When Things Go Wrong

Some things are just too humiliating, but after the supportive reaction I had on Facebook with my family and friends, I thought I would be brave and share this here as well.

In our new house one of the best things is our lovely shower cubicle. So I got up in the morning, did my abolitions and realised the contents of the toilet hadn’t gone down. Mortifying. So I flushed again and again and it wouldn’t disappear.

I had to tell my husband and he called the insurance company who send Dyn-a-rod. I hid.

It seemed the from drain was blocked and we could see water coming up through it. Luckily it wasn’t sewage.

As I hid in the office and let hubby take care of things, I actually, believe it or not heard the engineer say that he had to take a photograph of the toilet. WTF?!! Pardon my French, but really?

Have you ever seen those programmes where men clear drains for a living? It was just like that, hubby said, when they opened the grid.

They cleared it and the toilet flushed, but the grid started overflowing again the following week. Now they are sending someone else to do an investigation because it is possible the drain has collapsed somewhere along the drive.

More unfortunately when hubby was sorting out insurances, we had two, and one was more expensive that the other, so he cancelled it. We now think that was the one that would have covered us for drain work.

At the same time, our phone line had a fault on it, which meant the broadband wouldn’t work and we had no wifi. Very difficult to do anything online using just our phone data.

BT engineers came today and were able to fix and we are up and running again, thank goodness.

Tomorrow the inspector is coming our to see where and how the drain is damaged and more importantly to tell us whether we are covered. So fingers – and legs crossed. Although we are fortunate to have a second toilet, so not all a total disaster.



Lost & Found

I have four drawers in my dressing table. When the removal men carried up the path to the bungalow, a drawer opened the the contents spilled out. The contents of which, I had neglected to empty. This included, amongst other things a box of cotton buds. It was a bit embarrassing, but they were nice about it and even left me to pick up the cotton buds.

It was a few days later I discovered the empty box.

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It did contain a wad of cotton wool and a brooch. It wasn’t just any old brooch, it was a family heirloom. It was a gold barred broach with a knit in the centre and was given to me by my husband’s elderly auntie. She said that it had belonged to her grandmother and thought I might like it.

Annie Pedder was 27 years old in 1881, so I knew the brooch was pretty old and was really sorry to have lost it.

A week later, I was chatting to a neighbour over my garden gate. I just happened to look down and there is was in the mud by the corner of the gate.

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Here it is back where it belongs minus the little safety chain

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This photo shows Annie Pedder in the centre holding the flowers. She sits next to her husband at her daughter’s wedding sometime in the early 1900s.

The Day of the Move


For the weeks preceding the day of the move all I wanted to do was go to bed because it couldn’t come quick enough.

When April 1st finally arrived, I felt I had stopped rushing forward and instead it was rushing towards me.

We’d moved out of our house the day before, which was the Thursday. Hubby was staying over night in a local Premier Inn to handover the keys in the morning.

I’d driven to Kimnel Bay to stay with a friend overnight as it was on the way to Anglesey where our new home was.

We planned that I would leave Betty’s house around 11 am as monies generally start transferring around midday. If we were lucky it would happen sooner rather than later as I’d heard people can be kept waiting for hours.

However, the plan was that the dog and I would drive to Holyhead, where the estate agents were based and wait at the sea front for the phone call saying we could collect our keys. Hubby was traveling directly to our bungalow with the removal van and waiting for me there.

That was the plan and as with all good plans, they  go wrong. As I was packing the car to leave, I was excited and anxious at the same time. At that point I was actually a homeless person, and that made me giggle.

Just as I was about to put the dog in the car, I received a text from my son in law. It said – “Mother dear, (his pet name for me) I don’t quite know how to tell you this….”

At this point I should explain that my daughter is 7 months pregnant. Her bump is on the large side and she had been having problems with her hips and suffering from extreme tiredness. Also, her blood pressure had been higher than it should have been, and she had been sick in the street whilst out walking.


I knew she was at the hospital that day and was having a scan. So I was expecting some news.

The text continued: “They think they have found a second heart beat….”

At this point my legs turned to jelly as I tried to tell Betty why I had suddenly turned pale. She made me sit down and I immediately rang my son in law back, but there was no reply so I assumed they were in with the doctor.

A million thoughts were running through my head. She couldn’t possibly be expecting twins, and I gasped out this thought. Her two year old had been a difficult baby, how could she possible cope with two of them?

Betty made me a hot drink and told me to try and calm down. “People do, people manage,” she said.

“There is no history of twins in the family,” I said, thinking that the last set was three generations ago and wouldn’t count. “How can she possibly cope with Luka as well?”

Oh my goodness, I was moving house, two hours away from her now.

The shock manifested itself as tears. My heart thumped loudly as I rang hubby. Luckily he had stopped at Starbucks for a coffee, and took the news with a similar state of shock.

Betty hugged me told me not to worry and that it would all work out. I was shaking so much I couldn’t even contemplate driving.

Hubby said he would try and ring them, but came to the same conclusion as I did when there was no reply. He texted me to calm down, it would all right, he said.

I cannot remember the last time I had had such a meltdown. It was a horrible feeling. I wanted to get my keys to my new home but couldn’t possibly drive.

Then hubby texted me again. “Have you seen the date?”

I turned to Betty stunned. “What’s the date?” I said, unable to believe what I was thinking. They couldn’t have, could they?

For a moment she looked puzzled and finally I saw the penny drop. “Oh no!” she gasped. “That’s a horrible things to do!” April Fools day and I had been had.

I couldn’t delay the drive any longer and put the dog in the car and said goodbye. Betty looked so worried, I wasn’t really fit to drive, but what else could I do?

Just as I was about to pull out of the drive, my daughter rang. “You didn’t believe us, did you?” A fresh wave of emotion swept over me and lets say I was a little short with her as I rang off.

I was still shaken as I drove through Kimnel Bay and Abergele in Wales. I hit the North Wales Expressway with tears streaming down my face. I wasn’t angry, they honestly didn’t think. It wasn’t a relief of her not having twins either. It was just the shock of it.

I had dreamed for so long of driving towards Anglesey to collect the keys to my new home. I should have been excited and happy, but I felt nothing at all.1-107_0232

Finally, I arrived on the island and as the view opened up into fields, I became calmer and felt happier. My phone, which was in a holder on the dashboard, began displaying text messages from hubby. The sale had gone through and I could go directly to the estate agents to collect the keys.

Feeling cheerier, despite the pouring rain, I approached the traffic lights at the end of the expressway. I noticed a mini driving a little erratically, as if they weren’t concentrating on which lane they were supposed to be in.

I pulled to a stop and was stationary with my handbrake on when I was suddenly shunted from behind. I looked in the mirror and there were two girls in the front. I couldn’t see the driver because of the reflections in the windscreen,  but it was obvious the passenger knew they had done something wrong.

The traffic lights turned to green and I pulled in at the first opportunity and watched them drive by without stopping. I was so shocked, even if there was no damage, it would have been courtesy to do so.

I then brought up the picture of the map which would take me directly to the estate agent’s office, only I took a wrong turn and got lost. I pulled over and tried to bring up Google Maps, but there was no signal and it wouldn’t load. I jumped out and checked the rear of the car and as suspected, there was no damage. I drove a little further and into a car park where I saw a lady and I asked her if she knew where they estate agents were situated. She did. I was in the right place.

The dog and I got out of the car in the rain, so I had to put her coat on, dropping my keys under the seat as I did so. Then I couldn’t find my purse for the pay and display car parking fee.

Eventually it came together and the keys were collected and I drove to the bungalow where hubby was waiting. I was pleased to see the removal men hadn’t arrived as it gave hubby and I a chance to look around on our own.

The bungalow was lovely and even better than we remembered from our viewing in January.

The removal men arrived soon after and it took them just over two hours to unload all our worldly goods.

While they were doing so, I looked out into the small garden at the rear of the bungalow and saw dog poo, so armed with poo bags, I went to remove it. Unfortunately it wasn’t alone and the whole garden was full of it. These poos, by sheer volume,  belonged to more than one dog for sure. My dog is a Yorkie and these were from something much bigger. It was totally disgusting. I removed 15 bags worth in the end.

The following day, I realised we weren’t too clever in packing and labelling of the boxes. I couldn’t find any towels or shampoo. I resorted to using a body wash and the dog’s towel and as I turned on the shower it broke. Not knowing the controls, I turned the thread on the tap too far and snapped it. So I ended up washing my hair under the taps in the sink instead.

Two weeks after the move, as I write this, I am happy to say we eventually found the towels and are almost settled in. I say almost because we are waiting for our broadband to be fitted. This will enable us to have WIFI. I have been using my phone’s data to access social medial and of course that costs money.

I am also waiting for carpets. The previous owner had wooden floors fitted throughout, which I must admit do look very nice, but practically. it doesn’t work for us. We love the comfort of carpets. Everything has an echo and the dog tends to clip nosily around the floors and can’t jump onto our laps without sliding across the room.



It’s going to be a beautiful home and already the view from our window is no comparison.






The Last Day

I was thinking about it as today is our last day in this house. I’ve lived in the Trafford area of Manchester since 1976. My family moved into the Old Trafford area and I married and moved to Stretford, then we moved to Flixton for 7 years before moving into this house where we have been for the last 28 years.

I know this area very well, every road, every short cut. I’ve seen it change over the years. I’ve seen new roads built, houses and building demolished. I could almost drive blind folded, except that would be dangerous.

I’m very familiar with everything and it feels very strange doing things and knowing it is the last time. I won’t be coming back to this area again. I will go to Stockport to my daughter’s house, which is about 15 miles from here and my son has now moved away to Norwich. So I have no reason to venture back this way and I don’t particularly want to.

We have someone in to give the kitchen and cooker a good clean. I want it to be sparkling for the young couple buying their first house. My four walls will become theirs and it feels surreal.

It’s hard to know when it will sink in exactly; I’m never coming back here; I’m never going to stand in my lounge and look out of the window again. I’m not going to see the plants change as spring turns to summer.

It’s goodbye to everything. I’m not sad. I’m melancholy. This has been a big part of my life and now it is time to move on.

Related to:

  1. Before the move
  2. This post

Before The Move

It’s two weeks before our move and we went on a visit. it felt surreal standing outside our new home trying to imagine what it will be like to live there.

I’ve always wanted kerb appeal and I feel I can achieve it here. The bungalow  hasn’t been lived in for over 12 months. The driveway will come up nicely with a jet wash and we can replace the house sign and light. The front can be adorned with colourful flowers and the prospect of it all is very exciting.


We’ve been in our present house for 28 years. We’ve brought our children up here, I’ve shed tears and I’ve laughed. It’s seen the worst of times and the best of our times. My parents, my in laws, our elderly aunts and uncles have all graced this house before they moved on. I know every nook and cranny; every squeak and noise this house makes. It has been our sanctuary and where ever we go in the world, it’s the place we to which we return. It’s where we feel safe and is our castle, home, our life.

It is a semi detached building in a crowded road in a big city. We bought it because it was bigger and cheaper than the area we were living in at the time, just 5 miles down the road. Our family was expanding and we were outgrowing the house we bought when we married.

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We can only get one car on the drive, the other get parked at front. When visitors come they have to find a parking space in front of someone else’s house. I get annoyed if I can’t park  outside my own due to their visitors. It is a constant battle.

The gap between the house next door is probably about 12 feet. Our bathroom windows face each other and I can hear them, and they can probably hear us. Privacy is not always there.

It’s a complex estate with main roads, side roads and cul-de-sac all backing on to each other. Each garden fits against another, some longer some short and I often wondered how the plans were drawn up in 1925 to make it fit the way it does.

A mosque opened down the road to accommodate the growing number of Asian, families. The streets filled with cars and at certain times of the day, it’s almost impossible to move.

It’s like that all over our area because we live near an a big shopping complex, a football ground, and conference centre. Some weekend thousands of people spill into the area. Traffic is nose to tail and getting to places can be difficult.

Our house has a small kitchen, long hallway and a through lounge, with three bedrooms and a modest bathroom upstairs. We are lucky that the garden is south facing. Our tiny patch of lawn gets so much sun that in the height of summer, a full line of washing will dry within two hours.

There are houses at the back of us and some of them look into each others windows. We are lucky that the ones behind us are at an angle, so we have a view right through the centre and more importantly, we are are not overlooked by anyone.

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When I walk the dog, I walk along the main road and I look for different places to walk down side streets where it will be quieter. We have several schools around here and bicycles can come up behind without warning, and rush hour is very noisy with the culmination of car engines and motorbikes. It quietens after 9.30, so I have to choose my times to venture outside.

Our new property is a detached bungalow. It’s front driveway is squared and we could fit four or five cars if we wanted. Although the idea was to downsize, I’m not sure we really have. All the rooms are larger, especially the kitchen and we have a garage too.

Because the bedrooms are on the same level, it will be a different way of living. I love the idea of getting up early in the morning and taking a few steps to the kitchen to make us a cup of coffee and take it back to bed.

It has three bedrooms and one of them we are turning into a dining room/office and eventually we shall have a conservatory built. Having lived in just the one through room, we will have a vast choice of places to be. With the kitchen being so large, we can spend time in it. At present when my husband cooks, he gets annoyed if I go into the kitchen as it’s so small that I get in his way. No chance of that happening here.

We have a back garden and a side garden, both large. As summer approaches we will again have a choice of where we want to spend time.

The bungalow situated in the countryside and five minutes from the beach. There are many beaches on the island of Anglesey and even in tourist season it is still never as busy as where we are now.

It’s a two and a bit hours drive from Manchester and I feel it is more of a community and all sharing something special.

On Facebook and Twitter I was able to join Anglesey groups and there is so much going on and I look forward to being part of it. I have plans for the future as our whole way of life will change. This is the perfect time of year as will turn into spring  summer and we can enjoy both the inside and the outside.

Make sure you subscribe to this blog, which you can find on the home page as I will be posting updates on our progress.