2018-01-30 – Preparing to go on holiday (again).

I spend the day preparing to go on holiday (again). My wife re-packs the suitcases and I weigh them to make sure each case weighs less than 20 kilos.

My wife goes to work, and I walk the dog (twice), split a few logs, fill the log basket and then oil the kitchen worktops so that the oil has a good long time to soak into the wood.

I have a minor panic when I discover that I have reserved parking at the wrong terminal, but a quick phone call to the parking company reassures me that it shouldn’t present us with any problems.  I double-check that we have all of the necessary paperwork and documents – passport, flight vouchers, boarding passes, accommodation vouchers and parking voucher – all present and correct!  Let the holiday begin!

2018-01-29 – Even lazier!

I have an even lazier day today.  I decide to go to see my doctor about my eye, which is still irritated and swollen, so I take the dog for an early walk before heading off to the doctor’s surgery at Aldborough.  The doctor examines my eyes, can’t see any reason for the irritation and prescribes me some ointment, telling me to come back tomorrow if there’s no improvement.

I spend much of the rest of the day sitting on the sofa in our lounge replying to emails and messages on social media.  I take time out to walk the dog again, bring a basket of logs in from the back garden and light the fire.  I’m not naturally lazy, although it might sound like it to you, but I’m still recovering from last week (a night with practically no sleep, followed by the exertion of changing a large wheel at the roadside) as well as trying to rest the sore muscles in my right side, which are still a little sore and uncomfortable.

Tremor isn’t quite as bad as it has been over the last few days, but it is still there.  Voice still weak and husky.

2018-01-28 – A brief shopping trip.

A lazy Sunday begins with a brief shopping trip to North Walsham for my wife to buy some clothing and for me to grab a couple of bottles of beer from Lidl, and a bottle of Optrex from Sainsbury’s.

When we get back home, my wife decides to wash both of our cars, so I occupy myself by splitting a few logs and preparing a load of kindling.  I also take the dog for her afternoon walk, and then try rinsing my irritated eye with the Optrex.

Tremor remains in left leg and right arm, my voice is weak and husky, and I still have muscular pain in my right side.  My eye is feeling a little better, though, so that’s positive news!

2018-01-27 – New tyres.

This morning I have to take my car to have two new tyres fitted.  Only one of them got shredded on the way to the airport on Thursday, but they have to be replaced as a pair, so that makes it a very expensive blowout!

Having emptied my wallet, I return to Southrepps, where a rather chilly house prompts me to clean out the woodburner, split a basket full of logs and light the fire.

I’m still feeling very tired from having less than an hour of sleep on Wednesday night, and also suffering several little niggles that I’m hoping are just related to the physical effort of changing a large tyre at the side of the road, and the resultant fatigue.  It feels like I have pulled a muscle in my side, so I’m trying to take things easy so that I don’t aggravate it. I seem to have got something in my left eye, which is causing me some mild irritation and has made my eyelid swollen, so I’ll pop along to see one of the nurses at the doctors surgery on Monday, if it doesn’t work its way out in the meantime.  I know that my tremor has been all over the place the last couple of days – left leg and right arm today.  I’m not going to make any adjustments to my device just now, though – I’m hoping that it will settle down as I recover from lack of sleep and over-exertion.

2018-01-26 – Extremely tired.

I’m still extremely tired after our disastrous day yesterday, but I haven’t got plans to do very much today in any case.  My main task of the day is to complete the travel insurance claim form so that were get some money back for having to abandon our holiday.  There are a few questions on the claim form that I don’t know how to answer, so I call the company that is dealing with the claim and ask their advice.  I also have to chase up Green Flag to provide me with evidence that they had attended our breakdown, but soon I have a wad of printed documentation ready to send off with the completed claim form, so I bundle it all up, stick it in an envelope and post it off.

More printing of documents takes place this afternoon, as I make sure that we we have all of the necessary paperwork ready for our (re-booked) holiday next week.

I split a few logs for the fire, and intended to split enough to last until we go away, but I underestimated my fatigue and couldn’t even manage to split enough for the weekend.  Left sided tremor is prevalent today, affecting both my arm and leg, and my eyes are so tired that I am fighting a constant battle to keep them open.  I do believe another early night is on the cards!

2018-01-25 – A blowout!

We should, by now, be in Marsa Alam in Egypt, on the Red Sea.  We got out of bed in the middle of the night to drive to Gatwick airport to catch our flight at 8.10am.  So why are we sitting in Southrepps in front of a blazing fire, preparing to watch an episode of Suits on Netflix?  Because I drive an old Porsche, that’s why.  So, when I have a blowout halfway through the journey, I cursed a little (as you do) but got on with the job of changing the shredded tyre with the wonderful space-saver spare wheel.  It was only then that I realised that the space-saver needed to be inflated, and there was no pump in the car.   I assume that there was once a pump, but at some point in my car’s long history it has been removed!  We then had to wait for three hours at the side of the road for a Green Flag patrol to come to our assistance, by which time we were too late to catch our flight…  Long story short, we drove back home, rang our insurance company to claim for our lost holiday, booked the car in for new tyres, and re-booked our holiday for next week.  Now I’m extremely tired and I’m off to bed!

2018-01-24 – More holiday preparation.

More holiday preparation today, so I spend the morning checking us in online for our flight to Marsa Alam, printing out all of the necessary paperwork to take with us, and going through my checklist to ensure that we don’t forget anything.

We like to oil the kitchen worktops when we go on holiday because it gives the oil a chance to soak into the wood, so I move everything (and there is quite a lot) off the work surface and stack it on the dining table, and then apply a liberal coat of linseed oil to the oak worktops.

The dog is pestering me to take her for a walk (even though it hasn’t stopped raining all day) so I take her for a soggy trudge around the field.

Personal grooming is next on the agenda, so I get the hair clippers, retire to the bathroom, give myself a nice close haircut, have a shave, cut my nails, have a bath and (finally) clean up after myself.

Just a few gadgets and chargers to pack in the suitcase now, and we’re all set!

2018-01-23 – Admin tasks.

I have some admin tasks to do this morning so, after taking the dog for her morning walk, I sit on the sofa with the phone and my MacBook and try to sort out the insurance renewal for my wife’s soft furnishing business, transfer money between bank accounts (that I should have done months ago), tax my car, and make an appointment at the dental hospital to have a broken tooth extracted (eek!).

I have been meaning to give my grubby car a wash for some time now, so I take the opportunity to do so while it’s not raining.  The car is very grubby indeed, and it takes me almost 2 hours to wash it and leather it dry.  It really needs a coat of wax, but I simply don’t have the energy to do it today.

I take the dog for another walk and bump into one of my neighbours who asks me to help him put up a light fitting in his house that he can’t manage on his own.  Naturally I agree and, after putting the dog inside, I go across the road to help him.  The light fitting is large but not too heavy, and I don’t have any difficulty (at first) holding it while my neighbour fastens the securing screws.  After I have been holding the light fitting above my head for as minute or so, I’m feeling the pain and strain in my weak arm muscles, and I’m very glad when my neighbour declares that he has finished securing it.  I retire to our little cottage to recuperate, and then (before it gets too dark) split some logs, fill the log basket, vacuum downstairs and light the fire.

2018-01-22 – Preparing two weekly vlogs.

I am still preparing to be away from home for a week when we fly to Egypt for a holiday, snorkelling in the Red Sea, so today I am preparing two weekly vlogs so that I can maintain my schedule of publishing them on my YouTube channel every Friday.  I finish scripting the second of these vlogs this morning, and then set up the camera, tripod, lighting and teleprompter so that I can film myself.  The first of these videos is about DBS and speech problems, which is kind of ironic given the problems that I am currently experiencing.  My neurostimulator is still using group “A” settings, which I switched to yesterday because my voice was getting me down.  My voice isn’t as bad as it was yesterday, but I still have a multitude of problems when I’m filming myself, and have to do countless re-takes.  The second vlog is about swallowing problems with Parkinson’s, and I manage to film that one without quite so many problems.  I transfer all of the raw footage to my MacBook and make a start on the editing, taking a break to take the dog for a walk just as it starts to get dark.

I had hoped to finish both of these videos today, but it just isn’t going to happen…  I manage to finish the first one, and upload it to my YouTube channel ready to publish it on Friday – I’ll do the second one tomorrow!

I split some logs, fill the log basket and light the fire just as my wife arrives home from work.

2018-01-21 – Preparing to go on holiday

I spend today preparing to go on holiday, so I research and script the next two of my weekly vlogs (well, I actually finish one of them, and make a good start on the second), and I select some t-shirts, shorts, swimming trunks and a couple of baseball caps to be packed in the suitcase.

It’s freezing cold here today, and it has even snowed a little bit, so I clean the woodburner, split a few logs, fill the log basket, light the fire and run the vacuum cleaner around downstairs.

I take the dog for her afternoon walk, and then settle down in front of the fire for the evening.  Tremor is fairly well under control today, but my voice is rubbish again, so I try changing my neurostimulator settings to group “A” to see if that helps.  It does help a little bit, but I’m still not happy with the way that I sound – I’ll leave it on group “A” settings for the moment and see how my voice is in the morning.

2018-01-20 – Firing it up.

We are going to my wife’s eldest son’s house this morning.  We bought him a small gas forge for his birthday – a strange gift, I know, but that’s what he wanted because he wants to make a set of kitchen knives!  This morning he is going to be firing it up for the first time, and I volunteered to film it and make a video to publish on YouTube.  We arrive, he fires it up, I film the process, everyone is happy.  I will edit the video and publish it when we return from our week’s holiday in Egypt.

We take our leave of the family and drive to Tesco in Sprowston to get some currency, some milk and a couple of beers, and then we head back to Southrepps.

My wife has to go out again, to visit a potential customer for her soft furnishings business, so I fill the log basket, light the fire and take the dog for her afternoon walk before it gets dark.

2018-01-19 – Well ahead with the script…

I expected to be well ahead with the script for my weekly vlog today, having done some research and scripting yesterday, but I’m not ready to start filming until gone 1pm.  I change my neurostimulator settings over to group “A” because these settings don’t affect my voice quite so much, but I still have quite a number of re-takes because I’m dissatisfied with the way that I sound.

I finish filming, transfer the footage to my MacBook and am ready to start editing just before 3pm.  The dog comes first, though, so we go for our afternoon exercise before I get stuck in.

I finish editing the video and have uploaded it to YouTube by the time my wife gets home from work.  I have also got the logs in, lit the fire and vacuumed downstairs, so I’m set for a lazy evening in front of the telly with a beer, some cannabis and my wonderful wife.

2018-01-18 – Interference from mother nature.

My car is booked in for a replacement thermostat at Autowerke this morning, so I’m up and dressed and out of the house by 7am, which would normally be plenty early enough for me to drive the 20 miles to the outskirts of Norwich by 8am.  I hadn’t reckoned on interference from mother nature, though.  We had high winds during the night (which I managed to sleep right through), and there were several big trees lying across the road, that had been brought down by the gales.  It took me almost an hour to drive as far as Aylsham – normally a 15 minute drive – and I didn’t get to the garage until nearly 8.30.

Thankfully the mechanic didn’t mind my lateness, and just got on with the job.

My return journey was a lot easier and quicker, because the emergency services had cleared the roads, and I’m back home in Southrepps with a mug of tea in my hands by the time PopMaster comes on the radio.

I fill the log basket from the stack of logs that I split yesterday, light the fire (because I’m feeling cold again) and then get on with researching and scripting my weekly vlog, which is about temporomandibular joint disorder in Parkinson’s Disease.

My wife and I are joining her sons and families for a fish and chips dinner this evening – it’s her eldest son’s 31st birthday today – so, my wife gets home from work early and we head over to Hevingham to join in with the celebrations.

2018-01-17 – Still suffering.

I’m still suffering from overdoing things on Monday, so the muscles in my legs and arms are extremely stiff, weak and painful.

I resolve to do some of the admin work that I have on my “To Do” list so that I can sit on the sofa and take it easy.

Before I get settled, I walk the dog and split a load of logs – enough to fill the log basket, plus enough to last us tomorrow (and possibly the day after!).  I definitely need to sit down and recover after that!

I do a little research for this week’s vlog, reply to a few messages that I’ve received on social media, and then call a physiotherapy centre in Hellesdon that specialises in neurological disorders to see what they have to offer.  I really struggle to make myself heard and understood, so I know that my voice is really rubbish again.  I’m told that one of the physiotherapists will call me back to discuss.  I’m still waiting.

I light the woodburner because I’m feeling chilly, although I know that the house really isn’t that cold – inactivity makes me feel colder than I actually am.  Tremor has returned to my left leg, but not in a big way.  Everything seems insignificant next to the muscular pain I have at the moment, though.  I take a little cannabis this evening to take my mind off it.

2018-01-16 – Aching muscles.

I’m paying the price for my exertions of yesterday, repairing the electrical supply to my wife’s workshop.  The muscles in my arms and legs are stiff and painful today, and I moan and groan in pain and discomfort every time I move my aching muscles.

I stagger around the field with the dog this morning, and then empty and clean the woodburner, split a basket full of logs, vacuum downstairs and light the fire.

Apart from taking the dog for her afternoon walk, I don’t stir from my seat on the sofa in front of the fire (other than to chuck a couple more logs on) for the rest of the day.  Interestingly, my tremor has been totally under control in spite of my general fatigue – it usually becomes more of problem when I’m tired and aching.  My voice (although about the only time I use it is to talk to the dog) is also not as bad as it has been of late.

2018-01-15 – Thrown into disarray.

I planned to try and cross a few things off my “To Do” list today, but my plans are thrown into disarray by a crisis – my wife rings me mid-morning to say that she has had a complete power failure in her workshop and can’t do any work.  I walk the dog, sort out a few electrical tools, get in my car and drive over to Hevingham to see what can be done.  I end up having to drive to Toolstation in Norwich to get something to repair the main power cable to the workshop, which appears to have been damaged somehow…  My wife helps me to effect the repair (in the rain!) and then I head back to Southrepps to take the dog for her afternoon walk, split some logs, fill the log basket, light the fire and vacuum downstairs.

I do manage to cross one item off my list – I ring Autowerke and book my car in to have a new thermostat fitted this Thursday morning at 8am, so I’ll be up bright and early on Thursday!

I have a large amount of pain at the moment – sciatica is rearing it’s ugly head.  I’ll have to try some exercises to try to alleviate it.  Tremor is back again (left leg) but very mild.  Voice is still rubbish.

2018-01-14 – The car remains grubby!

I am up first this morning (for a change) so I make the tea/coffee and empty the dishwasher while my wife has an extra few minutes of well-deserved sleep.  I really should wash my car today – it’s looking extremely grubby – but I can’t seem to summon up the energy to do so.  The car remains grubby!

I walk the dog and then spend some time reviewing my son’s blog and correcting any grammatical errors, and responding to a couple of emails that have arrived overnight.  My wife decides to clear out the conservatory, while I split a load of logs and light the woodburner.

I’m aching from my exertions yesterday, and my voice is very weak and soft today, although my tremor is much more under control.  The only time that my voice has been anywhere close to acceptable (to my ears) this week was when I was filming myself for my weekly vlog on Friday, and I changed my device over to use group “A” settings.  Group “A” settings offer me a clearer voice, but inferior tremor control.  Sometimes it’s difficult to decide which is the lesser of two evils, but at least I do have a choice!

2018-01-13 – Fence panels.

Today my wife and I are going over to Hevingham to help her youngest son replace some fence panels in the garden that got damaged in the recent high winds.  So, after I take the dog for her morning walk and drink a couple of mugs of tea, we head over there.

I help my wife’s son, his wife and his dad while my wife looks after our youngest granddaughter.  Its quite a straightforward job really, and we have finished it in a couple of hours.   A couple of hours of work is enough to knock me out these days, and I’m looking forward to getting back home, lighting the fire and having a bit of a sit down.

My wife takes the dog out when were get back to Southrepps, while I split a few logs, fill the log basket and light the fire.  That’s me finished for the day – literally and figuratively!

2018-01-12 – Uncommon symptoms.

I have no idea what I am going to vlog about this week, so my first task of the day is to scan all of the Parkinson’s related websites and Facebook groups looking for some inspiration.  I finally decide to talk about uncommon symptoms of PD, prompted by an uncommon symptom that I have been experiencing for well over a year – the tendency for me to bite the inside of my mouth when eating – very painful, and it’s currently making my life a misery.

I have several interruptions to the filming and editing of my vlog – my daughter calls me from York on FaceTime for a chat, my son calls me from Melbourne on FaceTime for a chat, and one of my neighbours drops in to discuss a local planning issue – so my schedule is well and truly out of the window.  I eventually finish editing just after we have eaten dinner, and publish it just before bedtime.

2018-01-11 – A delivery of logs.

I’m up bright (ish) and early (ish) because I’m expecting a delivery of logs first thing this morning.  Sure enough, the lorry pulls up outside our cottage at 8.15am, and then proceeds to block the high street for 10 minutes whilst the driver offloads a huge bag containing 2 cubic metres of hardwood logs, which he puts in the road by the gate that leads to my back garden.  I start moving the logs from the road in a wheelbarrow and stack them against the flint wall at the bottom of our garden.  I have moved a little over half of them when my next door neighbour appears and insists on helping me move and stack the remainder, which was very much appreciated!

I light the fire, and soon the house is feeling nicely warm and cosy.

I’m aching a little (well, a lot, actually) and my speech is slurred and indistinct from my exertions this morning so, after taking the dog for her second walk of the day, the rest of the afternoon is spent sitting on the sofa, warming my bones in front of the woodburner.

2018-01-10 – Fail!

I spend a large amount of time trying to install a replacement hard disk in my MacBook today.  I fail umpteen times, and end up putting my old drive back into it.  I really need to upgrade my MacBook to something a little bit faster and more up to date, but I will carry on with what I have got – at least until after we get back from holiday next month.

I receive an email confirming our delivery of logs tomorrow morning, so I spend some time (between dog walks) cleaning out the wood burning stove and preparing a basket full of kindling.  I also vacuum downstairs, because I’ve made a bit of a mess!

We have a few of the inferior heatlogs (that I bought in the garden centre in Overstrand the other day) so I light the fire just before 5pm.

2018-01-09 – A certain amount of pressure.

I’m feeling under a certain amount of pressure at the moment.   I have two video projects in progress that I really need to finish off – one is editing my neighbour’s safari holiday video (payment in kind for a video camera that he gave to me), and the other is my wife’s youngest son’s wedding video (which I had hoped to finish before Christmas, but didn’t!).

My Macbook is fast running out of disk space, so I need to back it up to an external hard drive so that I can install a larger disk drive in my MacBook.  Sounds straightforward enough, but I was trying to back it up yesterday afternoon (and failed), so I try again today.

This time I’m successful, but it does take me all day to accomplish.  I’ll leave the installation of the new disk drive until tomorrow – should be straightforward… (famous last words!).

2018-01-08 – The Parkinson’s nurse.

My wife and I have an appointment with the Parkinson’s nurse at 9am, so we get up at a reasonable time and I take the dog for a quick walk while my wife makes the tea/coffee and the Nutriblasts.

We are out of the door by 8.40am and arrive at the cottage hospital in North Walsham bang on schedule.  The nurse listens to our concerns (muscle weakness, balance issues and lack of motivation) and actually comes up with some good suggestions (which is unusual).  I was particularly impressed that she knew about forced exercise (which I covered in last week’s vlog) and was also able to offer me forced exercise through a referral to their physiotherapy department which, she told us, she would request for me as a matter of urgency.  She also picked up on my voice issues, and is going to refer me for some speech therapy which should address my vocal problems and also swallowing problems (which have started to become more of a problem of late).   We left the hospital feeling much more positive than we had when we arrived, and I just hope that there isn’t too much of a waiting list for the proposed referrals.

My wife departs for work, and I depart for Lidl in Cromer to see if they have got any heatlogs (they have sold out of them in their North Walsham branch) but Cromer branch have also run out!  It’s just typical that we have to wait until Thursday for our log delivery just as the weather turns cold again…  I drive back to Southrepps via the garden centre in Overstrand and grab a bag of heatlogs from there (inferior quality and higher price than Lidl, but needs must).

I light the fire at 3pm (having put it off for as long as possible) and take the dog for her afternoon stroll.

2018-01-07 – Keeping out of the way.

I don’t do very much at all today.  We make up for an early start yesterday, and lie-in until almost 10am. My wife’s brother and his family are dropping in to see us later on today (with Christmas presents) so my wife wants to clean and tidy the house before they arrive.  She also wants to catch up with the tasks that she would have performed yesterday, had she not been working.  My main task today, therefore, is keeping out of the way and not getting under her feet!

I sort out the woodburner, laying the fire ready to light later on this afternoon, and then I fill the log basket with the heatlogs that my wife bought back from Lidl yesterday evening.

I vacuum downstairs, light the fire and then take the dog for her afternoon walk just before our visitors are due to arrive.

My voice isn’t too bad today and I’m not slurring as much as usual, so conversation isn’t too embarrassing for me.  Tremor is still there (in my left leg) but not troubling me unduly.   My main discomfort today is muscular rigidity, and I find it very difficult (and painful) to move around too much – that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it!

2018-01-06 – No lie-ins today!

My wife is working this morning, so there are no lie-ins today!  While she is out I make myself useful – walk the dog (twice), take the recycling out ready for collection on Monday, connect up one of the new Calor gas cylinders to the manifold, clean the woodburner, light the fire and vacuum downstairs.

When she arrives back home, we take down the Christmas decorations (it’s twelfth night), pack them away in boxes and stick them up in the loft again until next December.

While my wife cooks our dinner, I post some links to my weekly vlog on Instagram and Twitter, and then we settle down in front of the fire (with a beer for me) to watch a couple of episodes of Suits on Netflix.

2018-01-05 – Some researching to do.

I jump out of bed early (for a change) and go downstairs to make the tea/coffee and give the dog her breakfast.  I haven’t decided on a subject for my weekly vlog as yet, so I have some researching to do.  I decide to make a video about the effects of exercise on Parkinson’s Disease progression, so I start reading articles and writing a script as soon as I return from the morning dog walk.

Filming is a bit of a trial because my voice keeps letting me down by strangling my sentences.  In the end I decide to change my neurostimulator over to Group ‘A’ settings to see if that makes a difference – it does, and I finish the filming with much less hassle, changing back to Group ‘B’ settings again once I have finished (better tremor control, but worse voice).

The Calor gas delivery arrives, and I stash the full cylinders in their enclosure in the back garden.

The dog and I take our afternoon walk (in the rain) and then I light the woodburner because I’m feeling chilly.

I have finished editing my vlog and have uploaded it to my YouTube channel and published it by the time my wife returns home from work.

2018-01-04 – A few things to sort out.

I have a few things to sort out today, but I’m suffering the dreaded lack of motivation at the moment, and I’m struggling to make myself do even the most basic of tasks.

The dog gets me out for a wet and muddy traipse around the field (which I definitely didn’t feel like doing) and then I get the Calor gas empties out from the gas store ready for the delivery tomorrow.  I renew my car insurance (I couldn’t find a better price than that offered by my existing insurers) and then notice that my phone and broadband bill has suddenly doubled in price – my discounted deal must have come to an end and they have put me onto their standard tariff without notifying me.  I’m so annoyed that I immediately send their customer service people a snotty email inviting them to call me to “discuss”, and start looking for an alternative service provider.

I contact the log supplier that I placed my order with yesterday, hoping to get a delivery before the weekend, but they can’t deliver anything to me before next Thursday (which is a bit of a bummer).  I expect I’ll be picking up some more little bags of logs from the garden centre tomorrow…

My wife arrives home from work and I cook the dinner (for a change).  Then it’s time for a beer, some cannabis and some telly (not necessarily in that order).

2018-01-03 – Not feeling very motivated.

I’m not feeling very motivated today.   The weather is damp and miserable, which doesn’t help.

The company that I tried to order some logs from yesterday have been in touch by email this morning, so I place my order online (as instructed) and keep my fingers crossed that they can deliver by the weekend.  The house feels chilly, so I decide to drive to the local garden centre in Overstrand and buy a couple of small bags of logs so that I can light the fire.  I would have also bought a sack of food for the dog, but they were out of stock – typical!

I light the fire as soon as I get back home, and then take the dog for her afternoon stroll.  I really need to check car insurance premiums, because my car insurance expires tomorrow.  My existing insurance company has quoted me a very reasonable price for renewal (which is most unusual these days) but I still want to make sure that I’m getting a good deal.  I spend the rest of the afternoon comparing insurance premiums online!

2018-01-02 – Relative normality.

Back to relative normality today.  My wife leaves for work, and I consult (and add to) my list of things that I need to do.

I receive an email from the holiday company confirming the holiday in Egypt that I booked online last night (which is good!), and I follow some advice from a traveller’s review on Tripadvisor and book an Egyptian taxi firm for our airport transfers at a fraction of the cost quoted by the holiday company.

I (at long last) prepare an invoice (for tasks I performed at The Executor’s request) and email it to the solicitors who are Executors of my late next door neighbour’s will (that one has been on my list for at least 3 or 4 months – crossed off with a vengeance!).

I order some Calor gas cylinders (for my boiler) and then try to order some firewood (and fail – they are still closed until the end of the week).

I get the last of the logs in from the back garden, and light the woodburner – the last fire we’ll be having this week, I’m guessing!

2018-01-01 – New Year’s Day.

Happy New Year – best wishes for an amazing 2018!

It’s New Year’s Day and my wife wants to make some progress with the house – I can’t say that I really blame her, we moved into the cottage almost 3 years ago (before I had finished renovating it) and I’ve not made very much progress since we moved in.  Today we are putting pictures up on the lounge walls (as well as one or two on the landing), and I have to say that it does make the place feel more homely.

I finish my holiday investigations and book a week in Egypt (Marsa Alam on the Red Sea coast) and we then sit and watch YouTube videos of the hotel and surroundings, and start getting excited about going there.

2017-12-31 – New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve, and I spend most of my day looking at last-minute holiday bargains online.   My mum gave me £1,000 for my birthday last year so that we could use it to go on holiday, and we just haven’t got around to doing anything about it as yet.  We usually like to go somewhere warm for a week while the weather is cold in the UK – I don’t see the point in leaving behind the British summer, we might as well stay here and enjoy what little sunshine we do get!  By the time I have finished browsing, we have narrowed our choices down to one or two resorts around the Red Sea in Egypt, so now all I have to do is find the best possible deal!

We are supposed to be setting in the new year with my wife’s sons and families, so we head over to Hevingham when were have had our dinner.  By 10.30pm, most people have departed to put children to bed, and it feels like we are keeping people up!  My wife and I return to Southrepps at 11pm, open a couple of beers and see 2018 in together.