AND HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

I am so tired! I can’t wait to get back to work!!

Yes, I know that sounds odd, but after the week I’ve just had, working 7 days a week would be preferable!

As you know from my last post, my eldest daughter, who had ‘just’ finished settling into her temporary accomodation that she thought she would be in for around a year, was actually offered a permanent residence. She was just waiting to hear back from the council with details and was under the impression she had around 30 days to sort things out.

I was getting on with my own unpacking.
The old house has been cleaned and I just have a few small holes to fill.
The garden has a few things to clear out and the garage has a few odds and ends to finish clearing out, but I have until 31st January for that, so I wasn’t in any kind of panic.

On Tuesday this week, my wardrobes turned up and I planned to spend the afternoon sorting through my clothes and the last of my bedroom boxes so that I could actually sleep in a ‘Bedroom’ and not a store room for the first time in a month.

However…..

Just after midday I received a phone call from Murron who was in tears and an absolute panic.
She had just been informed that she was being taken to see her new flat at 13:30 and she would be given keys.
She was then told that she would have until the end of the day on Thurs (so less than 48 hours) to vacate her temporary accomodation.

WTAF!!!

She is a single Mum with a 16 month old toddler and she is being asked to move the contents of a 2 bedroom home with no warning, and if she didn’t have any family and friends willing to step up, she’d be up shit creek without a paddle.
There was talk that ‘maybe’ they could get a man with a van to help her, but they never called back.
The only saving grace is that her new flat is right over the road from her temporary accomodation, so things could just be walked over to the new flat.

Anyway, the first step was to go and see the flat and measure up for carpets because three rooms were just bare concrete and tile which wasn’t safe for JJ. It also required a cooker and fridge freezer.
The flat is a good size. She actually has more space and storage than she had in the temporary accomodation.
It’s had a fresh ‘slap’ of paint, and I mean slap! But this is now her place, so she can actually decorate and tidy things up.
The heating is ancient and shit, so she is having to run oil fired radiators, but appart from that, it has a lot of potential.

So, after seeing the flat, we went to get carpets.
I have to say a HUGE thank you to Mounters and Turners on Barkers Lane for stepping up, doing us a great deal (after name dropping my brother who is mates with Paul Mounter!!) and actually fitting the carpets in all three rooms that very same day! They made the next few days so much more manageable.

We then went and sorted out a fridge freezer to be delivered the next day and a cooker that will be delivered in a few weeks because it needs professionally fitting.

£1900 later, we made a start on ferrying a few bags and boxes over before calling it a night.

So, Weds and Thurs this week was all hands on deck for moving.
I had to cancel a training day that was scheduled for Thurs, but I had no option.
The help from a Man with a Van never materialised, even after several phone calls, one of which stated, ‘we could fit you in next week!!’
Slowly, bit by bit, the furniture, boxes and bags were ferried over with the aid of a barrow trolley that I bought at B+Q.
So, after my Dad, in his 70’s and me with a dodgy knee, some wonderful friends who gave up as much time as they could, and lots of arguing and flared tempers, we finally had everything moved over at 19:00 last night.

JJ’s room was ready for him to run riot in, Murron had a mattress to sleep on and the flat looked like a storage unit, but she was in!
As guilty as I felt, we literally left her like that and called it a night.

So today, I actually get to concentrate on my own house again, but I’m so stiff and sore from the last few days that I really can’t be bothered!!
Might do a few hours of chores and then watch a movie or two with a bottle of plonk!

So yes, work on Monday is looking like a holiday compared to the last week!!

FRESH START, NEW WORRIES

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks so far.
We finally completed the house purchase and collected the keys on the 4th.
Me an my girls started ferrying boxes of stuff over the 4th, 5th and 6th
My brother came over on the 5th to board my loft space so I can use it from the start.
He then disappeared to the Maldives for 2 weeks… how inconsiderate!
We also had an electrician come in and do a couple of small jobs before we moved in.
The moving company moved all the furniture over on the 7th.

We had an Ikea delivery over the weekend for wardrobes for the girls.
Thankfully, they are both old enough to sort their own rooms out and they had friends come over and help to put things together. They helped me out a bit around the house too.

Virgin hooked us back up on the 9th.
Our new range cooker was fitted on the 10th.

While all this was happening, I was slowly working my way through the boxes and trying to find a place for everything.
We are pretty much there.
The only thing holding us back now is my bedroom as I don’t have my wardrobes yet.
They are due for delivery on 17th and once they are in, I can finally finish things off.

The old house has a few bits and pieces to still come over, but most of that is Xmas decorations that will be going up in the loft.
I’ve made a start on cleaning, and by cleaning, I mean sweeping and hoovering ready for an end of tennency clean on Monday.

I had hoped to avoid this as it’s going to cost me £400
We lived in the house for 10 years so the carpets have seen a lot of wear. I don’t know how clean they are going to get.
The kitchen is also old, around 40 years according to the owner. It has definitely seen better days.
The owner actually came to the house with an agent on Weds to get the place valued and to ‘weigh up’ his options.
He could quite clearly see that he needs to do a lot of work to the house if he wants to keep renting.
He could also see that if he sells, whoever comes in is going to rip everything out and start again, so I asked him if I really needed to do this clean. Obviously, I will still go ahead with my basic clean, but I felt that doing an end of tennecy clean on a property that is likely to get stripped out is a bit pointless and a waste of money. He said he’d let me know.

Yesterday, I found out he still wants the end of tennency clean to go ahead. WTF!
So yes, I will go ahead with the clean, but I will not be breaking my back with any painting.
I get the feeling he’s decided to sell, so he wants it looking as good as he can get it, to maximise his return.

When I think about it, he’s had over £100,000 out of us over the last 10 years. That makes me feel sick just thinking about it.
In that time, for around 8 of those years, we didn’t have a working dishwasher. It was on our inventory and it was reported on every inspection, but it was never replaced.
The house had a washing machine and tumble dryer when we moved in and when they were at the end of their life, we replaced them out of our own pocket when we could have asked the owner to replace them and I’ve left them behind!!
So if he dares to come at me for a few small holes and blue tac marks and wear on the carpets, I’m going to hit the roof!

Anyway, it’s nearly there.

So, just as we’re about settled, life decided to throw a few more curve balls at us.
On Thursday this week, I had some re-directed mail from HMRC (never a good thing to get)
Turns out, because Ian had taken some money out of his personal pension in tax year 21-22, it’s taken them 6 months to decide to check if he had paid enough tax before he died. WTAF!
So, I have been wading through self assessment paperwork and making phone calls to get information I no longer had because I don’t have Ian’s personal paperwork anymore!
Naturally this has been playing on my mind and probably will do until I hear back from them.
If Ian owes money, I have no idea where it’s coming from.

On the same day that I received that little wammy, I get a call from Murron.
She has been given a permanent residence.
Again, WTAF!
She has literally just moved into a fabulous little temporary accomodation and got herself settled only to be told that she has to move again. Probably in the next 30 days.
It’s a 7th floor flat, still in town.
I was initially a bit dubious/worried as these flats have a bit of a reputation but I have been assured that it’s the better block of flats to be in as it is full of elderly and single parents with kids. It also has a caretaker and due to the fact that there are quite a few people with mobility issues in the building, the lifts are a priority should they break down.
I’ve seen some photos and once she gets some carpet down, it will be a lovely little flat.
The bathroom looks fresh and new too. She also gets a balcony.
Murron seems OK about it and is actually quite happy that this move means she will be able to decorate!
It’s just a pain in the arse that it’s happened so soon. We had expected her to be in the temp accomodation for at least a year.

Anyway, that’s my morning catchup over.
Time to get on with organising this place.

2022 AND INTO 2023

So how do I sum up 2022?

SHIT to be quite frank.
I would happily go back to 2020 at this point.

The year started off well.
Murron appeared to be happy and baby JJ was flourishing.

Dharma was just getting on with work and Uni.

Marji was getting on with work but had FINALLY got the go ahead for surgery on her foot in June.
We also got to see her officially graduate from Uni because she didn’t get a graduation during lockdown.

Ian was still off work due to his psoriatic arthritis and the pain he was in.
He was awaiting various operations to help get him back on track.

My job was still fresh and going well.

Nothing really unexpected or out of the ordinary.
We were getting a little frustrated at the length of waiting Ian was having to do for all of his appointments and procedures, but other than that, things were fine.

As a family we carried on with life as normal.
Cinema trips, theatre trips, the occasional meal out, trips to London, an Imagine Dragons concert.

Normal.

The turning point was June 22nd when Murron rocked up on our doorstep with little JJ.
Her relationship had broken down completely and she was home with us until she could get council housing.
All I can say about that one is that the system is completely fucked! It’s taken us nearly 6 months just to get her into ‘temporary’ housing. Thankfully she’s fallen on her feet and got into a brand new 2 bed flat and is settling in well, but it’s only temporary, while she continues to bid to get a forever home. This could take over a year!

That was just the start and I could have lived with that, but on July 5th, our whole lives changed forever when my husband, and father to all three of my girls, unexpectedly passed away.
The day had been like any other, it was sunny and warm, the kids had some friends over and were sitting in the garden, chatting and drinking.
Ian was complaining about feeling a bit unwell and had taken himself to his room to relax for a while, which again was nothing out of the ordinary. With his medical conditions he did this regularly.
I was working until 4 and after I signed off for the day, I went into the garden for a drink and a chat.
Then there was lots of screaming from Dharma who had found her Dad unresponsive and the shit literally hit the fan.

The last 5 months have been a bit of a blur.
July and August were spent organising funeral arrangements and spending half my life on the phone to insurance companies, Ian’s pension companies, resetting all the utility bills and anything else that was in Ian’s name.
There were days when I spent ‘literally’ then entire day on the phone. The queue waits were horrific. For a grieving person to be sat in a queue for an hour before talking to anyone is ridiculous. To then be told you need to talk to a different department and go through the same waiting process again is soul destroying.

Anyway, I got through it all….. just about.
I still get the odd thing through the door for him that I’d forgotten about, like Specsavers appointments, but these are minor and I can deal with them. I’m sure I’ll get a few more over the next year. The important stuff is dealt with.

While all this was going on, we also had to look for a new house. Without Ian’s wages coming in, we couldn’t afford to stay where we are currently. Ian was a bit savvy with his pension and insurance and we have been able to buy a property, albeit with a very small manageable mortgage over the next 12 years.
We have been lucky enough to find an amazing house just a couple of streets from where we currently are and after a nail biting couple of months we have finally exchanged contracts and will be completing on January 4th.

We have just had a wonderful, but bitter sweet Xmas.
Murron and JJ came home for a few nights, we had a big family get together on 23rd, went to see Ian at the cemetry on 24th, Mum and Dad came over and spent Xmas day with us, we went to my brothers for boxing day, today was a chillout day after getting Murron and JJ back home and then having a visit from some good friends.

I had just 3 days of work between Xmas and new year, and now I have 3 weeks off to sort out the house move.
It’s going to be absolute chaos for a while.
We should be completing on 4th January and a moving firm will be moving the bulky bits of furniture and heavy boxes on Saturday 7th. This gives me and the girls a few days to do a bit of prep work on the new house before we move in.
My brother is coming over to ‘hopefully’ fully board the loft for us. It already has a retractable step ladder and lighting and from the quick look i’ve had, it’s a good open space big enough to stand up in, so being able to use it from the minute we walk in is going to be really handy.

Why 3 weeks?
There’s a lot of fixing and decorating and cleaning to be done in the house we are handing back at the end of January.
It’s actually quite a relief to have the crossover period. It means that there’s plenty of time to sort things out and I’m not in a blind panic to get it all done.

So in one way we are dragging the last dregs of 2022 into January, but by the end of January, we should be all done and looking ahead to a very different year.
We are all determined to make it a good one.
I am not going to be dragging my feet and moping, that’s the last thing Ian would want me to do.
I’m sure I’ll have my moments, it’s only natural, but for the most part, I am going to carry on enjoying my new life with my girls and little JJ.

Happy New Year XXX



SUCCESS

What a day.

We had JJ last night while Murron sorted her flat out (had a mate over for drinks too)
JJ was an angel. Fell asleep at 18:00 last night and woke up at 08:00 this morning with not even a whimper overnight.

This morning was a bit hit and miss as I realised the microwave we had ordered for Murron didn’t actually show up yesterday, but the order was marked as delivered. So had to sort that out. Turns out it was left with a neighbour but they didn’t leave a card to tell us.

I also woke up with what I thought was something in my eye.
I panicked as I thought I hadn’t taken a contact out properly last night and spent an hour trying to remove it.
I ended up at the walk in centre, which was heaving, and they tell me to call the emergency eye service and give me a number.
The urgent eyecare service tell me to contact my contacts provider.
Specsavers give me an appointment at 13:50 today.
Dad takes me into town where I discover I haven’t got a contact stuck, but I have triggered an infection.
So, Chloramphenicol ointment for the next week and a referral to Moorfields to double check things.

While all this was going on we were bagging up the rest of Murron’s stuff here at the house for one last van load to the flat.
Then finally, we drop the little man off with his Mum.
His room was the first to be sorted and it has all his toys in one place and he was so excited when we put him in there that he didn’t know what to do first.
Murron has a gate on the door so she can just get on with sorting the rest of the flat out while he plays.

Now it’s time to breath and start cleaning my own place.
In the meantime, my eye is really begining to bother me now. I’m gonna look lovely in the morning.

UPDATE

OK, here’s an update on what’s been happening.

With the delay in tenants moving out of our forever home, the decision was made to postpone moving until after Xmas. The Solicitor advised making sure the tenants were out and we were still happy with the property after the tenants had moved out before going ahead with exchange and completion. So we resigned ourselves to the fact that we would be spending another year where we are. There was no way I could think about moving in the week before Xmas. It was a bit upsetting, especially for the girls who really just want out of here now.

So I went into the beginning of a week of annual leave on 26th November and promised myself I’d get Xmas sorted and try and feel at least a little bit festive.
However, I was feeling quite run down and had been fighting off a cold and a cough and on the 24th and 25th I could feel my knee starting to annoy me more than usual.
By the Saturday I could barely walk, I couldn’t bend my knee so getting into and out of my car was interesting, my entire calf muscle felt crampy and my thigh was going to the same way. Great!

I had quite a few plans over the week and one of them was a trip to London with my Dad to see my cousin’s little girl in Mary Poppins again. If my knee didn’t improve, there was no way I could manage this.
So I dug out my deep muscle massager and worked on my calve and thigh over the weekend and I rested.

It seemed to work and on Monday I put my knee to the test with some Xmas shopping in Milton Keynes with all three girls and JJ. I was very aware of my knee but it held out!
So Tuesday was a trip to the nail shop to get my nails done again. I haven’t done this since losing Ian and thought it was about time I started to look after myself again.
Wednesday was a quiet day with the girls and we finally laid Ian’s ashes to rest with his Mum in the Summer garden at the crematorium.

Thursday I did go to London with my Dad to see Mary Poppins.
It was the first time for my Dad and the second time for me. My Mum isn’t up to going into London any more and my Dad really wanted to see it, so he got me a ticket for my birthday.
I think I actually enjoyed it MORE the second time around and Sophie is just amazing!
We had some food at the Three Greyhounds, over the road from the theatre before we went in and the food was lovely!
We stopped in again after the show for a drink and the place was absolutely heaving!
Instead of heading straight back home, we took a wander around Covent Garden to check out the Xmas lights.
I took my Dad into the Whiskey Exchange to show him the price of some of the whiskey’s. I think the most expensive one we saw was £60,000! It’s an amazing place and if you like your whiskey I highly recommend it. Don’t worry, they have something for every budget!

The rest of the time was spent decorating trees for me and my Mum and getting goodies and bits and pieces in for the Xmas period. Then it was back to work that had got a bit busy in my week away!

On Wednesday this week, Murron was FINALLY offered temporary housing and she picked the keys up on Thursday morning. Until then all we knew about the place is that it was a 2 bed flat in the middle of town.
So thankfully she wouldn’t be far away, but we still didn’t know what state the flat would be in.
We held our breath.
Turns out it couldn’t have been more perfect. It’s a brand new build and a lovely size, has a washing machine and fridge freezer but is otherwise unfurnished and more importantlyand she is over the moon.
So! this weekend has been spent moving her in. I got a van and we emptied the storage unit which has been draining funds since June.
She has everything she needs and could even fit the piano in.
Chances are she’ll be there for a good year or more while she keeps bidding for her forever home but I am happy that it’s not a damp riddled hell hole. In fact, it’s a shame she can’t stay there!

Today we’ll be spending the day getting the last of her stuff out of my house and then I can get my house back to the way it was pre-JJ.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the little guy and he makes me laugh every day, but I want to be a part time Nanny. I want him to come for visits and then go home!

I went to see our new house again yesterday now that it is empty.
I had a discussion with the Estate Agent about a completion date and I have instructed the Solicitor to exchanged before Xmas with completion hopefully on 4th or 5th January.

Work have remained amazing and cancelled the annual leave I asked for before Xmas when I thought I would be moving and I can rearrange it when I have an actual completion date.
We’re having a Xmas meal out as a team on Wednesday and I’m looking forward to it.

So, time to relax a bit for Xmas but ‘hopefully’ just a few weeks of chaos afterwards and then the disaster of the last year will all be over.
WATCH THIS SPACE.

BREAKING SILENCE

For anyone who has read back through my blog for the last few months, you will know that things have been more than a little stressful lately.
We have been in limbo waiting for the final puzzle pieces to fall into place and today, various bits of information have been made available that are good in some ways and bad in others and I wanted to get everything down in writing, so that in 12 months time, I can look back at what’s been happening and know that the wait and the stress was all worth it.

First of all, my eldest daughter Murron has been sleeping on my dining room floor with my now 14th month old grandson since June.
She is eligible for housing, but available housing is few and far between and finding her forever home would take quite a while, possibly a year of more.

After my husband passed away in July I was forced to think about moving because I could no longer afford the rent on my own. Thankfully, his insurance and private pension have allowed me to buy a property with a very small mortgage. I would be moving into this property with my other 2 adult daughters, Marjorie and Dharma.
We found the perfect house and got our offer accepted and the ball rolling with the purchase.
The only snag was that the house had tenants, but it was being sold with vacant possession.

In August I issued Murron with an eviction notice.
I know what some people will say about that, but both me and Murron are in complete agreement in that we could never live together again. We would end up killing each other! So the eviction notice explained the whole situation and that Murron needed emergency housing ASAP while she was bidding on her forever home.
However, as I didn’t have a moving date, I was pressured into keeping Murron under my roof for as long as possible.
Her case worker told us that once I have a date for moving, to contact her and they would get the ball rolling on temporary housing.

We were told that the tenants were given their notice and should be out of the house by 17th November, so we bided our time and waited…… and waited and waited.
The 17th November, came and went with no sign of movement from the tenants.
So after an extremely stressful weekend last weekend, I fired off various e-mails to my estate agents, their letting agents and my solicitor, to find out what was happening and where we stood.

Today, we finally found out that the tenants are in fact leaving, but it has been delayed due to their new property requiring some repair work before they move in. They ‘should’ be moved out by 9th Dec and my estate agents have requested that the weekend of 10th Dec should be used to do the post tenant check and that keys should be made available for completion on 12th Dec.
So we have a tentative date but nothing firm.

With this information we decided to contact Murron’s housing caseworker as per the agreement made in August, only to find that she left the service in October and hasn’t been replaced!
Fantastic!!
So, we have put the whole situation down in writing and are trying to get someone to pick it up and get the ball rolling on the emergency housing Murron needs ASAP before we lose what little space we have and she is sleeping in a storage shed.

So the last few months have been a bit of a powder keg of stress and my mental health has been taking a real beating.
Today was the last straw and I had to do something to get it all back under control. So I informed work of the whole situation and requested some annual leave from what will ‘hopefully’ be our completion date on the 12th until after Xmas.
Work have been fabulous, as they have been since this all kicked off in July, and I couldn’t be more thankful to them.
That has at least, brought the boil down to bit more of a manageable level.

I have a week of annual leave next week with a few things planned, but most notably, we are burying my husband’s ashes.
The rest of the time is going to be spent packing up whatever I can in anticipation of a move, possibly two if we count Murron, and putting up other people’s Xmas decorations.
I will then be back at work for a week before more annual leave and hopefully the moving house will finally be happening.

Right now I am only just hanging in there.
If something else goes wrong now I am seriously going to be lose my sanity.

So that’s where I’m at.
Even though I’ve tried in my last few blog to carry on as if nothing is happening, it’s not working.
I’ve lost interest in most things because I can’t stop thinking about the dozen balls I’m trying to keep up in the air at the moment.
I haven’t even been in the mood to stalk Adam!! and that’s saying something.

A GOOD WEEKEND

After a week off work, suffering with a case of flu, I headed off into London for the weekend with daughter number 2, who had got me tickets for the ‘Back to the Future Musical’ show at the Adelphi Theatre on Sunday afternoon.

This had been planned for a couple of months and we had decided to make it a weekend trip and booked, and paid for, a hotel for 2 nights. Neither of these could be changed or refunded, so it was a case of we’re going whatever!!

Marjorie has also been suffering a bit this week too but we both got up on Saturday, took a couple of Lateral Flow tests to confirm that we both just have seasonal flu, and headed off into London.

We made a perfect team this weekend.
I have been left with Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, which means I feel like I have water in my ears ALL THE TIME and I’m a bit deaf because of it.
Marjorie has completely lost her voice and can barely whisper.
So in noisy environments, I couldn’t hear anything and Marjorie couldn’t talk!!

Anyway, Saturday was a case of heading into London just to have a bit of a look around.
We arrived at the hotel just after midday and then went to get on the DLR.
We choose this hotel because we don’t get charged a congestion fee, the hotel is out of the city so relatively cheap, the parking is roughly £10 a day and the DLR is literally on the doorstep, so getting into and out of the city is a doddle.
However, for this weekend only, the first few stations from Beckton were closed for engineering works!!
We had a slight panic before a lovely gentleman pointed us in the direction of the replacement bus service that took us to the next available station.
Bit of a pain each morning and evening but nothing major, and still practically on the doorstep of the hotel.

We started by stopping off at Royal Victoria and getting the Cable Car to North Greenwich and then we headed off to Westminster to take a look at Big Ben now that it’s not covered with scaffolding. We headed past parliament square where there was some sort of Brexit protest on the go. Seriously! give it a rest. It’s been 5 years. The country voted OUT. This is supposed to be a democracy. That’s the way it works!!

Anyway, we headed into St James’s park, marvelled at all the squirrels and parrots!!

We walked across to The Mall and headed down through Admiralty Arch, past Trafalgar Square and down The Strand to get our barings for the Adelphi Theatre the next day. This is where we realised how close to Covent Garden the Adelphi Theatre was.
We had a nosey around The Whisky Exchange and picked up some Limoncello and Chambourd and decided that we were beginning to feel a bit wiped out, so we headed over to Regent Street where we wandered down to Hamleys to have a little browse before dinner.
I treated myself to a new Star Wars themed Loungefly backpack and then we really started to flag.

We had pre-booked a table at the Carnaby Patty and Bun so that Marji could have one of the incredible Gluten Free burgers and it was just as scrummy as the last time. She was happy.
Then we headed back to the hotel to check in and crash!

We got a message earlier in the day from Ian’s Cousin Debi, who lives in London with her partner Greg, and we arranged to meet up on Sunday morning for brunch.
So Sunday morning we got into Covent Garden, initially very early and it was really wet! so we sat in a Cafe Nero for a bit to dry off and have a fabulous mocha coffee and then we met Debi and Greg and finally found a table suitable for both Gluten Free and Vegan at The Black Penny.
We had a lovely catchup before parting ways and heading back into Covent Garden for a mooch around before the show.

We found ourselves in the Doc Marten’s shop and both of us got new winter boots and then we headed back to The Whiskey Exchange. Marjorie wanted some gin and I had spotted something I wanted the previous day.
I wanted the bottle more than anything!! The contents won’t last too long.

Sat next to a regular bottle for comparison!

Then we headed to the show which was absolutely amazing.
The special effects, particularly on the car were astounding.
When the car first appears on the stage, it did so in a lightning crash and literally appeared, out of nowhere, and came to a screeching halt on the stage.
When the car was supposed to be moving at high speeds, the technique used really made it feel like the car was moving at high speed.
The end of the show when Doc comes to take Marty back to the future, see Doc and Marty strap themselves into the car and they take off!! They head out over the audience and spin a full 360 degrees, it was so clever.

The actor playing Doc brown was hysterical and there was something very familiar about him.
I found out today that he was an actor called Roger Bart. Not an istantly recognisable name but definately a recognisable face. He’s been in loads of stuff that I’ve seen which is why he was so familiar.

After the show, we headed for The Hawksmoor Borough in London Bridge for my dinner treat.
I’ve been to the Hawksmoor in Seven Dials a few times and wanted to try a different one.
It did not dissapoint.
Great atmosphere, great food, little bit on the pricey side but for something a little bit more special, highly recommended.

Then we waddled our way back to the underground and made our way back to Beckton, loaded with Big boxes, back packs and a double Magnum of Jack Daniels.

It was a lovely weekend despite the fact that both of us are recovering from flu.
Kind of put a bit of a dampener on the weekend because we were both so tired, but never the less, still enjoyable.
It has pointed out that I really need to work on my fitness. I have plans for New York at the end of next year and want to make the most of it!!

AND HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

It’s been a rough week this week.
Not mentally, but physically.

I woke up this morning (at 10am!!) to storm damage across the town.
Apparently we had a pretty big storm last night, not that I really knew anything about it.
I’ve been battling a flu all week and it has been sitting in my ears making me quite deaf. I feel like I have my head in a bucket of water. I can hear myself talking and eating and I really have to have the TV turned up if I’m watching it, I have tinnitus that sounds like a whooshing constantly but other than that…. nothing. I can’t even hear myself tapping on the keyboard as I write this.
I believe this is a condition called Eustachian tube dysfunction and I’ve had it before.
Annoying as it is, it will eventually go away.

It all started last Thursday as I woke up to an irritation in my throat and nose. It felt like the start of a cold and nothing major. I did a lateral flow test that confirmed it wasn’t anything to worry about and I just got on with my day.
Friday was pretty much the same. It felt like a bad cold. LFT was negative, so I just got on with my day like I had a bad cold.

However, over the weekend things took a turn for the worse. My head felt like it was going to explode. It was all behind my eyes, in my ears, on my chest. Eyes streaming, nose streaming and I hurt all over. It was definitely a flu and not just a cold. LFT was still showing negative so definitely not COVID!

I have been off work all week and confirmed today that I would be off the rest of the week.
Things haven’t got any worse since Tuesday evening but I still feel rubbish and I’ve been sleeping a lot.
Apparently through a horrendous thunder storm that has wrecked the town and I’ve just found out that it’s brought the ceilings down at work so they’ve had to be re-located!

I’m hoping that by resting completely today and tomorrow, I will be well enough to at least enjoy my weekend.
I’m going away for a couple of days with Marjorie to London. She got me tickets to see ‘Back To The Future, The Musical’ for my birthday on Sunday afternoon. We have our usual hotel in Beckton booked for Saturday and Sunday nights and we return to Bedford on my birthday on Monday. None of it can be changed or refunded, so fingers crossed!

So it’s been a bit of a miserable week.
Plenty of time to catch up on some TV though. I’m currently working my way through S3 and S4 of The Handmaid’s Tale, before S5 starts in the UK this weekend.

Murron’s been cooking dinners, which is nice.
She doesn’t clear up afterwards, which is not so nice.
You win some, you lose some.
No news on the house move yet which is really frustrating but expected.

That’s it.
I’m going back to bed and back to my TV.
Hope your week has been better.

DISH OF THE WEEK # 83 – Adam Driver

It’s time to get back to some normality.
The last few months have been tumultuous but we are now settling down as a family and heading into a new future.

It is by no means over as we are in the process of buying a new home and moving.
This will hopefully be happening before Xmas, but as with everything to do with moving house, these things don’t always go to plan, or quickly
The mortgage is secure, despite the mini budget backfire.
The solicitor has done their searches and enquiries and we await their report.
The sitting tennants legally have until 17th Nov to move out.
We just await everything to fall into place before the next round of chaos starts.

So!
I am going to do something that I haven’t done in a long time.
A dish of the week.

I haven’t done one of these since March 1st 2020!!
For one reason or another, it just wasn’t the time or didn’t feel right.
So after having a bit of a crawl around the internet this evening, I thought it was about time I caught up with an old favourite.

Long time readers of my blog will know that I an a HUGE fan of Adam Driver, so it will come as no surprise that Dish of the Week # 83 is Adam Driver.

We were spoilt last year after lockdown with not one, but three Adam movies.
Annette, The last Duel and House of Gucci.

Three very different films with one of them a musical!!

Anyway, I have come to know that Adam likes to choose very different types of film and will often choose a film because of the director.
He has worked with Ridley Scott several times, Noah Baumbach several times, Jim Jarmousch several times, Terry Gilliam, Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese to name just a few.

There are currently 4 films listed for Adam Driver on IMDB.
White noise has completed filming and is being release at various film festivals right now.
65 is in post production and aiming for release in April 23.
Enzo Ferrari is currently filming with a very general date of 2023 for release
Megalopolis is in pre-production with no date given.

Adam is not afraid to give himself very different looks but he usually gets to keep his hair in some fashion.
He has just had a film released at the London film festival that see’s him in a suit to pad him out and give him a paunch.
White Noise, Directed by Noah Baumbach will get select theatre releases in Nov and will stream on Netflix at the end of December. However, it is not one of my favourite looks on him!!

IMDB states “At once hilarious and horrifying, lyrical and absurd, ordinary and apocalyptic, White Noise dramatizes a contemporary American family’s attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of love, death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world.”

Adam’s last outing with Noah Baumbach got him an Oscar nomination for best actor and judging by the trailer for White Noise, this film could be looking at some Oscar nods too. Fingers crossed.

65 is set for a release date of April 2023, and so far we have absolutely zip when it comes to pictures or trailers.
IMDB states “An astronaut crash lands on a mysterious planet only to discover he’s not alone.”
The only people listed in the credits are Adam and two young girls, Chloe Coleman and Ariana Greenblatt.
I know it’s a sci-fi movie and I know that dinosaurs are involved.
I know that it is in post production, and has been for quite some time because of the required special effects.
I know that I am intrigued.

Enzo Ferrari is currently filming in Italy and for this one, they have pushed the envelope when it comes to Adams look.
They have actually cut and dyed his hair, pinned his ears back and padded him out in places.

The film is about the life story of Italian sports car entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari.
Adam is a big man and I’m looking forward to seeing how they squeeze him into a Ferrari but I don’t think I will ever forgive them for cutting his hair!!

Megalopolis is in pre-production and currently has no release date.
IMDB states “An architect wants to rebuild New York City as a utopia following a devastating disaster”
It is a Francis Ford Coppola film and he wrote the script in the early 1980s but the film always took a backseat to his other projects. By the time he was ready to move into production in 2001, the September 11 attacks happened and shut the production down as the film is based in New York City and details the attempts of an architect to reconstruct a utopian version of the city following a mega-disaster.
I have no idea what part Adam will play in this movie, but he will be joined by Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Forest Whitaker, Aubrey Plaza, Nathalie Emmanuel and Shia LaBeouf to name a few.

Even though Adam likes to change his look for films, he always goes back to his usual red carpet look of ‘the man in black’ and his hair always recovers…. thankfully.

He remains a quiet and unashamed character.
He is getting better when it comes to red carpets but he clearly still hates them.
But I still love him.

SELF PRESERVATION MODE

I am very aware that I haven’t blogged any of my usual stuff for a while.
No film reviews or obsessions.
The fact is that there has been an awful lot going on over the last few months so my blogging has turned into more of a diary for a while. It’s quite therapeutic and it’s also a great way of keeping long distance family in on the loop of what’s been happening.

They say that some of the biggest stressors in life are the death of a spouse or loved one, moving house, finances/debt, and starting a new job.

Well in the last 8 months I have done all 4 and a bit more.
3 of them in the last 2 months alone!

I think I am currently in self preservation mode and trying to keep on top of everything and get my girls and myself sorted and settled into a new future before I have any kind of a break down, but fingers crossed I don’t.

Just over 8 months ago, I started a new job, and although a big stressor at the time, it has proved to be one of the best job moves I have ever made.
That same job is now one of the main reasons I am as ‘together’ as I am right now as it has been MORE than understanding about the last 2 months events and has meant that it has been at least one thing I have not had to worry about.

I suppose it all really started in June, when daughter number one, Murron and my grandson returned home after a relationship breakdown.
They are still sleeping on my dining room floor and I have had to write them an eviction notice to get things moving for them. That notice runs out on 16th Sept and I can see them going into emergency housing for a short while. It’s a horrible thing to have to do to your own kid but if we didn’t, she could be sleeping on my dining room floor indefinately as she is not a priority!! Makes me so mad.
At least me and Murron are in complete agreement that we couldn’t live together for good, so doing what is necessary has not been taken to heart.

July 5th to August 4th were a whirlwind with the passing of my husband Ian, and subsequent funeral.
This all had the knock on effect with finances.
The sudden loss of more than half our income.
How was I going to keep up with the rent?
How was I going to keep up with 2 loan payments that were ‘unfortunately’ in my name alone!!

Thankfully Ian had 2 over 50’s life policies that paid out very quickly and these helped deal with funeral costs and gave us a buffer for our current rental costs.
Ian also had his head screwed on when it came to his pension and work life insurance.
This has all but wiped out my financial concerns and is now helping us to a new future, and after long discussions with the 2 daughters who will be staying with me, we have decided that we would be better off financially if we owned our own property rather than rent.
We have been lucky enough to find the perfect property just around the corner from where we currently live.
Same distance from my Mum and Dad, same local amenities, so no change in anything other than the address.
Our offer has been accepted and now we face the agonizing wait for all the ‘legal’ stuff to go through and hope that nothing happens to make the sale fall through.

Luckily we do not have a chain and neither does the house we are buying.
The money from Ian has given us a sizeable deposit and I have a small mortgage in principle.
My concern now is ‘actually’ being accepted for that mortgage when they do hard search with the credit agencies as the 2 loans that I have just settled could take up to 6 weeks to clear!!
The bank are fully aware of this as they made adjustments when they did the soft search. I have provided all the necessary proof that the loans are paid and I now just await my full application video call on the 7th to find out for sure.

Once I have my mortgage, it’s then all in the hands of the solicitors.
Until I have signed a contract and paid the deposit I am trying not to get too excited.
Of course, once I have done that, there is a whole new set of things to worry about like ‘actually’ moving!! and having a big enough crossover period that I can clean and put right a few things in the house we are currently renting before I hand the keys back.

It’s never ending!!
I am kind of looking forward to a time, in hopefully the not too distant future, where I can sit down and process everything that has happened this year.
Nothing financially going wrong, the move done and dusted, Murron sorted and in her own place, back to work, time to just enjoy the new house and make it ours and sit and think of Ian occasionally.
Nothing actually going wrong for a change.

Nearly there.