Tavistock Wanderings

Seems ages since I posted photos of just randomly wandering about, so here are a couple of photos of my walk along the Tavistock Canal.  It's an astonishingly shallow canal nowadays, only about 2-3 inches deep, and I think this bridge and gate is more decorative than functional.  It's a pleasant walk, though, and you can park by the pet shop which is much appreciated by Theo. He likes both the dried sausages, and the chance to go around saying hello to the staff. 

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Bit and pieces make a post

Firstly, we are not in fact characters in a convoluted Victorian drama.  The authorities did on Monday disavow all knowledge of Mark's dad's body, but only for a short while and then it turned up, as did his will.  This was a great relief.  The stress has been declining since it peaked at that point.

We really can't hold a traditional funeral in the current circumstances, and though I'm pretty sure a lot of people would be distressed by that, for us, that's also quite a relief.

It looks like we are still going to be able to move, and won't lose the new house.  And someone is coming to see this house on Monday, which is also good. There are going to be stressful things ahead, like how on earth to corral the cats and the whole packing and unpacking thing but surely they won't be insurmountable.

Went over to see my Mum today (in our plague bubble!), to sort out a minor issue with her new Chromebook. Seems to be a good solution so far : we've set it up with a nice extra large monitor since her eyesight isn't so great.  Obviously the dogs thought we were over there to get snacks, and were very pleased.

I have a mild sore throat but I've had one of those on and off this year, and particularly when I think about the plague, so I'm not 100% sure it's not mostly in my head. Have been feeling a bit weird and down, but not unreasonably so under the circumstances, I suppose.  Still feeling about 100% better than I was a couple years back in terms of focussing on the positive and not feeling full of grey fog and despair.  Compared to a lot of people I don't really have much reason for either fog or despair, but it appears these things are not rational and probably also somewhat genetic.  Hey ho.

So far I have not managed to write anything for Innumerable Stars, but there is still time.  I keep oscillating between the intriguing-to-me-but-requires-a-lot-of-research-and-potentially-is-iffy prompt, and the 'just take these two characters you like and have them chat' prompt.  I may yet end up with the second. 

Deep breaths

I need to write this down to get it out of my head.
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Just to make life more complicated still, Pp's dad used a solicitor who was recently struck off for corruption, so his paperwork is probably (we hope) somewhere in the depths of the vast national law firm that took over the corrupt solicitor's archive recently.

And today, though hardly a comparable event, our house buyer decided to drop out. House is 'not for them' apparently: something they could probably have decided before making an offer and having us take the place off the market.

A Tamar Valley Art Guess

A while ago, someone posted on a group that I am a member of a question about this painting : 

It's called View of the Tamar by moonlight. and it is attributed to one William Payne, who lived 1776 - 1830.
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Everyone said: well, that's not the Tamar.  The Tamar doesn't have those sorts of hills!  Or banks like that!
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Wonderous Radish

On the move with a fig (I hope)

I don't seem to have posted for ages. A month ago, we had just put our house up for sale : this Friday, the painters finished painting it, and today we have (I hope!) sold it. It does look good with the sun shining and the paint all new!

So, with luck we will soon be on our way to Pembrokeshire. This is all very alarming but I'm sure we will get used to it. I had not expected to move again, not least because when we bought this house it was in a very unpopular area where houses took forever to sell. But I guess that's the Plague Year for you.

I've just been wandering around the garden, eating the figs and apples and strawberries for nearly-the-last time. I shall not be too sorry to say goodbye to the garden though. It is a source of good things, but it is also rather a strain, the size of it and the way it just GROWs with the least provocation.

I tried to take cuttings of the fig and the grape vine in the garden that I planted years ago, but the cuttings got mould. Have just taken some more cuttings and treated them with very-dilute bleach. We'll see if that helps at all! I'd quite like to plant a new clone of the fig tree, because it's very productive, and although *probably* it's just plain old Ficus Brown Turkey, I don't know for sure because I originally bought it for 50p after the label fell off.

It's been a stressful few weeks, and the stress isn't over yet, but things are happening and that's much better than NOT happening and feeling on edge because the owners of the house we are buying understandably would like us to buy it so they can get on with their lives. Bit worried that the cats won't like the move, but hey.

Rosie is currently barking loudly at Theo, because I gave them each a turkey leg and Theo ate his and then stole hers. Otherwise, all is well in the land of the hounds. I've just bought Rosie a new house collar, because her old purple velvet one is looking very tired. I went for red polkadot this time, after much agonising.

What else has happened? Oh yes, I finished the two Tolkien Reverse Summer Bang fics I was writing:
Lands, Lords and Ladies, lost beyond the Sea.
which is a crossover of Tolkien's Fall of Arthur with The Silmarillion, plus my idea of a world where the land of Elves and Valinor lies not very far away, and sometimes Elves wander through and have adventures. On this occasion, Fingon is the adventurer. Oh, and it also has the concept of Corrigans, from Breton legend via Tolkien's version of Aotrou and Itroun.

The other story I wrote was:
Sea Longing which is about the legend of the Took Fairy Wife. I'm convinced that a long way back, one of the Took family married a small and unimportant Elf, and this is how.
No whining

We have cleaned and tidied all the things

We have put many things in boxes in the spare space of kindly relatives! We have decluttered as if our lives depended on it, and also scrubbed for days, and painted things if the scrubbing wore the paint off. The house may possibly have been this clean in the past, but not for a very long time.

The result may not be perfect, but it's a damn sight better than it was. Our house is now for sale on the various property sales portals that operate in the UK, and now we wait and hope! I made a website for it too, since I can easily do that, and you get more photos on a website than you can on a portal. It's here, if you'd like a look:

We did wonder if we would love the house and not want to leave once all the tidying, scrubbing etc was done, but no. We have been here 20 years, it's enough.

Experimenting with the Weird Flours

In my quest for foods that are a bit less carbohydratey, I have been
Coconut flour is not pancakeable. Not even if soaked overnight and combined with eggs and slow-cooked to encourage coagulation. Do not try to make pancakes with it. The results are grim.

Have moved on to buckwheat flour (not a wheat, despite the name, but a relative of the rhubarb.) She makes pretty good pancakes, but not as good as Spelt flour (which IS a kind of wheat, despite the name.)

At present, Spelt is my favorite of the Weird Flours.
No whining

Moving House

You must declutter! Why do you have so much stuff! How will buyers see the rooms in your house if they are full of Things????

Also moving house:

Was your double glazing installed in 2001, or in 2003? Please provide details of the last boiler service, and the boiler installation certificate! We will also need a copy of the certificate for the negative radon test from 2008, so I hope you kept that!

Moving Forward and All Change!

WELL. It has been a rather frantic few weeks. The Shop on the Borderlands has been growing like a particularly enthusiastic weed, and, already pushed for space, we decided that we were really going to have to look at Doing Something. We now have stock in all the bedrooms, tucked under beds and packed onto shelves, and getting stuff up and down the stairs was starting to be a major chore.

We'd started to look vaguely at other houses, and then it occurred to me that I knew a few people who had moved to South Wales recently, so we started to look via the internet at that area too, particularly Pembrokeshire, which is rather like Cornwall in many ways, and before long we had a shortlist, and were starting to work on decluttering and painting the house to make it saleable...

Anyway, we'd got to that point when lockdown restrictions were eased, and since Pp was off to Bristol to pick up some more second hand games, we thought, why not pop over and take a look at a few areas, and actually, why not take a look at a house while he's there....

And then of course, I had to go and have a look too...

And now we have had an offer accepted on this house and suddenly everything is moving very very fast! The photography really doesn't do that house justice. In fact, this was a bit of a theme of many places we looked at, the photography was often AWFUL and left a lot of questions open, which is just what you don't want in the land of Covid19. I'm thinking I probably would like to do the photography myself rather than rely on an estate agent to do it, since frankly most of them seem to be less good with a camera than I am.

We've had assorted shysters and pessimists of the Estate Agent variety to look at our Cornwall house, and we've been working flat out on rendering it relatively clean and neat inside and out. Am kicking myself for not having it painted back in June, when the painter I got to quote had lots of availability: I booked him for August, and now he's saying he can't do it till the second week in Sept, and since the outside of the house has big black seams where we had the render fixed, all the estate agents agree that painting the place is absolutely essential, sigh. And I *really* don't want to DIY that.

On the plus side, apparently people are fleeing the cities in the time of plague in the traditional manner, so our hopes are high that someone will want to flee to the Tamar Valley, where they can work from home.

What else has happened? Oh yes, further to my hip problems, I decided to do a course of which is a sort of diet-and-lifestyle-change program, to try to relieve the weight on the hips. One of the key things is cutting right back on sugar and eating only smaller amounts of whole-grain carbohydrates and a lot more veg. I must say, I am somewhat amazed by how much of a change this has made to my energy levels, and my hips also have improved vastly. I've lost about 6 pounds in six weeks, which is not exactly a mountain of blubber, but it feels like a lot more. I no longer feel like I need to nap every afternoon, my hips are much happier, and I can both walk and garden energetically without feeling too zonked by it! So yes. Sugar. Delightful but better eaten rarely. Which I suppose is somewhat obvious, but still.