beach cottage, bEAching, drEAming, general chit chat, hEAlth, wellbeing

life at the moment…

I hesitate to write this post as I wish it could be more cheery – but unfortunately my life at the moment is all at sea and I do not seem to be able to recover from one blow before the next one happens.  But for the sake of documenting everything in my blog I feel I have to mention both the good and the ‘not so good’ even if at present it seems a bit weighted towards the not so good!

I am actually writing this from my sick-bed – yes my ‘wellbeing’ is not improving as I intended this year.  So far I have been out of action since Wednesday evening when I got home from work.  I haven’t seen a doctor but I am pretty sure the diagnosis would be tonsilitis or Strep throat (which I understand is the bacterial form).  My glands are so swollen I look a bit like I have mumps.  In some ways I quite like the plumpness as it smooths out the wrinkles!

The upside is I have enjoyed snuggling down under the weight of the extra covers and falling into a long blissful sleep knowing that I am of no use to anyone at the moment – and no doubt I have lost quite a bit of weight because the constant nausea and painful throat have prevented any food passing my lips!

So while I am out of action I thought this is a good time to catch up with my blog and write a long overdue update.

On the family front –

The funeral of my mum-in-law took place on 4th February, ironically the same day as my dear dad died 9 years before – so it was a doubly hard day to get through but I had lots of precious memories to console me.  It was well attended by family and friends who came to pay their last respects and after the crematorium we had a lovely service of remembrance of her life in the church she had worshipped at for many years, singing her favourite hymns and followed by a good cup of tea and a buffet lunch in the church hall.  She would have approved I am sure. It may well be the last time we visit Shrewsbury and I am sad about that – it is a beautiful place.


My Mum-in-law 1924-2015

– some of my favourite pictures of her in her younger days

My younger daughter had her operation to remove 3 wisdom teeth under general anaesthetic just days before the funeral and I travelled up to North Yorkshire to stay while she went into hospital.  I went to look after baby L for a whole day by myself – heaven!  Both are recovering well after their ordeal – my daughter and baby L!

Baby L

My elder daughter and her partner are still with us – still trying to complete their kitchen – but it is a slow job, the main reason being that the guy hired to do the job had to move on to his next job after Christmas before finishing theirs and ours (remember our bathroom – still not complete either) so he can only work on their kitchen on a weekend.  Tricky position – he is a friend!!  It is difficult though having them stay whilst we have only one bathroom operational and the house is full of our cottage contents.

That leads me on to the cottage flood progress report –

Cottage Kitchen Strip-out

The kitchen – now without units and flooring

Bathroom Strip-out

The bathroom without any conveniences or flooring!

All went well with the strip out although as the photos show it looks pretty dire to me and at the beginning of December we were called up to Scotland for a site inspection and to discuss the reinstatement works of each room.  We progressed around the cottage ending up in the old wooden conservatory.  This had now been stripped of the pine boards cladding the inside –  it was at this point that we noticed a few jagged remains of a material,  which we have since had tested and confirmed as asbestos sheet, lodged between the outer and inner frame.  So now as it is classed as an ‘elf and safety’ hazard no one, not even us, are allowed to go to the cottage as the whole conservatory has to be removed by men in white suits before the drying out and reinstatement can begin.

We also received the oil boiler report and it appears that the oil tank outside feeding the boiler probably moved during the flood and has caused a leak in the feed pipe – the worst thing is we had just had a delivery prior to the flood.  If it is not a leak then we can only assume the lack of oil to be able to test the boiler is maybe due to theft which is a pretty common occurrence where you have an abundance of oil tanks in an area.

I finally finished the contents list but on doing so realised I had not been correctly advised.  It turns out that they require the price for us to buy new items – I was led to believe they wanted the price we paid with evidence so I spent hours trawling through my box of receipts.  Now I will have to spend hours trawling the internet.  Nothing like doing a job twice!

And finally a word about work –

After a lot of thought recently I came to the conclusion that work was just not working.  I am feeling very tired and extremely stressed.  I had been looking to decrease my hours and this has not happened due to two things – my colleagues long-term sick leave and the powers that be – the management – deciding that it was a good idea to hire someone who is commuting from Cornwall, a distance of 350 miles, to help out – really?

This has turned out to be a bit of a disaster for me and increasingly difficult for the person concerned.  In fact his wife wants him to stop coming but secretly I believe he quite likes escaping up here for a week or two.  However, the week on week off agreed at the start soon turned in to one week on two off and even this has not really worked out due to commitments in Cornwall with his business there.  The ‘help’ is fast becoming occasional and spasmodic.  This has meant I have had to go in to work on both Saturday and Sunday for the last few weekends just to keep on top of the urgent work.

This is definitely not what I want to do – so I had made up my mind to leave and out of generosity or loyalty even said I would look at working until the end of May.  Once I made this decision and announced it to my line manager I felt heaps better and even though it seemed tremendously risky (and there is no way you could call me a risk taker) as I have no other job lined up I had settled my mind to it and whatever happens in the future cannot be as bad as I am experiencing at the moment.

Well that was on Tuesday.

On Wednesday my line manager called me in and asked if I would stay if things were improved in some way.

Well that was unexpected and has put a spanner in the works.

I won’t say anymore at the moment – you never know who is reading do you!!

Now to the good news – yes really… I do have a silver lining.

We get a new conservatory paid for on the insurance – I am not sure how I feel about this as I loved the shabby chic 50’s style of the old one but it would not have lasted for ever.cropped-cottage-gutters.jpg

Baby L is to be christened in March on the 15th – Mothers Day – a double celebration.  I have been preparing the dress – an old family heirloom – just hoping she doesn’t grow much more in the next few weeks LOL.

Baby L with trifle

Well that is all my news to date have a good week everyone.

PS – As I wrote most of this yesterday and finished it today I am in fact now feeling loads better.


20 thoughts on “life at the moment…”

  1. My goodness, you have a lot on your plate. I hope your supervisor keeps his or her word and gives you some relief very soon and that things on the job front improve tremendously for the long term as well as the short term.

    Glad to hear your infection is already improving as well, and though I’m new to this blog, I offer my condolences for the loss of your mother-in-law and, though it’s been some time, the loss of your father as well.

    May the christening plans continue without a hitch.


      1. You’re welcome. Yes, I have a couple of active blogs. Today I’m working on a new post for The Sourdough Journals at, where I track my experiments while I’m learning how to make whole wheat sourdough breads from a wild yeast starter. Thank you for asking!


  2. Oh you have all my sympathy. I remember a few years back, when we went through a similar period of one thing after another, to the point were it almost became laughable in an hysterical way, – which is why my brother and I still always begin our conversations with ‘what’s new?’ and to the response ‘nothing’ both agree that is the best answer possible. I’m one of those people who sees things cyclically, and if it’s any consolation, I’m sure you’ll come through – spring is on it’s way.


  3. I love that you find the positive nestling amongst the negative …’ In some ways I quite like the plumpness as it smooths out the wrinkles!’

    I hope things are now on a more upward trajectory for you and yours … and I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better. xx


  4. Sometimes it is the process leading up to the decision making is more difficult than the decision itself. The peace of mind you will feel when the right decision is made will all be well worth it.


  5. That’s a tremendous load to deal with all at once. I truly hope the light is at the end of the tunnel soon. Condolences on your loss with your Mother-in-Law, it sounds like the funeral was a fitting tribute. I hope the job situation can be resolved – it sounds very stressful indeed.


  6. Thank you for the lovely pix of your mum-in-law. And of course your grandchild! I was sad to see the pictures of your stripped-out cottage but I do grin to think of you getting a new conservatory! I look forward to hearing what happens job-wise. Wishing you health and happiness and a great celebration on Mothers Day!


  7. I hope that things will start to pick up soon and life will get a little easier. It must be getting close to the end of the strip out of the cottage now and the beginning of putting things back together. That has to be good.


    1. Strip out went smoothly and quickly but then we hit the asbestos snag and it was down tools. Haven’t really got back to making the decisions we need to make to move forward as we have been busy organising the funeral and now doing the probate. Your cottage is really taking shape now – I love the room you have just pictured even the ‘doorknob’!


  8. My goodness you have a lot going on. Is it any wonder you’re sick from all that extra stress, coupled with the time of year when everything seems to be ‘going around.’ I’m glad to read at the end that you are finally feeling better and happy too that the job situation may resolve in a better way. I will hold good thoughts.

    I’m sorry for the loss of your mother in law, and the added emotional burden of the coincidence of dates. I feel for you.

    Best of luck with all that lies ahead. xox


  9. There is so much to take in here Vivian! Beautiful photos of your mum-in-law and granddaughter. I hope that things work out job wise for you. Take care of yourself. x


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