The Move

12 Nov

As predicted, nothing went to plan with this move and it really knocked me off my game a bit.  I couldn’t seem to get myself sorted when the plan I had started with had to be changed.  And then we get sick, well, John first and then myself.  All in all it was probably the worse move, no, 2nd worse move ever.  I also left the old property not in the condition I wanted to so I will carry some guilt about that for a while.

the new place is pretty traditional.  it is listed as a 3 bedroom but the 3rd bedroom is 6×8 and is often called a ‘box’ room here.  i have set up john’s desk and put most of his things in there.  the other 2 rooms are called doubles and in this house they are quite large.  they both have built in closets which is nice.  the bedroom towards the front of the house has a bow window which i really like.  the lounge, or living room, has a small gas fireplace which is currently being repaired and we then we have either a second lounge or dining room depending on how one plans on using it.  It also has a fireplace and sliding glass doors to a patio area.  a small garden is beyond that with a  wooden swing under a tree and a small shed.  In the front we have a gated drive but the parking area is a bit tight so we are currently parking  in the street.  John is not really liking it but it isn’t for too long and I am sure as soon as I get all the boxes emptied and all our stuff sorted and put away he will be a bit happier.  oh,yes, there is a kitchen with a long counter which i am super excited about as these last few months i will be honing my cooking skills!  All in all it is a nice place to finish up our time here in England.  It is located near town, about 2 miles, and only a 5 minute walk for me to go to church.  I walked this morning and it was really nice.  I would post pictures but I have been having some trouble with that recently.   I promise once I get it all together i will figure out to post pictures.

 

until then..

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The Wardrobe Door is Closing

20 Oct

It is a sad thing but the Wardrobe Door is beginning to close.  Our two year adventure that stretched into 6 is coming to a close and while I haven’t posted much in this blog you have seen and read of my adventures on Facebook.  As of this writing we have 300ish days left in England.  Every morning I wake up knowing this is the last (insert date) and I have a bit of sadness then I put on my big girls pants and get on with the day living it like it is the last one.   I have make a ‘Last Year in England Bucket List’ and am working my way through it.  I loaded it up and then  realized I couldn’t do it all so what to do?  I had a think and realised that going to all the touristy things is fun but I don’t remember and cherish them as much as what I see on my walks in the lanes and where ever John takes me.  There are still a few touristy items on my list but now it is just enjoying what I like most about living here: the pace of life, the pubs, the shops, the market, SuzieB’s sewing shop (really gonna miss this) , early morning conversations at the Mcdonalds with the staff, searching the grocery store for ‘I wonder what the Brits call it’, and of course walking in the countryside.  I will try and write a bit about my last adventures but always look on Facebook for pictures and a brief description of what is happening.

I am working on 2 items on my list right now: 1) guitar lessons and 2) swim lessons.  I have wanted to learn to play guitar for years and have taken lessons in the past but was rubbish at it.  I heard of an excellent teacher and decided it was now or never.  I am so glad I did it.  I may never be very good but I am having fun.  Every week he introduces a new song and I usually stare at him, shake my head and say I don’t know it.  My girls would be embarrassed!  Currently though I am working on  Hallelujah , Brown Eyed Girl, Bye,Bye Love, and I Have A Dream (ABBA).  I have picking exercises that include the James Bond theme, the Peter Gunn Theme (also covered by Blues Brothers), and most recently the Batman theme.  Did I mention my left hand is sore!

I also started swim lessons.  I felt slightly embarrassed when I signed up but the staff was  supportive and turns out I am not the only over 40 learning.  I have only had one lesson so far and since I will get in the water (apparently the instructor has had students like that) I would say it was quite successful.  I learned how to put my face in the water and blow out!  Then I was given goggles and initially I was hesitant to proceed ( in my mind I started to remember my experience at the aquarium ) but I forced all negative thoughts out and went for it.  I can’t adequately explain how I felt putting my face in the water, pushing off, blowing out,  and taking a few strokes and making it to the other side of the pool without panic.  Being able to see made such a difference to me.  then we moved on to side stroke which I was told she never saw anyone take to it so quickly.  She has determined I lack confidence and by the end of the sessions I will be able to join my daughters and grandson in a great game of Marco Polo and I won’t have to cling to the edge of the pool!!

I am planning on trying my hand at glass blowing soon, riding a segway in the forest (had hoped to do that this month but too rainy and windy), another trip to London, a trip to the Dales to see where James Herriot books were set, Amsterdam for tulips, Anne Franke and Corrie Ten Boom museums.  Also have a bit of sewing to get done too.

We are moving house (that’s British) in 2 weeks.  the lovely couple who own where we are currently living are due back in December so I have secured a semi-detached (duplex) house in the town of Barrow about 2 miles from the shipyard where John works so there will some adventures involving the move and getting used to the new area.

Here’s to another good day….

I am late again….

23 Feb

I have every intention of posting on Mondays and every week I seem to miss it. This time my ‘excuse’ is I was on a train.! yup, that’s it. really i was. six Americans and myself took a train to Grange-over-Sands for lunch at a bakery/cafe that is very popular. We had hoped to walk around a bit in the garden area in the town but it was just too wet. We did stop by a charity shop and I managed to find a really nice basket to use in our guest bedroom for towels. the last trip another lady purchased a tea trolley that she pushed to the train station and then onto the train!

Saturday John and I took 3 Americans to Edinburgh (pronounced edin bur uh). we took the early train and arrived in time to be one of the first visitors into the castle. After the castle we began our descent down the Royal Mile toward Holyroode Palace stopping at the Edinburg Woolen Mill for some shopping then lunch at Burgers and Beers. We then continued to the palace where we took some pictures and discussed heading to the Royal Britannia, once the royal yacht. sadly, it was to close in 15 minutes so ….We walked to the Scott monument which had just closed!!! then headed to some castle looking buildings stopping by a cemetery on the way where we found a statue of Abraham Lincoln which was commemorating the Scottish soldiers that fought and died in the American Civil War. Our friends did some exploring on their own whilst John and I waited until the rain caused us to head for cover. We grabbed some dinner to take with us on the train ride home. Our trip home was on the Virgin Train Line and we were able to upgrade to First Class! Always upgrade if you can. Nice comfy seats with lots of leg room. Complimentary tea and snacks. The only way to travel.

Again, this I will miss when we return. I have been researching airline prices for our eldest daughter to fly from Ohio to Connecticut so she can join us in celebrating Lily’s first birthday. My flight from England to Boston is just a little bit more than the prices I was finding for her. We have some pretty cheap air fares here with no frills airlines so going to France or Italy or just about anywhere is very reasonable. Wish the Americans could come up with something like that.

ok, let’s see if i can post next monday….

Why I like living in England

15 Feb

There have been some recent conversations on the topic of “what I like most about living in England” and sometimes it is hard for me to put it into words however today happened and I remembered shy I like living here.

I belong to a newly formed book club and today was our meeting day. We rotate between houses each month and this month we were meeting in Ulverston, a town 5 miles northeast of Dalton where I live. One thing about this quaint towns is they have limited parking and you have to pay with the longest time limit being 3 hours. The host lived in an area with no street parking and no off street parking attached to her home. I decided that I would take the train and so started my day of liking living in England.

I left my house and in less than 5 minutes I was at the train station. Train arrived (1 minute late) I board find a seat get out my book and review for the upcoming discussion. The conductor comes by, I buy my ticket (£2.20 round trip) then back to my book. In 8 minutes we arrive in Ulverston. I step off the train leave the station and head into town where the host lives. I recommend Googling (is that a word?) ‘images of English towns’ and see what I see every day and help you understand this next section.

I walk into town past pubs and shops and then start up a hill and soon am seeing houses. (note: look at those pictures and see that houses are different here). I continue until I come to an area where someone could park a car and I take a left and enter what is called a ‘ginnel’ which is a narrow walk way between buildings. on the right i pass a door in the wall with the sign “Ginnel Cottage” (lots of houses have names) I keep going straight until I have to turn to the right still in a ginnel but slightly wider and then there it is, the home of our host.

You know what I love about that….everything! taking the train is so nice, no hassle with parking, it cost less to take the train than it does to pay for the parking, plus you have to figure gas and wear and tear. Walking to the station, walking to the event is just so nice. Sadly, where we live the train isn’t always an economical choice and the train does not go every where you might want to go.

When I got to Dalton I walked into town to the grocery store to pick up some items for dinner. I go there about every day so i am recognised which is nice. The walk there is less than 10 minutes so even in rainy weather it isn’t bad.

So, a long story of one reason I like living in England. It is not for every one. At this stage of my life I love the slow, easy going way of life. I like that store don’t open early on Sunday, if at all. I like (usually) that in the small towns the sidewalks are rolled up at 5, except the pubs! I live quiz nite at the pubs. I will miss is it all when we leave.

The End of January

30 Jan

I apologize for not posting last week. I chose to not use my bullet journal and learned very quickly old habits can take over. I am starting this week better, not perfect, but better.

We are having medical issues here in our house and without divulging too much info I will share a bit about the National Health Service (NHS). An appointment was made at the ‘surgery’ (doctors office) the result 1) we need to get ‘bloods’ (blood work) and a CT scan. I think we waited a week to get the scan, bloods were done the next day. We never heard anything about the bloods but the CT scan was positive for gallbladder trouble. Another appointment with the GP with a referral to a consultant. she would mark the request URGENT which we were told meant 3-6 week wait. we got lucky- 2 weeks. We have had the consultant appointment who wanted bloods again and if they were still abnormal then an MRI would be ordered. 3 days after bloods a call from the consultant office – no MRI needed!! another appointment needed to discuss surgery. we go back tomorrow. They will not discuss lab results over the phone. there is very little one can do to speed up the process. any appointment that is not with your GP is made through a general appointment desk. a request is submitted and you will get a letter in the post telling you when your appointment has been scheduled. they do not ask you prior when you are available. i almost always have to reschedule appointments made this way.

Prescription meds are filled only for 28 days and the repeat (refill) process is too complicated to write about. John has been unable to get the pain meds he was taking in the US. The drug of choice here is Codeine. It is not very effective for pain control for us. OTC meds are limited. I went looking for Phenergan and they couldn’t sell it to me as I was not intending to use it for what they sell it for. I have learned to do some online research before heading to the Chemist (drug store).

I have had 3 surgeries here, one major and 2 minor and survived! the nursing care I received the week I was hospitalised was poor by my standards but from what i have learned since pretty standard. I had a large incision and the dressing was only checked once a day by the surgeon! The strangest thing overall was there is not waiting room for surgery. They told John to go home and they would call him when they were done! Anyone who knows John can just imagine what he thought of that !

ok, enough medial stuff. We are lucky to be able to order from Walmart.com so we can keep a supply of Nyquil and other things we are used to.

oh yeah NHS is not ‘free’. it is funded almost entirely by general taxation. my major surgery did not cost me anything out of pocket except for the TV. each prescripton costs £8.40 unless you have an exception and then it is free. it is no wonder the NHS is struggling.

we have had wonderful doctors and surgeons. i have no complaints about them. i will truly miss my GP when we return to the states.

Everyone have a great week!

Unique

16 Jan

Someone mentioned I should blog about the events of a recent day where i experienced a series of unfortunate events so I pondered that for a while and thought today I would take you, my readers, through a ‘day’ in my life and highlight things that are unique to my life here.

Rise and Shine

we are up early so it is dark, sunrise will be at 822a!  i will have been about 3 hours by then. sunset will be 422p.  the daylight hours are getting longer!  Unique item #1: there are no electrical outlets in the bathroom.  When the electric toothbrush dies i have to take it to the guest room to charge!  i do have a heated towel rack which also serves to heat the bathroom which is nice. we have a very small bathroom in the master bedroom which is mine.  the much larger bathroom is john’s.  i use it only when i want to take a bath.  it is a large soaking tub.  I will miss it when we move.

ok, off to work.  we currently only have one car so i take john to work most days.  Weather permitting he will walk home, approx. 5 miles.  I stop at mcdonalds for oatmeal and black coffee.  unique item #2  most places do not make a pot of coffee.  they have a machine that makes one cup at a time.  the other morning it as really cold and there were some workers on our road and i wanted to take them coffee and donuts and realised there was no place (that I know of) that i could get a Box of Joe and donut holes.  Those of you who have worked Mcdonalds should see this one.  it is in a busy retail area and during peak times they are fully staffed such that to me it looks overstaffed.  they have 2 registers but 6 touch screen kiosks where the customer orders and pays then goes to collect.  one or two people do drinks for the counter and kiosks.  one or two are filling orders. then there is the drivethru area also similarly staffed.  and of course all those on the line in the back.  i tell you this place is hopping.  never much of a wait.  The morning crew changes daily but all are friendly and helpful.  Unique item #3. I can pay by just touching my bank card to the reader.  fast and efficient.

Unique item #4  Driving!  yes we drive on the wrong side of the road and the steering wheel is on the opposite of the car.  At first, SCARY!  I can tell you one time I pulled out onto a major road and was in the wrong lane.  There were no cars at the time to remind me where to go however one quickly came into view and flashed his lights!  you learn to say: Wide right, tight left!  you should see when I go back to states.  no one wants to ride with me.  Now, once you think you have mastered what side to drive on you end up on lanes that will not accommodate 2 cars passing!  sometimes you may have to back up to a place where you can pull over to allow other car to pass.  there doesn’t seem to be any guidelines as to who has to move either.  We used to live where we traveled narrow roads and lanes all the time and after a while it didn’t bother me.  well, we moved to a town and with the exception of the road we live on I drive on main roads and those lanes scare me a bit now.

Now, this is a bit long so I am going to bring it to a close.  maybe this week I will post every day sharing the uniqueness of living in England.

As Promised….

9 Jan

dsc_78182017!  Wow, I can remember when that date sounded futuristic and while we certainly do have so  many gadgets now that indeed were only  in  sci-fy novels life has gone on pretty much the same.  We wake up, eat, go to work, eat, sleep and repeat.  We still have births, illness, death and while so many cures exist for our illnesses we seem to have more illnesses.  Strange paradox.

I did not make new year resolutions only choices to make my life and those around me better.  Near the end of 2016 my eldest daughter introduced me to Bullet Journaling.  Initially I did not think it would work for me but i figured i could at least try it out and SURPRISE!  I like it.  there is a website if you are interested.  The idea is having one place for your ‘stuff’.  appointments, plans, thoughts, ideas pretty much whatever you want.  like any tool though it is only as good as the user but part of the new year choice was implementing bullet journaling on a daily basis and i find i am getting more done, i am less stressed and feeling more fulfilled because I am getting those things done that i really want to do.  i am such a procrastinator and time waster that I can go though an entire day and have nothing but a meal cooked  to show for it.  My goal is each day to waste less time and do more good!

i will use this blog not to tell you about that but to share random thoughts about whatever and to return to the original idea of this blog- life in England!  Currently it is 46° and raining.  I know, you think rain in England!! Well, the thing I notice here is how the rain doesn’t change how people get on with their lives.  This morning, 630am, on the drive to the shipyard (taking hubby to work) people were walking their dogs (doggy have on their raincoats ), people on their bikes heading to work, milkman making deliveries and other delivery trucks out and about.  we were told “there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!”  we are in the ‘dark times’ as i i call it – sunrise at 830am and sunset at 4pm- and the rain just makes it worse for me but I just turn on all the lights in the house and put on happy music!  we have rain predicted for tomorrow and Wednesday and SNOW for Thursday.  we may not see snow here in Dalton but higher elevations and further north may.  i had plans for a trip eastward on Thursday but it means going into those elevations so i have rescheduled for next week.

ok, enough ramblings for today.  i am going to try an post some pictures either on this page or on the photos page.  Enjoy and talk to you next week.

(took a while to remember how to post a picture so only one for now.  i need to upload christmas pix from London.  this picture was taken on our trip to Wales last fall at Caernarfon Castle and is the Weeping Window part of the poppy display from november 2014 at the Tower of London commemorating WWI entitled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red)

 

Tuesday evening

7 Jun

Normally on a Tuesday evening I am outside listening to the church bells ringing.  They are rehearsing for Sunday morning.  To the untrained ear it sounds like random bells ringing but there is a pattern and  a song but you are not going to hear a familiar hymn.  Tonight i am listening from the comfort of my couch in the living room. My feet are up, I am relaxed.  the bells ringing will be one of the simple things that I will miss when we return to the states.

I worked in the garden today.  Added some lilys to the bed in the parking area-it needed a “thriller” and until the fushia bloom that spot needed some color.  I discovered roses on the Centenary Girl Guide bush, I will post a picture when it is in full bloom.  It is a sight to behold!  I did some other planting in an area that was bare.  I still need to work in the ‘wilderness’ area.  this is an area that has some plants/bushes that grow quickly and spread.  I went to a garden festival last weekend and asked a lot of questions about my garden and learned that I need to wait until next spring to really tackle that area.  This year I can trim it but next spring I can do some serious digging up, replanting etc.  I found a small strawberry patch so I have purchased some netting to try and keep the birds out of it.  Keeping my fingers crossed.  we might get one or two strawberries!

I will keep you posted……

Good evening!

6 Jun

It is 9:30 pm already and I am not even close to being ready to go to bed.  My days start early so I should head up soon but first a few words.

This blog is to be about my adventures living in the UK so I will share a really funny one that happened over Memorial Day.  On the weekends we have a goal of getting 15000 step on the Fitbit so walking is what we planned on doing.  We hop in the car and head to Grasmere.  It is the geographic center of the Lake District and home to William Wordsworth (a famous poet).  We arrive at the Car Park (parking lot) and I spot a toilet (yeah!) and after figuring the pay scheme (yes you have to pay to park at a lot of places) I head to the toilet.  Oh no, it is a pay toilet!  You must deposit 20p to release the turnstile.  I did not have any money on me and I needed to go so….I put my camera and wallet on the turnstile, dropped to my knees and crawled under the turnstile.  Once I was done, I washed my hands then and here’s the funny part, I dropped on my knees and crawled back out!  Off we go for our walk.  About an hour later I suddenly burst out laughing.  It dawned on my that I did not need to crawl out!  I still am shaking my head and giggling about it.

somewhere in this blog there are pictures that I took on this walk.   If not on this page look around for them, please….

Good morning!

5 Jun

My how time is just flying by!  Are the days and week getting shorter?  well, I guess not the days, at least not here since sunset is around 9:40 and sunrise is around 4:40!  also, it never gets really dark out-I mean dark, dark.  You know how the sky looks when you have a full moon on a cloudless night?  Every night here during the late spring into fall.  So you buy room darkening curtains or eye shades!  ok, back to the subject at hand….

I have been pretty busy here at the Satterly homestead getting things ready for our grandson’s summer visit.  He has his own room and when he isn’t here it becomes my sewing room so I had to pack up all my stuff and find new places to store it all.  I then decided I should have a good sorting of all the magazines I have bought ‘to make this cute thing’ and all the little kits ‘I want to make this!’  and purge.  I have done some serious purging.  The hardest thing was the purging of my counted cross stitch magazines and kits.  My eyesight is poor for close up work.  I saved a few pieces in progress and the rest have been gifted.  Switching my interests to sewing. I am wanting to make my own clothes and also ‘crafty’ things like pencil cases, tote bags for family and friends.

today’s blog was an exercise in writing.  More tomorrow  (or later today)