Monthly Archives: August 2011

If I swore, this post title would be different

Looks like the sale of the bungalow has fallen through.
Your prayers, please, for four sets of devastated people – my buyer, her buyer who is unable to proceed and is also really upset, the owner of the house I am so in love with who will be totally thrown by the news too, and me and my boy.
I knew it was going too well. Who am I, that things should go smoothly for me when they go awry for so many others.
All things work together for good – there must be some purpose, but at the moment God alone knows what that purpose it. I can only leave it in God’s hand and allow myself a time of tears and coffee and steeling myself to tell my vendor to put his beautiful little house back on the market, knowing too well that it will be snapped up immediately.

I’m all wight weally

Would you believe it’s two and a third years since I left the Isle of Wight?
Yesterday was the trip I’d sort of been dreading. The trip to begin the task of emptying the loft. A must, now, as I’ve sold the bungalow and am hoping against hope that the mortgage company let me buy the little three-bedroom terrace I’ve set my heart on.

Brainwave – a ridiculously early start would get me there in time to go to church.

I parked on the church carpark, smiling somewhat to see the car in its old familiar spot. Just time for breakfast before the service started. So I had a lovely nostalgic wander through Cowes. If ever you’re there, try The Octopus’ Garden, a ’60s reconstruction with Beatles music playing and proper “frothy coffee” ’60s style. I’d been there a couple of times before when I lived on the Island and plan to go a couple of times more. I love it.

Return to the car. What’s that under the windscreen wiper? A piece of paper: “Sorry, this is a private car park and in use every day of the week, especially Sundays. Please do not mistake it for a public car park. However our morning service begins at 10.30 and we would love to welcome you to come and join us, in which case you’re welcome to park here”. 😀

It was so lovely to be back. Everyone sadly looking so much older – but I was greeted with such love. And who should be preaching but Honorary Auntie Margaret! Of course, it wasn’t THAT much of a surprise, seeing as I’d rung her the day before to see if she’d be free for lunch.

Lunch with Margaret in a place new to both of us, but probably a place she’ll go back to – a little place beside the marina with a view of the boats and a seat in the sun, and plently of opportunity for indulgent catching up on news. It was a delight.

On to the bungalow – the bit I was dreading. But, I am delighted to say, no homesickness. It was interesting going round, remembering the rooms and what was in there, and going up in the loft. But no melancholy or tears. In fact it was far more fun than I’d feared, too, mainly because another good friend turned up at the door willing to help. Goodness, how I’d missed her! It was SUCH fun catching up.

Going up in the loft I was struck by how little stuff I could see up there. This was, however, not because there was less than I remembered. Quite the opposite. It was simply because the electricity had been switched off so there was no light. My friend was totally amused by the fact that the local tesco had only one suitable source of light on offer – a head torch! As it was, it proved perfect for the task, even if I did look a bit ridiculous. And now I have a car full of stuff, with nowhere to put it, and about a car-and-a-half of stuff still to collect (the perfect excuse for a visit and a half back to the Island within the next month or so).
The return ferry was really crowded and I found myself feeling uncustomarily seasick on the way back – a while since that has happened – but a good journey and a welcoming bed awaited me. And I really am All Wight, thank you for asking 😀

Circumnavigation

I’d often wondered how long it would take and what sort of a journey it would be if I were to circumnavigate (or rather, circumsatnavigate) the M25. Anticlockwise, of course.. I mean, who in their right mind would want to go round it clockwise?
Well, now I know.

It’s all the boy’s fault. I wonder if he knows how much I love him and would do for him… or whether he thinks it is simply because it enabled me to have two weeks of peace without him. OK, so maybe he might be just a little bit right too.
Last week he went to Transmission, the Scripture Union holiday in Norfolk. He travelled there fairly independently by train, meeting up with another camper en route, but the end of the camp coincided, as these things are prone to do, with the day his Scout camp was due to begin. Alas. How could we manage to tranfer him thither, let alone do the swapping of bags of clothing – dirty from one camp, clean for another? There again, looking at how often he changed his clothing at camp, he could have just taken the same bag on to Scout camp!!! Yeugh!

And so it was that my friend from church and I set out in my trusty car to Norfolk on Friday morning.
Boy, was the traffic horrendous!

We stopped at Saffron Walden (high on my list of “places to go to again”) en route, and finally followed the little sketch map to find ourselves outside The Crown in Crown Street. It didn’t look quite like the overnight accommodation we’d been expecting – far from it. We’d paid in advance – could we find an excuse for not staying? We drove on, looking for somewhere to get a meal while we pondered what to do. Aha – further down the road was ANOTHER left turn, this time into Crown ROAD and what should we find but THE CROWN. Goodness, that was a relief. This was far more like it, a truly lovely place to stay. And we had to stay overnight because I had been informed, in no uncertain terms by the camp leader, that we MUST NOT arrive A MOMENT LATER than the end of camp. We had been informed, in equally uncertain terms, by the boy that we MUST NOT arrive A MOMENT EARLIER than the end of camp. And so it was at ten a.m. PRECISELY that we rolled up into the campsite and were greeted by a tired, grubby, handsome young man who had had the time of his life at once camp and was ready for a snooze in the car on his way to the next.

He’d grown, I’d swear. And his voice has broken just a tiny bit more.

SO we continued on our way back to the M25 and this time did the eastern and northern arcs, all the way round to Hemel Hemstead where we dropped him off, before completing our circuit home. I dropped my friend off at her house – a brief farewell as we were both ready for a cuppa, a sandwich and a sit down, and leapt back into the car to finish my journey home.

Nothing.

Car battery completely dead. Jump starting it worked for a second, but then cut out immediately. So my time with my friend was extended slightly as I tested out my new registration with Green Flag instead of RAC… new battery, as feared! So my fortnight without my young man cost me the cost of two camps, sixty pounds of petrol, an overnight stay in a hotel, and a brand new car battery!

Still, what better time for it to cut out, when I had a trip to the Isle of Wight the following day and a trip to France in a fortnight. I think I came off quite lightly, truth be told.

And I might add that I DO miss my son. I mean, I have to go now and make MY OWN cup of coffee!