Getting on with it

Monday May 15 2006

I’m bored with this now. It’s clear that this darned cold is going to be with me for a while yet. I shall keep on fighting it and, when I see a doctor sometime this week or next to sign on for my medication, I’ll talk to him about it and see if he can’t help me, but in general I’m tired of the way it’s been dominating my affairs and keeping me from doing my job of house hunting.

Graham had a morning off today, the first in just over two weeks, and expressed an urgent need for Starbuck’s coffee, a shopping visit to Marks & Spencer and, most of all, a few hours away from the holiday club. So, with no argument from me, we took ourselves off to Taunton. On the way he expressed a similar state of determination that we should stop dilly-dallying and do something concrete about the house hunt.

Our route to Taunton follows a shortcut over the close-by shoulder of the Quantock hills, turning up the lane that runs through the strip settlement of West Quantoxhead and Weacombe, past Bicknoller and joins the A358 to Taunton well clear of Williton with its risk of traffic jams. It’s one of the most desirable places to live in the local area, with stunning views over Williton towards the Black Hills and over the sea to Wales. There are currently three or four properties for sale along the lane, any one of which would suit us nicely and all of which are completely outside our current financial range.

“I’m fed up with wanting houses we can’t afford,” he said as we passed one particularly attractive house. “Time to get real. Tomorrow we’ll go over to Bridgwater and see if we can’t get the house hunting on a more practical footing.”

“I’m profoundly relieved to hear that,” I said. “But on one condition only.”

“What’s that, then?”

“We should aim to find the type of place we can improve, and work to enhance its market value so that, should we decide to move again, we’ll be able to afford something along here. I’d like to live on this lane.”

“Ok. But I think it’ll be a long, long time before we move again.”

“Suits me.”

“And don’t forget that, so long as I work at St Audries, we’ll have a second home on the cliffs, where the views are even better than here.”

“True… and I think it’ll be an equally long time before you tire of this job.”

It was rather special to be back in Taunton together once more, and in Starbucks, and enjoying good coffee. Graham had one of those ‘muffins’ I can’t bring myself to enjoy, and I tucked into a nice crispy croissant, broken into pieces to be dunked in my coffee. Funny thing is that, in Taunton, I don’t collect so many of the disapproving anti-dunking glares I relished so much when we were in Lincolnshire.

I excused myself when it came to Marks & Spencer, and waited in the library, checking my email and other bits of Internettery until Graham had done his shopping. He was to come in and pick me up but I had to cut my session short after a coughing fit that was short, and controllable, but which left me feeling so tired I needed to go out into the fresh air to recover. Even in an air-conditioned library like the fine building in Taunton, there is book dust in the air, and I find that it infallibly triggers my ticklish cough

Back home in the caravan I collapsed on the sofa for my siesta, quite worn out. Graham and Dolly were more sensible and took themselves off to bed. When we all woke we had a short spell of family life before Graham had to go off to the clubhouse to open the bar for a quiet evening, serving a small group of teachers and counsellors at the end of their day settling schoolkids into their activity holiday.

Shortly after eight o’clock I wandered over for my evening pint, taking the longer route, along the lane, around the back of the clubhouse and in through the side door. This is becoming the first leg of my main medicine walk, taking in the views up over the hill and then, instead of slipping into the clubhouse, going a little further, taking a turn down towards the cliff edge and then a decent grassy stroll along the cliffs back to the caravan. The views are indeed stunning and I’ve taken to carrying my camera once more.

All in all, a completely satisfactory day, enjoyed in spite of the best efforts of my cold to make me curl up and feel sorry for myself. Darned if I’m going to do that. Within sensible limits I intend to defy it and get on with living best I can.


Landscape, West Quantoxhead



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