Thursday, 27 February 2014

On Rundown...

Yours truly trying to sing.
Dancing Queen?
 We almost had a family night out just No 2 son Chris and his wife couldn't come but Gary, Claire, John, Fiona, Sandra and myself went to see two tribute acts working both individually and also as as a duo.  Although not the best singers in the world they were entertaining, and after all Robbie Williams certainly ain't the best singer in the world anyway.  Well we had a really good family night out and were joined by Paul, Nicci and Katy Robinson for a good part of the evening also.  We really did enjoy letting our hairs down after the recent trials and tribulations and would like to thank the organisers and Gilberdyke War Memorial Hall for putting on an very entertaining evening.

"Robby" and "Gary" strutting their stuff.
We have passed our insurance stalemate on to the financial ombudsman as our insurance provider (or not!) has decided they have definitely removed the flood cover retrospectively and thus leaving us high and dry, pardon the pun.  They now have up to six weeks before making their decision but if they don't uphold our claim we are willing to take things to court and have already notified our MP of what is going on to pre-empt an escalation, also we are not ruling out involving the local TV and media. The problem from our point of view is that we have not been affected anywhere near as direly as the people in the south and south west and so feel we may be pretty much at the end of the pecking order when it come to resolution of problems.  Hey ho, we'll see how things pan out from here on.

The cutter deck on my lawn tractor
This week has been very good as regards the weather and we have taken advantage to get the paddock clear of all the flotsam and jetsam left over from the flooding.  With the weather been sunny and breezy it's dried out very well which has enable us to get onto it without being clarted in mud.

But of course before any of this could be done I have had to do some major repair work on the lawn mower deck.  Which seems to have had one of the mounting riven out of the bed, never mind a little plating with metal has made that right.

Flood detritus before the clear up.
All the huge bits of timber have been put aside ready for sawing up for No.1 Son's open fires and the rest made a fantastic bonfire in the garden, you can't beat a bit of pyromania!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Sheds, Gardens and days out....

If people can do the beach in the UK, why not in the med.
 On Sunday Sandra and I decided to have a day out and set off before breakfast for the Sunday market at Catterick near Scotch corner.  We had breakfast there but the market was only half the size it used to be which is a bit of a shame but I guess perhaps a sign of the times.  From there we headed across the north of the country via Northallerton and Helmsley to Pickering, home of the North Yorkshire Moors railway.
Marina Scarborough style.

From pot to kiosk, three yards.
 We actually sat outside continental style, for a coffee at a street cafe in the town with the sun shining so much it was almost a struggle, but we persevered!  We decided to head for Whitby but when nearly there modified our target to Scarborough, it was packed and we had a lovely afternoon walking along the beach and through the town.  We took the scenic route back over the moors and the wolds where we ended up at Howden and had our evening meal at the Orchard Cottage Chinese restaurant.  A delicious meal later we decided to go back to Geoff's house after fourteen hours out and about I think he was missing us.

Still scraping up silt in the garden shed
Monday, it was a final clean up in the garage, returning some of our worldly goods back into storage, this time well out of reach of any more flooding.  I also thought it was about time to clean out the garden shed, knowing full well it would be a task.  The silt on the floor was still not yet dry but more like the constituency of play-doh.  Scraped it all out in sections with a shovel before removing the shed contents to allow me to venture further in.  The trouble is the silt is the most sticky thing you have ever encountered, $*^! and blankets have nothing on this stuff.  Anyway it's all been pressure washed not and things are back as they should be.

Sawing up all the damaged tree's with Geoff and Pauline.
Today Geoff and I have been taking down some of the trees in his garden which were damaged by the recent very strong winds.  We also took the opportunity of pruning some of the larger trees which needed a monkey and a ladder to get to, I won't say who was the monkey.  Anyway we have ended up with loads of logs for No. 1 son's fire, and loads of mulch for the garden as we have put all the branches under one and a half inches in diameter through the shredder.    Notice Sandra's Aunty Pauline looking on in a supervisory capacity, I think we may have to do hers before we return to Greece.

Friday, 14 February 2014

More power to your elbow...

Snowdrops in Yokefleet
 It's been another stressful week although it has had it's upside or two.  I thought people might just be interested to see the snowdrops, near Yokefleet Hall, good to see that they have come through again after the land was under water on two months ago and covered with warp (river silt).  Our Paddock is also looking much dryer now, we have not had the amount of rain that the south west of England has had and there are definite signs of spring.
Jane's home made éclairs - wouldn't choux  ?

Geoff & San drinking by candlelight.
 Jane, our daughter in law, has been practising making choux pastry and was in need of a test pilot.  It goes without saying that we were willing to put our lives on the line and eat a few totally home made chocolate éclairs, no prolemo!  Well done Jane fantastic tasting éclairs, best I've ever had and if you need some more testing you know where to bring them.  
Power off candle and computer light.

Deer in the paddock at home - Photo Lesley Pittard.
Sandra and I went to see Maureen and Mark on Tuesday finally.  After putting it off several times since we have been home for various reasons, we got there only to find Mark was feeling a little crook still and in bed.  He managed to get up a little later and cheered up considerably during the day, it's surprising what a little jovial banter and a change of company can do.  I am dead impressed with the new wood burning stove they have installed in the house it sticks out loads of heat and I'm sure will cut their heating bills providing they can get hold of plenty of fuel at a reasonable rate.  Maureen actually looks fantastic, toned and fit and healthy, I'm not just saying that because it's valentines day Mo, you really do look good but I do love you anyway mwwwaa.   Thanks for a great lunch and for putting up with us all day and giving us the sustenance to drive home in the driving snow.

Our power at Geoff's house went off in the wild winds on Wednesday evening, whilst we were totally in the dark we got a call from further down the village to say that Sandra's Aunt's garage roof was disintegrating in the eighty miles an hour gusts.  Sandra, Gary (No.1 son) and I went down there equipped with ropes and long screws and battens to try and rescue the situation.  We managed to save what roof was left when we got there which was about half of it but perhaps more importantly we stopped any more missiles flying through the air at eighty miles an hour!

We had to set up our gas cooker in Geoff's house to have a hot drink and some rudimentary hot food and then we the next day we took Sandra dad and aunt our to get them a super sir type gas heater each as the power was still not back on and with no independent heating we were concerned that we were going to have rather still stiff people in the morning.  Anyway with heaters all rigged up we went out to the pub for our evening meal with proper light, heat and WINE!   Power came back on late last nigh after twenty eight hours plus.

Finally I have pinched a picture, last one on this blog, from Lesley Pittard, of a deer in our paddock at Yokefleet.  She said that there are two but I can only see one, Thanks Lesley.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

About four weeks to go

Text only again this week because I'm still not out and about after dying!  Sandra say's that it's pointless taking pictures if you haven't got a life, so I guess I really must have died but not gone to heaven!

I'm now off all the drugs but have the energy levels of the Duracell bunny with clapped out Panasonic batteries installed.  Never mind, we have got the caravan back to the stage where we can live in it again, believe me I am tempted, we have been shopping for all new bedding and quilts etc which got destroyed when the flood was here and of course it wasn't insured, not that it seems to make much difference.  Anyway it's now re-carpeted, clean, all electrics working and warm and dry.  Our insurance dispute is still ongoing we should have had the loss adjuster here yesterday just to measure the distance from the river to our house, obviously they don't believe anything I say to them, however, we never got to see him and he doesn't seem to have thought to talk to us since.  Guess which company won't be getting our business in the future.

Whilst we were in York the other day getting the bedding we knew that we were going to be out all day so Sandra scoured the net to get some food vouchers so we could eat out!  Lunch ended up being courtesy of Burger King and some voucher emporium and cost us about £6 for us both a full meal and drinks so sometimes things work out OK but I would rather have had a proper meal than burgers.  Hopefully we may be well enough soon to have a evening out somewhere.

After much delay and postponements we are finally going to see Mo and Mark next Tuesday, hopefully it will be a day out on our own as Geoff will be at his club that day, we really do need a none geriatric day or two.

Four weeks this weekend and we will be leaving the dank miserable weather here for a few weeks back in the Mediterranean, it can't come a day too soon, no disrespect to all the people here who have helped and made us so welcome we don need a sun fix.

Hopefully we may have enough light in the next week to take some photos and maybe have a new story of two to tell.