Retirement peace

Retirement peace

Friday, 24 February 2017

Meanwhile back home

I was going to blog about the warm days enjoyed at home between the travelling this month - then Doris arrived!

Have you all survived in tact?

We lost two panes from the greenhouse and collected a wheelbarrow of branches from the birch trees in the front garden. Otherwise just stressed!  We qucikly put some bubble wrap on about 8pm as the wind lightened a bit..Once the wind died in the morning we collected the glass and the clips from the flower bed, measured, went to the local glass/window place, spent £12 in hard cash and refitted them before lunch.  As the meercats say - simples!

Seeds and emerging plants were not harmed and we have carried on with sowing.

I did go to my log cabin to carry on with my patchwork quilt squares but the thing was creaking and swaying in the wind. I soon retreated to the fire side!

I have ordered the wadding, machine needles and curved pins - cost about £25 so far.

Meanwhile, we have done one trip to our city dwelling family in the midlands and helped wallpaper strip two large bedrooms over two days. We are back there over the weekend to help complete the stripping in the box room and the lounge. There is some well painted over wood chip causing some problems as well as that awful 1970s vinyl wall paper where you have to get past one layer to get the backing wet. Otherwise not a bad house to renovate, nice area overlooking a primary school playing field with 2/3 miles of a linear park starting 200 yards down the road.  

Trying to ignore own decor when we return home - later in the summer perhaps?

Sunday, 19 February 2017

More travelling

We traveled cross country by several over priced and crowded railways to see our latest grandchild.

Cealen Jon. He is lovely and quiet! Our last two grandchildren had medical conditions that involved 18 months of screaming and being unsettled so we are now blessed. Though his Dad says "one day the shoe may drop and he will make up for it".

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Travels abroad

So last week we traveled from Gatwick for  a short break in Palma, Majorca. Our first trip aboard for nearly 5 years. Now you should bear in mind I am not an airport person and my husband has arthritis in one ankle and is not able to walk quickly. After an uncomfortable night in the hotel we set off early into the whole airport process.
What annoyed me most?
People rushing past us, pushing in queues and generally just having to be first in line no matter what?
The security woman repacking our toiletries into two separate plastic bags as having them all in one handy big plastic bag was not acceptable?
The overpriced food?
The long walk with a least two non-operating walkways, a non-operating lift which meant going up several flights of dingy stairs?

Thank goodness I fell asleep in the plane and woke up on landing! It was warm and sunny and the public transport from airport to hotel was smooth and trouble free. We spent a lovely afternoon wandering the labyrinth of alleyways with their upmarket shops and squares with pavement cafes in the old city and the enormous cathedral that dominates the skyline. Tried to avoid most of the steps and steep bits but it was quite a way up from the marina road and sea front where we were staying.

Next day there was a lovely coloured dawn from behind the cathedral with the light reflected in the marina. Good weather promised with temperatures up to 18 C!!
We went back to the modern city centre on the  bus and took the historic train through the mountains to Soller.

From the town we took a sweet little tram down to the sea. It squeezes and shrieks through the streets, straight across roundabouts and back gardens.  

 Lunch and a paddle!

Back in the town we had the most gorgeous ice cream ever in the town square.

There was some interesting knitting bombing on some of the trees - patchwork squares wrapped round the trunks of the otherwise bare plane trees. 
We found a FREE exhibition of ceramics by Picasso at the station.
There is a lot of modern sculptures and art all round Palma.

Next day was more exploring the winding streets and historic buildings of the old city. Plus leisurely lunches. 
Old windmills, above city walls with orange trees.

Interior of the 14th Century Merchant Guild building with wonderful arches designed like palm trees. 

Next day we traveled back to the UK and I won't bore you with a rant about airports and travelling public general lack of manners but I was glad when it was all over.

We contemplated Euro rail as an alternative and I agreed to try ferries again rather than any more air travel.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Travels in Februay

Our first bit of travelling in this month was a weekend in south London with our youngest son and family.  We got our discount rail "Travel together" tickets and a lift from our neighbour and set out early on Saturday from King's Lynn.  All went well except the express train was busy, but not full, then got busier and nosier  at Market Downham and then got frankly ridiculous at Cambridge!!  How can they sell twice as many tickets as you have seats? Surely there is enough technology, and chances in the hour long journey to there to physically count, and realize you have  sold 8 carriages of 80 seats and allowing another 400 + people to last 20 or so in each carriage to board is silly and unsafe?  Needless to say I was not impressed by having a creche of six under 5's round my feet for another hour even though they were well behaved and lovely.

Luckily Thameslink is an underused line and we arrived slightly calmer for lunch.  Later that day we joined son's east Indian Hindi family at a Bollywood concert in a school in Croydon. Great fun, even though we had no idea of the lyrics the energy and musical skill was fabulous.

Bit cold on Sunday but we braved a walk in Kelsey Park. It was a nice break from reading Thomas the Tank engine stories non stop which is little ones latest obsession.
Interesting park, linear along a stream and around a lake, bequeathed from the original manor house, and has some very old and interesting trees. My son thinks this one must have inspired Tolkien to invent "Ents" in the Lord of the Rings.
Late Sunday my son drove us to Gatwick to stay overnight before an early flight to Palma, Majorca. I will carry on my travels next time!