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Crossroads Cafe

BLee
July 19, 2015

An international meeting place where old friends and new come together for good conversation.

Comments (8.2K)

  • badger10

    brrrr take those photos away, you're making me feel cold,,,, but very nice.

    I'm off to France tomorrow ( Friday) to view some houses, I am away until the 20th Jan, so will visit my sister in Normandy while I am there, will give you all a report when I come back.

  • ladma
    Bon voyage, Badger!
  • Rina

    Good luck, Badger.

  • licksch
    Excited to see what you come up with...smooth travels, Badger!
  • licksch
    A couple pictures of my feral cat Shadow, having a snack today...

    Settling in for the long winter.
  • licksch
    Well I wonder how Badger made out in France?

    Shuffling through the winter here… The Christmas tree is down... most Christmas decorations are put away, with the exception of a few bits of gold foliage tucked in with greenery.

    Trying to get up the enthusiasm to continue housework, tidying and putting away some things and vacuuming.

    Why is it that a day doing housework produces good results but always feels like a wasted day?

    Hope BLee is okay, And is just taking an extended break from this thread.
  • badger10

    Well,, decision made, not an easy one,, I want more then my money can buy,, greedy,,, well so I got a load of money burning a hole in my pocket, all my stuff in store and me scratching my head as to which way to go,,, and I got to say,, I really appreciate all your comments regarding my move,, and of course you are right,,, I suppose Wales would be good,, Fairley cheap in places, much like Scotland,, beautiful places but like Ireland rains quite a bit, as you probably can determine because of all the high hills and mountains and of course quite sparse as far as facilities are concerned,,, so France,, I think I got caught up in the romantic side, lots of Brits are abandoning ship and heading over there, some because of Brexit,,, but I was over there as you know visiting my sister and looking at houses,, I found a real beauty, made an odder but was rejected,, so I made a higher offer, then suddenly after 3 years on the market a "friend" suddenly became interested and offered 5 grand over the asking price, so that was 15 grand higher then my higher offer,?????? oh yer,, cobblers,, someone's playing games,,, so I pulled out,, only to get an e-mail when I returned to Brit, to say the property has been reduced by 10 grand,,,, tough,, too late,,, not playing silly games,,,

    So back in the U.K. and spent time writing down the pos and negs of moving to France, and the negs won,,, it is getting difficult and will get more difficult to move to France because of the uncertainty of Brexit,, and I am of the frame of mind that I don't want all the hassle, I have made some hard decisions,, and like I tell people,, life is full of Choices, if its a good one, its a bonus,, if you make a bad one, then deal with it,,,, I know, I have made bad ones and that's why I am in this position,, but look positive,, I've still got some money and am in good health, so I am thankful,,,

    So I expect you are waiting to see what I have decided,,, well you are right, family is important,,, some I'm camping here in England,, I've looked at a few houses,,, well 30 or so,,, and I have made my choice,,, put in an offer and it has been accepted,,, good eh???

    It is about 12 miles south from the city called DURHAM,,, of Roger whitterka fame,, ( Durham town ),, it is a lovely city,,, in the north east,,the place is on the edge of a small estate of 6 similar houses and a row of miners houses,, the natives are very friendly and I have a view overlooking countryside at the back,,, I love the house but have to compromise on a few things,, like a small garden,, but being positive again, it will lend itself to a nice Japanese garden design.

  • badger10

    What made me stay in Brit ? ,, well having been away for 18 years I thought I would not miss it, and I didn't, that is until I retuned, and something tugged at my heart,, and the down to earth and friendly people up here in the north, just filled me with a yearning to return and made my Idea of moving to France more difficult, there have been so many little things that I could not ignore,, and as you all have said, Family,, all on the same bit of land, no ferries to catch, no airport hassle just a 4 hour drive and bob's your uncle,,, happy boy.

    It's been a long process, making decisions and altering them and making more,,, its just a process, so now I am committed, and I hope my choice is the right one,, only time will tell, and you ladies have been instrumental in my decision,, I have listened to you,, and together I believe I have made a good choice. thank you

  • nwduck

    Very exciting news, badger! I think you have made the right choice. Of course I had to Google Durham straight away. The town looks just lovely as does the surrounding countryside. Could you volunteer at the Botanical Gardens there to satisfy your urge to dig in the dirt?


    Thanks for letting us all chime in, and for being gracious in telling us we helped!


    Happy housewarming to you, and best wishes in your new spot. Be sure to let us know how it is going.

  • licksch
    Yaaaaa!!! Congrats, Badger!

    I think you have made an excellent decision. Particularly when you look ahead...over the years to come I don’t believe you will regret it. Yes, the romantic is wonderful but you can make romantic short-term decisions; travel, join up with Servas and get to know people abroad...visit charm...but home is where the heart is.

    So of course...now we are all anxious to see pictures...when you feel like sharing.

    In future you’ll appreciate the ease of being able to see family, and having them come to see you as well! (I don’t know how old your grandchildren are, or if you have them... I just recall you said family was in the picture.)

    Speaking from personal experience,as far as gardens go, you can do a lot in a small space and small is beautiful at this stage.
  • licksch
    And Durham looks plenty charming to me! Lovely streets and Cathedral, and then the river and beautiful countryside.

    It looks to be a town of just the right size. Best wishes for settling in smoothly. Cheers!
  • Depo

    Wonderful news, Badger! Congratulations! Doesn't it feel good to have made a decision? Durham looks to be a lovely town and I am sure you will be quite happy there!

  • wmsimons85

    Just wanted to congratulate you from the stranger here. :). Durham is a beautiful town, not only beautiful but has all the conveniences anyone could ask for. Sounds like fate.

    Well done and Congratulations!!

  • PRO
    Mountain MT Homes

    Hi everyone!! It's been while since being on here, How is it all going? Me I am doing good.

    Ken


  • BLee

    Hello from BLEE and Magpie. It's been so long I had to "sign in" to comment on my own discussion. I am OK - it's other people, alas. In 5 weeks I lost 3 friends and a fourth had a paralyzing stroke. Traveling during holidays to 4 states was not fun, especially the jaunt to Idaho [shiver], but I am glad I went, if for no other reason than to offer support to their husbands. Ladies all in late 70s, mid 80s. lived good lives and enjoyed good health right up to their passing.

    Slow recovery here from stress, grief, and too much galavanting about. Anyone who wandered through my front door would peg me as a hoarder. Piles of unfolded clean laundry on one living room chair, a teetering stack of mail to investigate on another, nd enough dust to grow sunflowers inside. My first two kitty sitters were friends in the building, the one just at Christmas a disaster. I had to use an agency and I'll send her off to mid-Sahara if I ever meet her. I thought I had made it easy: a second litter box and a note to put the soiled one in the bathtub, but she emptied the litter into the tub and used the old one without cleaning. Left a broom to sweep tracked out grit behind the bathroom door. Maybe she used it to fly around visiting friends. The heavy plastic bag I asked her to use for the cat food cans was empty, the unwashed tins on the counters. And baskets on bed and my comfy chair all rumpled - she made herself at home. Growl.

    Slow progress washing floors, scrubbing counter, hauling the litter out bathtub and cleaning fridge - she had left a few half used catfood cans uncovered on the rack and managed to tip one over. If I hadn't been feeble I might have laughed - How can one person create such a shambles in just one hour daily for 4 days? She never saw my shy little lady - who for the first time ventured into front hall to greet me with desperate cries of relief and /or rebuke. She seems contented now after this first year, relaxing on her pillow/quilt here near my chair or snoozing inside her cozy tent, If my photo iPad cooperates, I will send a pic. Both iPad and Mac laptop near unusable after less than 2 years. I am wrestling with Windows 10 on a new HP laptop and an otherwise easy to use note pad.

    Home 9 days now and mostly caught up - what remains is in the realm of tidy-up: dishes into cupboards, clothing and linens to fold and put away, plus the results of a taxi visit to grocery to restock sparse cabinets. Bedtime ... will have nice dreams about Badger settling into his new home.



  • BLee

    blankets on bed. there are also baskets, recently dumped there for sorting of little stuff I just didn't put away this past month. Can anyone tell me why, just after floor washed and microwave cleaned, why or why did I drop on egg on floor, which bombed into a small hillock of spilled cream of wheat grains, while the two in the oven exploded. [that, I guess, is the way one person can create a shambles in a short time]. Tired = clumsy and inattentive [forgot to poke a few holes in the eggs]. Onward!

  • nwduck

    I am sorry to hear of your grief-ridden weeks, hugs to you Blee,


    Although in the midst of this you made me laugh. "Maybe she used it to fly around visiting friends."

  • Rina

    BLee, you are a very funny lady. But my heart goes out to you. This is no way to start a new year. However, how wonderful that Magpie survived it all and has forgiven you.


    Badger, wonderful news. What a beautiful place to live -- to me in Joburg that is just as much a romantic dreamland as France could ever be. I'm hoping that you might be able to give us a picture of the house, and certainly that if you decide to transform the garden you give us a blow by blow on that as time goes by, with pictures if at all possible. Gosh, you've been on a long life journey since you joined Crossroads, haven't you? I think it's been a privilege for us that you have taken us along with you.

  • licksch
    Omg...to the 10th degree. The cat sitter from HE //. Dumped the litter into the bathtub? I don’t even want to ask what you paid her. I’m glad your cat has forgiven you...

    One of the reasons I have not gotten more cats, other than feral Shadow, is the cat sitter situation. My ex sister-in-law was looking after my cats when I travelled, but she has become increasingly incapacitated with arthritis.

    That is the grief of our age isn’t it… Our friends dying, and knowing that we too can go quickly, without warning. I have been reading Mary Oliver‘s poetry every day, a reminder of the small blessings of life. Here is one of my favorites.

    There is a map of where all theHouzzers are, on my thread, in an album I have shared with you called “My House”. (I am happy to share that album with anybody who wants to see it.Just let me know.)

    Sadly it’s not a world map, it just has the people in the states...but that’s the most complicated anyway. Jan,Rina, and Badger are easy to remember, in terms of location. There is a photo of the map here and maybe you can see the whole thing if you click on it.

    The ocean is my beach down the road and of course the cat is Shadow.

    It’s good to hear your voice again! Wishing you a peaceful and early spring time on the West Coast.
  • ladma
    Blee, it’s good to hear from you, even though you’ve had a tough few weeks. I’m not a cat person, but even I know not to put litter in the tub! Badger, good news on the house, Durham looks lovely.
  • Depo

    I'm sorry you have gone through such a rough time, BLee! What an idiot that cat sitter is! I hope you took photos of the mess and reported all of it to the agency!

  • badger10

    WOW Blee, what a mess, so sorry you were subjected to all that hassle


    And thank you all so much for your lovely comments, they really hit the spot

  • BLee

    BLee - HAPPT NEW YEAR every one .... though my year has begun late, I expect to enjoyment good days ahead. Heartwarming poem, Licksch - Pleased Ms Oliver noticed the wren - a dear friend used to call me a little brown wren and always found birthday and Christmas cards with wrens in the picture, signed himself "Cheep". And I won't ever forget the day a little brown wren flew in the house. exhausting herself avoiding capture - I held her a long time cupped in my hands. When she seemed calm I took her to someshrubs, but she didn't want to leave, stood perkily on my finger until I gently brushed her off. Amazing teeny little creature. Sweet memories.

  • PRO
    Mountain MT Homes

    Hi everyone!! It has been awhile since I have been on here. I see the thread has been going good. I have been very busy and not on the computer a lot, but trying to get back.

    Ken


  • Depo
    So Ken, what have you been busy with? Has there been a building boom in your area?
  • PRO
    Mountain MT Homes

    Yes a lot of remodeling, These 2 years have been pretty good here. More remodel then cabinet work. I live in a remote country area but the bigger towns around are also doing a lot.

    Ken


  • Depo
    That's great, Ken! Busy is always a good thing when you have your own business! Are your clients long time residents, or new comers?
  • licksch
    This is for Jan...wondering which embroidery styles are in your area...?

    Hope all are well... I am dealing with rats here, just had my neighbours down the street come and help me set three traps.
  • stryker

    Hi Blee. I'm sorry your year got off to a rough start. Losing friends is awful and coming home to a big mess doesn't help any. Your description made me laugh though. You ought to complain to that agency.

    I look forward to seeing your new house, badger!

  • badger10

    nice to see you back KEN, good to hear that you are busy, nothing worse then sitting on yer Bu@ waiting for work to come in,,,

    http://search.dowen.co.uk/DowenProperty/Details.aspx?Ref=B_2444

    How ya all like my new house, at last , just waiting for the legal stuff to be done, 6-8 weeks and then I'm in,,, so what do you think of the style ??? I think as I'm a big kid I ought to have the bedroom with the Disney characters ?????

  • licksch
    Hey, Badger! it’s a good looking house, looks to be just right in terms of size; your backyard is actually quite big. You could do a lot in there. It’s kind of nice that you’re working with a blank slate. The fence is quite respectable also, in terms of aesthetics. Not chain link which is hard to work with.

    Four bedrooms is a lot; of course you have family that might come to stay and perhaps one room will be an office? Or a workspace?

    You must be excited to put your own stamp on it. I’ll be interested to see what you do with the Disney characters… LOL.

    The kitchen looks quite new in fact the whole place appears to be in very good shape. How far are you in terms of walking, to various amenities? Or do you have to drive? Are you thinking of painting before you move in or is it move and paint later or maybe it is freshly painted?
  • badger10

    Well the house is 8 years old and in quite good condition inside,, the Disney will have to go and this will be my office, I will have another bedroom for a hobby room, my room and a guest room,, the house has been well looked after,, there's a bus stop 200M from the house which takes you to the local town, about a mile,, could walk it easily and from there you can get a bus or train to anywhere in the country,, an international airport is 24 miles away, doctors is also 1 mile as are the dentists, a big shop,, Morrisons and Asda are both 10mins away, a pub is 400yds, and countryside a 3 min walk, with footpaths everywhere,, I will move in and get a feel for the place before I do any decorating, and just think what would suit my lifestyle in this house, garden is way smaller then I would have liked, but I can cope with it,,, it will probably be of the Japanese style as I can do a lot with such a small area,, I am excited as it is as you say a bit of a blank canvas, and all though it was a chore to pack everything in Ireland, I'm really looking forward to unpack and put things away

  • Rina

    My first thought was that if it were mine I'd leave the Disney room just because I could. but okay, yes, let's not be silly. It's just waiting for you, I think. It really needs exactly what you can give it -- especially gardens front and back. What fun! The interior's also waiting for Badger creativity. Thank you so much for posting it.

  • Kathi Steele

    I love living vicariously thru all of you. Although I don't post much, I do read the posts and it brings me joy, sadness and I learn so much.

    Badger, the house sounds amazing! The Disney could be a little much though. Even the trees are decorated Disney! The location is awesome and there is a Pizza King!! I had to chuckle at that one.

    Ken, welcome back! I have missed your wit!

    BLee, I am so sorry your year started off the way it did. I hope the rest of the year goes much better.

    Thank you to all of you for allowing me to be a part of this! Thank you so much.


    Kathi, Indiana

  • ladma
    Badger, the house looks good. Location sounds ideal. It looks ready for grandbabies to visit, do you have any? :)
  • badger10

    LADMA,, yes I have "grandbabies" but they are growing too fast, my daughters two are 14 and 11 and my son has a baby of 2 years,, but I'm looking for more from him,, he he he.

    within 10 min drive I am in the Cotswolds and the north east of the lake district and about an hours drive I would be in the north York moors,, and very scenic countryside, so much in a small area and then there is all the shows in Birmingham and Liverpool not so far away and Shildon which is the epi centre for the steam railways and the coal mining industries, they have a lovely museum which is free to visit, so much history, and the people here in the north are so friendly and down to earth, good honest people, hardworking ex coal miners

  • licksch
    Wowzers you’re at location sounds ideal! So much so close by.

    I’m envious that you have a two year old so close at hand. Mine is all the way across Canada. Y’all have some fun times. Unquestionably you made the right decision and I’m sure you feel that way now.

    Though it’s easier to paint without anything in the house, I totally agree, hanging out someplace for awhile and getting a feel for the light...the way it changes during the day and the seasons, will give you much more of a sense of what you might like to do. It took me forever to paint this place.

    You can start to track the light in the backyard too. That’s a nice row of trees at the back I’m not sure what kind they are. I’ll be interested to see what you do with your landscaping. I’m very fond of the Japanese gardening methods, although there’s not much scope for it here at my place. At least not for the time and expertise that I have. It’s pretty labour-intensive so it’s an advantage that you have a small area. Not sure how cold your winters get there and what your zone is.
  • Depo

    Badger, your new house is fantastic! Sounds like the perfect location. We all would love to come over and help you decorate the place, once you are ready!

  • badger10

    LICKSCH,, Winters here are wet and damp to the body so feels much colder then it is, lots of drizzle, snow is usually expected not much more then a few inch's but there is the exception, this year for example the lowest temp was -4 centigrade a little snow, probably 2" but the winter is not over yet,, back in 2010 the snow was on average 4' deep and the drifts was in places up to 10' plus it sat around until the middle of March the temp was around 18 degrees below C,, so its variable, but that year was exceptional,, the bad one before that was when I was at school or at least my last year in 1963, man that was epic, started snowing in the middle of November, and within a week total shutdown no movement at all but we was still expected to go to school so we had to walk on top of the snow which had frozen and we got layer upon layer each day and by January on average it was 12' deep so you could not see ant hedges or trees, it was like a desert, any tall trees that stuck out was quickly covered with drifts so it was a hilly landscape.

    We had an artic, you would call it a big rig, who got as far as our house and could not go any further, and asked if he could use our phone to call his employer and his wife ( no mobiles then ) my mum took pity on him and put him up for what we thought would be a few days,,, huh,,, he was with us from the end of November until the second week of May when he suddenly found his rig again which had completely disappeared during this time under the snow,,, the last of the slush finally disappeared at the end of may, we had 4 miles to walk to get food for the first month, then that ran out so we had helicopters making regular trips to supply food for us,,,, now that was a bad year, but as kids we had great fun, but still walked to school on a daily basis,, would the kids of today do that,, I doubt it, the schools in Ireland would shut the school just in case it snowed. ahhh memories

  • licksch
    Omg Badger... that is a tall snow story for sure… I mean... I’ve never heard anything like that. In the UK? I always thought they got a little bit of snow and then it melted. We’ve had some bad storms here every once in a while through the years, but that one takes the cake.

    You should write that one up for a local newspaper, mag, or publication of some sort.It’s a great story. Shouldn’t be lost.
  • wmsimons85

    Badger just saw this and wanted to add love your new place! Sounds like an ideal position for you and such a lovely home. Looks to me you have a wonderful large garden space to play with. As far as the weather, it may be a bit cold in the winter in the north of England but when the sunshine’s it is beautiful. Where in the world is a more beautiful place on a sunny day than the Lake District or Yorkshire Moors for example?! :)

    Look forward to seeing what you do to your home.

  • BLee

    BLee and Magpie. Four bedrooms To decorate - what fun! Yes, Badger, waiting until you get the feel of your new home is sensible. I painted here before I moved in; all those fruitbowl colors in bedroom were a gamble, but I still enjoy them. When I have just one small table lamp switched on the whole room has a warm glow from the canteloupe walls.


    My friend Alexandra will soon escape from her senior care facility, so I periodically check apartment ads on the net for her. When I see an especially attractive one, I pause to mentally decorate it. i always paint bathrooms with peachy colors to complement onecomplexion.

    We have had an unusually warm season here; however, the snow ignored the 36 degree temp last Monday and came floating down, but lasted just long enough for me to say “How pretty” before it realized its mistake and hastily retreated. So chilly recently that Magpie now sleeps in her tent in the living room near the hot water pipes. When out and about she curls up on a little quilt opposite my easy chair or lolls contentedly on my lap.



  • badger10

    You have to look after those friends who give you joy and pleasure, whether thy be human or animal

  • Rina

    Amen to that.

  • licksch
    What a beautiful girl!

    Here was my guest, today for lunch.
  • badger10

    I see you laid out the red carpet for her

  • licksch
    Beautiful girl...Maggie.

    I believe Shadow is a boy cat.
  • BLee

    Magpie flaunts her shine. Fish oil has overcome the dry winter air; I take it too, but my hair will never match her lush coat.. She is on my lap, vigorously trying to shred the receiving blanket I use to constrain the fluff while brushing her.



  • licksch
    Maggie is looking gorgeous.

    Badger must be in the middle of moving and settling in… it has been pretty quiet here.

    We are surviving another cold snap here at -11 C. I went in to Halifax and bought some flower seeds… Zinnia, nasturtium, echinacea, with the hope that spring will come eventually.

    Shadow has been coming around regularly. He was waiting on my steps at 4 o’clock today when I pulled into the driveway. He’s getting more talkative and I can now get about 10 feet away pretty easily.

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