Friday, May 28, 2021

 I'm afraid to say that our lodger, Sid, has had to be rehomed with another family in the village.  We were all set to keep him and we had contacted the vets we use who were going to keep hold of him next week while they used their methods to try and trace an owner.  If they were unsuccessful, after the week, we would be registered as his owners and they would neuter him. However, yesterday we had an incident which meant a change of plans. Our next door neighbour has a rescue dog, and, whilst we were out in the afternoon, Sid went into her conservatory and started to eat her dogs food.  The dog went crazy and if she hadn't been there to grab him he would have seriously attacked Sid.  She was very shook up by it all and as you just can't control where cats go, and we don,t want to fall out with our neighbours, we have had to find somewhere else for him to live.  Luckily, when we were trying to trace Sid's owners on our village facebook group, someone else said they would take him in if needed so we managed to get a phone number for them and we have just dropped him off at his new home at the top of our village.  They have no pets, but have had cats in the past, and there are no dogs living near them so it will work out for the best. It has all been very stressful and there have been tears and disappointed girls but it is what it is.




Apart from that I have been packing for our week in Cornwall - we go tomorrow lunchtime.  I am so looking forward to our holiday and the weather forecast is looking promising, so it will be nice chilling out on the beach, having a few meals out and a few cheeky glasses of wine.  I will try and remember to take plenty of photos to share when I am back.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

 Well we have a lodger. A stray black cat appeared in our garden late afternoon on Sunday, soaking wet and crying like mad. We let him into our porch and fed him, Hubby went for a walk around the village to see if anyone was out looking for a cat, but nothing. As by this time it was starting to get dark eldest Daughter posted a photo and details on our village facebook page. It got to this morning and no one had come forward. I went off to work and during today he decided to go to our neighbours behind for a few hours. As they hadn't seen our facebook post they also posted about a stray cat but they also took him to a local vet who confirmed that he hadn't been chipped or neutered! They already have three cats so were going to take him to a rescue centre. L, when she got in from school and found he wasn't here, was devastated, so we rang our neighbour and said we would look after him, so he is now back in our porch.  I don't honestly think we are going to find his owner. It is only about a year old and very lively so I wonder if maybe he jumped in a van/lorry and landed up in Devon by accident! I have named him Sid after the book 'Six Dinner Sid' which today seems very apt as he has been fed in two houses at least!. I'm not sure I am necessarily ready to take on another cat so soon after losing Suzie but maybe she sent him our way to fill a cat hole in our lives.

Other than all that carry on I have worked a long day today so am shattered - going to put my PJ's on and read my book if I can stay awake.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

 This last week has flown by with so much going on.

I had to be up and out early for my second vaccination on Saturday morning as my appointment was 8.12. It was all very well organised as before and I was in and out in about 5 minutes.  I was more prepared and took paracetamol before I went and again at lunchtime but luckily I had no side effects at all this time.

D and four friends went to the Pizza Cafe in our local town for lunch to celebrate her birthday last Wednesday. Hubby picked them up at 5 and then they came back here where, as luckily it had dried up and there was a bit of sun, they sat out in the garden chatting, taking endless photos and drinking cocktails. Meanwhile as it had brightened up in the afternoon I took S, K and L over to Teignmouth where we had a walk along the seafront and the girls had an ice cream from our favourite place Cherrry On The Top

Today, yet again, I woke to the sound of rain - it really has been relentless. In the morning I caught up with ironing and some chores and this afternoon everyone decided they wanted some fresh air regardless of the weather. We only managed a short walk as it was so wet and windy - needless to say there were very few other people about. The cruise ships are still in the bay and I imagine they will be  for some months to come.

Well I need to sort lunch boxes and make sure everyone has bags packed for school and then I am going to carry on reading my latest book.

Friday, May 21, 2021

 It's been a busy few days starting with D's birthday on Wednesday. We had a lovely evening down at our local Hotel and then came home for a glass of bubbles so I felt a bit sluggish Thursday morning.

 The weather was awful, really wet, but S and I decided to go up to Exeter. We started off in Waitrose, in their cafe, having coffees. I actually doubted that they would reopen their cafe as it has been shut, since the start of the first lockdown, and they have used the area as extra display space all these months but I was wrong. I then had a wander around the store and picked up a few things on offer together with their free magazine and paper.  When you are used to doing your weekly shop in Aldi you really notice how expensive Waitrose is but it is such a nice store for a wander around every now and again. We then went into the city centre where S got some new earphones from the Apple store and we had a look in a couple of shops but to be honest the weather put us off staying very long.

 Whilst we were out we had an architect visit to start drawing up plans to have a small extension upstairs to give us an extra bedroom. When we moved here we downsized from a 5 bedroom bungalow with an acre of land to a 3 bed house with a downstairs study which could be used as a bedroom, and which in fact  is D's bedroom. When we moved it coincided with S going off to university, and so we didn't think that she would ever move back in with us so we just put an extra single bed in K's bedroom for when she visited. BUT we were wrong.  In her first year she suffered with bad homesickness and came home a lot and is now hoping to get a job in one of the hospitals around here once she graduates. She wants to do her probationary year around here, whilst living at home, then go travelling for a year and then start looking for a house to buy. So the long and the short of it is she will be moving back home during the summer and in the long term a 13 and a 21 year old sharing,  not huge bedroom, is just not going to work. We love where we live, and house prices have gone mad everywhere, so we think it will be cheaper to extend than move. Finally, as well, the new vinyl flooring was laid in the kitchen as well and it looks great - finally no ripples everywhere.

Today, D didn't start school till 11.30 so we went into Newton Abbot to have breakfast out. We went to the Orsino Lounge, which is part of the Cafe Lounge chain, where D had the full cooked breakfast and I had a bacon butty. Both were really good as was my cappuccino. I dropped her off at school and then came home for a couple of hours peace and quiet and caught up on my ironing.

Tonight I shall be catching up with Kate Humble and then it will be gogglebox. It's an early night tonight as I have to be at Dawlish hospital for my second covid jab at 8.12 am!



Wednesday, May 19, 2021

 Happy Birthday D

Today is Daughter D's 17th birthday.  I can't believe how quickly the years speed by - it seems like only yesterday I was in Salisbury Hospital on a sweltering hot day, giving birth to our second Daughter. Now she is a young woman on the journey into adulthood. She is loving and kind and has a great personality - always the life and soul of the party, always making us laugh but she will be the first to admit she is our trickiest Daughter, but our lives would be very dull without her in it!. We had Birthday cake after school and opened presents and cards and later we will be walking down to our village Hotel for a meal.

Monday was wet all day so I just got on with loads of washing and ironing and other mundane household stuff. Tuesday I worked which I really enjoyed again but I was absolutely shattered when I got in.  We had four little ones who we took to the park morning and afternoon and you forget just how alert you have to be with that age group and even more so when they're not your children! 

Today has been busy as, as well as it being D's birthday, I finally had my appointment to have my hair cut and coloured.  It was a blissful couple of hours being pampered and it was nice to catch up. Now I must go and get ready to go out.

We have just got back from our meal which was truly lovely.  There was a good choice on the menu, there was a good crowd of people in there and the food delicious. It was just so so nice to be out again.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

What awful weather we have had this last week, so much rain. Yesterday, after lunch L wanted to buy something from Argos which is now in our Sainsburys store in what used to be the cafe.  I think a lot of the Argos stores are closing and relocating to cheaper locations. Ours is small but at least it is free to park so easier to shop there than before. Afterwards, as the rain had stopped we decided to risk a walk around Decoy Lake.  It was very muddy but nice to be out walking and obviously quieter than it would be on a sunny day. There is a little cafe kiosk next to the playpark so we got ice lollies and then naturally it started to rain. However, being British we just put our hoods up and carried on!

Later on, around 5'ish I suppose , the sun actually came out so we quickly jumped in the car and decided to have a walk along Teignmouth seafront.  It was lovely for about 40 minutes and the girls even braved a paddle but then it started to cloud over  and we just got back to the car before the heavens opened. I don't think it stopped raining all night and is still raining now but at least we have got out over the weekend for some exercise.


I finished The Weekend, which I enjoyed, but it has quite an abrupt ending which was a bit of a disappointment. Next up is The Long Long Afternoon which again was recommended somewhere, and I think then I am down to three library books left to read.


Friday, May 14, 2021

 Well today it's a year since my Mum passed away. The time seems to have gone so quickly and yet it still feels as painful as if it happened yesterday.  I think about her every single day and it is so hard not having her in my life anymore.  My Dad has done incredibly well, coping with long periods of not seeing anyone due to lockdown, and just basically getting on with it.  It must be so lonely for him, after being married for 52 years, to suddenly there just being him.  Since having children, we had a lot of holidays all together, especially in France, and there are so many happy memories of different campsites and beaches and lovely meals out and suddenly that chapter of my life is finished which is incredibly sad.  It also makes you look at your own mortality and ageing which I struggle a lot with.  My Maternal Grandparents both lived till they were 94 so I feel I've been shortchanged 20 odd years with my Mum.  They saw both me and my Sister married and greatly enjoyed being Great Grandparents which my Mum will not have the pleasure of. At the moment it doesn't feel possible that it will get easier to deal with but I know it gradually will.

On Tuesday I started my new job which I really enjoyed.  I was nervous because I am used to working with 2, 3 and 4 year olds as opposed to babies but it was all fine and it was lovely to be back working with children again.  F the woman I am working for is really nice so I think it will all work out well.  At the moment it is just Tuesdays 8 till 5 but from September, due to the Covid baby boom! it will be Thursdays as well.  

Daughter S had her summative assessment with her practice assessor today. She got signed off her last year and her degree as a midwife so now she's got to just wait for graduation and for jobs to be advertised that she can apply for.  We are so, so proud of her - she has worked so hard to achieve a dream she has had since she was about 11 years old.  She will be the first person of both mine and Husbands family to gain a degree so very exciting. She is coming home next Wednesday for D's birthday and staying a few nights so no doubt a few glasses of bubbles will pass our lips in celebration.

Finally, books.  The Secrets of Strangers was a fantastic book and I read it in two nights. Now I am reading The Weekend which I wasn't sure about at first but now I am racing through that one as well. 

Well the weather has been truly awful this week and I think the weekend is meant to be wet as well so not sure what we will be up to.  I would really like a nice long walk but I shall have to wait and see how heavy the rain is.

Next Wednesday is D's 17th birthday and we are going to our village hotel for a meal.  I absolutely cannot wait to sit back inside nice surroundings, eating a lovely meal that someone else has cooked, with a couple of glasses of chilled white wine. Bliss.  I am also finally having my hair cut and coloured that day as well so I shall be dizzy with excitement!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

 Well it's been a very days since i've posted but to be honest, now that the girls are all back at school, life is pretty mundane.  I spend a fair bit of time taking and collecting from school - they are all at different ones - and a couple of after school clubs have restarted so that involves driving around. The highlight of this week was that L had her haircut after school on Friday.  I have had to snip at the fringe a few times to keep it out of her eyes but it was in desperate need of a good tidy up.  My cut and colour is booked for the 19th which I cannot wait for - a nice bit of pampering.

On Saturday, we went over to Torquay.  We parked up at Meadfoot Beach and had a car picnic, due to the weather, and then had a very blustery walk all along the front.  It was nice to get out for some fresh air and exercise.





I've finished my last book, which was really good, and have now just started this one by Kate Atkinson.


Tuesday, I start my new job which is exciting and nerve wracking in equal measures!. I shall need to be organised as I need to leave the house at 7.45. Hubby will be working from home Tuesdays so that he can do school drop offs/collection as I won't finish till 5.00. We are also having work done on three of our trees, which are all protected, having finally got planning permission.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

 Well it hasn't been a particularly exciting couple of days. Yesterday, Daughter D finished school at 11.15 so I picked her up and we went into Newton Abbot.  I had two books to drop back to the library and two to collect and a voucher to spend in Boots.  We had a look in a few charity shops but there was nothing that took our fancy so we just got a hot drink which we sat in the car and had as it was just too cold to sit outside.

Today, I've done pottering at home and been out for a long walk.  I have also started a new book which so far is very good. In fact, all the books I have read this year from the library have been good. There has not been a single one that I have started and then not been able to get into it. Most of the books I reserved have either been recommended on someones blog or in the book section of one of the glossy magazines I subscribe to. 

Tomorrow I am meeting a friend for coffee. Her eldest Daughter is good friends with D so I have known her many years since we used to go to playgroup together.  She has remarried in the last few years and now in addition to her older two girls has two young boys who are almost three and 6 months old. The youngest one I have not even met yet so I am looking forward to our get together.

Monday, May 3, 2021

 Very disappointingly we did not get the promised sunshine yesterday. It was dull and overcast and we had rain in the afternoon.  D needed to be dropped off at a friends in Teignmouth after lunch so we decided to have a walk. 



 We had just set off when it started raining. Luckily we were walking down through some lovely ornate gardens with plenty of overhanging trees so we were able to shelter from the worst of it. The gardens are so pretty with little bridges and lovely planting. By the time we reached the seafront the rain had stopped and it had brightened up' so first stop was a little cafe we like called 'The Cherry on The Top' for two ice creams and two cappucinos. We managed to find a dryish bench up on the seafront and sat a while just enjoying the view. Surprisingly, I'm guessing due to the weather, there didn't seem to be many holidaymakers about, in fact it all seemed pretty quiet.  We walked to the end of the front to the point carpark and down onto what is known as back beach as we have had a resident seal living on the beach for a few weeks.  Unfortunately he must have gone for a swim because he wasn't there.

In the evening Hubby cooked a BBQ which was yummy and then we settled down to watch the final Line of Duty.  I'm not sure about the ending - I just don't see Buckles being H, he's just too wet!

This morning I had a text from Daughter S first thing to say she had just delivered baby number 37. She needs to have delivered 40 babies ideally to qualify and as her last placement that she is currently on is clinic based she is on call with a couple of hospitals to get her last few deliveries.

Today has been wet and windy so we have not done a lot except read and watch tv.  I am onto another book - The Godmothers was very good - which I am already halfway through. Well that is that - I am going to spend the evening quietly reading and making sure everyone has everything ready for school tomorrow.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

 Friday, we finally sorted out some replacement flooring for our kitchen.  The previous owner of our house had had commercial vinyl laid and it was stuck down with industrial adhesive. Unfortunately, this meant that when we had new vinyl laid 18 months ago it has slowly reacted to the adhesive that's left on the concrete floor and caused it to bubble up in various places. It look horrible and has been bugging me for months.  With the various lockdowns it has been difficult to sort out.  Our fitter that we use recommended a German vinyl called Gerflor which has a felt backing and he assures us we wont have the same problem. So, we dropped L at school and were at Trago Mills just after they opened as they are our local stockist. Trago Mills is an amazing place, which sells absolutely everything at rock bottom prices, and you can get some real bargains.  So the vinyl is in the garage and now we just have to arrange to get it fitted.

Today started off lovely and sunny so we decided to have a walk down through Happy Valley in our village and see the bluebells. We walked to the outskirts of our village and out past our old house, and then dropped down through the woods that are known as Happy Valley. The bluebells were amazing and it was a lovely walk. From there we walked to our playpark and got a cappuccino for me and two luxury hot chocolates for the girls. The hot chocolates are something else - whipped cream, mini marshmallows, mini toffee chunks, gold edible glitter and a flake! We spent a pleasant half hour sat in the sunshine and saw a friend of mine there so had a catch up with her and her husband.





This afternoon has been spent quietly reading whilst Hubby has finally started decorating the hall, stairs and landing. Tomorrow we are looking forward to the promised sunshine and sitting in the garden. The trouble with living on the coast is that bank holidays are a bit of a nightmare with such an influx of holidaymakers so we tend to think of quieter places to go. Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

 Another week gone by in a blur of school and work. The Thursday before last, once I had finished work at 12, I met two friends at our villa...