A new start to the new year

Posted Tuesday June 28, 2016 by Hazel Durbridge

I am still retrieving bits from the fall-out from the New Year’s Eve party. At the weekend I found a flower arrangement stuck in a tree. I also forgot to tell you that I watched Buena Vista Social Club – the film – over Christmas and was absolutely riveted by it – the expressions, the contemplative way of speaking are just so Cuba – and to actually have the lyrics translated to the melodies I love was quite a revelation.
Rosie the Sikh doctor in training has moved in. Homely is how I would describe her. Probably not the brightest star in the heavens which is why she is studying part of the programme in Luton when she lives in Washington DC, but very chatty and friendly and less of a cook than me so I haven’t got to feel intimidated by gourmet cooking. At the weekend we also had Tess from San Francisco staying with A* so we were very American.

I met my builder who I hope is going to help me and not rip me off in addressing my housing issues. He sounded white, middle aged on the phone and is actually young and black ( I can’t gauge origin exactly) but we carried out some very thorough investigations with my shower hose that reassured me that he was going to do everything with a layman’s approach rather than trying to blind me with his expertise. At the weekend I went and purchased a new shower screen and identified new tiles for the kitchen floor.

I have also started an email correspondence with Bibi from Sao Tome (Portuguese island off the west coast of Africa). As these Adventure tours are so expensive I am picking somewhere really obscure that haven’t done anything like this before and hope to devise my own cheaper version so that FP can take his children too. It sounds a bit like a sort of Cuba (previously lots of communist influence), but fantastic wildlife and vegetation and wonderful old plantation buildings from when their main export was cocoa. You can only fly there from Lisbon. So – I think I’m doing quite well really with my forward thinking resolutions considering we are only into the second week of the new year.

I’ve had a wonderful itinerary back from Bibi moving all round the island, spending one night in a hotel off the south coast – a tiny island on the equator line – honeymooners paradise – and several nights in plantation houses that have had single figures of guests before. We are now waiting to see if FP’s ex wife will agree to him taking his children there. It’s not a place I would take J2 just on his own as he would be bored with just me and FP for company. It is so exciting to speculate going there I got a blood rush!

Caught up with Siobhan and my old uni friend Louise from Oxford on Monday who has been to Mozambique for Christmas on safari with her family – sounds whizzy. She has been made redundant from the BBC after 22 years – scary – but she will get a good pay off to tide her till she finds another job.

Last night I had a long chat with Tracey who has been offered a 3 bedroom house in Hemel Hempstead which she is going to take. Moving house and getting carpets is going to be incredibly expensive for her. They will charge more because of all the stairs to her current flat. She has to get a loan to do it. Things are still very dodgy with her Moroccan husband. He says some dreadful things and no doubt she does too. She has been suffering from severe depression. Imagine being stuck in a flat with two small children, very little support and no outlets. L, the eldest of the two little girls, seems incredibly bright and has picked up on the tension with her Dad. She asks Tracey why Daddy doesn’t like her (T) – all poignant, heart-wrenching stuff.

Bear came back from Manchester with his hair cut short and straightened. What I hadn’t realised was that he is going a bit bald at the front and thinning and he now has a fringe. It will take some getting used to, but he has a good bone structure and can carry most hair styles. He is also talking major room refurbishment and getting a flat TV and a computer. I have already asked to have his old one for J2 as his is stuck on mega loud volume only.

J1 is in the throes of resits and mocks and well and truly in the doldrums. However, he does have his ski trip to look forward to in February which is helping him. He got another offer – from Lancaster this time.

A* has emailed from uni pretty upbeat with lots of plans for exercise and joining clubs.

I am getting on quite well with ‘Death and the Penguin’. I plan to ask Elaine what they said about it at the book club when I’ve finished.
No more news. Work is very busy and a bit stressful. I’m tired and I’m not sleeping very well as I’ve been experimenting with Specky sleeping on my bed (otherwise she scratches all night at Rosie’s door!) and I am waking up virtually out of it and suffering from unpleasant dreams!

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