but maybe next year !