Monthly Archives: September 2022

Z is easily led

Sir Bruin and the Small Bear, aka Steve and Liz, invited me over, to let me have fun on Sir B’s motorbike. As a pillion passenger of course, my attempt at getting a licence was interrupted and I never managed to go back. I admit that I was less relaxed than I’d been 8 years ago, but I don’t think that Steve realised and, once I’d regained my nerve, I loved it all over again. So tempted to have another go, though I think a bike is too heavy for me nowadays. Wondering about a scooter…

They also keenly recommended a good electric bike, which I’ve been thinking about getting. A cheap one isn’t worth bothering with, they have found – I suppose it may depend on the use you’re putting it too. And Sir B has taken up the ukulele, which is far easier to pick up than a guitar.

I was also fed a delicious meal and had a really great day. I don’t focus enough on simply having fun. I’ve got out of the habit. Something to remember and learn from.

Yesterday, I was speechless

I wasn’t at all sure if I could watch the funeral. But once I cautiously turned it on, I watched most of the day. Magnificent and moving, profound and impressive and they’d only had a few days to bring everything to perfection, however many years had been spent in the planning.

From admiration for those young men who managed to carry a lead-lined coffin after a few days’ practice to tears at the sight of the Mounties and the Commonwealth representatives – only the start of the tears, I admit, the profundity of the occasion has stunned me. And the expression of wretchedness on the King’s face as the National Anthem was sung at the end.

I find it hard to say King Charles. Just as the Queen has always been queen throughout my life, he’s always been Prince Charles.

Friends of my parents had their first baby on the day he was born in 1948. Everyone was so envious – the palace sent out hampers to all those who shared his birthday with a complete layette, of baby clothes and everything else they might need. In the post-war rationing years, this was an amazing gift.

Enough people have been eloquent, so I’ll stop now.

I’m not even mentioning this on Facebook

The mystery of the car key is solved, in that it’s been found. How it got there is another matter.

I explained yesterday about its loss. This afternoon, I had a phone call from the garage in Beccles where I bought the car. Yes, working on a Sunday. The woman I spoke to, whose name I didn’t catch, said that she’d had a phone call from someone whose father had picked up the key in Yagnub, saw there was a registration number on the fob and was going to phone the dealership – but the daughter said that he might take a while to get around to it, so she (very kindly) did it herself. And the woman I spoke to (enough of this, I’m calling her Lisa because Lisa is a nice name) looked up who bought it and rang me.

I’m calling daughter Sally, because that’s a nice name too. Sally said that she or her dad would drop it in when they’re next going through Beccles and Lisa will let me know, to pick it up.

I can only assume that, jumping out of the car, I’d stupidly had the key on my lap and it fell onto the gravel and then, when the removal lorry left, it got caught in the tread of the tyre. Then It fell out as they drove through the town. Ludicrous as this sounds, there seems to be no other explanation. I’m just lucky that they didn’t go on the bypass, where it wouldn’t have been found, and that kind Frank (look, I’m into nice names and it makes him a person to me) and Sally took the trouble to follow up with it.

I’m going to buy trackers for everything.

The Z paradox

I don’t want to have to admit it, but I think that the answer to being tired is to be busier. The more I do, the more buzz I get. The less I do, the more tired I feel, so I want to do less. Being fundamentally lazy, this isn’t great news, but the lesson is still there to be learnt.

I shifted a few barrowloads of compost – I didn’t count, but not all that many because I don’t want to ginger up my back – and fetched in logs and did housework. I’ve also mislaid my car keys and am bemused.

Rose asked if some of her stuff could be stored here, which is quite all right, I’ve got an almost empty garage. The delivery guys arrived after dark, so I had the bright idea of bringing my car so that the headlights illuminated the area, which would be much better than a torch.

So I grabbed the spare key and drove along and angled the car to show the area without shining the headlights into our eyes. It was fine. One guy put the boxes at the back of the van, the other one and I shifted them into the garage. Then we shut the door and I got back into the car. It had switched off and said that no key was detected, which was a surprise. But I ran up to the house, fetched my handbag with the key and restarted the car. I assumed the key was in the car somewhere and didn’t think any more about it.

I can’t find it anywhere and, having been busy, I can’t remember the exact course of events. I thought I’d simply left the key in the car. Second thing was to have had it in my pocket. Third was to have had it on my lap and it fell off when I got out. None of these, apparently. I haven’t got a plan 4 – but it can’t be far away, so I’ll just have to search until I find it. I’ve got a Tile thing on the car key, but not on the spare key.

I had a phone call this afternoon from the company that insures the caravan. There were various questions that I can’t answer. The year that the caravan was manufactured? I’ve written to the site manager because I assume he’ll have all the info from when Tim bought and installed it. I only know that it was between 7 and 14 years, which doesn’t much help. The silly thing is that the company has the information but can’t carry it forward because I am not on the insurance policy except as Tim’s executrix, not in my own right. Data protection isn’t intended for this. But I’ll either get the info or I won’t. Tim must have paid out thousands for insurance without a claim, over the years. It’s trivial, really.

I’m off to have a bike ride on Tuesday and I’m very excited. I love motorbikes and it’s a shame that I couldn’t take up riding, which is better than pillion. But I won’t do it now. Just too late in my life.

Z gets wet with actual rain

It’s been chilly today, autumn has come in this week. I was even caught out in the rain – not that I minded, there’s been too little of that for the last few months. But it was cold and windy as well.

I’d gone to the garden centre to buy grass seed. I have a big bag, more than I need for the area, but I’ll reseed the chicken’s run whenever they’re not using that part, so that they have something fresh and green, at least for a day or two. What I sow now will have the winter to bed in, though.

On the way there, I posted the address labels and stamps to David and he’ll take over from here. I need to write something for the local paper and put a few posts on Facebook etc, but that’s not much more work. Until the final flurry, I can ease off. I would like to do other things. I would like, very much, to be busy but not have a deadline and not be anxious. It’s not just blogging mojo that’s lacking. I need to try to make choices and not react to what’s necessary. Though whether I succeed in that fine intention is another matter.

Over the weekend, I’ll do something about the grass seed – Wince hasn’t had time to shift any compost yet, so I’ll do some of that. Next week, I’ve promised to take Rose out for lunch one day and Sir Bruin and the Small Bear have invited me over to have a pillion ride on Sir B’s bike – I wish I’d managed to get my motorbike licence, but it was all at the time when Russell was ill and then died and I didn’t have the heart to go back to it. I loved it though and really wish I’d done it much earlier in life. Next week I’m also booked for my next Covid booster. And there’s a Nadfas lecture on Wednesday as well. So my best foot is going forward.

Z slinks in, embarrassed at the silence

I didn’t intend the break to last a fortnight. I even wrote while I was away, to post later when I had internet, but it just hasn’t happened.

The visit did me good. John and I had a lovely evening – I cooked him dinner, he provided hospitality and wine. I arrived at the caravan at lunchtime on Saturday and didn’t leave it until Monday morning. I just holed up and was quiet. I watched a few films – The Big Sleep and Les Vacances de M Hulot were the most appreciated, followed by Key Largo (Bogie and Bacall can’t be beat) and I read and did a bit of work on the catalogue. The weekend was rather awful, but once I was past the time that Tim died on the 5th, I felt less desperate. However I pretend that an anniversary has no power, the fact comes to confront me.

Since then, I’ve completed the catalogue and it’s been printed. Tomorrow, I’ll print address labels and my colleague David will do the envelope stuffing.

At our small lunch club meal today, the person who usually runs it was at the dentist. So I had to take over – not that there’s much to do normally, but we had a silence and then a toast, which is so not my comfort zone. But of course it was okay.

I have bought a new ride-on mower for Wince and he’s very happy. I’ve promised him a new hedge cutter as soon as he chooses it. A good gardener is to be cherished. Not that he’s actually a gardener, but he’s excellent with machines and I’m not.

We moved the chickens’ run today and they’re thrilled. Not that there’s any grass, it never grew back in the summer. Wince will rake the old area and spread compost, then I’ll scatter grass seed so that it’ll grow, ready for the spring. Once the chickens have to be kept indoors, I’ll seed the remaining area. Unfortunately, we let the compost area get away from us and it’s got some bindweed and couch grass in it, so the compost will have to be spread where that doesn’t matter and a new heap started in a clear place. My fault, I took my eye right off the ball.

I’ve asked my cleaner’s mother-in-law to do my ironing, which is mostly bedlinen. That’s properly cheered me up. £35 very well spent. It’s easily saved by not turning the Aga on yet, after all!

Z takes a break

I’m leaving for Pembrokeshire tomorrow, but I’m taking a break on the way. I’ll be staying with our old blog friend John, formerly of Publog. I’ve visited him a couple of times before, in 2013 and earlier this year, after his dad died. John was disabled when a tree fell on his car, years ago, and his dad and he made a good team for 20 years. Blogging makes true friendships.

Then on to Wales the next morning for a few days, I don’t know how long, but it’ll take me over the anniversary of Tim’s death. I heard today that one of our caravan neighbours died three months ago. I’d been anxious, because Brian and Barbara spent most of the summer at the village and my two grandchildren had made friends with theirs. I hadn’t seen them at all this year in my three visits, so I felt that something was wrong. Barbara has since broken her hip, so she won’t be there this time either. I may not leave the caravan much. I am okay alone.

Wink will be here, of course and, as it happens, she won’t be alone because good friends are going to be visiting – I’d said that they are always welcome to stay, so they will keep Wink company. My apologies for not being a good hostess, but my house is their house and so on, they’re welcome.

I’ll take my new and fabulous MacBook Air with me and do a bit of work on the catalogue, but probably not much. If it’s not raining too much (this is Wales, after all) then I’ll walk. Otherwise, I’ll just be.

Without internet unless I travel a bit, so probably silence from me for a few days.