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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Happy Solstice!

"May your hearts be merry and light..." ~Irving Berlin, American Songwriter

Les helps Maffi moor up
     After our doddle around to Braunston to find out about the Eberspacher and another stop over to visit with friends Tina and Andy (NB Ytene) which allowed them plenty of time to ply us with drink and kick our butts at the Railroad game (The Great Game of Britain), we headed back down the various flights of locks toward Warwick. Les needs to be close to a rail station for his quarterly trip to the Royal Free Hospital in London for a scan and the results, and we both had an appointment with Warwick Hospital Physio for a "knee class."
The guys plan a canal game with a Geo map.
     We were well pleased to see Maffi and Molly who caught up with us Sunday last above Fosse locks. It was the first time in three years that NB Millie M moored nearby while Les was actually at home and not in a hospital somewhere. Dinner was good, the wine flowed and we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. I seldom have the chance to talk to other writers about our craft, er, obsession, so Maffi's company was all the more fun for me. We parted in the morning, each boat going in opposite directions as one does, never knowing when our paths will cross again. 
     We attended the knee class yesterday. It is designed for patients facing knee replacement and their spouses, partners and/or care givers. Demonstrations of the daily exercises were given with instructions to complete a set of ten several times daily up to the surgery. The operation was explained and expectations were covered as well as how check-in works, what happens leading up to surgery, during the operation, anesthesia, post-op recovery, going home and recovery after. It was brilliant really as both of us know what to expect now and Les has a better idea of how to care for me when I come home. 
     My surgery has been scheduled for January 26th. Generally one is in hospital for two days, the clips are removed at two weeks, and a total of six weeks of physio is undertaken after which all things being well, we will be free to roam again. That takes us to the week of March 11th when the stoppages at Radford lock to our south, and the Hatton lock flight stoppages to our north will be complete. Until then we are cruising the same five miles of cut and keeping each other busy so we don't lose our minds. 
     How do we do this? Well there is one game peculiar to us called "Les Loses His Wife."  We were bundled up recently and waiting at a bus stop for a bus to town to top up our groceries. Les was facing the direction the bus was coming from and I was standing immediately behind him. I bent down to tighten a strap on my boot and Les turned to ask me something. I suddenly heard him exclaim, "Jaq! Where are you? Where in  god's name has that woman gone?!!" I croaked, "Down here." Les looked down and there I was--bent over and buckling my boot! We laughed so hard at the silliness of it all that we were left gulping for air in hysterics. We do have fun!!
Sleeping beauty naps in front of the fire
     We also play lots of games such as Bananagram, Phase Ten, Mille Bornes, and our favorite, the Railroad game. We scour the Saturday Daily Mail telly guide for the week looking for things we find interesting and download or stream a few things that conflict with other programs. Les and I love BBC nature shows. Fortunately our current location offers excellent wifi. We are stocked with good books on our Kindles and some that Les has found at the local charity shops.
This year's Golden Ginger Cake
    Les and I have done all that we can to prepare for winter, the holidays, and the surgery ahead. We are looking forward over the next few days to visits with friends Jennie and Chris Gash (NB Tentatrice), Sue and Ken Deveson (NB Cleddau) and Jo and Keith Lodge (NB Hadar), in which we will share some festive holiday spirit and have a good catch up. 
A view of Radford Farm with St. Nicholas church tower in the background
     Next Wednesday I have my pre-op appointment in the morning. We will go for water, dump our rubbish, and turn around to stop for our holiday grocery shop at Tesco. We plan to cruise out to Radford Semele and moor up across from Radford Hall Farm and the Parish Church of St. Nicholas. It is quiet and peaceful there with a lovely view of the farm and the square church tower. 
     Our holiday dinner will be a roast Turkey crown, Yorkshire puddings, mashed potatoes, Turkey gravy, green bean casserole, and Golden Ginger Cake. For New Year's Eve/Day I will make nibbles: Chorizo, Port Salut, and caramelized onions on a puff pastry crust, Amaretto Almonds, Smoked Salmon Log, Boursin made from mild goat's cheese and fresh herbs with sesame crackers, fresh vegetable crudites with homemade Ranch dressing, and a Cranberry and Pecan Breakfast Ring made from yeast raised dough, accompanied by a bottle of Asti Spumante.  
     We wish everyone a merry holiday season and a very happy new year!


Carapace said...

Hi Jaq
Was getting worried as you hadn't blogged for a while. Sigh of relief when I found out you were both OK. Hope you have a great Christmas, you are so organised you put me to shame! No food shopping done yet as I HATE supermarkets, but as we are limited in Tewkesbury for shopping will have to peruse the aisles. Thank goodness day off Christmas Eve. Have been summoned to the children for Christmas day, hope daughter remembers to get the turkey out of the freezer, last time we went she forgot!
Take care
Carolyn. Carapace

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Good morning from NZ!
First things first: please send the golden ginger cake recipe pronto!
Secondly: excellent news re the instructional session at the hospital - I am cutting and pasting that bit into an email to Mick and Julia, as Mick is due for his op on Jan 13 in Northampton.
Thirdly: David and I and Mick and Julia moored up at Radford Semele in the same spot you are heading for next week - it is lovely! Have you been into the large park nearby? Probably best wait for that until your knee is well mended but it is a lovely long circular walk that I am sure you two would enjoy - Julia and I did it while David and Mick (well, Mick really) did DIY stuff on our boat.
Fourthly: love and hugs to you both, stay warm, safe and happy - and don't be too sure that you are deluded in thinking you are maintaining sanity by being busy, girl - I think THAT train departed some time ago ...

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Carolyn,
Well thank you! It isn't too difficult for me to get things organized as Tesco usually delivers my groceries and I am just fixing for me and Les. We don't decorate the boat or do presents--we are each other's present! I think it is all far more difficult out there in "civilization"! Fingers crossed that your daughter produces a delicious Turkey and your holiday is fabulous!!

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

LOL! Hi Marilyn!
If you look on the right side of our blog you will see a new gadget called Featured Post. It links to my post with the recipe for the Golden Ginger Cake. I don't like fruit cake but this is the BEST recipe ever, filled with candied ginger, pecans, pistachios and golden currents in a lovely golden batter with orange zest and vanilla essence. After it is cooled it gets a bath in Grand Marnier a couple of times! MMMMMMMmmmmm!!!!!!

Is Mick on FaceBook? There is a FB group called Total Knee Replacement UK. I was referred by Graham on NB Matilda rose/Peniche Francoise. It has been a gold mine of info and very helpful. Also give him my email and we can converse about things.

We haven't walked in the park but hopefully we will! As for crazy-- in my 20's I used to have a saying, " YOu have to do Insanity all week so you can go home and do sane on the weekend!"

Love and Biggs Huge hugs to you and David. May you have a good holiday, however you choose to celebrate!
Love Jaq and Lesxxx

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs