Wednesday, 25 February 2009

A Last Long Lingering Look

I was in Keith over the weekend helping my Dad finally move the remnants of his stuff out of the family home. By Sunday we were done. I locked the front door and walked out of the family home for the last time.

But not before I took this short film.

Missing Dad is found!

My Dad went missing on Monday. Or to be more precise, he had been into Foresterhill hospital in Aberdeen for an eye injection. I had word that he had boarded the 3.20 p.m. train in Aberdeen for the one-hour journey to Keith, but that there was blood in his eye and he could not see very well. The was a taxi waiting to meet this train and take him the 5 minutes to his new sheltered housing cottage.

I rang his mobile at 5.30 p.m. - no response. I rang his home - no response. I did the same at 6.00 p.m. - no response. Again at 6.30 p.m. - no response. There was, as far as I was concerned, no explanation other than that he had collapsed or fallen over on getting out of the train. I was ready to phone round the hospitals.

But I called him again at 7.00 p.m. He was at home having a glass of whisky! 'Oh, were you worried?' he said. It turns out that he had not boarded the train. Because of his eyesight, he had gone to the wrong train on the wrong platform. By the time he realised his mistake, the correct train had left Aberdeen station. So he had to wait two hours for the next train. But didn't think to switch on his mobile phone.

It is a pity that the NHS asks a 92 year-old to make the 60 mile journey from Keith to Aberdeen without ascertaining how he is going to be able to do this. Neither my sister nor I can always travel up to Northern Scotland from Southern England to help him with this journey.

But I guess all's well that ends well.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Selling the Family Home

Last month I went up to Keith in Northern Scotland to help my dad move from the family home into sheltered accommodation. Since neither I nor my sister are never going to move up there, the logical next step was to sell the family home. My mum and dad had lived there for 41 years and I lived there when I went to school in Keith, plus on numerous visits subsequently, so parting with it is going to be an emotional experience. If only I could have lifted it and placed it down here in London.

We put in on the market on the Tuesday and expected that the sale would take months. By the Friday we had accepted an offer!

So this weekend I head back to Keith to remove items from the house. The actual sale happens at the end of the month. I'll stay in the house which will be weird for two reasons. It will be the first time I have ever stayed in the house on my own. And of course it will be the last time I will be able to stay there.

Logically it is the correct thing to do, and getting such a quick sale, and at the asking price, was great. But excuse me if I shed a small tear before I return back to London on Sunday.

Monday, 16 February 2009


On my way to work this morning, I saw a large number of snowdrops in a churchyard. Snowdrops are my favourite flower. Two reasons I guess. Firstly it is a very pure flower; no frippery, just clean lines and pure white. Secondly it is a very symbolic flower, marking a hope that winter is ending. But it bravely pokes its head above the ground before being sure that this is the case. So it is a triumph of hope over expectation.

Friday, 13 February 2009

More from Malaga

Another video I took last week, this time in the evening in central Malaga after a very wet day. I have also been able, I think, to download it to You Tube, from where I am picking it up. I am rather chuffed that I have been able to so this. What I now need to do is take some rather better-quality videos.


I have been persuaded to join Twitter. Partly this is in order to be part of a Twitter group at work. I have yet to be convinved of the benefits, but we'll see. I have added the latest updates to the right hand side of this site.

Monday, 9 February 2009

My first video

Recently I bought a flip vide camera. The quality is not great, but it is fun. This is a video I took last week in Malaga. My first video.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Back in the UK

My flight from Malaga was due to land just after mid-day on Monday at Luton Airport. I actually landed just after midnight on Saturday morning at Gatwick. Four and a half days late. Nearly 100 miles away from where I expected. All because of the snow in England which led to two flights being cancelled.

And somehow I expected London to be covered in over a foot of snow. In fact there was only a few inches. Why was Luton airport closed on both Monday and Friday. I really don't know. Don't they have gritters at the airport?

Easyjet were very good and very professional. They found us the best alternative flight, they put cancelled passengers up in local hotels at Easyjet's expense and generally they did their best.

I am just glad to be back home.

Marooned in Malaga - still

This morning I headed again for Malaga airport to catch my reartranged flight - 4 days after the original flight. When I got to the airport, and looked at the departures board, I saw the dreaded two words - ´´flight cancelled´.

So back I trundled into Malaga. Four journeys to the airport so far - there and back on Monday; there are back today.

I have been put on tonights flight to Gatwick. I just keep my fingers crossed that that flight will happen. It will still be a long journey home.

But I do want to get home. I want to see England´s white and pleasant land.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Marooned in Malaga

We spend last weekend in Malaga on a short break. I went to the airport on Monday for my EasyJet flight back to Luton. The flight was showing a 2 hour delay. So I went off to a corner to read a newspaper. Which meant I missed the change in status to ´flight cancelled´. Indeed all EasyJet flights to England had been cancelled, due to the snow. When I did find this out, I went straight to the EasyJet desk. The queue was enormous. It took me 3 hours to get to the front of the queue. By which time all alternative flights were full until tomorrow, Friday.

So I have had to spend 4 unexpected days in Malaga. Which would have been okay, I guess, except that it has not stopped raining here. And now apparently the forecast for Luton tomorrow is not good. I am not sure that I can cope with another flight cancellation. Maybe I should just stay in Malaga until summer kicks in. ´Don´t book a flight til May is out.´