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Showing posts from November, 2012

I woke up this morning...

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...very early, it was still quite dark.  Just before bed last night I had dropped my phone and the battery came out of it. When I replaced it, I was prompted to agree that it was 8 minutes past 10.  I didn't actually know the correct time as I had turned off my very ancient laptop that takes an age to boot up, so I just said yes, but I was very doubtful.  My one and only wristwatch - bought a month ago - stopped working this week, I have an issue with watches... they always stop and although it could be the battery, it usually doesn't make any difference... something to do with my natural magnetism (well that's what I tell everyone anyway!) 

But back to this morning... reaching over for my phone it said 5:30am.  Well it could have been except that I heard noises from my daughter's house next door and I didn't think she would be starting the fire at 5:30 in the morning.

I waited an hour, impossible to go back to sleep once awake, and then got up.  As I was raking ou…

The Fire

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Before you panic - if you are of the panicking kind - no I haven't had a fire... well maybe just one...





 ....in the correct place at the correct time.  I had a coal fire when I lived in Scotland many years ago when my children were just little.  It was a lot of work.  I got up very early in the morning, while the children were still asleep, and in the cold (in my dressing gown) I cleaned out the cinders, brushed the fireplace and laid a new fire before lighting it and then washing the hearth clean of all the coal dust.  Lighting the fire was an art involving firelighters and rolled up newspaper as well as little sticks of kindling which I bought along with the coal.  If it wouldn't 'draw', that is, if the oxygen didn't get to the base of the fire and feed the flames they would go out, we sometimes used a large piece of newspaper across the front of the fireplace to encourage the flames to reach upwards for more air and hopefully catch the coal more firmly alight.  …

And... we are here.

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What can I say?  Well... I am NEVER going to go on a three day road trip ever again!  Don't get me wrong, it was fairly uneventful as road trips go, but by the third day I was really really tired of being in a box on wheels - and so was the dog.

Fergus was very good, but all the same, by the third day he too had had enough.  He also got travel sick on day three too.  But lets concentrate on the good stuff.

The main good thing about driving down was that we were able to see the countryside change and the temperature slowly creep up the farther south we got.  Deciduous forest turned to cypress and pine, wheat fields to grape vines and finally to olive and almond groves.  We only saw one village with a few heavily laden orange trees before we started climbing up to terrain too frosty in winter for citrus trees.  The temperature reached 19C during the early afternoon but then dropped again as we gained altitude to a pleasant sunny 17C.

We arrived around 6pm just an hour after our cats…

On our Way!!

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Today we set off for the Chunnel.  It was a beautiful crisp autumn day when we left England and in France it got a few degrees warmer.  The sun shone all day as we drove down towards Le Mans and our first night's stop.  As the sun set it left the sky all shades of pink and red and a dense mist lay at ground level in the dips and deep valleys that we crossed.  As we traversed a high viaduct we could see the lights of a little village shining eerily through the twilight fog.  Yet at the top of the viaduct there was no mist at all.  It was all a little strange and very atmospheric. 

Our sat nav sent us all around the houses in Le Mans looking for the Ibis City Centre hotel, but eventually we found it.  In fact we had driven past it twice and been too busy trying to read road signs that we missed the huge great big neon 'Hotel' sign.  When we finally spotted it, we laughed.  It was well and truly dark by now and we were tired and hungry.  The hotel restaurant was closed but t…

All in Uproar!

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Today is Remembrance Sunday and I did take a moment to reflect.  I went down to the village square in front of the war memorial where every year people gather for a minutes silence at 11am.  Except today for some reason when I arrived at five to eleven they appear to have already had 'the silence' and I got there in time for the singing of the National Anthem followed by the tolling of the church clock.  I was really suprised and annoyed when people started to leave... I had no idea they had changed the times... but hey ho.


I normally would have hung around to catch a chat with friends but I have so much to do I hurried home.  I say home... it's not very homely at the moment, the house is in a total uproar!  We emptied the loft yesterday all ready for the removal men who arrive on Wednesday.


Even though we are getting a full packing service, there is so much we have to do ourselves.  People seem to think that it is just a case of walking out the door and leaving the remov…

The Nature of Stress

Well.... now that the worry over whether the sale of our house will go through or not has passed, I expected to feel a lot more calm.  Er... nope.  Stress levels have gone through the roof.  To the point of my having palpitations almost constantly causing more worry that I might have a health issue... fear not, I do not.  It is simply (nothing is ever simple) stress.

I am a very organised person under normal circumstances.  I don't feel comfortable not being organised.  I like to know where I am and what is expected to happen next.  I anticipate a little re-adjustment required for living in Spain where things seem to be more relaxed... and that is a good thing.  I get incredibly annoyed when people don't do their jobs right, or don't do what they have promised.  I don't mind broken promises or circumstances meaning that jobs cannot be completed... what I really hate is when I am not informed of it, when I continue in a misguided belief that everything is moving along a…

YAY! At last!

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Well that's it!  We have exchanged contracts.  For those not familiar with the really awful house buying law in England, this means that we have reached a point of no return.  Our buyers have paid a deposit and signed a contract promising to pay the rest on a date specified by us.  That date is 16th November.  YAY!  We are finally going!

A moment to reflect on how much this house has meant to us.  It's been our home for sixteen years, during which time a lot has happened to us.  It was never our dream home, we bought it because it had enough bedrooms for our large family and was on a regular bus route to both Oxford and Witney (our local market town), and most importantly it was within our budget.  It needed work doing to it, but we were more than happy to do it, and we have had some very happy times here.


The buyers of our house came to see us today, bringing with them a small flock of tradesmen.  Double glazing salesman, carpet seller, painter and decorator, and a bottle of …