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
    • 3,269Posts
    • 13,487Thanks
    *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 20
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 10th Mar 18, 5:01 PM
    • 6,405 Posts
    • 44,632 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Oh Robin

    Sorry to hear the bad news about the burglary. I know how angry you must feel having been burgled twice myself. Really hope the police catch the thieving b........s
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2010 £13.14
    Debt £1880
    Weight loss 0/6LBS
    Emergency Fund £4000/£10,000
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 10th Mar 18, 6:27 PM
    • 10,167 Posts
    • 125,644 Thanks
    kazwookie
    Robin, sorry to hear about the nest, I jsus wish I was nearer and I would help you clean / tidy up after it.
    Sun, Sea
    Slinky is back on!
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 10th Mar 18, 8:37 PM
    • 9,214 Posts
    • 55,712 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Oh Robin, what awful news .

    I hope you can get help to clean the place up when itís time Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in 2018 39/60
    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 13th Mar 18, 6:37 AM
    • 547 Posts
    • 1,893 Thanks
    Dansmam
    Robin that's a horrible thing to happen. So sorry that could happen to the Nest, specially the heirloom. I still grieve for the necklace my grandparents had made for me that was taken in one of the too- frequent burglaries we had when we lived in the town. They would have had no idea of the history and it won't have sold on for much, being 'unusual' aka a bit wonky...hope your heirloom is a little bit salvageable.
    Like others I hope you have help clearing up and that divos and neighbours come through for you- though know you'll do the resilient thing you always do whatever.
    And it is as you say just stuff...
    Gas connector though! What a triumph. Very pleased for you about that.
    Wishing you and Musketeer have a lovely time today, toerags notwithstanding. How is Big Pig? x
    Last edited by Dansmam; 13-03-2018 at 6:43 AM.
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 25th Mar 18, 10:59 AM
    • 887 Posts
    • 4,501 Thanks
    stepuptothepl8
    I was so sorry to hear of the burglary but I hope that progress has been made in the tidying up, and that karma reaches the toe rag sooner rather than later. Hope that your energy reserves are being slowly replenished too.
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 £18182 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#503
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 31st Mar 18, 7:57 AM
    • 6,405 Posts
    • 44,632 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Hope everything is ok Robin. I expect you're busy sorting out the nest.

    Take care xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2010 £13.14
    Debt £1880
    Weight loss 0/6LBS
    Emergency Fund £4000/£10,000
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 29th Apr 18, 9:14 AM
    • 887 Posts
    • 4,501 Thanks
    stepuptothepl8
    Hi Robin.. missing your updates and hoping that all is well x
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 £18182 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#503
    • WeeMidgie
    • By WeeMidgie 6th May 18, 5:13 PM
    • 365 Posts
    • 7,101 Thanks
    WeeMidgie
    Dear Robin, it's a while since your last update, with the news of the burglary.

    Thinking of you and your dear dog and hoping you're ok.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 9th May 18, 4:24 PM
    • 3,269 Posts
    • 13,487 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Hello everyone,

    Thank you for remembering me, everyone who has popped in since I last posted.

    Well yet again it has been ages.. I'm sorry. It has felt like my mind is dissolving since, well since coming back to Spain really. The gas bottle bomb, and then the robbery, sent what's left of me into a tailspin through fog. Wonder if Alzheimer's patients feel this way?
    Am managing to feed the dog and take him out for several short walks every day - thank goodness for the dog park where he can run free when am well enough to drive there!

    I play an on-line game, a short game matching patterned cubes which then disappear. If I can do it before the time runs out, then I can drive. If not, my reactions are too slow so I don't.

    Finally a couple of weeks ago I was well enough to visit the medico; he's put me on high dose vitamin B12 injections which are helping the brain fog, a bit. It's not a NICE recommended treatment for ME [as far as I know] so I've got to take enough meds with me to last six months. Might have to take it for life, we'll see how much it helps.

    Don't know how much longer I can keep going, so made a point of making a new Spanish Will just before DS3 left. Next major task is to sell the family home as we decided to keep The Nest [DS3 has taken it on, along with my old van which I can no longer drive at all].

    Am dreading the drive back. Not got a ferry ticket yet as am afraid of missing it if I have to stop for too long to recover en route. At the moment the camper-van is littered with boxes - what to take, what to leave?

    It's getting hot. Time to go. Everything is such hard work alone - missing DH more than ever!
    Ah well.
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 9th May 18, 10:07 PM
    • 547 Posts
    • 1,893 Thanks
    Dansmam
    Hi Robin good to see your update, sorry to hear health is such a trial for you at the moment and you're so missing DH, here's a virtual hug, for you, and an ear scritch for M. Is your plan to stay back in the uk or is it more of a visit to put the house up for sale? Safe travels when you feel ready x
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 10th May 18, 9:23 PM
    • 6,405 Posts
    • 44,632 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Good to hear from you Robin but sorry to hear you're having health problems. Hope you're feeling better soon and strong enough to make the journey back. Take care xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2010 £13.14
    Debt £1880
    Weight loss 0/6LBS
    Emergency Fund £4000/£10,000
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 11th May 18, 7:56 AM
    • 3,269 Posts
    • 13,487 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Good morning World,

    We came back into town yesterday. Mifi box has been getting temperamental so I ordered a new one - along with a few other useful bits for the van and some extra supplements [more about those later] - so had to collect a pile of packages from the village shop anyway.
    After a lovely fresh, hazy start to the day the temperature quickly rose to 28'C, so M and I ended up at the beach. It is lovely listening to the surf, enjoying ozone-rich air and a cooling breeze while still being able to rest in the van with all the windows open. The police patrols know me now so leave us in peace as long as I am gone by nightfall - camper-vans are officially banned during the summer season due to pressure from local camp-site owners - but having property nearby and using the van as my daily transport allows the officers to make an exception to the rule (one of the policemen has a sister with ME so he is very understanding, advocating for me with his colleagues).

    M has been incredibly well behaved recently; he deserved a reward so we shifted in time for the evening rush at the dog park; barely saw him for a couple of hours as he hurtled about with dozens of other dogs while I chatted to their owners.
    We are now "stealth camping" in a side-street. I don't much like the all-night traffic noise instead of nightingales, owls and insomniac cockerels but it does save a lot of energy not driving back to the campo [only eight miles, but even so.. ].

    The new mifi box seems to get much better reception than the old one which goes some way towards justifying it's high price tag [£85! ].
    Something has gone wrong with the van's 12V system so I also bought cables and connectors in order to be able to at least run the freezer off van's alternator as an extra fridge while we are travelling. It will mean working out a new approach to our diet on the road but better than living exclusively off beans on toast [me] and supermarket meat [dog].

    The largest River package was a bit of a surprise - a huge pot of gloop; am trying a supplement which is supposed to prop up the mitochondria of PwME - but discovered after ordering that it's more effective for recently afflicted people whose mitochondria has not yet been damaged by the disease. Oh well, it's here now - I thought pricey at £36 - will give it a go.

    This year so far my budget has been £1,500 which includes m' new Spanish Will, repairs to the electrics at DH's cottages and extra security for the Nest (as well as groceries and vet checks for M, of course). Must remember to top up the bills account before leaving though.

    Hi Robin good to see your update, sorry to hear health is such a trial for you at the moment and you're so missing DH, here's a virtual hug, for you, and an ear scritch for M. Is your plan to stay back in the uk or is it more of a visit to put the house up for sale? Safe travels when you feel ready x
    Originally posted by Dansmam
    Hi Dansmam,
    Lovely to hear from you, and cheers for the virtual hug - much appreciated; physical affection beyond doggie-licks is a rare thing in m' life these days - M chose a belly rub instead of ear scritch, hope that's ok?
    Not thought about long term plans really, beyond the need to liberate accessible funds. T2 has given notice so it would be a convenient time to sell that house, then some of the proceeds could be used to convert part of New House's extensive ground floor storage into a Granny flat for me. DS4 has already done a lot of work on NH - I barely recognised the back garden in the latest 'photos he sent me; last year's tangled wilderness is no more!

    Divo Four has not been having an easy time of it though; uni is much harder than he found it while studying for his first degree, and his beloved mentor is very ill. Nevertheless he is still winning prizes for his published work, both cash and academic accolades. Wonder if I will live long enough to see him become a household name?

    Good to hear from you Robin but sorry to hear you're having health problems. Hope you're feeling better soon and strong enough to make the journey back. Take care xx
    by Sun Addict
    Hi Sun.A,
    Lovely to hear from you too; I was sorry your holiday clashed with the last lot of bad weather in this part of the World - between rain, wind and blown Saharan sand it must have been so frustrating for you.
    Thanks for giving me a little chuckle - am already nearly four years beyond the expected lifespan for a long-term PwME, so "feeling better soon" is very unlikely to be in my stars - but am not quite ready to give up yet despite everything from breathing to any and all activities becoming harder by the month. I find it quite obscene that folk with ME still struggle to get awarded disability benefits even when further along the disease process - feel so lucky to have been able to avoid the ATOS sadists thus far!
    Last edited by *Robin*; 12-05-2018 at 6:20 PM.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 12th May 18, 6:42 PM
    • 3,269 Posts
    • 13,487 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Dear Sun.A, bless you and thank you very much - you saved me £25!
    How? Well, am not normally a betting person, but on this occasion I accepted a mate's wager as part of the #Millions Missing campaign that is taking place today. Basically I was challenged to talk 'normally' about ME here in my diary - sharing details which are usually kept within private support groups for PwME and their families / carers.
    My friend bet that if nobody at all responded within 24 hours, I would owe him £50. Less than five thanks or one comment, I must pay £25. More than five thanks or two comments he would pay £25, or more than five comments would have cost him £50.
    His point being that the general public still don't want to know - or won't believe - that ME is a life-changing, incurable and serious illness.. It's just not taken seriously until a loved one is afflicted - sometimes not even then.

    Must say I thought attitudes had changed more than is obviously the case, but for now am simply grateful to Sun.A who has saved me from a whitewash!
    • Knit Witch
    • By Knit Witch 13th May 18, 1:52 PM
    • 3,610 Posts
    • 32,933 Thanks
    Knit Witch
    Hmm have you seen the posts on the BBC site about ME and how it is affecting people? From some who can just about manage every day life (albeit being totally shattered beyond belief at the end of the day!) to people who become totally bed bound with the fatigue and associated ME problems
    Must use my stash up!
    • fraserbooks
    • By fraserbooks 13th May 18, 2:44 PM
    • 319 Posts
    • 5,638 Thanks
    fraserbooks
    Hi Robin, I don't usually post on this board as I am not in debt myself but I just wanted to say your post made me realise how little I knew about M.E. and I spent some time looking at the M.E. society website after reading it.. I am going on holiday next month with a friend who has it and wanted to be a bit more prepared so Thank you for sharing.
    • NoOneAround
    • By NoOneAround 28th May 18, 10:29 PM
    • 1,775 Posts
    • 8,708 Thanks
    NoOneAround
    Hello Robin,
    I've been off line for a while and I was really saddened to hear about the burglary. It's such a horrible thing to have happened, losing items with such sentimental value and especially the willful destruction. It makes me so angry. I do know how it feels, we got burgled 22 years ago.
    So sorry that health has been such a struggle. It's only in the last 2 and half years that I have really appreciated the the effects of long term chronic conditions and the general lack of awareness /understanding of what life is like for people living with such so called "invisible" conditions.
    Love and Hugs
    NOA
    x
    Feb2014 Total unsecured debt £72,520>>01/06/16 £68166>01/02/17 £66,600=8.18%PAID
    Mortgage Jan14=209,800 Jan15=£200,300 Jan17£180,700>OCT17 £170,200
    Health/Fitness Challenges Priority#1 Stay Fit and healthy - whatever it takes
    Wombling Free Cash May2016 £51
    • chevalier
    • By chevalier 12th Jun 18, 9:13 AM
    • 7,761 Posts
    • 18,056 Thanks
    chevalier
    sorry about the burglary. that is pants.i take it you can't fly and have M as your service animal? I am guessing it would freak him out too much?
    chev
    I want a job that is less than an hour driving away from my house! Are you listening universe?
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 25th Jul 18, 11:38 AM
    • 3,269 Posts
    • 13,487 Thanks
    *Robin*
    Hi Robin, I don't usually post on this board as I am not in debt myself but I just wanted to say your post made me realise how little I knew about M.E. and I spent some time looking at the M.E. society website after reading it.. I am going on holiday next month with a friend who has it and wanted to be a bit more prepared so Thank you for sharing.
    Originally posted by fraserbooks
    Fraserbooks - thank you so much for taking the trouble to learn more about this horrible hidden disability. I am certain your friend will have appreciated your efforts to make the holiday more enjoyable for him/her.
    • *Robin*
    • By *Robin* 25th Jul 18, 1:10 PM
    • 3,269 Posts
    • 13,487 Thanks
    *Robin*
    sorry about the burglary. that is pants.i take it you can't fly and have M as your service animal? I am guessing it would freak him out too much?
    chev
    Originally posted by chevalier
    Hi Chev,

    Flying takes far too much of my energy alas, and the infection probability of being locked in a metal tube with hundreds of strangers who're all carrying different minor bugs, breathing re-cycled air they all share, is just too great a risk these days.

    M is too large to travel in the cabin anyway, and as we're doing "owner-training" he hasn't got the protection afforded by one of the charities who train assistance dogs. My lifestyle spending half a year in one country then half in another means I can't sign up with one of these charities, as their training schedules would require us to attend regular sessions with a nominated professional trainer for at least eighteen months and probably longer.

    That said, we do belong to a couple of owner-training groups for support and advice, and as a unit we are progressing. It now looks like M has had professional defence training in the past; some of his behaviours which might be mistaken for simple reactivity make more sense if he had in fact been a trained guard dog.
    He certainly impressed the Spanish Police with his ability to locate and detain would-be immigrants who were trying to break into, and secrete themselves in vehicles waiting to get on the UK ferry (but that's a whole different story - it was a terrible night!).

    He can now ignore people carrying sticks, riding bikes and jogging - all of which were problems last year. If his behaviour then had just been reactivity - a form of PTSD - from being abused in his past life, then it's likely it would have taken much longer for him to get over it.

    Recently we have begun practising 'public access'; going into shops and public buildings where pet dogs are not allowed. M has to avoid distractions, staying by my side and focusing on me at all times. Very much a work in progress, but he made me proud when he walked past a whole pallet of raw meat packages blocking the aisle in our local co-op without even turning his head, and then ignoring an assistant who was trying to pet him.

    Divo Four worries about me when we're parked outside New House, because I tend to drop off to sleep in the van with the windows and door wide open [though all have mosquito screens], but since that awful night on the docks I am confident that any thief attempting to get inside is going to experience M's wrathful sharp end..
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 25th Jul 18, 7:08 PM
    • 9,214 Posts
    • 55,712 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Pleased to hear from you Robin. Sounds like M is coming on in leaps and bounds Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in 2018 39/60
    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
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

4,178Posts Today

9,604Users online

Martin's Twitter