Sunday, February 09, 2014

Coming into the final straight

I got a glimmer it was not going to be an easy week when I found my best glasses on the desk chair; the lenses looked undamaged but the frames were skewhi’fft.  I dropped them into the optician expecting the usual 3 week wait and to my delight she said she had just has a similar pair delivered and if I could give her half an hour they could fix them.

I collected them on the way back from the hairdressers, she adjusted them to my physiog and all was well.  As I paid the £119 she suggested I claimed on my insurance- a thing we never seem to do.  I phoned them the same day and two days later got a cheque for £69.

The week-end got off to a good start with the arrival of our French son and he enjoyed his Minehead favourite; Cornish pasty, baked potato and veg and there was a gorgeous Bailey’s dessert which the Warminster family left after Christmas.

On Saturday we knew we had a busy day ahead and left home at 9.20am for our final dual visit to the solicitor but apparently we are still ‘coming into the final straight’ – just over a year - even though we were told,

‘Your husband left his affairs in very good order.’

What it must be like if you have no funds I dread to think.  To make things as easy as possible for the survivor is a gesture of love IMO so some time ago I sent off for a funeral package.

We found a bank open on Saturday and prepared the way for a trust fund to be opened in my husband’s name, then off in the wind and rain to Taunton.  M had brought two suitcases; one for food and one for clothes.  In spite of the weather we had difficulty parking the car – a Nissan I think - which was high and mighty, a bit tank- like but did the job.    

We did Debenham’s , M&S( yes they do have them in France but they are a bit sparse and not nearly so well stocked as over here) Sainsbury’s and a shop called Fat Face which M remembered his wife had liked when she saw it in Bristol.  They stock holiday clothes which will be great for their holiday in Greece later on.

I enjoyed being arbiter – pleased that my opinion was valued.

Apple pies, H.P. sauce, Cheddar cheese and cheese biscuits, Earl Grey, PG tips and Marmite were bought - useful info should  you want to take a gift to France.  In between darting through the wet gusts we managed a light lunch at The County Stores.

I stocked up on my favourite make up but M knew I was hoping to buy a tablet so we picked up the car and drove out to the estate that houses stores like Curry’s and P.C. World.

We settled on a Samsung Galaxy and booked a ‘Setting up’ and Know How session.  M had recently bought one so was also interested.  Unfortunately they were too busy to fit the appointment in so farmed it out to the neighbouring store which meant hanging around for half an hour or so. There was a Costa’s coffee shop across the way and as we have just had one open in Minehead I thought it would be useful to try.  M is more of a coffee boy and it was too strong and too much for me.

Back through the wind and rain for the ‘setup’ and ‘know how’ session where I had to remember various passwords and decide about apps.  An utter novice I chose kindle, blogger and net fix and hope that gradually it will all become clear.

By the time we reached home after the long drive it was getting on for 7pm so I phoned the hotel and delayed our dinner so we could shower and change.

Previously Joy had given me a voucher for a reduced meal for two – with a bottle of wine if you went in February.  I gave this to Mark and we were able to use it.

All was well with the exception of the avocado which was hard.
Next morning M changed light bulbs, carried the dehumidifier upstairs and took stuff to the dump.  He noticed Alastair’s magnificent vintage overcoat hanging in the garage – waiting to go to charity.  He remembered trying to persuade his father to let him have it to take to Uni but A was using it and still did last year for winter funerals.

It looked splendid on M and I was happy to think it would be kept in the family.

After a mellow lunch but no alcohol, M drove off to Bristol and a flight to Paris.

By Monday I had my first cold/flu – with all the trimmings - for ten years and decided to coddle myself and stay put until I felt better.  The paroxysms of violent sneezing convinced me I shouldn’t see anyone and talking on the phone was difficult.  By Friday the sun was out and I was almost out of food so Sheila very kindly dropped me at the Co-op- I did a quick shop – to be delivered, and took a cab home.  I got a funny look when I asked the lady at the till for a shilling.

 ‘You what?’

 ‘Could you give me a shilling please for my trolley?’

 Her face broke into a big grin.

‘I think you and me are the only ones here who know what a shilling is.’

I forgot to tell you – in the midst of my flu/cold I received not one but three funeral packs and a follow up phone call.  Not the best of timesJ.



kenju said...

Oh, Pat, you are lucky to have a willing son to help you take care of details - I am fortunate that way as well. I hope your cold goes away soon. Don't bother with the funeral packs until after you are well.

Granny Annie said...

It may not have been an easy week but your certainly got through it in grace and dignity:)

LL Cool Joe said...

I have a stinking cold too. Not fun is it? Hope you feel better soon.

I read that Fat Face are struggling and won't be around too much longer. I always confuse them with Phat Farm.

Have you been to the M&S in Paris? I'm wondering what it's like.

Ms Scarlet said...

Get well soon, Pat! I haven't had a proper cold in ages either.
Good luck with the tablet.

angryparsnip said...

Hope you feel better soon and please tell us how you like the tablet. I might be interested in one so I would like to know how you like yours.

woofs from The Square Ones
cheers, parsnip

Keith Smith said...

Is't it strange, when I go to France to see my step-daughter I have to take Cadbury's Milk Chocolate, Marmite, Salad Cream, 99 teabags and various other things not available in France.

When I return home I bring back Liptons Yellow Label Tea, Cantal cheese, radis noir, Pastis, Creme de Cassis and othere items I can't buy in Britain.

Hope you feel better soon Pat.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

So sorry you have been down with a cold---Please, feel better very soon, my dear....The Tablet sounds like it may be a really terrific thing....Much good luck with that....
If things go wonky----Mercury is Retrograde--and if something can go wrong---It Will! (LO) Like three Funeral packets?? OY!
Sending Healing Hugs, My Dear:

Exile on Pain Street said...

My mother was left with no funds whatsoever and I can tell you it's hell. Good that you have an appreciation for it. Most who "have" take it for granted and feel it's their divine right.

Once again, a beautiful post chocked-full of charming British colloquialisms. Love it. Never stop blogging.

Mage said...

How wonderful he was there to help for there certainly was a lot to do. Just feel better soon.

Pat said...

Judy: good advice. Thank you Judy:)

Pat said...

Granny Annie: nice of you to say so but it's hard when -increasingly - technical stuff gets the better of me.

Joey: I hope you are better now. It's a long slow business.
Shame about Fat Face.
@the Paris M&S can't be that good for big men or our French son wouldn't have bought loads of stuff here including ladies every day pants.

Scarlet: with other problems just now I've got the tablet on the back burner until I get a visiting brain to help.

AndrewM said...

Testing, testing, testing....

Is there anyone there???????????

Pat said...

Parsnip : not firing on all cylinders so tablet on back burner. Made it to the shops today so I won't starve.

Keith : yes it's weird isn't it. But nice to know we have stuff they like to eat.

Naomi: when I feel sorry for myself I think of those poor folk who are STILL suffering the floods and no end in sight.

Exile: I would never take money for granted and believe totally in the work ethic and bless my parents for instilling it in my youth. I think I've passed it on to the young - hopefully.

Mage: you know how a simple cold can drag on and on and on.
'It's being so cheerful that keeps me going.' Old joke:)

Pat said...

Andrew M: not ALL there one might say.

lom said...

Hope you are feeling better and the weathers not too bad.

Pat said...

lom: thanks - feeling better but weather still unreliable.