As the worst of Storm Ciara moved away from us last Monday morning, Deb and I decided to leave our hibernation and go shopping.
We headed towards St Austell, and after a few minutes Deb asked why SatNav was displaying the road in black. The answer became apparent as the road had cones across it and a sign to say it was closed. We attempted a different route, but the queue quickly changed our minds and we headed home.
A tree had fallen across the main route into the town, and we had chosen a moment when local radio wasn’t giving traffic news.
As we splashed our way home through the puddles and fallen twigs, the traffic news told us what we now knew, and also that the road towards Truro was flooded.
Shopping was abandoned, and we returned to hibernation. Deb sorted out an online order with Sainsburys.
Yes we regularly have online shopping orders for our groceries. It is delivered to our door, and the driver usually takes it into the kitchen and chats while we unload it.
… and to be honest it is cheaper than the petrol we would use to drive to and from the shop.
This week was a special one for us. We had finally found a plumber willing to do some work for us, and he was arriving on Monday afternoon. He would be taking out our visually beautiful shower pod, and replace it with a more practical shower bath.
“A Bath?” I hear you say.
Yes we have always had a bath, and although we both enjoy a shower, there are moments when we really want to soak in deep hot water.
He duly arrived after lunch, and by the end of the afternoon, the bulk of the old shower cubicle was outside awaiting collection to go to a dump.
John (the plumber) is a perfectionist – I hope – and he does not work fast. This frustrates me as I have done a lot of DIY plumbing in the past, and I am much faster.
But I am not a perfectionist, and have to accept John’s work will turn out better than my attempts.
Tuesday saw the shower completely disappear, and the bath arrived. John now took until Wednesday afternoon to fit, plumb, seal, and clear up the bathroom. It wasn’t ready to use for another day while the silicon sealant hardened, and the room stinks of this pungent chemical, but the bath looked wonderful.
On Thursday morning our plumber finished little jobs and then declared the bath would be ready for the afternoon.
Sadly, we don’t have the shower installed yet. Our bathroom was a wet-room before we arrived, and there was a shower on the wall. The connecting pipes remain, but were a non-standard spacing for modern shower mixers. It had taken a day or two to source a suitable mixer, and it was on order. Sadly, it wasn’t due to arrive until Monday, when John is on holiday.
So, we have a bath, and it is superb. The lack of shower means we have to use jugs to rinse our hair for another fortnight, but there are always the showers in our swimming pool that we can use.
While the plumber was clanking, banging, sawing wood, and generally living in our bathroom for a week, Deb and I had to make the most of any moment he was away to fit in some exercise. We had a couple of walks, and Deb had regular swims, but the lack of exercise was rather frustrating.
My knee is no longer benefitting from the steroid injection I had two weeks ago. There are moments when I really despair at the pain, and wonder if I will ever be able to do normal things for more than 15 minutes before slumping on the sofa to let my joint recover.
My doctor said I could come back and see him after we get back from our holiday to discuss how things are going. That means another four weeks before we move on to plan 328B. OK, so I am exaggerating, but we are closing in to almost 30 years of trying to resolve my knee problem. It was diagnosed as ‘early onset arthritic damage‘ more than 20 years ago, and all that has changed is that the doctors refer to it as ‘mild arthritic damage‘.
I just want to say again that I hope they will soon decide that I need some treatment other than painkillers, while I can still remember what I want to do.
On Friday we finally had a chance to go shopping, and went to Sainsburys to use the £9 voucher that arrived with our online shopping order. There was 25% of clothing which meant a chance to stock up on bits before we go on holiday.
Have I mentioned that we are going on holiday??
It is just eleven days now until we drive to Southampton, and stay overnight in the Holiday Inn before boarding Aurora on 28th February. we will then have 12 days on this beautiful ship while we sail north to the Arctic Circle.
In the meantime, the soggy and muddy roads have still not dried out from Storm Ciara, and now Storm Dennis has arrived to make Britain sink a little further. So many hundreds of people have been flooded, travel has become a lottery for many, and it is generally a very depressing winter with a series of storms. At least it hasn’t been cold… yet!
Deb has just made up another online shopping order for Tuesday. The wind and rain is going to calm down, but we have decided to stay at home a little longer, and hibernate some more.