Category Archives: George’s Blog

Relaxed Sunday Morning

Yesterday evening I realised I had spent too long in the sunshine, and without my hat on. I had been busy chopping down the hedge and made myself terribly de-hydrated, but worse still I had over-heated.

My head was throbbing and dry. I spent an hour cooling my head and neck with a wet flannel, and finally I felt human again.

This morning Deb and I decided it would be a relaxed day, and we began it with a leisurely stroll along a pathway along the River Wye. It was not hot at 9:30 in the morning, and the walk by the river was wonderful.

The river is shallow because of the lack of rain for more than a month, and we spotted a fisherman sitting in the middle of the river…

yes he really was in the middle of the river

Further along a dog was being taunted by his master to plunge repeatedly into the cooling water to fetch a stick.

There were ducks having an early morning adventure, and there were tiny little fish playing in the warm shallow edges of the river.

It was so quiet, and so relaxing just looking and listening to the river. Anyone else we saw seemed to be absorbed by the peace and quiet and simply whispered a “Good Morning” to us.

The only slight problem we had, was that we didn’t actually know where we were.

As we retraced our steps Deb said she would take a look at a map to see where we had been exploring.

Back to the slightly busier area of Hereford we had an ice-cream. Not up to the standard of Italy perhaps, but still lovely.

We were only out for about 90 minutes and back home I was not suffering any relapses from yesterday.

Now it was time to sit and read the paper with a cup of coffee, and decide if there is anything urgent that has to be done this afternoon.

….Nope….just relax.


Where has that month gone?

O dear, so much has happened since I last posted on here.

The weather has been glorious with blue skies and sunshine from dawn till dusk. Deb and I have eaten on the terrace virtually every lunchtime and dinner time for a month. we have sat lay down in the sunshine and although careful, I am rather well coloured. Sadly  cannot lie on my front so my back is less brown than my front.

The garden has screamed at us to be watered and we have completely run dry of collected rain water. We have enjoyed numerous bowls of strawberries, and are now enjoying the raspberries. The crops of gooseberries, black currants and red currants have been picked and the freezer has a good stock of them for the autumn. There are also a few broad beans in there for a treat later in the year. The onions and garlic are in the dark of the garage now that they have dried out.

Very soon we will be eating our own carrots, and even the first of the runner beans are appearing so they could be accompanying our dinner in a few days time. The potatoes have suffered in the dry and although they are ready for digging, they are rather small.

from the greenhouse we ate our first tomato today and it was so tasty and juicy compared to the bland shop bought ones. There is a fine crop of them and we should be enjoying them for several weeks.

Every day Deb picks sweet peas flowers so we have a constant delightful display of them.

All in all the garden has given us a lovely harvest so far, with much more to come.

Now, time to talk about my body niggles.

My GP was not overly impressed with my treatment for my knee. I told him that my offending joint is probably worse now than before the surgeon did his bit. He offered a chance for a second opinion, and I was amazed to get an appointment with another orthopaedic surgeon very quickly. In fact I will be seeing him on Wednesday of next week.

I also raised the issue of my shoulder which is really giving me a hard time at the moment. I had an X-Ray a little under a fortnight ago, and will be seeing the doctor for the results of this on Tuesday.

Deb is fine although struggling at times with the heat that we have had,…..please be clear, that we are not complaining, just saying that it has been difficult to stay cool at times.

Anyway, we had rain a few days ago and I noticed the lawn almost instantly bean to look greener again. I don’t intend to cut the grass just yet.

I have been quite busy in the garden but it is difficult to be enthusiastic when the sweat is running into my eyes are ten minutes working in the sunshine. I have now begun the marathon job of trimming the hedge. I will only attempt a short section at a time as I would rather not collapse from heat exhaustion or sun-stroke.

Oh, and the latest bit of news is that we have booked another cruise. We are trying out Azura at the end of September for 12 days. We said we would never sail on the larger ships, but the price was good and we couldn’t resist a little late summer warmth in the Mediterranean.

Well a lot of other things have been going on, but I think I have said enough about the things that are on my mind at the moment. The English football team really did very well, but sadly we will have to wait another four years for proper success.

As a final comment for now, I would just like to say that I am very proud to discover that I have now sold my thousandth kindle copy of Around the World without Wings. There have been several paperback sales as well, but the kindle e-books are the major sellers.

Thanks for all those of you who have bought it, and for the rest of you, why not try it!.

Bi for now

A perfectly good idea…..But!

Many years ago the people living in what is now our house decided to do something that they thought would be a good idea.

The house has a road at the end of the back garden, and they came up with an idea to make the garden more private by planting a series of conifer trees to create a hedge. It was probably a good idea at the time as the trees grew quite quickly and produced not just a privacy hedge, but a way of reducing the traffic noise as well.

Those tree continued to grow both upwards and outwards with very little maintenance carried out on them to control their expansion. By the time we moved in five years ago, these trees were frankly enormous and the branches had grown so well that they reached, and even overhung the road.

The road isn’t a major one, but it does have almost constant traffic with lorries and tractors. With no verge left to stand on, we just couldn’t  safely cut back the excess greenery.

In other words, that decision made many years ago turned out to not be such a good idea.

Fortunately last week the road was temporarily closed for three days to lay some new tarmac. We grabbled the opportunity to go out onto the deserted road and attack the coniferous hedge.

Our decision was not to just cut it back, but to completely remove the trees and start again with a different sort of hedge.

One of the trees had actually been broken in the winter snow and could be simply dragged into the garden, but it still took two days to physically cut off the branches from the three remaining green giants.

I managed to cut the stumps down to an acceptable height and finally stood up in satisfaction to survey the two metres of grassy (ish) verge that we now had.

That had been an awful job, but now came the even worse job of cutting the branches into manageable chunks to noisily shred into compostable bits, or to pack in bags to be taken to the recycling centre. Deb and I created vast amounts of composting material that now has to be used up, but a huge amount was also taken to the recycling centre.

We still have vast amounts of greenery and bits of wood that will require at least another three trips to the skip in Hereford.

By Wednesday the pair of us were exhausted, and we decided to wait a while before moving any more of the tree waste. It was time to rest our weary bodies and do some lighter bits and pieces around the garden.

On a positive note we had our first picking of strawberries and have had four meals of the delicious red treats so far, and the freezer has already got several trays of them for use later. Finally we have something other than rhubarb for our puddings.

I do still like rhubarb, but it was becoming a little boring.

Anyway, we will be making the five mile trip to and from the recycling centre several times in the coming week to clear away the final remains of that hedge.

Then we will set about planting a new hedge with something that can be maintained and controlled far easier. At the moment we are leaning towards Beech trees that our neighbours also have which are far more friendly when it comes to trimming, especially as we now have a safe area to stand on rather than being on the road.

Sometimes an idea that seems perfectly good, turns into a nightmare, but also a learning point for the future, and others.

Latest about my knee issues

Well, I went back to see my surgeon a few days ago to get his feelings on the progress of my knee since he operated on it.

Now, this was at a Nuffield private hospital that takes on NHS procedures, and I have to say the waiting time was minimal, and my day in the hospital was extremely good, but, I am not so sure about the actual treatment.

For those who have not been following this saga, I complained about a pain in my left knee some 24 years ago, and during those decades I have consulted three surgeons, in three separate areas of Britain. I have had three arthroscopy procedures plus several pain killing injections and periods of physio-therapy.

The latest surgeon discovered I had a useless piece of membrane inside my knee call a ‘Plica’ which he cut out and proclaimed that I ought to feel much better in six to eight weeks.

Well that period of time has long passed now, and without a doubt I have noticed a difference to my knee….but it still aches.

The surgeon said that this was all that could be possibly done, and my knee joint is actually in a very good condition, and definitely does not need replacement. Well, I am rather pleased that I don’t need a new joint, but extremely sad that I have gone through so much invasive tampering inside my knee without any real improvement.

He told me that that this Plica membrane had been folded over and has actually worn the inside of my kneecap a little. He offered no solution to this abnormal situation and it will continue to irritate the joint as I use it. His parting comments as he guided me, almost physically, to the door were to suggest I take tablets, and wear a brace when I do anything physical.

So that was goodbye to the Nuffield private hospital.

Rather than having a less painful knee, with improved movement, it is now more swollen than before, and I cannot bend it as much as I could.

I go back in a couple of weeks to discuss the knee with my GP, and I will certainly tell him that I wasn’t pleased with my experiences over the last few months.

Sadly, there seems to be nothing else that can be done except wince regularly, chew lots of paracetamol, and  continue to wear some form of support on the knee.

The very last thing my extremely eminent and professional surgeon said to me was that I will have to wait until the knee is completely ‘knackered’ before anything else can be done.

His surgical skills may be very good, but his empathy and person skills are certainly worse than any NHS surgeon I have allowed to wave a scalpel at me.


A Glorious Hot Weekend

Oh what a weekend. The sun shone from dawn till dusk, there was hardly a breath of wind, and we are alive and enjoying life.

Saturday began with a quick trip to Hereford City to pick up our holiday photos, and then we drove to Allensmore Nurseries. This is a commercial nursery that normally just  supplies major supermarket chains and garden centres, but once  a year they open their greenhouse doors to the public.

Our garden has many of their plants, and this was our opportunity to find something for a patch I cleared that is more shaded than other parts of the garden.

Of course new plants dictated the afternoon and we spent a couple of hours with me planting the new greenery, and Deb transplanting various plants in the greenhouse.

It was not easy to keep going in the heat, but we persevered before giving up the gardening and took to our sun loungers to enjoy the golden source of Vitamin D.

During the day we ate lunch and an evening meal outside on the conservatory with the parasol protecting us from some of the most intense sunshine I have known for some time.

In the evening  I was relaxing in the relative cool lounge when Deb rushed in with news that the magpies were attacking our fruit bushes.

Beautiful maybe, but I hate these birds that scavenge eggs and chicks from our more pleasant birds, and always on the lookout for a free meal. Pinching our gooseberries was a step too far.

I covered them temporarily, and satisfied that I had foiled their pilfering, Deb and I shared a bottle of wine to relax after a busy day.

On Sunday I was off to the garden centre to buy the necessary bits to fit our fruit cages to our tasty harvest to come. There was nothing else to consider doing today before the raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, black-currants and red-currants were protected.

As the sun blazed down Deb and I set about the poles, netting, tape and string. It took from mid-morning until 4:00 to complete the barrier….and we were shattered from the heat.

It might have been my imagination, but as we sat under our parasol with a cold drink, I could detect an angry cackle of the magpies in the nearby trees.

It was shower time, as we had an early evening appointment in the pub for the monthly quiz. It is always advertised to start at 6:00 so Deb and I, plus Michelle and Ken from next door, get there on time. But it never seems to start until and hour later, hence a good ploy to get us drinking longer…do we argue?

There were only six teams this month and after nearly three hours of laughter and mind searching, it was a very close result.

No we didn’t win but were only 4 points behind, in a quiz with 60 points maximum score, and a really good fun filled evening.

It was still hot as we went to bed, and I knew it would be a struggle to sleep, but wow, what a wonderful weekend.


Wyck Hill House Hotel and Spa

This is a Country House hotel that sits in a beautiful area of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire. It is a short distance from several tourist attractions, and a wonderful base to explore the quiet villages that are so typical of this area.
The hotel is situated on the A424 between Stow on the Wold and Burford which are both worth a visit. One of the most delightful tourist hot spots of the area is Bourton on the Water which is little more than six miles away.
Although there are no advance signposts for the hotel, the entrance is quite obvious with stone walls and flags. Unlike some Country House hotels, our SATNAV brought us right to the correct spot with the advertised postcode.
The building can be seen as soon as you turn into the tarmacked lane, and it is only perhaps 100 metres until car parking areas appear. A slight weakness is a lack of sign posts suggesting where to park, and you have to decide on the best directions on what appears to be a one-way system. There were ample parking spaces, and we chose a spot under some trees just a short walk from the entrance, but there are places right outside of the reception door if walking is an issue.
The building immediately looks impressive from the outside, and once inside, that feeling continues. The reception area was a little underlit with the check in desk situated under the staircase. It felt warm, and when I put my hand near the radiators, my suspicions were confirmed that the heating was on. It was over 20°C outside, and this temperature was typical of our stay. Fortunately the heating appeared to be restricted to the reception area, and the radiators in bedrooms were off.
The reception process was smooth and we were checked in and directed to our room within a couple of minutes. We were told how to get to the room via the lift, but it was a typical Country House hotel hike down corridors. Our arrival coincided with the first couple of our friends, and I can confirm that the lift was big enough for four people and four suitcases.
Our room was one of the biggest we have ever had with beds that can be made up as a double or two singles. There was sufficient clothes hanging space for our short two night break but maybe for those on a longer stay, the rail might get a bit congested. There was a decent sized chest of drawers with three drawers, with a television on top of it. The room also had a dressing table plus chair, bedside tables, and a glass top table with two further comfortable chairs. In the corner was a unit with safe, plus the usual tea making facilities.
The bathroom was similarly large. It had a bath with an overhead shower. The sink was one of the favoured flat shallow ones which I personally dislike. At least I was prepared for the tsunami wave effect when the tap was turned on hard.
The weakness of the bedrooms was a lack of air-conditioning. We were pre-warned of this on the hotel website, but for a hotel with a price that suggests a better than average standard, this is a serious negative point.
Our little group of six met up and we shared a bottle of champagne that was a part of the deal we paid for. It was a lovely moment to catch up our lives since we last met in a hotel near Stratford. We temporarily suspended our chatter to get ready for dinner, with plans to meet up on the terrace for another drink before going to eat.
Downstairs there is a small bar area which opens onto the delightful terrace with an evening view towards the setting sun. The terrace can also be accessed from the library next door to the bar. There is a range of furniture with some basic tables and chairs, plus adequate numbers of more relaxing seats with cushions.
With our drink over we made our way into the dining room.
There are three rooms used for eating. One was used to feed the coach tour parties that arrived late in the afternoons. Then there was a similar size room attached to the conservatory where our table was ready for us. The dining areas are of a good size and we didn’t feel crowded although the restaurant was just about fully occupied. Our table for six was also big enough to be comfortable, and we were all looking forward to a special meal
We were disappointed.
The food was a part of the deal and we had access to a menu with several choices, but the daily standards were not that appealing. A number of choices had a supplement which we avoided. There was then a dish of the day that changed from one day to the next, and similarly there was a fish dish of the day to choose from as well.
We virtually all went for the special dishes of the day.
The food was reasonable but hardly large portions. Again, we were expecting better, but it appears the chef is going for ‘small but beautiful’ rather than food to satisfy hungry visitors.
There was an ‘Amuse Bouche’ to begin which was mushroom soup drizzled with olive oil. This was OK but hardly any of us were enthusiastic about it. On the second night it was a chilled onion soup with almonds, and that really was not very interesting, or tasty. We all said it would have been far better if it was warmed up.
The main courses were small portions of meat or fish with very little else to excite the palette. On the first night my duck was resting on a bed of red cabbage with a marmalade relish plus a strange triangular slab of potato, and two broad beans. The taste (except for the potato) was very nice and the duck was very much to my liking, but it left me (and the others) looking for far more.
Fortunately, the pudding was very filling… but I was still hungry.
The service was fast and good with a small team of enthusiastic Eastern European waiters and waitresses. They did their best to be helpful and interact with us, but I wasn’t sure they really knew what we were saying and often forgot to bring things we asked for such as extra milk for our coffee and sweeteners.
Oh yes, and the coffee was a bit of a sore point. As we were eating our puddings, the waitress asked if we wanted coffee. We assumed it was a part of the meal, but no, it was extra, and worked out to be as much as bottle of their overpriced house wine.
We didn’t get caught out by that on the second night.
Next morning as we met for breakfast, we almost all said we hadn’t had a good night’s sleep. I found the bed too hard, while others said it was too soft. I think it might have been the uncomfortable warmth of the rooms, or the excess of sugary sticky toffee pudding at dinner.
Anyway, the breakfast. was good with a large choice of all the usual favourites. They even offered porridge with an optional tot of whisky.
We didn’t try it.
Deb and I took the chance to visit various places during the daytime in some beautiful sunshine. We used to live little more than 10 miles from the hotel but had not really explored the area since leaving there nearly 20 years ago.
The other four went on a vintage train ride that goes from Cheltenham to Broadway. A station at Toddington was just about 6 miles away from the hotel.
We met up again in the evening for a pre-dinner drink again, and a similar experience at dinner with less than enough to eat to satisfy our stomachs. Again I would say the food was well cooked and tasty but I doubt the Japanese coach group would have been satisfied with what they were given… unless they had a different menu to choose from.
After another sleepless night we had our breakfast and said our cheerios. All in all we had enjoyed meeting up with each other, but the hotel did not come up to our expectations. We didn’t have long enough to sample all that it had to offer. There is a Spa, but with no swimming pool it never really seemed interesting. There are large grounds to wander around, but once again we were only there for a short break.
In summary, the hotel is perfect to explore the area, but be careful to not rely on the hotel food if you enjoy reasonably large portions.
Would we go there again?
Probably not, but the area has lots of beautiful and interesting places to visit, and if we couldn’t find anywhere else, we might return just give it another chance.

Useless Maritime Internet

Yes it has been a long time since I posted anything, but we have been very busy.

I was hoping to make regular blog posts while away on our cruise in early May. Unfortunately, although the daily blog posts were created on my laptop, the speed of the internet was so poor that our blog site timed out before it could even load the basic pages.

At least the diary created by Deb was published on here when we arrived back home. It seemed pointless to put my thoughts on here then, as they were fundamentally the same as Deb’s.

Anyway, we had a lovely cruise with good weather for almost all the days while we were in the Mediterranean visiting Spain, and Italy. It was a little windy as we passed by the Portuguese coast in both directions, but my little white pills maintained my stomach’s dignity.

Once we had got home, we quickly enjoyed yet more warm sunshine that became hot sunshine for a week. I spent virtually every day in the garden catching up on a fortnight of jobs.

I finally painted the new shed with two coats. Although the paint tin label suggested it would be quite a distinct green, it actually looks more like a camouflage colour. Still acceptable, and I am certainly not going to start again now.

Sadly, I ended the two days of painting with various bruises, plus significant scratches on my legs where I tripped over bamboo canes and raked my legs with them. Well, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t turn a simple job into drips of blood as well as sweat.

Between coats of paint I also cut the lawns. The main one took two cuts to get it to an acceptable height, while the back lawn hadn’t grown quite as much so just a single cut sufficed. Of course the excitement of a cut made the grass grow even more, and they both quickly needed a further haircut.

My attention then turned to a small gully next to the conifer hedge that lines one side of the plot. I have already levelled out some of it with grass cuttings and general bits of garden waste, but now I need extra vegetation. Another part of the garden has been used to drop hedge prunings, stones and other ‘stuff’. But as I began to dig into this area to move the waste to the gully, I realised I had disturbed a bumble bee nest.

There were seemingly only three bees in the nest but they decided to make their feelings known to me by flying noisily by my head, and the biggest one even dive bombed me as I continued my excavations. Well, I did successfully take several loads away to level out the gully, but the bees were getting more and more angry, so I had to give up that task for now.

Hopefully, the evicted creatures will move on when they realised their home has been totally destroyed.

There was a lot of weeding to get stuck into, and slowly Deb and I have just about completed the bulk of this annual job. The problem was that the sunshine kept whispering to me to have a break and enjoy a little vitamin D therapy.

We got back from the cruise on Wednesday (16th May), and the pair of us spent the majority of the following days  working hard in the garden.

That was until Tuesday (this week) when we packed suitcases, loaded the car, and set off for a short break in Gloucestershire. We were meeting up with the two couples we spent the world cruise with in the Spring of 2017.

Our destination was the Wyck Hill House Hotel and Spa near Stow in the Wold. The hotel is a beautiful old country house with 60 or so bedrooms that are very good size, and well appointed for people wanting a bit of comfort in this quiet countryside location.

Deb and I arrived early on Tuesday afternoon, and the other two couples both arrived within half an hour. We quickly caught up with our adventures from the last 6 months since we last met and relaxed with a bottle of champagne.

This break was only going to be for two nights, but we quickly gelled into a friendly group again, and it promised to be a good couple of days.

I will be back soon with more details of our break, and a review of the hotel.

Aurora to the Mediterranean 1

It is 2nd May and Deb and I are in Southampton in our hotel before joining P&O Aurora later today. We usually stay overnight before a cruise and spend the morning looking around the shops of West Quay before an early arrival at the terminal at lunchtime.

Well, plans have changed this morning as the rain is lashing down. At just after 9:00 we put our anoraks on and walked out of the hotel. Three steps later we turned around and went back to our room in hopes that the rain and wind will calm down, but the forecast is not good.

At least we will keep our anoraks dry and avoid walking around the ship later with soggy clothes.

Aurora is only just visible in the mist and rain, and the passengers getting off this morning must have been really disappointed with coming home to this weather. But they are going to have sunshine tomorrow and a warm Bank Holiday weekend. Hopefully we will be enjoying some good weather as well after a couple of days sailing south towards the Mediterranean.

First stop is Alicante, where we have never been before.


The cases are packed

Monday morning and we have packed our suitcases for the cruise beginning in two days time. In reality we have packed away enough clothes to keep a small village warm for a day, but our belief is, that if you have a wardrobe full of clothes that are regularly worn,  they might as well come with us.

Anyway, three of the suitcases are zipped up and ready for a zip ties while the final one will be left unsealed with bits we might need overnight tomorrow, and whatever gets remembered at the last minute.

Deb and I are also planning to go to Matalan in Southampton on Wednesday as I still need a new pair of tidy blue trousers, and Deb continues to struggle to find a summer jacket.

We are lucky that our cruise begins and ends in Southampton so the only limiting factor for what we take with us, is the space in the car to carry it.

There is a milestone for my knee tomorrow. I will be wearing the protective surgical stockings for the final time on the drive down to Southampton. I don’t think I will be sitting around too much during our holiday, and I most definitely don’t want to be seen walking around in my shorts in public with the delightful fashion statement of white knee length stockings.

I have finished everything I planned for the garden. The potatoes are poking their noses through the soil, the little broad bean plants grown from seed, have been given their final places in the vegetable plot, and I have also sown several rows of root vegetables in my newly constructed raised bed. Meanwhile Deb has a number of pots of bedding plants now allowed the fresh air of the cold frame and various other flowers plants are growing on racks outside of the greenhouse. Our warming greenhouse still has a few little seedlings of flowers and vegetables along with tomato plants that are in the inside patch of soil, alongside the onions that have been in there since last autumn.

I have loaded my iPod with a selection of music to keep me happy over the fortnight in the Mediterranean, and there are just a couple of electronic gadgets left to charge up.

Virtually just about ready for the journey tomorrow, I foresee a quiet afternoon with a chance to catch up on some of the recorded TV programmes that are waiting to be watched.

While we are away the pair of us intend to be writing reports of life on the ship, and reviews of the ports we will be visiting. As the plan is to have the on-board Wi-Fi package, we hope to be posting on a regular basis…..but it is our holiday, and our enjoyment will be the most important thing on our minds.

Oh, and it looks like warmer weather is on the cards for Britain while we are away, so hopefully those of you who have suffered a cold and damp Spring in Britain will be able to enjoy a bit of warmth as well.

Speak to you again soon.

What happened to the sunshine?

As we get very close to our summer holiday, there has been a lot of jobs that have needed doing before we abandon the British summer.

…did I really say summer??

Last week, when suddenly winter ended and there was a mini heatwave, Deb and I were in Cannock doing a bit of decorating at our son’s flat.

Yes we do the decorating while he is at work. If we didn’t do it, it wouldn’t have got done.

Anyway we arrived on the Wednesday afternoon when the sun was blazing down on the country. We were inside a very hot flat painting the living room ceiling, and rewiring his telephone line that was a trip hazard.

We left the flat and felt the heat of the late afternoon sunshine for a few minutes while we went to our hotel. The room was very hot, but we hoped the air conditioning would deal with that while we both had a shower.

Not a chance. We eventually changed room to one that was bearable.

The next morning it was straight to the flat to continue the decorating.

The sun was shining even hotter.

I now pulled up the carpet from the lounge, hall, and stairs, while Deb painted the walls. This would keep her occupied for the remainder of the day, while I made two trips taking the old carpet to the local recycling centre.

Hot, rather sweaty, and totally shattered by late afternoon, we returned to the hotel for another cool shower. We were too exhausted to go out to dinner, so we ate in the hotel. Then it was back to the room to relax.

…relaxation was abandoned when the shower suddenly decided to give a fountain of sewage smelling water from its plug hole.

…Yuk – in fact very yuk!

We moved room again.

At least the hotel staff were friendly and very helpful. We didn’t have to pay the meal bill.

Friday morning we were up early and ready for the carpet fitters by 8:30. It was still hot and sunny and we had a third day inside a very hot flat.

The carpets were completed by midday, and with the car crammed to the roof with bits and pieces – including the carpet offcuts- we were ready to go home.

Our son came home from work early to sort out his furniture and electronics…after he had inspected our work. I think he was satisfied.

On the way home we dropped off the final bits of carpet before a very hot three hour drive to Herefordshire. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

Of course that was the end of the heatwave.

Since then we have made the most of any dry and warm(ish) weather to do as much as we could in the garden before we go away next week.

It has become cool again, and even the heating turned on last night.

Hopefully it will be warm and sunny for some of our Mediterranean cruise next week.

Now, lets go back to my knee.

Last week I saw my surgeon and he reported that my knee does not need any surgery. In fact it is perfectly healthy. As I appeared confused because of the pain from the last 20 or so years, he said that he did find something while poking about inside my joint.

Apparently I had a membrane called a ‘Plica’ across one of the bones in the knee that was rubbing on it and causing inflammation. During the exploration, he had cut it, out and from his previous experience, believes I will notice an improvement in a few weeks’ time.

And, now nearly five weeks on from the arthroscopy, I do actually think it is less painful. Of course much of that could be due to the exercises I am doing, plus the physical aspects in the garden, but I am hopeful that my knee is going to be less of a pain soon, and I can possibly try out some dancing while away on the cruise.

On a personal high note, I discovered that I had three of my books in the top 50 of Amazon’s cruise book category. It is wonderful to know that so many people enjoy my writing, and especially as one of these books is now 8 years old, but still selling.

Thanks everyone.

That’s enough for now as I may have to go up into the attic to get the suitcases down soon.

Bi for now.