Today has been all about trying to arrange plans for Christmas, at first only Steph was coming to stay, then I secretly invited Graham as a surprise for Steph, he responded saying he would already be with Steph in Amsterdam the week before so wouldn’t be able to come, then later on in the day Steph and he decided that they would both come. This is a great outcome, most of the family haven’t yet met Graham and Steph gets to spend some more time with him too and I’m sure that will put her in the best of moods. Grandma is coming at the same time, so she’ll also get’s to meet Graham. Sleeping arrangements are fine but we will have at least eight for dinner, which is our maximum capacity, but it should be fun.
I had a good lie in today but was still on schedule for visiting Caffe Nero, that was until I tried to get into the garage and found that the rain had seriously swelled the door, making it very difficult to open and then impossible to close again. A well thought out repair wasn’t possible, so a fairly neat job with a chisel and plane had to suffice. Thankfully it stayed dry and sunny all day so I managed to treat the three newly exposed areas of bare wood with preservative, undercoat and gloss. The delay in sorting out the garage made me miss my time slot for Caffe Nero, so I went to the Beach Terrace Cafe instead and I went in the car so I could buy cat litter and food from Morrison’s later on. The Beach Terrace Cafe has got to be the least friendly of the cafe’s I visit and I’m still not sure why, maybe it’s just because it’s the busiest? When I got home from Morrison’s I just had time to undercoat the garage repairs, make lunch for Debbie and me, make up three smoothies from the garden and do the clothes washing and washing up.
I’ve been revisiting my thoughts about moving from St Annes, to somewhere closer to Debbie’s school. The range of housing is good, but it’s hard to drag myself away from the very easy, comfortable, convenient life in St Annes, for a life in the ‘wilds’; tougher winters, more isolation etc. Fortunately housing options there would provide space for more gardening and lots of animals of care for and greater self sufficiency. It’s a difficult decision, which fortunately I won’t be making for a couple of years yet; when we reach retirement age. By then we will know what Debbie’s career plan is, where the kids are living, how fulfilled I’m feeling, how my health is, whether I’ve outgrown our little garden (and allotment) and whether I need any more animals except a dog. To help me work my way towards a decision though it helps to visit the places we might make home, so today we took a drive around some of the villages, they were ok, but not the picture postcard places you might dream of, more windswept places where people work hard in all weathers; but with lovely views to compensate and lots of footpaths.
Stories are coming in today from a variety of friends, victims of flooding and collapsed roads in Lancaster, Keswick and Grasmere amongst others, the north west really seems to have suffered. Apart from the Victorian Day being a washout in the town square though we didn’t suffer at all. In fact even the sand dunes seemed to have survived intact. One of many advantages of living in St Annes, very well drained land close to the coast. One of the downsides of living on the moors is of course narrow roads, more rain and snow etc.
When we arrived home, Debbie got stuck into her reviews and preparing school resources for the play/choir, which look superb. I tried to make another attempt at my garage extension, which is proving quite a challenge to break the back of. I made some progress though, I cleared the storage boxes from the back of the garage to their new home (which I also had to tidy up) and attached the main supports to the rear wall. I also prepared the main roof supports, but mounting them proved to be too great a challenge for today.
Jennie offered to make dinner today, which makes a nice change, I’m looking forward to going swimming for the last time this week as I have five days of Patch Testing to try and discover what caused the two months of burning rashes earlier in the year – I suspect Oil Seed Rape.
Today’s photo is another from the Lakes, although it could easily have been from the West Pennine Moors that Debbie and I drove around today.