|Sooty asleep on the bed|
It is nice being back in the UK and catching up with people, but it is very, very busy and we’re feeling a bit stressed! We’ve not spent as much time with Sooty as we’d have liked and trying to get on top of things after being away for over 6 months is proving difficult.
We’ve had bank accounts to sort out (still on-going), re-mortgaging of a property I own with my old business colleague, Terry (still on-going, but actually it was great to meet up with him again and have business meetings), but the main issues for us has been medical as we’ve both got problems that need addressing.
|Jackie and Pauline at the Penguins in Cotswold Wildlife Park|
Jackie has had several visits to dentists, involving big amounts of money, with several more to come, I have had a suspect mark removed from above my lip at the QE hospital last Sunday lunchtime (yes, Sunday lunchtime, amazing, no queue’s, great service and immediate treatment, how good is that!) and now have a stitch in my lip that needs removing on Saturday.
|Hungry penguins following their fish dinner|
|Meerkats standing to attention|
This weekend is Iain and Bev’s wedding in Bristol and we’re travelling down with Ian and Helen tomorrow, so there’s no time to have the stitch removed at the doctors. Fortunately Crystal and Manu are medical people and are going to the wedding , so they will take it out at the reception on Saturday afternoon. It just means that I’ve grown a moustache section on my lip around the stitch where I can’t shave so I may not look my best, but hey!
|A big Asiatic Tortoise munching grass|
I’ve also had three visits to a sports physiotherapist to look at my knee, which is still hurting when I run. It looks like I may have damaged my meniscus in the knee which may mean no more running. However I’ve got a number of knee exercises to do and, in 6 weeks he says I could try a short run on grass with good trainers and see how it is. He knows of people with torn knee meniscus who have gone on to run marathons, so it isn’t a game changer, but it may be that I have to be careful!
|Jackie can't resist a little stroke|
Socially it’s also been hectic, but of course very nice, with many evenings out with different people: Thursday, Blue Ocean Malaysian restaurant in Acocks Green for Jackies birthday (fabulous) after the daytime visit to Cotswolds Wildlife Park, Friday, Solihull with Denise (my sister) and Paul after helping them lay some slabs in their back garden for a new greenhouse, Saturday, down to see Jackie’s niece and nephew, Charles and Caroline (watched Caroline horse riding in the morning) in Edlesborough with Pauline, Jackie’s mum, with an evening meal in their local restaurant, Sunday (after my visit to the QE for my little operation and stitch) was our
|Time for afternoon tea and cake!|
‘Sunday Tea Club’ meeting in the Chinese Quarter of Birmingham with Ian and Helen, Manu and Crystal and their friend Reuben (Crystal selects the dishes, orders in Chinese and we just feast, drink Chinese tea and have great fun), except that my lip kept bleeding! On Monday we had a lovely daytime visit to Redmarley d’Abitot to see Richard and Judith and all the cats and dogs prior to housesitting there again in July. Monday evening we were back in Birmingham for an evening meeting with our friends Bill, Mark and Tim, the old Monday evening drink and chat team, but this time for a beer in the ‘Old Mo’ followed by an excellent curry in Diwans. Poor old Sooty we say being ‘home alone’, but we were in on Tuesday to see her!
|Caroline on her Saturday morning horse riding lesson|
So after rushing from here to there and feeling like we haven’t had a minute to ourselves, our first housesit (this year) with Sooty is coming to an end. We’ve repacked, loaded the car and, in the morning we head off to Ian and Helens to leave our car there and travel down to Bristol for the ‘wedding of the year’. Many of our friends will be there and it promises to be a hectic, fun-filled weekend lubricated with plenty of alcohol! We’re back on Sunday but then head to Acocks Green, a suburb of Birmingham to housesit two rabbits until Friday 3rd.
|Brian and Jon (Jackies brother) doing gardening jobs|
It promises to be a continuing busy time, Lisa (who rents the house) lets out rooms through Airbnb and has left us with a houseful on Sunday night. Most (except one long term renter) go on Monday and we are off to Steph and Sam’s (my niece) to do plumbing and decorating work at their house in Dickens Heath - except that one of the Airbnb people have to collect luggage from the house, so Jackie will have to return to Acocks Green during the day to fuss bunnies and let the person in to collect his luggage.
|While Charles gets on with making a cat house for his cat Thomas|
|A sign of the times. Charles (13) shows Jackie how to use her ipad|
The week continues with many more appointments and, on Friday we repack the car and head off to Scotland for 6 weeks, staying in various places. More on that later.
Bear with us, dear reader, I know we’ve got a much easier time than many people (‘first world problems’ Cassie, our friend in France would say), but we’re just not used to it, bickering between us.
The next entry we hope with be a report of the ‘wedding of the year’ weekend in Bristol.
|Jackie strokes 'top dog' Oscar at Richard and Judiths house|
|Crystal writes out our order in Chinese in the restaurant on our 'Sunday Tea Club' outing|
|Bye-bye little Sooty, see you again in August|