A disappointing not Light Night in Nottingham

We last visited Robin Hood’s fair city in 2009, aboard Northern Pride. Friends arrived at the station to spend a long weekend with us – which for some reason I can’t recall, entailed moving swiftly through rather than  exploring the history and many delights of the area.

This time, Barry’s determined to take a better look around what’s on offer.

Refreshing Areandare’s Interior

We arrived Tuesday evening, spending the first couple of days thankfully catching up on a few things. Importantly Barry finished painting the walls of our lounge and kitchen (two coats on top of the undercoat already completed whilst I was away), and I hung our ‘newly made at mum’s’ (apart from the hems, a chore I dislike intensely!) curtains. I think it’s looking splendid; bright and colourful, and feel pleased how much more pleasant it now is than being completely surrounded by brown wood. Continue reading


A Calendar Club HQ opportunity grasped

It’s a fairly unique way of being self-employed working for/with Calendar Club. In the UK alone during the  2017/18 ‘season’, there were 279 outlets selling calendars, diaries, mugs, etc. under the CC banner.

There’s also Calendar Club set ups in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Altogether over 1,000 seasonable shops! It’s obviously a massive, extremely popular and successful specialist business. Their tag line is “The Best Selection of Calendars in the Known Universe“, and with over 3,500 titles in their warehouse I’ve no doubt this is absolutely true.

We had a ‘free’ morning on Tuesday last week, 30th January, and thought we’d see if a visit could be arranged to look around the Distribution Depot and Headquarters of the UK warehouse.

Our enquiry was met enthusiastically, and arranged over the phone prior to travelling to Cornwall. On our way back to Areandare, we easily found ‘Exe Box’, a ten minute drive from my sister’s home in Exeter … Continue reading

Feeling the benefits of inserting a pause

I (mostly) love our life. The infinite variety, frequent uncertainty, and adventurousness we experience.

Occasionally it becomes overwhelming. Especially the recent 14 weeks non-stop working portion!

I’m confident 2018 promises to bring many gifts our way; I’m also anticipating a few challenges. Mum will be a cause for concern as her Alzheimer’s continues to take a tighter hold. The quagmire of organising the support she needs to keep her in her familiar surroundings is a veritable minefield – I’m managing to stop either of us getting blown to bits so far! Additionally we have the final application for Barry’s Spousal Sponsored UK Visa application to successfully navigate. He has to pass his ‘Life in the UK’ test, which I’m sure most British people wouldn’t. At least a 75% pass is required – though if he ‘fails’ he can continue to take it until he passes, at just £50 a time! He knows more about UK than I ever have or will, so I’m sure he’ll walk it easily.

We have to pay another ridiculous sum to apply for his right to stay in his wife’s country with her – and prove, for the third time, that we are a legitimate couple having now been that way for 12 years. It’s rather tiresome to be honest. Continue reading