07. Don’t Stop Me Now!

Apologies to all my followers (now numbering 20! Hello People!) who have had sleepless nights waiting for my next post. This is a busy time of year, trying to plan Christmas: people coming over for Christmas, no we’re not, yes we are but on a different day, oh we’ve had a family row so we’ll come to you after all, oh we’ll only be three, the others can’t make it, can I bring Great Aunt Abigail as she’s on her own and so it goes on. (I may be exaggerating but we do have two weeks left). I was about to start this post on Friday when we had a power cut.

Then the menu changes when we’re given a brace of pheasant. They are about to be plucked by John (note to fellow voyagers, a useful skill if you get stranded on a desert island) then frozen before they fester too much.

Enough ranting, on with the show. I think I promised another boring post of preparations I’m having to make. Some initial thoughts were listed in post 3. Adie seems to have gone to sleep already if you look at this header!

A) Powers of Attorney, Wills, Passwords etc. All (sort of) in hand. Once completed, they’ll go in the safe for reference in dire emergency. Ah, the safe:

This belonged to my uncle. When he died, the care home asked me to clear his room out. They mentioned the safe and did I have a key? No? Well, we’ll get the handyman on standby with his drill and force it open in your presence. When I arrived, I tilted it to see how heavy it was and…the door swung open! Inside were a couple of Christmas cards and nothing else. To give an idea of its size, here it is with a coffee mug for scale:

Not going to get much stored in there. The paperwork should just about get in.

B) House details. We’ll need a little log book for anyone who looks after the place. We have fuse boxes in (to my knowledge) five different places.  Here’s one:

Then the stop cocks. The main one outside the house is in a field that doesn’t belong to us. When we moved in, the main one in the house was under the floorboards in George’s bedroom. Of course. We can’t do much outside but we did improve indoors:

I call it my little nuclear power station. It sits in a cupboard next to the fuse boxes above. 

When we have a power cut, some lights automatically turn themselves on so that needs noting down. The number of light switches, dimmers, different types of bulbs doesn’t bear thinking about. Half the time I just press switches till the right light comes on. We’ve only been here 27 years!

Then the heating and cooking. We have mains electricity thankfully but no gas so there are two oil tanks. George says we should be more green; we have an air source heat pump but I’m not convinced it’s that efficient.  (He’s also trying to persuade us to dispose of our diesel cars and go green, maybe in 2020 on the return).

So all suppliers’ details need to go into the little log book, together with emergency call-out numbers, the vet’s number, vaccination certificates for the beasts, what food they eat etc.

C) Subscriptions. Not many but if I don’t cancel them I’ll have magazines and chocolates piled up on my return.

D) Personal stuff. Travel insurance, vaccinations, supply of medication for the period I’m away. What else? I’ve got about nine months to keep planning.

Onwards and upwards. Next time (soon), an update on the actual Clipper trip.

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