31st October, 2010
Felt really quiet with Phyllis & Colin gone. There was no Colin to wash up or Phyllis to give me an excuse to open a bottle of wine. Tried to read the Sunday papers but fell asleep.
1st November, 2010
Got up early because we are going to the Crematorium to scatter Mum’s ashes. It was supposed to be raining but was a lovely Autumn morning.
The staff at the Crematorium were delightfully helpful. Pauline was given a copper kettle (urn) and careful instructions on how to scatter the ashes and where her Dad’s ashes had been scattered 49 years before. We were directed to the rose garden (Area E) and Pauline chose a tree around which to scatter her Mum’s ashes. Pauline was wearing her Mum’s broach and engagement ring.
Afterwards, we read the book which was open for November 1st but, turning two pages back to October 30th, we found Pauline’s Dad, Philip Nicholson Barnes, who died in 1961. On the same page as her Dad, Pauline found her Uncle Vic who died about ten years ago. Pauline will put exactly the same inscription her Dad had for her Mum and in the same Book of Remembrance.
2nd November, 2010
Finalised the arrangements for the rented flat. We went to see it. The room sizes are a bit of a shock but it will help us when we go out to buy. We will be trading up by this stage. The accountant lady who we are renting from has bought two two-bedroomed flats for a total price of £164,000.00 and is renting them out at a total of £1,100.00 per month. This more than covers her mortgage. We are quite tempted with the idea ourselves but we must buy somewhere to live first. I was pleased to find this apartment has satellite tv pre-installed and Virgin cable as well so I will be able to sort out a broadband and tv sport bundle easily.
4th November, 2010
This morning, Pauline and I had a meeting with members of the Governing Board of Pennine Acute NHS Trust. We had asked for this to review Pauline’s Mum’s treatment in the Oldham Hospital. Particularly, we met Matthew Hadfield: Vascular Surgeon and Clinical Director of General Surgery and Diane Brears, Director of Nursing. It was interesting although we never thought greatly productive. They acknowledged that one should never be ill out of hours in Oldham – out of 9 – 5, Monday – Friday – because there was only a skeleton staff of trainee staff on duty at other times. They really didn’t see that changing any time soon.
A card came through the door from the residents of Mum’s apartments. They had collected £71.00 for Mum and donated it, as requested, to the local hospice.
5th November, 2010
Spent the day researching property for sale in the South. There is a large number of new properties on the market currently and the prices are excellent. Even properties that we were enquiring about in April are coming back to us with a 20% reduction in asking price and some are even offering to pay Stamp Duty and Legal Fees. Basically, they are desperate to sell before the market crashes again. Pauline and I have still not managed to narrow our searches down enough yet nor are we certain about the type of property we want. On the internet today we have been looking at anything from a two bedroom apartment to a four bedroomed house in East Sussex, Kent and Surrey. We really are spoilt for choice and, whatever we consider, we will offer the asking price less 20% in cash. If they are not amenable, we will walk swiftly away.
6th November, 2010
It is exactly five weeks since we arrived back in England. It feels like six months so much has happened. Today is a gorgeous, sunny day. We drove over the moors to Huddersfield to shop at Sainsburys. There is one in Oldham but we are constantly on the look out for ex-pupils (and staff) who constantly want to reminisce. We don’t. Driving back to Oldham on the motorway we overtake a car full of Spurs fans. We wish them bad luck at Bolton.