Wednesday 30 September 2015


A week of big high's and even bigger lows has ended. Getting back on a bike relatively safely after very belatedly getting the puncture fixed were two definite high's, my return to gardening was an added bonus, particularly as I suffered minimal after-effects. Tilly's sad and unexplained death dented my good mood, which had strangely been deteriorating for a few days prior, perhaps due to commencement of my legal action against MCC. Although we have a cast-iron case against them it all adds pressure to my situation over which I have very little control.
Extremely belatedly MCC replied to my recent letters and supplied the "missing" report of March 2015 which contains the expected garbage. I have yet to cross-reference dates ,but at first sight there does appear to be some significant discrepancies. 
I spent the afternoon gardening and collecting half a bucket of damsons for more jam.
Lynne and I took the opportunity to review ourselves over the past few weeks, no holds barred. It proved an interesting session.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

A new pastime

A sort of return to work today, as my first stab at maintaining Julie's dad's garden where I spent an hour and a half reforming lawn edges and sweeping the main path. It raised very fond memories of my garden maintenance days and proved easier than I feared, but very rewarding.
The very sunny afternoon was spent drinking coffee with Derek at his nearby house. The evening presented excitement and sadness as Anne next door reported her wonderful cat Tilly missing. Hectic searches resulted in Lynne finding Tilly lying, crying and in obvious distress in Daryl's garden next door.
She seemed to be unable to move, but Anne got her into a cat basket and to a local vet, who was able immediately to discount a vehicle collision, but suspected some sort of poisoning due to her inability to use her front legs with no signs of injury. A very sad end for a magnificent feline who spent virtually every day on the roof of our garden shed or keeping guard on our garden fence, even when our cats were home.
A sad end to an enjoyable day.

Sunday 27 September 2015

Ill Effects

Another foggy morning. At first I awoke around 02am lying on top of the bedclothes in my dressing gown where I had collapsed and slept much earlier. My second awakening was considerably later and I was actually inside the bedclothes. No sign of fatigue, aches or pains after yesterday's exersions, which is encouraging. 
Derek returned from a few weeks in Cyprus which renewed discussions about us selling the boat and holidaying abroad.
I have commenced legal action against MCC to recoup our boat repair costs but the boat sale decision has still to be made.

Saturday 26 September 2015

Point proved

Having got over my being peeved regarding the bike repair saga (?) I childishly got Lynne to remove all her games from MY IPad yesterday afternoon having spent the whole day waiting to look at it whilst endless games of cards and similarly endless colouring pages  were completed,threatening me live-blogging the Leicester v Arsenal match, which the latter won 5 ..2 incidentally.  Interfere with me supporting Arsenal on my IPad at your peril. I got up early this morning for the "bike challenge" whereby one of us intends beating the other to a "quiet" Bradgate park for part two of the bike riding thriller. I am pleased to confirm it went very well, starting in the near-empty flat car park and continuing half way into the park, mainly downhill before returning uphill to the car park in thick fog.
I then went on a surprise trip to Lincoln show ground for the annual motor home show and spent some time looking successfully for a Wild West hat amongst the many stalls, to replace the one I lost last time I fell in the canal . Sunshine was very hot prior to our return to The Red Lion pub for Sunday dinner.
By the time we got home i was both thoroughly knackered and ready for a refreshing shower and bed.

Career moves

Following yesterday's job/hobby opportunities I have discussed them with Lynne and concluded to take the non- National Trust option as it is less formal and offers more flexibility to fit in boating escapes and other commitments, plus has less health and safety connotations. It is easily within my present and foreseeable capabilities, very local and a pleasant throwback to my garden maintenance business days. The disadvantage is more limited access to widening my present circle of friends and interests.
I managed to finally convince Lynne to transport me and my bike to Halfords to arrange repair of both punctures, which only took the guy about half an hour .A biking crash helmet was selected for me within seconds, but in its favour it was in Arsenal colours. Halfords to Bradgate park took all of twenty minutes to give me a chance to ascertain if bike riding (particularly the balance element) is within my present capabilities.Apart from one minor fall all went well and a decision was made to try the larger,flatter car park early tomorrow (Sunday) .who am I to argue.

Thursday 24 September 2015


Having re-read yesterday's blog I should add a comment regarding Chris,my counsellor,in whom I also have complete faith, particularly since her brilliant advice to re-adjust my aspirations to somewhere near reality, which has transformed my life virtually overnight. I have now accepted I cannot, for safety reasons, return to driving, cycling , rowing , long -distance walking or jogging ( not necessarily in that order ). Finally accepting those as facts has miraculously released self inflected pressure on what's left of my brain and simultaneously lifted my overall mood. Of course I can re-visit these individual decisions at the appropriate times in future, particularly as my balance and other problems sort themselves out, so all is not lost. Patience, John, patience.
The afternoon was spent at National Trust Stoneywell, a historic house and garden not far from Anstey, and very nice they were too. The purpose of our trip was to investigate the possibility of me volunteering my gardening skills on a volunteer basis, giving me an interest and some exercise outside my current "bubble". I grabbed an application form, enjoyed the house and garden tour and returned home via Julie's father in laws house, where I was offered the opportunity of tidying and maintaining his garden, again on a volunteer basis.


Like buses, you wait for ages then two come together. The same seems to apply to medical appointments. I have one with the District diabetic nurse, Lisa, this morning and one with my counsellor nurse Chris, this afternoon. I have complete and utter faith in Lisa, found completely by accident shortly after our move to Anstey. My previous diabetic nurse in London , Anne, was unsurpassably brilliant but got caught up in NHS cut-backs and was amazingly made redundant !!!!! The first rule of gutless redundancy decisions is to sack your best asset first to make the biggest impact and draw maximum attention to your plight.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Clear head/nose day

For the first time in a couple of weeks I have a clear head with a matching nose, at least enabling me to breathe "normally", an almost forgotten luxury hitherto.
All is quiet in the village,even the infamous loud Suburu driver appears to be away upsetting another community.
Having said all is quiet in the village we later learned there had been a minor earthquake overnight, but no, the earth didn't move for us.

Post gold medal life

Almost back to normality, but life goes on. Chloe is packed and ready to continue her travels, whilst Lynne relaxes a little and enjoys her birthday. I am still recovering from my flue bug, almost there, but at least the sun is out and I feel a little better, ( where have I heard that before ?).

Gold Medal

Monday 21 September 2015

Home again

Lynne drove for the first stint home and Chloe took charge for the second. 
The day was very dull and rainy so it was great to get home,although it was cold.

Sunday 20 September 2015

England and Chloe gold

 Chloe and the England Girls bowled GOLD.
I managed to see them win. A GREAT ACHIEVEMENT.
The medals will be awarded at tonight's banquet which we are unfortunately not invited to, deeply disappointing

One step forward and two back

A very comfortable night ended with a sore throat and lots of coughing. I opted out of supporting England for a return to bed. All this way to Scotland to admire a Premier Inn room !!! And very nice it is too, as are the staff who are only too happy to be helpful.

Saturday 19 September 2015

Shower and bowl and bed

I avoided the bath this morning but emerged from my room for breakfast and a very short drive to the bowl, feeling somewhat better for it, where we supported England (including Chloe) versus Scotland. I think Chloe won, as did England. The Bowling centre is very small ( 16 lanes )and in the middle of a huge deer park. My condition deteriorated , coughing and sneezing, so I returned to my room for a soup lunch and subsequently my bed, armed with boxes of tissues and anti-flue tablets. Lynne went back to the bowl via a chemist for further supplies.

Friday 18 September 2015

Marooned in bath

Lynne ran a bath and departed for breakfast. I stupidly also opted for a bath. Getting into the bloody thing was one thing, getting out quite another. I had visions of eventually being winched out by the fire brigade - embarrassing or what? After a relaxing bath what could be better for muscle/skin tone etc than sweating buckets trying to get out of the damn thing? Having preserved my dignity I  struggled to get dressed and collapsed exhausted on the bed until Lynne returned. I will stick to showers from now on. From watching Chloe in her England bowling debut I was restricted to watching Britain v Australia in the Davis cup on TV from the comfort of my hotel bed due to a streaming nose and sneezing fits.

Thursday 17 September 2015

Leicester to Edinburgh

At 09.10am we were in Anstey, England and 16.30pm in Edinburgh, Scotland  having been driven through stunningly beautiful scenery in the English Lakes and Scottish Highlands, sampling a wonderful lunch in Kendle en-route. Tiring or what? We are now esconsed in the Premier Inn at Livingston, (about 10 minutes from the bowling alley )where we had dinner and will have breakfast tomorrow morning. Chloe is bowling tomorrow afternoon so we plan some retail therapy in the morning before watching her play later.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Role changes

My carer Lynne and Chloe have returned to Specsavers to collect Lynne's new glasses while I attempt to escape a headache which appeared when I woke up - not constant but annoyingly intermittent.
I guess it is fair to say Lynne and I are still getting used to her new role with a few adjustments still to be made, but the issues have been raised at a very early stage , so minimal damage done ( hopefully ).
We may visit the boat for a quick check today, which is cloudy and dull.
The boat was fine with nothing adverse to report. We re-fitted the ceiling TV and it seems to work well.
Chloe had a short practice driving our automatic Kia ready for the Scotland trip and I have checked the oil and water, so we are ready for the off tomorrow morning around 0900hrs.

Tuesday 15 September 2015

Rain threat

The forecast is for rain by 11.00am. These days the forecasts are far more accurate than they used to be, now giving actual rain times. Why don't the met office run Network Rail ? Please.
Lynne is now officially my carer, thanks to a very kindly surgery nurse who sorted it for us. However, my carer gave me a blasting this morning for telling her my tablets "had run out",but in the wrong way. It is a very fine line between wife and carer apparently, but I expect I'll soon get the hang of it ?
Oops, I've done it again at lunchtime but  with a lighter response, although still involving our local chemist  which is as useful as a chocolate tea pot. The next chemist is miles away. Convenience and possible death versus competence ? To be fair the good old days of physically collecting your prescription from the doctor's surgery and personally delivering it to the chemist have long gone, replaced by a much more "efficient"and"accurate"  system of pinging them around the airwaves where they invariably get lost. Progress?
I am not on top form today, more tired than anything else I guess.  The forecast was wrong, by the way.

Monday 14 September 2015

Clear head, rainy day.

Eh, by gum. It's raining in Leicestershire. Surprise,surprise. I slept in till 10.00am ( in our own bed -sheer bliss ) and awoke with a clear head, which bodes well. Discussing this with Lynne on our way home we concluded my recently lowered aspirations have been the main factor in this improvement in my mental state over the past few weeks. In addition Lynne is only drip-feeding me details of plans for the immediate future on a"need to know"basis which reduces brain overload considerably.
We have Chloe staying with us prior to her England debut, thus her and Lynne can share driving duties up to Scotland and back as they are both on our insurance, temporarily.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Up north

Homeward bound and once again relaxed and refreshed, thanks to Hayley and Tom ( and the cats ).
Train to Tolworth, bus to Hounslow, car to home. More straightforward than it sounds. ( I hope ).
Weather wise a dull day. Another pleasant dose of Harry Ramsden's fish and chips on the way home. Thoroughly recommended.
Arsenal are third in the Premier league following a 2 - 0 beating of Stoke cloggers.

Saturday 12 September 2015


The blog title is something of an understatement as Hayley has gone shopping, Tom is trying to fix his laptop with an expert friend and Lynne has returned to the Faulty Towers wedding shop, no doubt giving me a laugh or two as usual on her  return.

Friday 11 September 2015

Shower adventures

One of the challenges of staying with Tom has to be taking a shower without soaking the bathroom floor, walls and ceiling. I cannot get into or get out of the bath so I am forced to use the hand-held shower (without a shower curtain) which takes considerable skill and dexterity, sadly lacking for me.
Having said that, this morning was a relative success with only the minimum of water missing the bath. I must be getting the hang of it? Apart from the usual washing/drying routine I have no plans or chores for today, although I have been promised a trip to my favourite noodle restaurant this evening. A good behaviour award.?
Another clear-head day appears likely and it is sunny outside. ( good drying weather ). Things looking up?

Thursday 10 September 2015

Home from home

Lynne Tom and Hayley routinely departed for work whilst I had a lay-in . Nothing much planned for today other than Chloe collecting our freshly cut front door key for her future use. A slight snag with that plan was Lynne had mistakenly taken the key with her so she aims to drop it off on her way "home". In addition Lynne's car needed a jump start this morning (kindly provided by a friend) as she had left the interior light on overnight. "The best laid plans of mice and men".
Having hung the washing out I settled down for a musical afternoon starting with Heart and their terrific version of "stairway to heaven", followed by "There's a Place" by the Beatles. This track is particularly poignant for me as I played it over and over again the day after my Mum died, far too early, at 44,for which I stupidly blame myself. She was never a well person, having worked in a munitions factory during the war after a very hard childhood, so simply breathing was a hardship for her. Yet she was unfortunate enough to have me for a son, diabetic from the age of 3,requiring constant attention and long spells in hospital many miles and two buses from home, yet I do not remember her missing a daily visit through some grim winter smogs and frost/snow. Nor did she miss any of my subsequent primary school football matches, wherever they were and whatever the weather. I was school captain and the team was very successful in a "local" sort of way. The headmistress used to give her transport to and from matches once she realised how bad Mum's health issues were, following a dramatic incident after the school nativity play, at which I was the narrator. Mum failed to arrive, as promised, and so the event started, with me worrying what had happened to her (no mobile phones in those days) whilst still narrating. We had finished the play when Mum made a dramatic entrance, literally collapsing through the main door, gasping for breath. She had walked almost 2 miles from home, through woods and along a very rough track , determined not to let me down. After a rest and some medical attention for Mum we were driven home by the headmistress. A very haunting day.
Fortunately I am in a very good place today, otherwise it would have been impossible to relate the above tale without blathering over my IPad, causing major problems.
Today is sunny and reasonably warm.

Long and not-so winding road.

The trip to London was a 3 hour nightmare due to an accident closing the M1 just before it joins the M25, which thankfully remained clear and moving. Hence we arrived considerably later than planned, keeping Tom up way past his bedtime on door duty. No time was wasted unpacking so sleep arrived without further ado. Tom's flat is like home from home for us these days so we settled-in really fast.

Wednesday 9 September 2015


Lynne has been offered a bucket full of damsons by a nearby friend, which should keep her busy for a day or two. Jam? Pies? Crumble? I'll keep you posted. Talking of post,I have just posted my last letter to MCC Stensons giving them notice of legal action to recoup our costs to date and risk the court adding our severe inconvenience costs to their bill unless they cough up immediately. 
I have a clear head today,thankfully.

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Indian summer ends,as does bee absence.

A very cold morning ( no frost ) but not one of my better days with silent bees flying around in my head. For several days I have avoided an afternoon nap, but I suspect I may need one today? We are uncertain about our Scotland trip supporting Chloe playing her first ten pin bowling match for England.  
We feel we ought to be there ( and certainly want to be ) but are getting mixed vibes from Chloe at the moment,creating some doubts and mental conflict. 
A lengthy snooze during late morning combined with Lynne adding Chloe to our car insurance policy solved the issues of our Scotland trip and my threatened backslide into fuzzy-headed ness. Lynne and Chloe can share driving duties to and from Scotland ,whilst it saves me unnecessary worrying about arrangements.

Monday 7 September 2015

Leicester Indian summer. Ironic?

A perfect night's sleep in our "own" bed  revealed a very sunny morning in Anstey. I can only repeat how good I continue to feel, apart from some unsteadiness when I stand up, which I can live with I suppose.

Sunday 6 September 2015

Homeward bound

A beautiful sunny day for our trip home as,sadly, our time at Tom and Hayley's has come to an end. I feel so much better for the break, new people to talk to and old friends to reconnect with.  Brilliant.
The icing on the cake for me was the Harry Ramsden's fish and chip supper on the way home, the first I had tasted for many years. Harry's fish and chips swept the country many years ago and was considered the best in the World. I am pleased to confirm it still is. Crispy batter, "real" chips, fresh fish, non greasy and delicious. The perfect end to a perfect week.

Saturday 5 September 2015

Happier times

Another bright morning, not weather-wise, but healthwise. Plans for today include a visit to the shops to get a plug-in shaver point ( Tom's flat lacks one ) and a visit to Tolworth Bowl where all my "old" bowling buddies are taking part in a sponsored tournament , so it offers a good opportunity to catch up with them and their news ( if any ).
We may even have supper at our favourite noodle bar in New Malden, meeting more friends ( including the staff ). Tomorrow the plan is a return to Anstey  and home. I have found this week most rewarding, relaxing and welcome, restoring my mood to as good as it has been for ages, thanks to Lynne, Hayley ( who was successfully interviewed for a prestigious new job ),and of course,Tom.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Clear head habit

The combination of a few days in Colchester and London has transformed my head, no more fuzziness.
Long may it last. Without being too dramatic,  life seems more liveable in this state.

Birthday sorted

As usual, Chloe has undertaken all the hard work in deciding and financing Lynne's forthcoming birthday present on behalf of the family who have all agreed to  contribute. Rather her than me.
Yesterday was the day for my contribution, involving a trip to Epsom with Chloe. Cloak and dagger stuff.
My buzz-free days continue, thankfully, but my balance problems continue. I've got my head round the idea of further adjustments to my lifestyle to fit my current mental and physical condition, but that is not to say I've given up on improving things. We have reluctantly decided the boat must go but we are still debating when, delaying the inevitable, I guess. Head over heart stuff, but that is an uneven contest at present.

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Eureka. A dry day

Yes, no rain today yet, but there is still time. The sky is currently clear ,as is my head, We are staying at Tom's flat in London for a few days, doing little more than relax, other than giving Stenson/MCC yet another opportunity to reconsider their total indifference to our plight of duff batteries on Tardis Two over a period of several years, prior to them ending up in court at a possibly higher cost,with the judge inevitably taking into account our severe inconvenience and years of avoidable frustration  if MCC had abided by their obligations within the law. I have mentally formulated my last letter to MCC which I will transfer to print on our return home from Tom's, but I don't expect capitulation by them prior to appearing in court, because I doubt they may realise it is the cheaper option for them until it is too late.

Wetter still

When will it ever stop raining? We're seriously contemplating converting Tardis Two into an ark for small to medium British mammals ( excluding rats ). As I write this the sun comes out. Typical. 
My latest counselling session concluded Lynne and I should reconsider our targets and aspirations, given the obvious limitations of my illness and treatment . Selling the boat and concentrating on some luxury holidays seems the likely route. Sad but true.