Monday 14th December 2015

A visit to Hailsham to see our new Grandaughter little Scarlett. She is so sleepy and I bet that she will keep them awake all night. It is so impressive how long babies can sleep for and as she is 5 weeks early she seems to be sleeping longer than a full term baby but she shouldn't even be here until after Christmas. In fact we, ourselves, should still be in France until Friday but it was well worth coming back to see little Scarlett and James and Frankie and even Dorothy's Mum "the Mother-in-law". Had lots of snuggly cuddles as it will be a week before we are able to see Scarlett again.

We stayed overnight in north Hailsham wild-camping. We seem to do a lot more travelling around visiting people when we are back in England and need somehow to cut the miles travelling but don't see that happening at the moment, not until after the New Year party at Steyning...

Tuesday

She, that is Scarlett, did keep them awake during the night. Babies sleep when you are awake and then scream their heads off when mums and dads want to sleep. Nanny and Grandad have no problem with sleeping. It's payback time for when James was a baby. But actually he was a very good, quiet baby.

So now we have today's problem. If you have Grandmother and the masculine Grandfather, Grandma and Grandmum have the masculine Grandpa and Granddad, Grandmama and Grandpapa, what is the masculine for Nanny, Nana or Nan? Nanny is after all, originally a paid hired help. If there are male nurses and midwives can Allan also be a male Nanny???

During the morning after checking the finances and blog writing we made or way back to Seaford to see Mum and to have Dorothy's hair cut by Mum's friend José.

The finances are done with a Halifax Clarity card, you pay the exchange rate at the daily rate and there are no other fees and it is, as far as we can tell, the best card for travelling to Europe. That is of course as long as it is "Paid in full" each month, as Martin Lewis would say.

Wednesday

This morning we left to take Mum to the surgery to have her steristrips removed and wound checked at 10.30. Parking in Newhaven is even worse than ever and after dropping them off at the surgery, the place where we thought Allan could park on the island was completely full. So after a little drive around Allan eventually finds a place to park the motorhome on the nearby industrial estate. Unfortunately Allan's phone is on silent and he doesn't hear when Mum and Dorothy are ready to be picked up. Allan is in the doghouse again but fortunately no one was kept waiting for too long and everything is resolved in the end.

Today we find that the new roof to a part of our house is going to cost at least £3,200 and will be done in the spring. Yikes!

Thursday

Since we had the new clutch fitted in Oissel we have had a problem with the steering. Whenever we are on a full steering lock there is a rubbing noise so the motorhome is booked in to Sussex Truck Services for a check.

Another early start and we arrived at 8 am and gave in the keys to Len the owner who asked what time we would be back. We told him we can't go anywhere as he has our house! So the mechanic started on our motorhome straight away. After about 5 minutes he called Len over and so we assumed that this was going to be expensive. When Len came back to us he said that they couldn't find any noise and would we go out for a drive. Getting in the drivers seat Allan explained that a long drive would be unnecessary as it happens on slow manoeuvres. We did a few corners in the yard and there was NOTHING, not a sound, no rubbing, no noise whatsoever. I can only assume that the poor surfaces on Sussex roads has settled whatever was causing the noise. Fortunately Len saw the funny side of it and didn't charge us for the time to check for the noise and he said that they couldn't charge us as they hadn't done anything. He did say he would get us next time!!

During the afternoon Dorothy had a telephone call from Mr. Parrish at W&P and we arranged for us to go and visit him next Tuesday in Hailsham.

Today was to be the day that we return to Newhaven from Dieppe, France, arriving in Newhaven about 9 am in the morning. Funny how things turn out.

Saturday

Allan has been buying some 16amp plugs and a cable drum on Ebay and spent the morning making our Electrical Hook Up (EHU) and battery charging easier to use.

In the evening we visited our friends Zelie and Martin and had a lovely meal with them. Lost corkscrews come to mind!! It was so good to see them and we had a really good evening catching up on all the news.

Sunday

A morning trip to Dorothy's Mum to see how she was. Mum is doing extremely well and we are all pleased.

We are now beginning to lose battery power. At this time of year the solar panels are not producing enough power from the winter sunshine (or lack of it). A quick calculation confirms that we need about 16 hours of winter sunshine a day but as the sun is only up high enough in the sky to produce power for 6 hours and even then, most days the weather is rain and wind, there is no sunshine so we have a problem. Allan's sister Jean is storing our generator but to carry it we need to reduce weight by leaving our bicycles somewhere. Thankfully, Dorothy's Mum has agreed to keep them until we return to France.

In the evening we went to Brighton to visit Allan's neice Sharon and her husband Jon at their house. When we arrived it was lovely to see Allan's sister Sheila and her son Gary there and Sharon & Jon's son Marc (with a c) had also come to see us. Friends Janet & Emma also called in and after a really nice visit we said farewell and Merry Christmas before travelling to Saltdean Carvery for a late dinner. We stayed overnight in the nearby carpark and tomorrow we are going to Peacehaven to visit Allan's sister Jean and her husband Dan and will pick up our much needed generator.

 

Don't think we have stopped to catch our breath all week................

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