Our retirement adventures

Operations, concerts and Christmas

on January 20, 2015

6 November 2014. The day of daughter Mel’s shoulder operation after 18 months + of agony following a fall off a chair and we come down to a paid for op to hopefully get it right. However old or young your child is you still worry when they have an operation and Mel has been particularly unlucky with 7 operations excluding a 2nd attempt at a tonsillectomy.

Unlike her sister, Flic, who earlier in the year had to fast overnight and then had to wait until 6pm for her back operation, Mel was operated on by about 11am and out of surgery by about 2pm. “Out” is quite appropriate afterwards as she asked for a drink several times when she was coming around and with only a nurse to ask she got frustrated with words “I want a drink and I want it now”! – most unlike Mel.

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With a little help from friends she managed dinner, stayed in the night and came back to ours for a while. We had anticipated only a few weeks but in the end it lasted until Christmas although we did have a coupe of weekends away late November and early December that had been planned the previous year.

It was just like having a teenager in the house again as of course she couldn’t do anything much so meals in bed upstairs, help with dressing, bathing and all sorts of things including driving her to various things. Mel, of course, is the Peel Panto Director and whilst most of this year’s show had been set and cast before the operation, there were still things to finalise which had to be done there rather than from our house, so we acted as chauffeur.

We had good intentions of helping sort some of her house things out but as with all good intentions, these went by the wayside, especially as we were having our kitchen re-done, the living room lights replaced, planning for some time in Australia and Christmas preparations to attend to.

The surgeon is pleased with her progress and light duties at work are expected to start late January with full duties 3 weeks later.


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Meanwhile, we have a “new” kitchen, new living room lights, have been to three concerts in the UK (War of the Worlds, John Bishop and Only Men Aloud) and survived Christmas which, like the last few years was held in Clearwell, Gloucestershire in a house designed to sleep 5 but which had, on Christmas night, 10 sleeping and at one time on Boxing Day, had 16 + guide dog in the house – standing room only! Stuart & Lynn had hired a cottage locally (Wainlete) so could join in most of the socialising and also helped with the meals, especially useful in view of some of us being under the weather.

Talking of weather, this year was, for the first time for many a year, dry and clear although a little frost on certain days – these two pictures being taken from our bedroom window within an hour of each other.

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Of course Christmas and Boxing Day wouldn’t be the same without a big family meal and adults pretending to be children and playing with the newly acquired toys.  image image image

All guests departed by early 28 December, in time for us to clean the house for Laura & Jim who arrived the following day for a stay over the New Year. A lovely drive around a few of the villages of the Cotswolds although we were unable to park in either Bourton on the Water or Stow on the Wold, ending up in Broadway for lunch. Much better weather than last year with clear skies and no rain.

Phillip & Sylvia join us for New Year’s Eve in the Butcher’s Arms – it was as good as last year and very reasonable for what you get at just under £60 per head basic cost.

A New Year’s Day walk before Phillip & Sylvia left and a relaxing afternoon by the fire for the rest of us before a traditional game of Canasta in the evening. (Jim & Sally beating Laura & Richard). Lunchtime departure for Laura & Jim the following day and a brief but productive talk with a new Gardner for the house found by chatting up the locals at a local restaurant’s carols and mince pie evening on Christmas Eve.

Depart the following day for an overnight at Alan & Debbie’s near Stafford where I didn’t manage to break anything and we didn’t get held up in traffic the following day so caught our ferry home which was on time, surprisingly not crowded and quite smooth.

The gales started soon afterwards and between 5 January, the day after we got back and 15 January, the island lost at least 8 out of 21 sailings!

Another trip to Andorra beckons!


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