The Inevitable Sequel

 I suppose that the sequel to my last two entries was inevitable. I have been floored by something akin to a combination of the symptoms suffered by both Mister E and the eldest, although fortunately without the complications of the added infections that both endured.
Hence, since clerking a Parish Council meeting last Monday night, I have been  confined to the house, knocking back the Lemsip and Strepsils. Not quite potent enough to qualify me, it would seem, for nomination as the Conservative Party leader, but much needed in seeking to conquer an inflamed throat. On the plus side the rain has been falling in torrents and some days the temperature has struggled to reach double figures. So much for flaming June. There was a time when come the end of April my sandals would be on until September, bare toes wriggling in the fresh air. Staring down at my feet now, they are cosy in their socks and there is a fleece on the back of my chair.

It's all a far cry from last year when we enjoye…

Retirement Miseries

The eldest left us on Friday afternoon, taking a hacking cough with him. After almost three weeks together, the hole left by his absence has felt rather strange. Whilst the thought of having our adult children move home to live with us is scary, it doesn't stop us missing them when they are gone.
Saturday was, therefore, meant to be the day that normality was restored, just Mister E and I enjoying our daily rhythm with maybe a glass of wine together in the evening.
Fate was against us and there was no genuine prospect of a return to  our regular pattern as Mister E, dragged down by sinusitis, a ghostly white and clutching prescribed medication, could do little other than pass to and fro between bed and armchair.
Sadly I don't talk like a nurse; I don't walk like a nurse. Let's be totally honest, I am no nurse. So, whilst he slept, I applied myself to our bathroom project, seriously in need of attention with a deadline date for installation of the new flooring looming. 
I c…

Leisure Sickness

The eldest, back on holiday from New Zealand succumbed to a flu-like virus then throat infection necessitating antibiotics a few days after landing in the UK. He has been rather ill and now Mister E appears to be suffering from many of the same symptoms. Man flu is always awful to be around but this is worse, far worse: it would floor a woman too!
Illness is a nasty intrusion on a vacation but, from my own worktime experience, far from uncommon. I used to think that when I was dashing around pretending to be Super Woman the germs couldn't catch up with me. Immediately I sat down on that aeroplane or deck chair, however, they seized their opportunity and pounced. 
Apparently there is actually some truth in my analysis and scientists have named the experience Leisure Sickness, although as yet its existence is only a hypothesis. When we exert ourselves in the workplace or even stress over the preparations for a holiday, do we produce so much adrenaline that it results in a weakened imm…

Flower Power

I was overawed by the bluebells on our visit to Scotland at the end of April. Returning last week, I was, however, unsure what to expect. I certainly wasn't anticipating being treated to yet an even grander display.
The cottage in which we stayed has a garden running down the hill to the Crinan Canal and sea loch beyond, with woodland on either side. I certainly do not seek to deceive when I say that garden was a sea of bluebells.

As I hope my photographs show, it was a wonderful spectacle.

Restoration Project 7: She Floats

Yes, our restoration project bobs on water!
Logically we knew she would (after all the boat yard commissioned the engine at sea in September) but based on the premise that "seeing is believing," apprehension was certainly building until she was launched off and tied to a pontoon ready for us to board her on Wednesday.

The new heads (toilet), gas piping, rewiring, and heating all work too. The replacement window seals and forehatch as well as sea cocks all appear water tight and that newly installed engine and propeller mean she positively glides through the water, although the intention is, of course, to use sail power.
On the down side, the connection at the top of the mast leading from the wind vane to the cable connecting it to the instrument display appears to have corroded worse than was thought, preventing an electronic reading of the wind speed and direction. It looks like that might be yet another rewiring jobto add to the list. 
There's still a pile of work to start…

Satisfaction Aplenty

 A study published by the Office for National Statistics with the earnest title Personal and Economic Well Being: What Matters Most to Our Life Satisfaction was given coverage by the mainstream media this week. Indeed and as a result of its contents the Guardian described retirees as "smelling the roses" especially if they are fit and in a longterm relationship.
The ONS report confirms that retirement generally has a positive impact on life satisfaction. Liberated from the routine of work and commuting, we, perhaps not so surprisingly, spend more time on leisure activities particularly doing up our homes and eating out apparently.
It all sounds a little self-indulgent but if you can't enjoy yourself in retirement what would have been the point in working all those years?

Retired and Primed to Party

We attended a tea party last weekend. To be more precise Mister E and I actually hosted the function which was a family gathering to mark the occasion of my mum's 85th birthday.
Remember that period of your life from maybe mid teens to early thirties when there were so many reasons for celebrations, with birthdays marking accession to adulthood and of course friends marrying and even the odd baby's arrival. The next thirty years seemed a great deal quieter on the party front, exhausted with work and raising children, big birthdays were often buried in domesticity or acknowledged by weekends escapes rather than festive get-togethers. 
With retirement, however, life regresses to that earlier time or perhaps is reborn in revelry.
There certainly seem to be so many occasions worthy of popping the corks, beginning with the retirement day itself. This is then followed by plenty of big number birthdays and five year milestones, not to mention those giving access to senior discounts, bus…