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Published: February 12th 2019
Hello Blog. It has been a long time. I have not forgotten you. It is just time is flying by and I feel I have done nothing. No trips out since our walk around Linacre Lakes. The weather has been particularly springlike so why are we not on the road?
Christmas disappeared in a haze best forgotten. The advertisements began to tell me I should buy in the New Year sales . The holiday companies started to bombard me with offers I could not refuse. Still we sat here without a house to move to and without our sale going through. Each phone call suggested that things were fine and were moving along . Our buyers buyers had for some reason asked three questions which required answers. No problem that would be sorted out quickly and without hassle . Our ACSI book arrived and the driver spent many a happy hour turning the pages. With each page he told me which campsites were still there, which were new and which had been removed . Each country provided endless hours of interesting conversation. Been to that one. That one looks nice . Is there a bus service to the nearest town
from this one? The National Trust and Cadw membership had been renewed for 2019 and I scoured the pages looking for one of our national treasures to be open. Have you tried to find somewhere open in early January in Britain ? Give up. I did. They all seem to open for the season as soon as the schoolkids start their half term holiday in February. It was one of those bah humbug moments you have from time to time.
The morning calendar gave me a little ray of hope when I ripped the days thoughts off. It was a saying uttered by the Dalai Lama. "In order to carry out a positive action we must develop a positive vision". So what did that inspire us to do? We couldn't influence the availability of places to visit nor could we influence the house sale which was drifting along in its own sweet way. So we made the first positive step towards a holiday abroad. With Brexit on our minds we didn't know what was the best thing to do. Think ahead and plan or leave it to see how things panned out. It seemed that Brexit too had stalled
with Brussels refusing to budge on anything and the government and parliament falling out with each other over the best way forward. The 29th March was looming large and we were getting nowhere. We might need International driving licences again as our licences which would be perfectly OK on the 28th would be unacceptable to the EU on the very next day. So many things that could go wrong probably would go wrong . But we forged ahead .
We were renewing our attempt to find a house to buy. The estate agents had reopened again after the Christmas and New Year break . Surely we would find something to go and view. To break the monotony we cashed in our Tesco vouchers and used them to pay for the tunnel. So that was booked - no going back now. We are going to Europe whatever happens with the house sale and Brexit in between. Plan A was hatched . To France and through Belgium to avoid the toll roads. On to Luxembourg and cheap diesel and into Germany. A night at the Allianz stadium in Munich before the drive down through Austria to Italy and Slovenia. After that
it went a bit airy fairy - perhaps Croatia and Montenegro. Maybe Greece - could we do it in the time? What about Turkey? We have read many blogs over the winter about Turkey and really must do the trip. Are we up for it? Not sure yet . Plan B - cut out Turkey - still plenty to go at. A new one for us will be a stopover for the first night at the park and ride in Canterbury. A chance to see the beautiful city that we have by passed so many times. Could we visit Munich along the way. The driver has never been. I visited in the late 90's on my way home from Austria . I remember the main square and the cathedral but beyond that it was just a fleeting visit with no photographs. Easily accessed from the football ground, just a short walk to the Ubahn and then the tram into the city.
So as January crept ever onwards we went to change our pounds for euros and forgot to take identification. Another house came up. This time a different village and a different much smaller river . A tributary of
the larger Dee. It was a reasonable price . It had a few pictures on the site which sort of told a story. It needed a bit of TLC. Right up our street. The positives were that it gave us a chance to get over to North Wales again . Even if it was only a fleeting visit. The sun was out . The catkins were dangling daintily and floating in the wind. The day was warm and sunny. The mornings are still dark but the nights have started to draw out. Perhaps we are being fooled into thinking Spring has arrived as the first daffodils and snowdrops appear in the gardens. The bungalow is in a lovely setting with a field to its rear. We are number two of seven viewings today . We look at it and like it instantly. Its white, it is rendered . Not the best choice but all the properties are rendered . The garden is smaller than ours but that is not a problem. The fascia boards need replacing , the old girl who owned it smoked like a chimney . All the ceilings need replacing as does the kitchen and the bathroom. We put an offer in there and then and went for lunch . Winter vegetable soup for me with crusty bread and a chicken meal for Glenn. We talked about the chimney breast . We can have a wood burner; we know a plasterer; , there is a chemist in the village as well. A doctors surgery and dentist down the road. Three pubs and a spa hotel with pool and gym. There seemed nothing we didnt like . We just had to sit now and wait to see if our offer was accepted .
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of the Beatle fame once said that "we must be able to learn to take life less seriously and to laugh". Well buying a house or trying to buy one again is a serious business . Let us see if we can follow that advice .
We certainly tried to take life less seriously and booked Gabby for a trip to Preston . We took the plunge and decided to buy a system for the internet which fits on her roof . We get access to 4G in the van whereever we are without the need to find campsites or free WiFi. I will keep you up to date on whether it was worth it or not . Our next trip to Europe will test it out and see if it was worth the expense .
Today though was an interesting one where I walked around our current home town of Chesterfield. How much can you miss when you take the place for granted. I walked during my lunch hour around the church. I had visited it inside a few times but this was the first time I skirted the building and the graveyard. It was unbelievably quiet wandering around and between the tombstones. The snowdrops just starting to emerge from their winter slumbers. I walked to the museum which sadly was closed and I made a mental note to come again next week. The building was typically Victorian gothic with an interesting memorial on its wall to Chesterfields war dead.The hall was named in honour of the British railway pioneer George Stephenson who had a connection with the town. It holds a small collection of objects relating to Stephenson and his family. The museum, established in 1994, presents the history of Chesterfield from its origins as a Roman
fort to the present.
The Stephenson Memorial Hall dates back to 1879 and was originally built as a mechanics institute. Later this part of the building was used for the town's public library. It just proved to me that I didnt know the town as well as I thought I did. Something we do very easily.
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