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Catch Up

John Wright


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Well it has been 6 months since I last blogged. I only ever intended it to be occasional, and so it is.

I have been a regular reader of Tom and Barbara’s blogs. I want to just say to Barbara that I hope Tom is in that better place and that you do meet him again. Thank you to both of you for enriching o my life.

Well off I went in September to my uncles funeral. Lovely do, beautiful flint church with thatched roof, a vicar who knew the man he was eulogising and a congregation where I, and my sister, 53 and 50 were the youngest. The church had a large charities board above the door showing endowments for the benefit of the village. My heart was uplifted by a 1630 donation the Laughter Charity. Obviously a surname, but how nice.

Funeral tea was in the church hall and provided by the WI. Again the youngest by 15 or twenty years.

So what have I been up to since then. I upset the mother in Law over Xmas, we had an invite, which was cancelled, re invited and in the end I said I wouldn’t go because it was about to be re cancelled. Families.

We were off to Spain Boxing day, all packed and ready for boat when Levi oldest dog has stroke. Cancel sailing and call vet. Vet says she will have to be put down so can we go to surgery following morning So we leave IOM 24 hours late. No space on Portsmouth St Malo for three days so go Dover Calais instead, lose our fare out on Brittany Ferries which with cabin was £400 each way. Get a single to Calais for £55.

Head off through France, stop off at an aire, a sort of off road park, where over nighting is allowed. Wake 05.00, someone trying to break in. Shout loudly, dogs bark, they sneak off. cannot sleep so set off south. The lock is now unlock-able from outside so we cannot leave the van anywhere. WE arrive at the farm to find the caretaker had put the CH on and it was warm and welcoming.


Next day unload motor home. We have taken down underlay and rolls of carpets for the upstairs living and bedroom areas. Help arrives and we get the living areas done.

Then Paul, and next me go down with flu, to shivery to do furniture removals and carpet laying so we sweat it out. I venture to Sitges and Barcelona go to Ikea and buy a new washing machine, all the while feeling like shit, then it’s time to go home.

Half way up France I get the text from IOMSPCo that due to adverse weather they are cancelling boats, we ring and are told its for three days. The van is huge and heavy and officially does not go on the Seacat any way. So we slow down, call into vets for dog jabs for passport. It’s exactly a year to the day since we last stopped by for same thing. Where is the other dog they ask, so we tell then, “ desole” the response as they delete her records from the computer.


Back in England we decide to do a family visit thing, My aunt and uncle in the East End, Lorraine in Norfolk etc some sites are open all year around with electric hook up, which we need as the leisure battery has failed.

Monday am I call IOMSPCo oh sailings resumed last night. Too far to go in too little time for Heysham at 14.15 but we get the Ben from Birkenhead at 12.00 mid night


We spent the first half of February in Bulgaria, me working, Paul and friends skiing, at Bansko, a new resort in Southern Bulgaria. The Bulgarians are nice, Bansko is super, less than an hour from Greece, but its only half developed and the credit crunch has hit hard. Still we had a great time until I got stopped with the duty free ciggies for Paul on my way back. Bulgaria is in EU, ciggies are cheap. I bought 1,000 duty paid for about £60, whistled my way through the blue channel. Stopped. Anything to declare? No, Sure? Yes Aren’t you off the Bulgarian plane? Yes Aren’t those Bulgarian Cigarettes? Yes, but I bought duty paid. There is no limit. Ah there is its 200 only transitional arrangements. OH. You can pay duty and VAT or I can confiscate. How much? £240 No thanks you keep them, enjoy smoking them!


Since then I have been having work done, a bigger drive to accommodate cars when clients call, a new home office, shed in the back garden and plans for the re shaping of upstairs to give access to the attic and four En suite bedrooms


In the meantime the Spanish electricity company has switched off my electricity again, about which I will write with more humour later


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