Friday 23 February
After our ferry crossing, we come across lots of traffic on our journey south specially around M5 south at Birmingham, we are getting used to it now though. Overnight at Winersh after dinner with Flic & Gary.
Saturday 24 February
Cody is teething so not good at night; as a result Flic & Gary are not going out so we all have dinner at Prezzos in Woodley after a lunch near Henley.
Never make it into Henley though as too much traffic and parking would have been a nightmare.
Sunday 25 February
Breakfast in Henry Street Garden centre – could have been a bit warmer but still good. Gary & Flic off to house area hunt around Evesham whilst we go south to Andover and a visit to Jose in her new Retirement Home.
Her son, David, has been staying with her for a couple of weeks as she has been unwell recently and had also spent some time with daughter, Linda, in Derbyshire for a couple of weeks beforehand.
She was managing well though if a bit forgetful but did remember that Gary had been finishing off the Steam engine for David’s daughter, Emma. He is having difficulty sourcing a part unfortunately.
Gary does some painting and is, with the help of a friend, setting up a website to showcase the paintings so as I had my main camera with me, I was asked to take a few photos – they are good paintings.
Monday 26 February
A morning looking after Cody whilst Flic goes on a training walk in advance of her walk later in March to get fit and raise funds for the baby unit at Reading hospital who helped her at the time of Cody’s difficult birth.
Boy is it cold as we set off at lunchtime for our house at Clearwell in the Forest of Dean stopping en-route for some replacement crockery as we know what some of what we have there is chipped and we probably don’t have a full set.
Get held up in a traffic queue just the England side of the M48 Severn Crossing Bridge as a car has come off an overpass of the Motorway just after the river bridge and landed on the Motorway.
We were stationary for over an hour before we were let off the Motorway via an access road at the nearby Toll Plaza before we had to retrace our route back to the M5/M4 junction before we again head west on the M4, the time taking the new Bridge towards Wales.
To add to our delay the road through Tintern is closed for roadworks so we head on to Newport and then Monmouth arriving well after 5 – it is nice and warm inside.
Some winter storm damage to the fence at the back of the house but it is next door’s problem so I better get on to her to fix it.
Nice to see that the side fence has held up – just as well I took some vegetation off it to lessen the strain.
Tuesday 27 February
Off to buy supplies at Cheltenham before visiting Rob and getting on with some fixing jobs around the house – maybe we will sell it.
The weather forecast is not looking good for our return ferry crossing on Thursday.
Wednesday 28 February
At long last we have been able to source a Chimney sweep as the previous one wouldn’t answer messages, maybe he has given up, and take the opportunity to replace the fire resistant bricks so that we now can have a roaring fire.
Whilst we should have gone out afterwards we had a lazy day especially as we have had to change our ferry back home to Sunday afternoon from Birkenhead as looking at the forecast, there will be no sailings Thursday and Friday and possibly also not on Saturday morning.
Evening meal at the Butcher’s Arms – it is just so nice to be able to go for a meal by walking there instead of having to drive.
Get talking to the owners of the cottage opposite who are cutting short their stay to return home tomorrow in view of the weather.
We have decided to leave on Saturday and stay in a hotel at Warrington – we have guests arriving on Sunday.
Thursday 1 March
Yes, our ferry originally booked is cancelled because of the state of the sea (Storm Emma) and as there is now snow forecast, we had better get to the shops for food before the snow settles even more than it is now.
Not surprisingly, the shops are beginning to empty of food.
It is now forecast to be snowing solidly for virtually 30 hours (the Beast from the East) so after we get back to the house we bed down for the day, finish some of the jobs and watch a lot of daytime TV.
Friday 2 March
A snow day is all I can say about today with only me venturing up to the garage to return items used and get out the frozen mop for Rob’s use when we have gone.
The snow is in places over two feet deep but is of course nothing compared with certain places in the South West and in Scotland.
Will we even make it out tomorrow? The hotel only cost just over £50 including breakfast so it is not much to loose if we do fail to get out of Clearwell tomorrow but what will we do for food?
Saturday 3 March
It is warmer and there is no more snow and no wind. By chance I see our opposite neighbour Ken who lends me a snow shovel which was useful as the build up and drifting was well over 2 feet in places by our car before we agree some work he can do for us at the house.
By midday, the road is quite slushy and after Ken has looked around the house for the complete redecoration we want him to do, set off on what can only be described as the quietest journey “up north”.
In places near Birmingham and Stafford northwards there is virtually no snow and our hotel is soon reached.
A golden wedding anniversary celebration is in for the night so for a meal we are pushed into a conference type room – no atmosphere, and we tell the management so. Food not bad though.
Sunday 4 March
The people going into the house at Clearwell are querying whether they can get into the house in view of the snow. I had sent them an e-mail last night to say it was accessible but to be careful as the area might be slippery. They ultimately decide to cancel but as it is their decision we won’t loose out financially.
Ferry crossing uneventful and relatively smooth with virtually no swell until we get to the outskirts of Douglas harbour and we are indoors at about 6:15, 3 days late!
We missed some really rough seas at home.