Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 16th Jul 16, 8:03 PM
    • 3,169Posts
    • 12,578Thanks
    *Robin*
    Blowing in the Winds of Change
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 16, 8:03 PM
    Blowing in the Winds of Change 16th Jul 16 at 8:03 PM
    A brace of raptors soaring in the breeze over the Nest just after dawn on Solstice morning gifted me the title of this, my reprise into MSE's Diary-world.

    I'd had little sleep. Partly because, well, Solstice is a special day and the night had been filled with memories of happier years, and partly because it seemed that my faithful companion was rushing towards The Light, her paws galloping in the air as she dreamed contentedly beside me.
    I was exhausted. Fear of what might come to pass if my dear girl's last, eternal bed had not been prepared before she was ready to cross Rainbow Bridge loaned me energy I could not afford; each day a single bucket of stony earth was added to a pile beside the chosen resting place.
    Dear Vet had nothing more to offer beyond comforting words and her promise to attend should the need arise, any time day or night.

    DS1 rescued me. He called to offer salutations not long after sunrise; apparently I was making no sense at all on the 'phone which led to a prompt visit - tools in hand - and the job was completed before the day's end.
    Bless him.

    Although resigned to the inevitable at that point, Clever Dog was not in pain so I decided to delay departure from the Nest until she had no more need of my staying. Her behaviour in the van suggested she would not welcome another long distance adventure and obviously, I did not wish to cause her any distress during her last days in this realm.** Despite Divo Four and Dear Relative's increasingly urgent requests for my presence at homehome, the weeks passed and each day the mercury in the thermometer rose higher.

    Meanwhile I have not been paying attention to financial matters since giving up m' previous diary: A bank card expired so I could no longer check that account. The gizmo for signing into another stopped working, but CD and I have been living comfortably on our £400 per month allowance - half of it spent on her medications and the best diet, another £50 on storage for the camper-van, and the rest - well I can't really remember, but there always seemed to be funds left in our 'daily' account when it came time to turn another page on the calendar.

    There's nothing praise-worthy about that though; it's easy to rack up NSDs when one has no energy to go out except on essential missions, and there's a plentiful supply of veg in the garden (mostly planted for me by a couple of winter visitors).
    "Garden" is perhaps no longer the right description for the wilderness which surrounds the Nest; I have not had the strength to undo Ex-Gardener's neglect (I forgave him, vastly overpaid him, but he lied and then stole from me so there was no choice but to terminate his employment, alas. I still feel very sad about that ending).

    Eventually DS4 lost patience. He 'phoned with two pieces of wonderful news: A double-first [justifying his decision to rack up a relatively modest student loan], and notification of his imminent arrival!

    We brushed the spiders gently out of camper-van, and went for a trial night away locally. CD amazed me; apparently quite happy to travel and potter about when we stopped. Maybe her vocal objections to being in the other van [**] were due to the fact that most of her trips out this year have ended at DV's clinic, being prodded, poked and stabbed (for blood tests)?

    Plumber put on his Mechanic's hat to check camper-van's travel worthiness, resulting in a trip to the garage for a little preventative maintenance and a service - which wiped out all the cash saved by living parsimoniously over the last six months. Plumber was incandescent at the size of the bill when he saw they'd replaced some good parts while failing to fix the actual fault; must say communication between the booking-in chap and mechanic was appalling, especially given that this was at the regional main dealer.
    <sigh> Not very MSE but I just wanted to get out of there so paid up (after they replaced the faulty bearing!). Oh well.

    The thought of driving all the way to the Chunnel filled me with trepidation - just don't have enough strength for such sustained effort these days, and DS4 hasn't held a full licence for long enough to be covered by insurance abroad.
    So I called the ferry company. Usually, pet-friendly cabins are booked up half a year in advance, but CD is still remembered (it's partly due to her Houdini behaviour in bygone days that pet-friendly cabins were introduced).
    Result: They found us a cabin on next week's boat!

    Now I am [supposed to be] packing. Camper-van is parked in the village; CD and I slept there last night, and I started this diary to help m' poor-ol' brain-fogged mind keep track.
    The acquaintance who outed me at the beginning of the year has not been in touch since, although half a dozen RL mates around the World did express their regret that I'd given up my first MSE diary. So much for anonymity - have decided I really don't care, because the support of all you MSEers is of inestimable value..
    Last edited by *Robin*; 29-07-2016 at 1:20 PM.
Page 13
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 7th Jun 17, 7:54 AM
    • 3,169 Posts
    • 12,578 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Thanks Maddie - not quite at that point yet, though!

    For those who read m' last update and thought:
    "Eh? Her vet has never before done this procedure when it hasn't got infected? ..Can't be a very good vet, then!"
    ..Should point out that in this climate, infections after all kinds of surgery are much more common. The local hospital avoids elective procedures during summer months for this reason. Wounds near the ground are especially at risk (which is why Mister and I have not been able to walk in the river since his op).

    Last night as we were enjoying our evening perambulation I felt humbled by my good fortune in having found this beautiful place, although there was poignancy in wondering whether I've spent my last winter at the Nest; the end of DH's and my dream - our retirement garden.
    Truth is I cannot tend it properly any more.
    Ah well..

    Now is a time of lists and boxes.
    Better get on with it, eh?

    Grateful again for lack of toothache - coconut oil "pulling" really works! Grateful for the dawn chorus, and blissful cool for another hour or so - let's see how much I can do before the sun's heat burns off the freshness (Neighbours are already out there mixing concrete).
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 10th Jun 17, 8:28 AM
    • 730 Posts
    • 3,438 Thanks
    stepuptothepl8
    I'm so pleased that M has stayed infection free. He is very lucky to have found you.
    Do look after yourself x
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 £8852 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#503
    2017 challenges:
    March - Bath Half Marathon DONE!!
    July - trailwalker 100km walk for Oxfam & the Ghurka trust
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 10th Jun 17, 8:56 PM
    • 4,030 Posts
    • 21,040 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    So pleased Muskateer has been given a clean bill of health and has a passport all ready for adventures A very lucky dog indeed.
    Virtual Sealed Pot £424.05
    Weight loss 0/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 11th Jun 17, 2:35 PM
    • 3,169 Posts
    • 12,578 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Thank you for your kind words, Stepup and Sun.A.

    Still piling stuff in bags, transferring to Trannie then onwards to camper-van. Gardener donned his overalls again to check out the latter; all looks good, fit for the road.

    Long term plans may have to change again following last week's election, which had one immediate unwanted personal effect; property prices seem to be in free-fall. Flat buyer tried to reduce his offer too far so agent has started viewings again - the whole process is beginning to feel like wading through treacle. Usually this is a sign to find another path..

    Hardly dare mention it but we have dangerous weather warnings today, about heat rather than storms. It's a very pleasant 26' at the Nest but predicted to go well over 40' along our route North. Musketeer tried on CD's old cool coat but wasn't impressed, confirming my decision to wait until this front passes.
    M is - like it or not - going to use another piece of CD's kit in the camper-van; her crate. He still gets very nervous when I'm out of sight, with a tendency to either dig himself a den in any available soft furnishings, or chew some handy woodwork. There will inevitably be times when I have to pay for fuel or nip into a shop without him for a few minutes, and am not prepared to risk him damaging the habitation area. Thankfully the van's cooling system and insulation mean it will be safe to leave Musketeer inside for short periods, unlike a car.

    Am somewhat rather most enervated today; woke up even more tired than when I went to bed.
    All the pleasure of preparing for a trip has gone; I used to sort out everything into bags and boxes, DH and the boys would pack the van - it was so much fun together, but now just feels like a slog.
    Ah, well.
    Wish I could find more of those truckers' energy pills, but think they've all been used up while sorting out previous projects.

    Am grateful for a cooling breeze today, for not being completely flat fighting ME symptoms, also for not having a deadline when we must set off.

    Spends:
    Parking - £54
    Wages Gardener - £35
    Last edited by *Robin*; 11-06-2017 at 2:38 PM.
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 11th Jun 17, 8:57 PM
    • 4,030 Posts
    • 21,040 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Just go when you're ready if there's no rush. I feel for you looking back on happier times xx Onwards and upwards Robin
    Virtual Sealed Pot £424.05
    Weight loss 0/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 11th Jun 17, 9:59 PM
    • 8,017 Posts
    • 44,123 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Safe travels whenever they happen Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in July - 1/5
    Lbs lost - 9
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 12th Jun 17, 9:51 AM
    • 9,187 Posts
    • 116,848 Thanks
    kazwookie
    I still lurk to read of your adventures, all I can say is take you time in sorting out where / where you go etc.
    Sun, Sea
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 14th Jun 17, 1:41 PM
    • 3,169 Posts
    • 12,578 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Ought to be washing up, hoovering, tidying, double-checking paperwork.. Well I will do all that [probably], after waking up a bit more. Meanwhile watching today's sadness on tv; much kudos to the emergency services (hope the Tories now change their minds about closing even more fire stations and A&E departments!).

    Sun.A - thanks for your comment, needed to read "there's no rush" at that moment. Helped me find m' metaphorical big-girl pants and push on.

    Lucky - thanks; fingers crossed, eh?

    Kazwookie - thank you very much for de-lurking, it's really encouraging to hear from folk rather than just wonder who is reading..
    You're right though, now camper-van is almost packed am beginning to worry about which route would be best (the least oven-like ).

    Musketeer and I went to the Parking last night after our walk. Their attack-trained GSD guard dogs were already loose so M had to stay inside the van with me, while I rearranged cupboards and made a table to cover exposed batons between my bed and his. Suspect we may argue later, because when I tried to show M his place he took one look then curled up on my side!

    Reckon we've eaten enough of the Nest's freezer contents for the rest to fit into camper-van's fridge. Enjoyed a few 'interesting' meal combinations recently as stocks have got lower. Decided to take more store-cupboard stuff with me this time - all helps when cash is tight.

    Right. Better go and do something I can be thankful for later..

    Spends:
    Topping up bill-paying a/c - £380
    Last edited by *Robin*; 14-06-2017 at 4:54 PM.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 15th Jun 17, 1:53 PM
    • 3,169 Posts
    • 12,578 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Had to edit yesterday's post to remove my angry reaction after some disappointing financial news. Dealing with it was an exercise in mindfulness - watching that building burn provided a very good reminder as to what is really important in life!
    Family upset has been sorted out now, although am left with absolutely no income for the foreseeable and possibly not enough cash for the journey. For just an occasion as this I held onto a handful of empty credit cards.. Finding their secret numbers could be a problem though.

    So, Musketeer's dinner now consists of defrosted raw sausages in stale bread-thickened beef mince gravy, garnished with lettuce. I'm on pasta, broad-beans, garden tomatoes and grated cheese.

    Time to go.

    Which way? There is a choice of three directions:
    1. North. The quickest and cheapest in fuel costs, but also the hottest for longest (into high 40s for maybe 500 miles).
    2. West. Very hot 200 mile dash to start, then bad or minor roads for another 250 miles. Not familiar with this route or competent in the language.
    3. East. Roughly twice the length of option 1. Coast roads so should be a little cooler but not sure I'll have enough energy to drive to my first 'safe place' where friends live, without having a major ME flare-up on the road. Also means getting through a noted crime hot-spot (camper-vans often targeted).

    Can't decide..
    Last edited by *Robin*; 15-06-2017 at 4:54 PM.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 16th Jun 17, 7:55 AM
    • 3,169 Posts
    • 12,578 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Turns out the "bad financial news" which upset me the other day is even worse than first thought: Have been prosecuted in my absence and - can't find out until offices open - probably now have a ccj!

    Floored.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 16th Jun 17, 10:50 AM
    • 3,169 Posts
    • 12,578 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Ok, and - breathe!

    Called council payment line: Wrong department, put on hold for transfer - connection dropped.
    Called leaseholder services: Wrong department, put on hold for transfer - connection dropped.
    Called council tax advice line: By this time in tears, begged the guy not to put me on hold! Bless the fella - he listened, found the account and then revealed that yet again they have lost all the paperwork [which has been sent in twice] - and are prosecuting DH, not me!

    Well, good luck with that one - idiots!

    Pressure off for now as the guy would not let me pay. Have been making payments over the 'phone for more than five years without anyone commenting that my card isn't in the same name as the account holder... How come?

    Spends:
    Camper-van insurance - £320
    • maddiemay
    • By maddiemay 16th Jun 17, 2:53 PM
    • 2,917 Posts
    • 25,300 Thanks
    maddiemay
    Had to read and run after your first post today (OH was hot footing waiting for me)

    So pleased that things look better now, even allowing for the inefficiency of certain organisations.

    MM and the hairy one
    • Knit Witch
    • By Knit Witch 16th Jun 17, 3:31 PM
    • 2,944 Posts
    • 27,490 Thanks
    Knit Witch
    Oh heck *Robin* - I hope this gets sorted out soon

    Sending Cairn Terrier licks and bounces for good luck!
    OS Weight Loss 4.5/10
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 16th Jun 17, 8:05 PM
    • 8,017 Posts
    • 44,123 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Sorry to read of your problems in paying the bill and supposed prosecution. Hope it all gets sorted tout suite.

    Did you decide on a direction? Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in July - 1/5
    Lbs lost - 9
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 16th Jun 17, 9:36 PM
    • 4,030 Posts
    • 21,040 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Sorry to hear about the latest twist in the road Hope you manage to sort it out xx Growls from my Jack Russell to the incompetent council department - unbelievable!!!
    Virtual Sealed Pot £424.05
    Weight loss 0/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 17th Jun 17, 9:29 AM
    • 3,169 Posts
    • 12,578 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Good morning MSE World,

    Thanks to everyone for your supportive comments.

    Feeling a bit better today; can see the humour in the situation now and am tempted to let the council prosecute a dead man.. Later on the story could come in handy for politically-minded folks seeking to make a point?
    Just so long as there's no risk I will end up with the ccj for non-payment.
    Interestingly, I discovered yesterday that this particular council does not operate a single person's discount - thought that was Law throughout England?

    Anyway. Last load of washing is on, hoovering and as much tidying up as I intend to do has been done, and Divo Three has sent me some cash so that I can employ Gardener to carry the last load of packing when M and self transfer our lives to the camper-van.

    Still not sure about route, although have discounted the Western option. Both the others begin with a 50 mile run along the coast, so I'll see how that goes and decide when we get to the Northern turn-off.

    Gave in and bought M some chicken last night. I didn't eat dinner - three days on pasta has had the usual effect, and better it clears m' guts before I'm reliant on a toilet tank which needs emptying every couple of days (sorry if tmi - don't tolerate white bread or pasta well; a case of using up what was available)!

    Today am grateful for Divo Three stepping in, Divo Four being honest, and the peaches ripening in time for me to enjoy them.

    Spends:
    M's chicken dinner - £4
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 18th Jun 17, 1:44 AM
    • 3,169 Posts
    • 12,578 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Currently 150 miles along the Northern route. 28'C now (0230hrs). Just had dinner (cheated - a ready-meal).
    As predicted, Musketeer wants to sleep on my bed. No chance, because it's a narrow single (in order to accommodate his bed / crate).

    Parked with the big trucks - they'll be firing up before dawn so guess it's bed time; night-night to any insomniacs out there.
    • chevalier
    • By chevalier 18th Jun 17, 5:05 AM
    • 7,734 Posts
    • 17,964 Thanks
    chevalier
    Hi Robin
    Sorry I have kept missing you when you have been posting.

    To recap. Anyone who wants you to look after THEM is dreaming and should be told so in no uncertain terms. Just because it has always been your 'family' job to do this does not mean that this must continue. Unfortunately I think you put on too brave a face, or are not blunt enough about just how bad your ME is. There is sadly still alot of ignorance about it. I wonder if you said you had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome people would understand more, same illness different label?

    I continue to be sorry about CDs passing. Sometimes one has a truely special bond with a pet and non pet owners don't understand how hard it hits us when that pet passes. I am SO glad you found Musketeer he sounds great for you.

    Naughty you for not looking after yourself. Next time someone asks you for looking after, you can just say so sorry but sometimes i get so tired i literally can't move and so couldn't come when you needed me. This would be very dangerous for you. Find someone else.

    Likewise I don't think you have truely accepted that your sons are adults and that you need to start leaning on them more and tell them they can't lean on you as much. Whilst looking after the puppy dog was cute, they really should not have put that much stress on you. To be honest I thought that was quite self centred of them.

    Sorry if I am speaking out of turn but this is the lowest physically i have 'seen' you. Are you sure you 'only' have CFS? Might be worth getting checked out for anything else too. Would be silly if say you had a cholesterol problem and tablets could lower it and make you feel better. I just don't want you to assume that symptoms or problems you have with your healthy are '
    ALWAYS' to do with the ME.

    wow about the in absential prosecution. How unbelievable that two lots of paperwork have gone astray. Maybe you need to hand deliver a third set, and watch whilst they up date the computer or something?

    Take Care of You and kind of !!!!!! anyone else.
    chev
    I want a job that is less than an hour driving away from my house! Are you listening universe?
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 18th Jun 17, 7:57 AM
    • 730 Posts
    • 3,438 Thanks
    stepuptothepl8
    I'm glad you decided on the northern route.. gentle hugs for you regarding the incompetence of certain departments. Ridiculous, and yet not surprising, unfortunately. X
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 £8852 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#503
    2017 challenges:
    March - Bath Half Marathon DONE!!
    July - trailwalker 100km walk for Oxfam & the Ghurka trust
    • maddiemay
    • By maddiemay 18th Jun 17, 9:28 AM
    • 2,917 Posts
    • 25,300 Thanks
    maddiemay
    Hoping that you managed some sleep, safe journey
    x
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,056Posts Today

7,006Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Byebye! I'm about to stop work & twitter, to instead spend glorious time with Mrs & mini MSE. Wishing u a lovely summer. See u in 10 days.

  • WARNING Did you start Uni in or after 2012? The interest's rising to 6.1%; yet it doesnt work like you think. See https://t.co/IQ8f0Vyetu RT

  • RT @JanaBeee: @MartinSLewis Boris is the anomaly (coffee), the others are versions of normal (beer). Lots of same candidates = vote share d?

  • Follow Martin