Thursday, 28 July 2011

The wildlife comes to town...

Mo getting Mark on his bed to adjust his belt.
 First an apology for not putting out a blog last week but to be perfectly frank about it I just couldn't be arsed!  We had just had the first week of doing very little and it seemed a shame to spoil it.

Last Wednesday we did however go to Driffield agricultural show and had a fine time with our close friends Allen & Jean and Allen's dad Hilton.  Hilton had decided that he just wanted to see the displays going on in the main arena and would stay there until lunch time when we would mean him at near the entrance which we came into the show ground. Hilton hasn't got the best memory in the world so when the appointed time came and of course it had started to rain we hung around the entrance waiting for him to arrive.  After about twenty minutes we sent the girls back to the car to get started with their lunches and Allen and I would wait on!  I suggested to him that he should go and have a scout around while I waited at the appointed place for his dad to show up, well after another half an hour Allen returned still empty handed.  I returned to the girls and Allen went off again looking for him and finally located him at another entrance to the show ground about as far away as it was possible to be asking where we had been all this time, old folks, who needs em!
Sandra Mo and Mark in the car park at the hospital.

This Wednesday we went to Pinderfield's to see Maureen and Mark.  Mark was in rude health really considering what he has been through lately.  We had quite a technical discussion about IT systems etc which left all listeners bored out of their brains but it proved to me that there is still much of the old Mark there and that it'll take some holding back when the time comes.  Mark had been telling us of his desire, nay his stated goal, to leave the hospital driving himself.  Although I think he realises that this may not be possible he is determined to use this as leverage to aid his rehabilitation.  To this end we had a mooch around the car park to see if we could look at some two door cars which would be suitable for his transferring in and out of.  Two door cars having much larger door opening when you're sliding in on a banana board.  Mark being Mark wasn't satisfied with run of the mill cars he was drawn to only things which held BMW or Mercedes badges.  Maureen having her financial advisor head on wasn't two impressed by this and I must say I tend to agree with her, better maybe to get something cheaper until you really know what you want out of the machine rather than commit to something which may be totally unsuitable.

Mark ruminating about 2 door mercs and Beemers
We had a Chinese takeaway tea brought into the hospital for the four of us which was very nice and a touch of normality for Maureen and especially for Mark who I think is beginning to feel a touch institutionalised.  Thanks for a great afternoon you two see you both again soon.

Today we have been sitting out in the garden after the chores have all been done watching all the wildlife bobbing around our paddock.  We are are very lucky having our English home where it is.  I have a couple of hazelnut trees from which we wait for the nuts every year and fail miserably to get any.  We noticed that there are now a few shells being discarded on the floor by the pesky squirrels.  So we got a few off to try them.  They are still green but perfectly edible but being immature won't really keep so it looks like we are going to have to enjoy watching the squirrels antic as they once again decimate out crop rather than take a bag full back to Greece as was the plan.

Also today we have been fascinated by a woodpecker which has been gathering grubs from the bark of our plum and apple trees, it at one time was within twenty feet of where we were sat, I did not dare to get up and get the camera as without doubt we wouldn't have seen him again.  Suddenly we have piles of butterflies and a couple of massive dragonflies which came gracefully floating past this afternoon.  Now armed with a Metaxa & Coke listening to the bird song after a nice BBQ tea.  Yes we are lucky being here but can't wait to be off on our travels again.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Busy week doing things for the Waddy's...

No. 3 Son in the caravan.
 Over the weekend number 3 son John gave me a new phone to replace my ageing Sony Ericsson which has started having problems.  It's one of those new fangled android things which you can get Facebook and internet apps on.  HTC Desire is the type and model so I thought I would take a few pictures for this weeks blog on it which at seven mega pixels has more resolution than my camera has.  Thanks John I think I've got used to it now.

Newly plumbed Washer.

We have taken advantage of this weeks cool (pretty cold for us) weather to put running water into the garage for the kitchen and to plumb in our washing machine.  Sandra was getting fed up of having to take washing to various peoples houses to get it washed, taking advantage of their generosity.  So we needed to provide drainage for the grey water and while doing this we have made an outside drain access so we don't now have to empty the grey water produced in the caravan it's just piped away.  Similarly with the fresh water we've now got it plumbed into the mains for automatic top ups to the aquaroll.  Having now got a tap in the garage kitchen Sandra decided that things were not arranged to her liking so we've had to have a rehash in that department too!
New layout for Garage kitchen

Caravan waste now piped into drain,

Sky and Freeview set-up for caravan. 
The TV situation is now on a permanent plug in and go situation.  We only need to roll up put the legs down and roll out the cables from the shed and plug them in now.  It gives us our Sky+ system in the awning (and the caravan if there's something recorded we want to watch in the warmth given the English summers) and also Free-view in the caravan permanently.  It also has the advantage of when I want to watch something different, I can do so in the awning.  The built in caravan "Status" aerial isn't really good at digital TV so I've put a household aerial on the shed as well as the satellite dish with an umbilical loom of cable which connects to the van.

Hopefully this will bring and end to what work I had in mind to do for us while at home, just another couple of jobs to do for the lads and a computer to repair and we should be laid back for the rest of our home trip.  I hope I can watch quite a bit of the open this week as I still haven't had the chance to go and have a round or two myself.  We should be going to see Mark & Maureen again soon if Mark makes a bit of a comeback from his current difficulties (dig in kid we're all rooting for you) and Wednesday next week we are going to the Driffield  show, to do the country bumkin thing, as is expected of us Yorkshire men.

Friday, 8 July 2011

A more chilled week this week...

The loneliness of the long distance runner - Adam finally
crosses the line.
It's bee a much more relaxed week since the last update spent mainly entertaining grandchildren and attending school sports days.

Tuesday meant the return of Geoffrey from his mates in Broughty Ferry, Scotland.  He'd really enjoyed his time there and as usual they had spent it reminiscing about there time in India in world war two, it's really amazing how many times they can go over the same ground and yet make it sound like the first.  We don't begrudge them their trip down memory lane as I'm sure that their experiences are something that people will never live through again, HOPEFULLY!

Libby gets a first!
The people who are renting our house off us while we do a bit of travelling got married on Sunday so we had agreed to look after their animals while they were away.  We enjoyed this as it gave us an excuse to have a long walk down the river bank with the dogs.  It's a bit like having kids as a grandparent, you can give them back after you've had a bit of fun with them.  Andrew & Lesley Brought Sandra a lovely bouquet of flowers when they returned on Monday, thanks.  They have now gone for a few days honeymoon into North Yorkshire and Durham while leaving Lesley's dad in charge of the house and animals.  Good luck to Andrew & Lesley in their new married life together we hope things work out as well for you as they have for us.
Joe manages to get home.
Melissa doesn't want dad to see the results.

Mason's walking the invisible tightrope.
Tuesday and we were baby sitting for Jessica and Melissa while Fiona had to attend a meeting at school for next terms intake, we had great fun dressing up and with Sandra teaching them how to dance to "stayin' Alive", Tuesday Morning fever doesn't quite do it though!

In the afternoon it was the first of the school sports days featuring Mason and Jessica.  The weather stayed fine and they all had a great time although I think they were more inclined to spend time looking for whoever was watching them rather than racing.
A great afternoon out for the parents and Grandparents.

Thursday and the last of the Sports days especially for Joe & Libby who will be moving to secondary school in September, Adam was also participating in this one so we had someone racing in nearly all the events.

Sandra's gift for looking after the animals.

Again for the most part the weather stayed good although it was really too windy for the egg and spoon race which in these days of political correctness and health and safety, they don't use real eggs only thin plastic ones that have a tendency to fly in the slightest breeze.  I suspect that no one has though about weighting them with sand or water to make it more realistic.  The outcome of this was that the kids ended up chasing the "eggs" along the floor as they sped away from them. Our visit was curtailed by a heavy shower towards the end but again it was a real fun day.

Melissa and Jessica show they are proper
little angels.
This blog is again slightly late this week as I had terrible internet problems yesterday it was on and off all the time perhaps due to the climatic conditions but it seems better this morning so hopefully this will get through

Sunday, 3 July 2011

I wanna go home....

Sorry for the very late edition of our blog this week but we just don't seem to be getting to the bottom of all the work which was waiting for us on our return to the UK but more of that later.

Last Saturday we finally got to Pinderfields hospital in Wakefield to see Mark and Mo.  It was great to see them both even though Mark was not in the greatest of shape as he was just starting to have problems with the infection which those of you who keep up with M&M's blog at :- ( will know about.  Despite this Mark is still trying hard to keep his inimitable sense of humour which we all know and love him for.  He was telling me of how when he and the guy in the bed opposite him first went to see the physiotherapist and were setting initial goals for both of them to achieve, Marks buddy came up with a classic for his first goal of being able to pick his nose without poking himself in the eye or any other orifice which may be somewhere in the vicinity of his semi controlled hands, a shout then comes from the bed opposite to confirm that he had accomplished this goal and was very proud to have done it followed by a graphical demonstration of the act itself.

Kitchen after it's revamp.
Unfortunately, because of the infection he had, from which I understand via Mo's blog, that he is well on the mend from now, Mark couldn't get out of bed and treat us to some of the wheel chair skills he's now learning.  I'm sure that when we return next time he'll be in a better state and we will be able to have a takeaway together like we'd planned.   I think that although it's early days in his rehab programme Mark has the strength of will and determination to get over these setbacks as frustrating as they be to him I feel it all adds to the fuel  which is driving him forward.  In some ways Maureen is being affected more than Mark although she has great support from Michael their son I feel at times she must feel as though she's fighting the world trying to get every thing in place for when Mark is discharged from hospital and to support their new life going forward.

Hall Stairs and Landing with it's new look.
Back to the work front.  San's dad Geoff, needed a  few bits of DIY doing at his house so we despatched him off to his old army mate who lives near Dundee in Scotland while we have turfed everything out and redecorated his hall, stairs and landing, he didn't want the borders removing from the wallpaper (both top and bottom) so all the paintwork had to be cut in to the old border not easy to make a good job of but we eventually succeeded.  From there it was onto his kitchen which is very small but because of this everything is crammed in with a show horn.  He had damp problems so we had to take all his kit out kitchen units and the lot in order to get at the problem.  This sorted the whole kitchen has been repainted with a damp barrier before four coats of emulsion in two colours and again cutting around all the borders.  The existing carpet was shot at so we have been and bought him new cushion floor and laid this prior to re-installing all the units and equipment back in.  I think in all we have done about sixty hours of work on his house this week and finally got finished at lunchtime today, hence the reason for the late blog.

Geoffs Garden looking very cottagey.
I now only have three jobs for other people waiting to be done I hope.  I have two new radiators to pipe and install for number one son, A central heating zone valve to sort out for number three son and a computer to rebuild for a friend.  I'm sure that by the time I've finished these what's left of the British summer will be long gone and I'll have missed it again.  It minds me of when I used to werk, worc, wirk oh you know what I mean, for a living and struggled to see daylight most of the time.....