Following on from our last post, (10/10/22) the farmers field became our home for the next week, and very comfortable it was until our boiler packed up, we lost all hot water and heating🥵🥵🥵, but we were fortunate that the weather was mild.
With Rosie settled we borrowed Jane’s Mini, again! and set about buying a car. We couldn’t keep borrowing her car, and taking Rosie everywhere was painful. Just down the road was branch of “Carbase”, a chain of used car dealerships who all carry 100+ cars in stock. We had been to one in Bristol earlier but having one on our doorstep was more convenient. Walking about, “scrutinising” all their cars from the outside, we decided to test drive three and “collared” a salesman only to be told he was so “busy” he could only let us test one!!!! Unbelievable, we reminded him he was here to sell cars and that all being well we would buy one of the three. He grudgingly said we could test two!!!! Anyway the first didn’t float our boat, a plug-in Hybrid, the second we felt to was too closed in, and by now we had persuaded “Josh” to let us test the third, a Mercedes A180 Sport, in white. Though traditionally I’m a big car driver we had decided to be sensible this time and get something a little smaller and this “A” series fitted the bill; it was comfortable, clean, a reasonable mileage and had good performance, so said yes. My my, when I was in the motor trade many years ago, it was all about “get the cash and send the buyer on their way” but no. The rigmarole and hoops I had to jump through were extraordinary; forms for this, forms for that, money laundering and personal information protection etc., etc., etc. registering my ownership and taxing it was straight forward doing it on line. Insurance for 5-days came with the car and eventually, after some considerable time I have to say, they wanted paying, well that was easy, a bank transfer using a debit card and at last we were on our way.
Now we had wheels of our own we were up and away; house hunting preoccupied us, naturally. We put in several sensible offers, but all rejected. The housing market has gone “bananas” in the U.K. it seems the “advertised” price is the “starting” price!!!, not helped by covid when working from home took off and Londoners especially, moving out just paying over the odds!!!
During this time we had a great weekend in Northampton with grandchildren and family followed by a trip to Derbyshire to Visit Marian before arriving in Castle Donington where Rosie was booked in for the transformation of a Spanish registered vehicle to a U.K. registered vehicle. They also converted headlights, speedometer etc., to conform but she is still a “left hooker”
Returning Rose to Hope Farm, we set off the following day to Portsmouth to visit Kathleen who had been in hospital, again, before heading to a hotel for the night in Horsham. Tomorrow we are flying to Jersey.
We found a marvellous small hotel in the town with its own car park and directly behind was an Indian restaurant called the “Rajkumar”; the food in this restaurant was excellent but the surroundings were quite magnificent, this building is well over 200 years old and all the exposed beams looked genuine, and the decor complemented the interior.
Tuesday 1st November
After a very comfortable night and a superb breakfast, everything cooked to order, we headed up to Gatwick, we had precooked the north terminal car park. The moment we parked the car the heavens opened, it came down in stair rods and we had to walk about 100 meters to catch the shuttle bus👹. Fortunately after several minutes the rain eased off so a quick dash and we were at the bus stop.😁.
Gatwick north terminal was really quiet. We checked our bag straight in, sailed through security and and found our members lounge but having already had breakfast could only hit the bar!!!!
Our flight was called on time and we got through the gate and boarded with reasonable ease, the ‘plane’s doors were closed on time and we were off; well our push back was all of 10-meters when the pilot came over the p.a., apologising and telling us the weather was so bad all flights have been grounded so we had to wait. This morning we had experienced very heavy rain and intermittent gale force winds, so not surprised, annoyed yes but not surprised. Anyway an hour and a half later, we were on our way to the runway. The pilot got the all clear and we accelerated, zig-zagging down the runway until liftoff but next we had to get through the cloud cover. To say this takeoff was “interesting” would be an understatement, the chap “up-front” must have had his work cut out controlling the plane as we buffeted our way up through the clouds with one or two passengers making their fears heard!!! Still once through the clouds and into the clear blue sunny sky, the flight settled but the cabin staff had suspended all services, still it’s only a one hour flight so no problem. Coming down was far more comfortable, not good, but better than take off!!!
Jane met us at the airport and took us to Andrew’s flat where we settled in. This 3-story building has a garage and small bedroom on the ground floor, a very large open space office on the first floor and the open plan flat on the third floor; one big room with kitchen and areas separated with interesting, very big furniture on wheels. We presume if one gets tired with the layout, one can easily change everything around. The flat has a balcony running the length of the building but alas the view is other buildings!!!
Later this afternoon we were collected by Jane, given a run around St Helier to give us our bearings then back to her apartment for a welcoming dinner.
We returned back to the flat before 2200hrs and into bed, though it was not a particularly long day, we were ready for it