Back home….

Young Lady of the House and I have just returned from a short trip last week to London. It was partly Charity Board Meeting and partly pleasure. The journey south was a 4 1/2 hour, on-time  journey by Virgin Pendolino Train, and thankfully you can specify a ‘Quiet’ coach, where mobiles are forbidden. Staff were courteous, and information helpful…to be recommended.

I had stayed at the Kensington Close Hotel  over thirty years ago, and it had retained its glory, even clad with scaffolding. Accomodation was adequate, but the continental breakfast was just not worth the extra money (not included in the rate)….it would have been better to have found a little local cafe, but of course we could not be bothered.

That evening we went walking on Kensington High Street, and found an excellent restaurant named Carluccio’s. The food and attention were excellent, and it was only later that we discovered it was owned by Antonio Carluccio, the TV Chef. A walk along to the beautifully-lit Albert hall and Albert Memorial finished off a lovely evening.

The meeting took up most of the next day and returning to the hotel found us caught-up in the problems of the Central Subway Line closed off with no real warning, and jammed carriages on all other lines. The evening saw us drawn to another Italian Restaurant but it employed rip-off techniques to extract a lot of money for an average meal…it was our fault, we should have looked at the prices outside.

On Thursday we booked-out and walked to the V and A Museum….free entry for a suggested donation. Too big to take in on one visit, but the beautifully-decorated restaurant is to be recommended. Along to Harrods, where we had to leave any cases or bags, at a charge of £3 per bag, and £1 per coat! We saw the lovely statue dedicated to Dodi and Princess Di (Subtitled ‘The Innocent Victims’), and then tramped through some of the famous halls, feeling distinctly scruffy and under-dressed! The amount of beautiful furniture kept implying that our house should be torn down and re-built with a new vision. The Arcade proved a bit of fun with a return to a childhood delight in large teddies, telephone-box savings-banks, pencil-cases, chocolate, t-shirts with views of London, and of course the famous Harrods shopping-bags. 

A superb pixzza at The Spaghetti House and another on-time trip north by Virgin trains finished an interesting if exhausting trip south……but it was indeed super to get back to the relative peace of North of the Border.

A strange feeling!

So, just after our 43rd Wedding Anniversary,Young Lady of the House, and I are officially moving into semi-retirement. Last Friday,  we closed the shop where we have provided a local service for the last 13 years. There were other places before that, since 1984, but this had been the first one where we to be exposed to the ‘walk-in’ general public.

We’re not retiring, just moving back to our house, and providing a peripatetic service….(if you don’t know what it means…shame on you!). This meant that we had to sort out all the ‘stuff’ we had gathered in our offices over all the years, as well as records which we felt we just ‘had to keep’. This had to be compressed into one room, while still having everything available for instant access, as the phone calls and faxes are still coming-in.

Unfortunately the e-mails are not…..aaaaaarrrrgggghhh!

Our computer specialist has been in this evening and has found our lovely computer to be full of errors….so will have it tomorrow to clean it out and reload.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as we don’t HAVE to be up early in the morning, we don’t have to be available immediately to all and sundry who want me to do things they should be doing themselves, we don’t have the cost of insurance, heating, lighting, advertising, unwanted phone selling etc. We will still be able to provide the vast majority of the service we have provided recently but in a more relaxed way. I will still have to go out to my patients, some at a distance, but I can fit it into a day-trip with the Young Lady of the House, to some of the lovely parts of Scotland.

……..we’re really looking forward to all that…..once we can get the 15 boxes of stuff cleared and put away somewhere, where we can find them again!

…………….TO BE CONTINUED……….