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CHAPTER THIRTEEN


THE FINAL MOVE



Our new home


It is now January 2005 but we have to go back in time to March 27th 1997
when we finally had sold Rockwood and found the house of our dreams - a
bungalow, right by the sea with no buildings in front and isolated enough that
we would not be inundated with traffic parked outside all through the
summer.

We sold Rockwood after three years of having the house available but no takers. We
did not get quite what we had hoped but sufficient to say that by selling that property,
downsizing as we intended and moving out of a high priced area, we were able to
clear our mortgage, have sufficient funds available to spend on putting our new place
in order and settling in to a different way of life.

We had spent many months looking in this area and had fallen in love with the idea of
being beside the sea where we could have long walks with the dogs along the sand
and because we both love the wind and to some extent not minding the rain either, we
were not worried about the bad weather - after all when you are indoors with the
placed sealed up with double glazing it is very cosy.

Unfortunately not all of our hopes came true because within one year both of us had
problems with walking, arthritis had set in, and where we had been going down the
beach to the sea, even for a swim in the first two years, we were unable to negotiate
the pebbles without fear of falling over.

Eventually there was no alternative but to see the doctor, who in turn referred me to
the hospital and finally it was decided that I needed a new left hip so I was put on the
waiting list. It was suggested that this would be a maximum of a year and I therefore
put pressure to bear when the year was coming up and luckily I was offered the
opportunity of either going to France or to the Horder Centre for Arthritis at
Crowborough in Sussex to have it done. Having attended the outpatients at the
Horder Centre the surgeon suggested that both hips should be done, and together,
because he felt that leaving the right hip for too long it would deteriorate to the extent
that it would be difficult to deal with. The NHS trust refused to fund both at once so
I finally went in for the first operation in September 2002. Immediately there was a
transformation - no pain - and it took no time at all for me to walk again without a
stick. I felt a miracle had taken place. The difficulty was that the right hip was
causing more and more pain and after more attendances at hospital it was agreed that I
should have the second hip done at the Horder Centre again and I was admitted in
February 2003. At first it seemed everything was going to be alright whilst I was still
at the hospital and doing physio. But on my return home the first day it dislocated.
An ambulance was called; two girls arrived who were unable to lift me (I didn't think
I was that heavy but they were only small) so a second ambulance was called with
two hefty men to get me out and into the ambulance. I went to William Harvey at
Ashford where, after a long wait, they put me out and put the hip back in place. They
sent me by Ambulance to the Horder for observation and after just over one week
there with more physio they sent me home again. The next day it was out of the
socket again and another trip to William Harvey. By the time they had sorted me out
this time I had caught a severe bladder infection which took some time to get under
control and all of this time I was in traction - very unpleasant indeed especially if
there was need to go to the loo!! I suffered many embarrassing situations during this
period and when they thought I had overcome the infection and it was safe to do so
they sent me back off to the Horder, this time for a possible operation. BUT they
suddenly decided that I may be carrying MRSA and put me in isolation for nearly a
week. By this time it was March 2003 and it was decided to re-site the socket and put
me back together. The operation was a complete success but unfortunately due to the
fact that I had a weakness in that leg already from the operation 30 plus years
previously, I have to use a stick all the time which means that I am even less able to
go down the beach with the dogs.

As for Brenda, her health has also deteriorated, and she is using crutches all the time
so that type of leisure has gone by the wayside. Her knees are so painful that it is even
difficult indoors.

But we mustn't be downhearted must we! There are other things in life.

We have made several friends whilst we have been here, for a start we have a row of
about 9 houses where we all get together for parties and things and keep an eye on
each other and our property.

I have managed to offload several of my jobs which had to be carried on with whilst I
was out of action, and being over retirement age I did not want so much. I still
manage to deal with the Tenterden club books and have set up a website for the club
which takes up quite a bit of my leisure time. I also look after the local Country
Market accounts (used to be WI) which keeps both of us out of mischief. For my sins
I am also (voluntarily) the Treasurer of the St. Mary's Bay Village Hall, which I took
on because we have a computer club meeting in that hall and there was a threat that if
volunteers could not be found to do the work then the hall rental would be increased
to all the clubs who use it, to cover the cost of professional help.

Our computer club has a good nucleus of members, we treat it more like a social club
with each of us willing to help others who need questions answered, and none of us
knows everything so we help one another. One lady helps to set up websites, one man
is expert with photography on the computer, another lady is very knowledgeable with
Microsoft Office programmes, and so it goes on. It is an all day event and keeps our
minds active.

Brenda continues to go to college to obtain City and Guilds certificates in specialised
embroidery and just for pleasure without the certificates. She also goes singing with a
local choir.

We both visit elderly people who need to have a fresh face around at least once a
week, my visit is to a man with MS who needs computer help and a chat and Brenda
visits a lady who wishes to see the dogs every week.

Sadly we had to have Chips and Jennie put down a few years ago because they were
both experiencing blindness, incontinence and general aging. This left us with just
Uno, and it was not long before it was apparent that he was very lonely. A visit to
Seven Mile Lane Kennels soon put a stop to that. It was not the dog we intended to
bring home but somehow we were persuaded (by the dog I might add!!) to bring
home a female aged about 18 months, now known as Milly and loved by all including
Uno. Twice the size of Uno but quite obedient. We had to have Tammy back
recently because she bit Nathan, and Karen could not keep her but naturally did not
want to have her put down. She is the same age as Uno, now fifteen, and was brought
up with him. She also suffers with arthritis so fits in pretty well.

Since we have had the website there have been a number of contacts made by people
from the dim and distant past. One, Bill Warner, from over 50 years ago after a
mutual acquaintance spotted the website, passed on the details to Bill who contacted
us and we have got together a couple of times since. Others have been in contact
and I have spoken to them or been using the e-mail to get up to date.

Our family has grown considerably since we have been at Lydd on Sea, two
grandsons and a granddaughter together with two great granddaughters. This means
we have six children with their other halves, ten grandchildren and two great
grandchildren. Quite enough to be going on with.

We still have the caravan so we are able to go away with the dogs and providing we
choose the right location we can cope with our problems. See 'My thinks' for our
holiday escapades.

We do not intend to move again so we hope we are now settled.

There may be more to add to this story in due course but I feel that it may be some
time before I get down to putting another chapter on the web.

In the meantime keep looking at 'My thinks' because I could add some interesting
snippets for your entertainment.

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