Well here we are… and today sees two weeks since we moved back into our home in Shotley Bridge.
Our last day in Vancouver was a lovely warm and sunny one and to make the most of the time we had available before we flew we headed to Steveston. A small fishing town on the south side of Vancouver, it is a place we have enjoyed happy times previously. It was lovely to be back there, especially as there has been some considerable redevelopment, the town is growing and thriving where we had previously seen decline.
We enjoyed a stroll around the park, developed on reclaimed land where the salmon canneries used to stand, the grass has been sown with wild flowers which were in full bloom adding to the summery feel. At last the damp dull days seem to have disappeared.
We headed for the airport in good time as we had a LOT of luggage and needed to enlist the help of the porter service to get it from the hire car to check in.
Unfortunately when we got to check in it was to discover our 9.40 take off was delayed until 2.30am … ugh!
Frantic e-mails to the family at home who were due to collect us ensued. Thank goodness YVR has free internet access. Our main concern was to be on the connecting flight to Newcastle otherwise we would not be able to fly until Wednesday morning arriving at Newcastle airport at about the same time the removal men would be delivering our furniture to the house!
Thankfully despite delays we arrived at our son’s home at 11.30pm Tuesday night. We had been in transit 23hrs – flying for 9 hrs and 50 minutes…. a very long 24 hrs.
Wednesday morning the adrenalin kicked in as we drove to Shotley Bridge and our house. We found that 3 years of having tenants in had left it in need of some re decoration and with plenty of cleaning to be done. We set to while awaiting the delivery van.
With little or no cell phone signal and no land line Robert drove a mile or so from the house around 11.45 to ring the removal company who had not turned up. They had been delayed looking for our sofas, the same sofas they had delivered to our sons house last October! Once they realised their mistake they were soon with us but so was the rain. A torrential rain storm gave them time for a cup of tea before off loading the vehicle. Typically British workmen need lots of tea….
It wasn’t long before the North East segment of the family had visited and Ebony decided she must have a sleep over. This was a good idea as we hope she will spend the best part of 2 weeks with us soon when holiday club is on holiday (?) We made a pact that if we had got over our jet lag and were straight enough she could come the following Friday (which is now last Friday).
Having made an assault on the local DIY store we were armed with all the paint we needed to freshen up the first two rooms we wanted to tackle. Robert went to work on the lounge ceiling while I rubbed down paintwork in the lounge and small bedroom.
By Friday we were ready for a rest, picked up Ebony and had a fun evening together. We had a few tears at bedtime but having tired herself out running up and sliding down the stairs between our 3 floors she was soon asleep. Saturday was probably the sunniest day we have had since we returned so we set off with Ebony to visit the farmers market at Gibside.
Ebony’s’ school had visited earlier in the year to do a spot of seed planting. She was soon able to find her patch where we were delighted to find beetroot growing tall and strong!
After browsing the stalls and a snack in the cafe the climbing frame castle beckoned but Grumps was too tall!
Back at base on Sunday the painting and cleaning continued. I made a start on the garden which has matured a little since we left it. It was hard to see exactly where I had been but there were 3 bags of pruning’s and weeds ready to be transported to the tip when I had finished.
We began to think about retrieving the rest of our belongings from Nuneaton (Mum and Dad Hills house) trying to tie in a few days with Elizabeth, Alistair and Melissa in Plymouth too. It looked like flying visits everywhere until we had the bright idea of Plymouth coming to visit us instead of us visiting them… Yeah…. the reply was positive and we are all very excited for their trip up North very soon.
Today, Thursday 26th was to be a red letter day, our land line and internet were to be connected. We were both very impatient for this to happen as cell signal is not so good in our little corner. Getting mobile (cell) phones sorted gave us limited connectivity and we were missing our Wi-Fi especially with so many things needing to be set up. An engineer had to call at the house we were told.. 24hrs before he was due we got a text message to say he did not need to come, our equipment was with Royal Mail and we would be notified when we were live. Wednesday night I dreamt the post lady arrived with an empty van, I so hoped this would be incorrect.
At breakfast Thursday morning we received text messages to say we were ‘live’ Robert scuttled off and found our old hand sets, plugged in and we tested the number. Nothing! Oh no….. I texted them back and said ‘OH NO WE ARE NOT’ it seemed to work as within a few minutes the telephone was working. Postie duly arrived with the new equipment and as I write this we are ready to plug in our modem and go live on broadband.
So if you are reading this….. it worked!
PS – It didn’t – well not until I rebooted the modem that is!
Ooops! In all my excitement I forgot to give you the link to the new blog for our UK adventures. In future I will be found at http://roadvoyager2.wordpress.com/ take a look and save the page for next time….