Monday, 7 February 2011

Sticky as a sticky toffee pudding & Windier than a 5 bean chille.

The past 6 days haven't so much flown by as blown by.  For the past week or so life on Delores has been rather like living on a small dinghy in the middle of a large and somewhat angry ocean.  The wind has been rocking her from side to side causing assorted ornaments to swing around alarmingly, it's driven poor old Monty into hiding and caused me to seek solace in a fine bottle of Merlot.  Well, to be fair, I only sought out the Merlot on the night Steve was away down south and as well as numbing the nerves, once I'd consumed my third glass I found the the alcohol induced stagger pefectly countered the swaying of Delores.  Man and machine in perfect harmony.  Well, woman and wine glass anyway.

So this week I spent my first 24 hours alone up here.  After over a month away we decided it was time for Steve to head south for a quick visit to sort out the post and shake up the estate agents - we're a little worried that out of sight might be out of mind as far as they're concerned so have settled on a new battle strategy of hounding them on at least a weekly basis and seeing how long it is before they run out of excuses.  Apparently we now have 'several' people intereseted in our home but none of them have yet sold, so I can't see things changing anytime soon.  After sorting out everything at the house, and pausing only to have all of his hair hacked off, he headed for a night of cosy family fun at his parents while me and Monty rode out the storm up north.  As soon as he was safely on the motorway I'd stocked up on spicey food and prawns and had a fabulous evening downing red wine and eating mind blowingly hot food.  Maybe that was the real reason Monty was in hiding and it had nothing to do with the wind outside the van at all...  Steve arrived back safely late Friday afternoon and his 2 long days of driving provided the perfect excuse for us to hit the bar for beer and pizza.  Or in my case, more red wine and chille.  He'd spent most of the previous evening stuck on the M25 (a place I don't miss at all) and it was in particularly fine form causing him to declare it "stickier than a Cartmel sticky toffee pudding with a particularly large helping of sticky sauce poured all over it".  Good to know even when he's caught up in enormous traffic jams he still thinks of puddings.

Home. All of it.
Saturday saw us indulging in more house hunting but approaching things from a slightly different angle this time.  Instead of looking for perfect houses we're now looking at smaller places with potential.  After poking around a couple of nice bungalows we found the near perfect place - nice location, bags of potenial but decent enough for us to be able to move into it without having to do any work.  We spent the evening crunching lots of scary numbers and tried to come up with an offer that might possibly tempt them.  Without any movement on our place down south our only other option is to try and secure a 'buy to let' mortgage and see how much else we could scrape together.  Not enough sadly, but at least I feel like we're doing something constructive instead of sitting around at the mercy of estate agents.  It's lucky we really like each other as life on Delores is far from ideal and at times can be downright stressful.  Yes this is a fantastic adventure but that's not to say it isn't incredibly testing at times and with our days on the campsite numbered (we get booted off on 31st March) we really need to start putting together a plan B.  And C.  And possibly D and E for that matter.

Due to the tempestuous weather we stayed put on Sunday watching dodgy old movies as the rain lashed down outside.  Ever the intrepid cook I decided to try and cook a full roast beef dinner with roast spuds, yorkies, veg and gravy - all on my little stove and with a tiny oven that only has one shelf.  Necessity truly is the mother of invention and I just about managed to pull it off, heaven knows how giddy I'll get when faced with a fully stocked kitchen!  Nigella eat your heart out!  Mind you it's tough being a domestic goddess when trying to cook a proper dinner in a kitchen that has about 2 square foot of work surface, 4 square foot of floor space and a cat trying to 'help' you by nuzzling your legs the entire time.  It's only a matter of time before Monty gets accidentally roasted and I try and stuff cat treats into a joint of beef.

And that just about brings us up to date.  I'm off to spend an hour or so catching up on my emails (sorry to all of you I owe emails to and Tracey, thanks for the call & I promise I'll try and call you back this week!).  My excuse is that I have to sit in the bar to get WiFi but I can't afford to eat and drink in here every night.  That's not to say I couldn't sneak off and get a nice large glass of Malbec while Steve proofs this.  Once that's done there's just time to scour the web for more potential homes before scampering back to Delores for dinner.  Left overs from our roast beef dinner last night - although I checked the meat before we came out and it was looking suspiciously grey and furry and I haven't seen Monty in a while...