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    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 16th Jul 16, 8:03 PM
    • 3,266Posts
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    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 2
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 26th Jul 16, 1:11 PM
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    Hello NOA - thanks for joining in!

    Very quiet day here yesterday; trampolining kids have gone on holiday, and perhaps MH-Chap too. Divo Four had another performance to take part in - at a dog-free venue so he went alone - but CD and I enjoyed a walk along the river when I finally woke up for long enough to get vertical and dressed. Then DS' newly-returned house-mates cooked us dinner; an authentic Chinese meal, which was very sweet of them.

    Somebody decided to treat everyone in the road to a selection of 60's - 80's classic music this morning, but they were all songs I love so just enjoyed it while having a lie-in. Still sleeping about eighteen hours in the day; making the most of having no obligations and the bliss of time to recover from last week's exertions.

    Going to visit neighbours and tenants at homehome later, and see what maintenance tasks are up-coming (they've obliquely asked for a new bathroom). Need to check that the bloke who does the gas-safety certificate has done his stuff too (he hasn't sent an invoice yet, but is supposed to keep a calendar of repeat clients so should have arranged an appointment with T2 a couple of weeks ago, I think).

    Divo Four has one more performance of the play he's in this evening, then tomorrow we'll probably start making our way cross-country to the South West, where the bee-keeping course will take place. Getting quite excited about that!

    Ah - spoke too soon - MH-Chap is in his garden screaming death-threats at someone.. Care-in-the-community leaves a lot to be desired.
    Last edited by *Robin*; 26-07-2016 at 1:20 PM.
    • joeyjimbles
    • By joeyjimbles 26th Jul 16, 5:14 PM
    • 1,592 Posts
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    The bee-keeping course sounds fabulous - we moved into a house with beehives when I was a little girl, and I can remember a man coming one late evening in the summer to take them away. He had visited several times to tell them they were going and I can remember seeing him out in the garden with his hat and veil taking them. it was always a haven for insects in that garden, but the majority of the bees went as far as I could tell.
    Hope the slightly cooler nights are providing more restful sleep for you.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 26th Jul 16, 9:12 PM
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    Hi Joeyjimbles,

    Ah yes, talking to bees.. All the apiarists I've ever met have done that, although I've no idea whether the bees actually listen! Still, will make a point of remembering to do so during my first - doubtless clumsy - attempts at interacting with the hives we'll meet and learn about on the course.
    Planting trees and keeping bees seem such useful small ways that an 'ordinary' person can get involved with, to help make the World a better place for everyone in the future (breathing and a varied diet provided by insect pollinators being rather important basics)..
    If I'm honest, am also influenced by the inestimable late lamented Mr Pratchett's descriptions of Granny Weatherwax - would love to earn the same relationship with bees that he portrayed his character as having (it'll be many years before I'd dare 'dance' with an active colony though! ).
    ..It's lovely so many people have good memories of bee-keeping which must have been a normal part of country life until quite recently. Do hope a resurgance is possible..

    The tenants were unexpectedly 'out' - although they knew we were going to visit - so DS pruned some bushes which were growing a bit too enthusiastically over the garden wall while some of the neighbours and I had a chat; they were all delighted to see CD still pottering about at my heels.
    Am beginning to wonder at the contrasts between homehome and this new house in the city. There is no way children would be allowed to disturb other residents, nor any of the adults shame themselves by indulging in public screaming matches at homehome (not talking about MH-Chap; there were a couple of East Europeans having a right ol' ding-dong at the other end of the road when we returned earlier - had to wait until they got out of the way before I could drive carefully past!). ..Is it simply the difference between urban and village life? There seem to be similar problems in the suburb where Dear Relative lives - yet neither area is considered 'rough' and there's a mixture of owned and rented properties in all three locations. <sigh>

    Paid off the CC I'd charged the bee-keeping course on to, before I forgot (statement due next week). Now must remember to use surplus journey-cash for expenses rather than the bank-card, at least until the end of the month.
    Last edited by *Robin*; 31-07-2016 at 5:24 PM.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 26th Jul 16, 9:22 PM
    • 55,428 Posts
    • 222,231 Thanks
    Good to 'see' you
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 27th Jul 16, 6:52 AM
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    Well, am getting upset now; really concerned about the welfare of MH-Chap and - more importantly - his Mum.
    About an hour ago I was woken up by more screaming in the street, death threats and cursing. ..Feels like the prologue to a Daily Fail story which will end in Police tape and the Coroner's van!

    It's gone quiet again, but but but m' mind is churning; where is the line between concerned neighbourliness and nosy-parkering in this situation? I don't know any of these people, neither does DS4 nor his house-mates. They say they didn't notice any disturbances until a few weeks ago, but MH-Chap's outbursts are becoming more frequent.

    In Spain, I'd have a quiet word with the village Mayor, who'd know whether a resident is receiving treatment - and everyone would be looking out for them and their family anyway so I'd just be told how I could help; put on the caring rota as it were - but here? The racket has stopped so calling the Police wouldn't be appropriate, but what or who else is available - can the answer really be: "Nothing, no-one - until after a tragedy"?

    Obviously, don't want to become a target for the poor man's fury m'self or risk the safety of DS and his friends, but am so worried I'm almost in tears and sleep has fled - which is going to impact on energy levels later today when I'll need to be alert in order to drive safely. Am glad DS, CD and self are going away for a while - but also feel guilty because that means ducking out of any responsibility for averting a potentially baad situation..

    Hello Beanie, thanks for popping in - sorry not to be able to give you a more cheerful welcome right now - feeling too distracted!
    Last edited by *Robin*; 27-07-2016 at 6:54 AM.
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 27th Jul 16, 7:23 AM
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    Morning Robin and sorry to hear about the disturbance. The equivalent of the Spanish mayor is your local council who will either know of be able to check MH man is getting treatment/support. Given the death threats you could report via a call to 101 (non emergency equivalent of 999)which will refer to social services or police as appropriate - you could explain about not wanting repercussions for self DS etc and ask them to treat as anonymous. I know social services are never popular but adult safeguarding is taken increasingly seriously these days and they can work out how vulnerable mum is. Given how noisy he is he's probably already been assessed for risks but as you say, if he hasn't it would be better for powers that be not to find out after an 'event'.
    Then you'll be able to get in with your own day - sounds busy! And feel free to ignore all the above if you think of a better way or decide you don't need to get involved. Hope your day turns a corner - safe travelling!
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 27th Jul 16, 12:07 PM
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    Thank you so very much for responding with sensible suggestions Dansmam
    ..Found a number for the Adult Safeguarding Team and passed on my concerns to them. No idea what action will be taken - that's really not my business - but the abuse against MH-Chap's Mum has been logged, beaurocratic wheels have begun turning and hopefully she'll get some help to cope with his mercurial outbursts in the very near future.

    Do feel much better knowing I haven't ignored someone in distress - old MSE friends will remember that we've had to deal with a number of MH crises among mates and family in the past, and there were just too many worrying parallels here..

    Right. Time to give CD her morning pills and wash up the dishes I didn't have enough energy to sort out last night, then start packing away loose items so that camper-van is ready to go..
    Last edited by *Robin*; 27-07-2016 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Split infinitives - aargh!
    • joeyjimbles
    • By joeyjimbles 27th Jul 16, 7:10 PM
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    What wonderful resources MSE people know about, I had no idea what you could do given the circumstances so I'm so pleased that Dansmam had such good sensible advice. You will feel better that you have logged it, and should there be re occurrences then there will be a marker to follow up on hopefully.
    I hope the rest of your busy day was less eventful.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 28th Jul 16, 12:50 PM
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    Good morning everyone, and thanks for popping in, Joey.

    It's taken a while to wake up properly today, for the second time. Divo Four rose at dawn to take advantage of a great 'photo opportunity. As I heard him moving around, a cold wet nose thrust under the covers; CD licked me until she got a reaction - she thought it was time we were all up and doing, bless her.
    ..DS took her with him to explore the magnificent scenery - bless him too for letting me rest a few hours longer.

    Yesterday turned into a day of delays and frustrations; DS vanished on his bike when I thought we were ready to go. Did m' washing while waiting but the gas bottle ran out. Finally Dear Son returned, and we got to the sole local gas supplier just before closing time - at this point about six hours after our ETD - but they didn't have any 'lite' refills. Fingers crossed the second little bottle lasts until we can source another, or Robin will be a grumpy bunny without regular cups of tea for sustenance, lol.

    Looking for a positive, being so late setting off meant I noticed when a doctor and nurse [or maybe social worker?] called round to visit MH-Chap's Mum. As they left she was smiling in her doorway, looking much happier - which was quite a relief, and justification for making that 'phone-call (I'd not felt really great after doing it - nobody likes a 'grass' - but it seems that was the right decision this time). So thanks again for the suggestion and your encouragement Dansmam - hopefully, between us we have helped someone towards a better future..

    Being already quite tired when we began driving, I trusted Snoopy to choose the route around London; it sent us along the ribbon of towns to the North of the M25, thus avoiding miles of tailbacks (according to radio traffic reports). So it's inbuilt wifi does work; am impressed, and have forgiven it for the mistakes near Bilbao.

    CD is funny. She's quite happy to lie on her sheep-skin rug, dozing between camper-van's front seats as we drive - until we stop moving, when she expects to be let out for a sniff around. Which is fine, except at traffic lights. She just does not understand those, and sings grumpily for ages when we're in stop-start traffic.

    Found a Waitrose last night just before they shut, so indulged in a rare yellow ticket ready-meal which was easier and quicker than cooking from scratch. It was surprisingly good, if a tad over-salted for our taste.

    Fuel top up (costs roughly 30 more to fill the tank here) - 40
    Groceries - 13
    Last edited by *Robin*; 29-07-2016 at 4:14 PM.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 29th Jul 16, 2:26 PM
    • 55,428 Posts
    • 222,231 Thanks
    Good call on the chap with MH issues.
    Best to be safe rather than sorry me thinks.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 29th Jul 16, 6:16 PM
    • 3,266 Posts
    • 13,353 Thanks
    Good call on the chap with MH issues.
    Best to be safe rather than sorry me thinks.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thanks Beanie - recently there have been all too many murderous outrages; I've noticed in the news reports afterwards that people who knew the perpetrator say over and again:
    "Oh he got really weird recently.." Then giving examples of peculiar behaviour - but no-one thought to act on their observations, or even comment until after an innocent has died..
    Anyway the 'phone-call was made; hopefully this time there will be a happy continuence rather than a sad ending.

    Our adventure has rumbled on, another day and more miles. Yet again we missed out on a visit to Divo Three and Gorgeous-Girlfriend late Wednesday night; they'd kept working until 2230 getting all the glamping kit set up at this weekend's festival site, but by then couldn't cope with anything other than falling into bed.
    DS4 and I had already turned off the main route to Devon when DS3's 'phone finally came on, so a quick perusal of the map was in order - to find ourselves another spot where we could spend the night.
    Not many camp-sites welcome unexpected guests at such a late hour, but I suddenly realised we were less than ten miles from Stonehenge.. Perfect.
    It's been a long, long time since I've spent the night there and DS never had, so that's where we ended up - alongside at least a dozen other campervans.
    Divo Four's dawn 'photos are marvellous, with the Stones skirted in mist and no-one around* apart from some curious sheep (*the security guards were friendly, standing to one side so as not to obscure DS' view - thank you gentlemen, if any of you are reading this ).

    By the time we got moving the A303 was completely jammed heading towards London, but our carriageway was relatively clear and we made good progress. CD decided she needed a break about thirty miles short of our destination so I took the next exit - and found m'self facing a branch of m' favourite discount supermarket.
    DS and CD went for a walk while I stocked up on drinking water, meat for CD, enough ingredients for a weeks' worth of 'human' meals and a few staples for campervan's cupboards. Remember thinking as I pushed the trolley back to the car-park:
    "We can live like royalty on less than 40 a week by avoiding Tosco!"

    Found the camp-site next door to where the bee-keeping course will take place; settled in and Divo Four cooked dinner while I felt fortunate to be able to relax (a process continuing to the present moment).
    So far today only one other student has arrived (although some may be staying in local B&Bs). This site consists of a large [empty] field, but our new companion has chosen to pitch his tent three metres behind campervan - why do people do that?
    Oh well, we'll introduce ourselves at the induction session this evening. As our temporary neighbour wants to learn about bee-keeping I'm sure he'll turn out to be a very nice chap - a future friend, perhaps?

    Groceries - 32
    Last edited by *Robin*; 29-07-2016 at 6:23 PM.
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 29th Jul 16, 6:59 PM
    • 8,897 Posts
    • 52,225 Thanks
    Happy New Home Robin! So lovely to have you and CD back.

    Glad to hear you had a safe journey and made sensible decisions (would you ever not?!) re MH guy and Mum.

    You must be enjoying the divo company too Xx
    Debts @ LBM 23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 0

    NSDs achieved in 2018 32/60
    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 29th Jul 16, 8:55 PM
    • 5,910 Posts
    • 39,142 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Hooray Robin and CD are back Fabulous!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 296.07
    Debt 2300
    Weight loss 1/6LBS
    Emergency Fund 4000/10,000
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 29th Jul 16, 11:17 PM
    • 3,266 Posts
    • 13,353 Thanks
    Thank you for joining in, dear MSE friends from m' last diary Lucky and Sun.A, and welcome also to Bob.

    Yes Lucky, it's lovely to spend some time with Divo Four again - although he keeps dropping dark hints that I won't be allowed to attend his graduation unless I've aquired a posh frock beforehand! Apparently I'll have to sit in the front row because he's been chosen to make the closing speech which is a huge honour, so am not allowed to risk showing him up..
    Reckon kitting me out respectably is a job for Divo Three's Gorgeous Girlfriend; she's got excellent taste and loves shopping (unlike yours truly, lol). She has also won a place in m' heart by refering to me as "Ma" - DS3 had better not muck up their relationship or he'll find himself disowned in short order!

    This evening was very interesting. Can't remember most people's names yet; we're a pretty mixed bunch. Our hosts provided supper alongside the lecturer's introduction, which was unexpectedly generous of them and a great way to begin bonding. The chap camped behind us is indeed a fine fellow; he and DS4 are closest in age - a friendship is budding there already.

    Tomorrow begins earlier than I'm usually compos mentis, so it's time to unroll m' bed as I've just been warned 'lights out' will be in fifteen minutes' time (who is the parent here, may I ask? )!
    Last edited by *Robin*; 30-07-2016 at 7:37 AM.
    • milasavesmoney
    • By milasavesmoney 30th Jul 16, 1:08 AM
    • 1,616 Posts
    • 14,551 Thanks
    My grown children all think they are in charge. I have to nip the more bossy ones ever once in a while.
    Overprepare, then go with the flow.
    [Regina Brett]
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 30th Jul 16, 8:42 AM
    • 3,266 Posts
    • 13,353 Thanks
    Hooray Robin and CD are back Fabulous!
    by Sun Addict
    You flatterer, Sun.A!
    ..But seriously, it's great to have rejoined you all - really missed the feedback from everyone on MSE over the last seven months.

    My grown children all think they are in charge. I have to nip the more bossy ones ever once in a while.
    Originally posted by milasavesmoney
    Hi Mila - perhaps your experience is the more normal - especially as we slowly lose our strength with age, just as our youngsters approach the prime of their lives?
    My lot don't usually throw their weight around though, which could be why DS4's 'order' surprised me last night?

    Clever Dog decided she absolutely must have a cuddle - at five ayem! So after hanging out of bed while she curled around my hand until the appendage went numb, I decided maybe she could be right; it was a good time to get up - give m'self a few hours to wake up properly before todays' studies begin.

    This morning we have enjoyed a glorious sunny dawn. The bees are already buzzing about, making up for not being able to forage properly in the drizzle yesterday - we've been warned to keep a respectful distance today, until they've had a chance to sate their hunger.
    There are now half a dozen tents scattered around the camping field, and a retired couple in a rented motor-home (apparently a last-minute substitute after their own suffered a break-down en route - am hoping for a sneaky peak inside at some point as it's a top-of-the-range model; makes our dear ol' campervan look positively dowdy!).
    Last edited by *Robin*; 30-07-2016 at 7:49 PM.
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 30th Jul 16, 8:52 AM
    • 546 Posts
    • 1,881 Thanks
    Morning Robin! Sounds idyllic there - as a long time sufferer of campervan envy please post details if they let you look in. Weeding day here today and I'll keep a bee count as DD posts on some insect research site. Happy beekeeping!
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 30th Jul 16, 9:14 AM
    • 9,770 Posts
    • 123,042 Thanks

    Welcome back, I lurked on your old thread, posted evey now and then, as I love your style of writing.

    I love reading about the Nest, and so wish I had been nearer to k**k the !!! out of the old gardener who you left in charge............

    If you ever need any where to park up for a day or two, my drive is available, well it, will be if I move cars and motorbike, think near Milton Keynes type area, and there is an aldi near by!

    Good luck with your course and travels.
    Sun, Sea
    Slinky start date 29.01.18 28 to go / -14 so far and counting!!
    • carolbee
    • By carolbee 30th Jul 16, 9:42 AM
    • 1,011 Posts
    • 7,032 Thanks
    Lovely to see you back.

    I too love your writing style, but also want deal sternly with those who cross you, you sound too lovely to upset. love to hear about the Divos, could we have a quick recap of what they're up to, and you too! for the benefit of us with bad memories and new readers?if you feel comfortable sharing that info?.

    Enjoy the course
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 30th Jul 16, 9:57 AM
    • 4,429 Posts
    • 25,421 Thanks

    Glad you have decided to start a new diary, it's so lovely to read what you, CD and family have been up to.

    Hope your beekeeping course goes well today.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 17 for June
    NSD - 8/20
    (up to 16/6/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
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