Monthly Archives: Jun 2018

2018 Holiday Day’s 1,2,and 3 Cornwall to Cologne.

Thursday 28/06/18  Hampshire bound.

Left my place in West Cornwall at 9am, called at the local Pasty Shop and collected 6 Pastys, 4 for my Sister and 2 for the Eldest Daughter.

Left the area about 9:20 and headed East up the main trunk road (A30), heading for the Family homes in Basingstoke some 223-225 Miles away.

It was a good drive up, very light traffic between Rush Hours, and stopped at Cartgate about 160 Miles in to grab some Lunch, arriving at My Sister’s House early to mid-afternoon. Stopped for a cup of tea and left with a Lemon Drizzle Cake! My Sister really knows the way to a man’s heart!

Drove across town diagonally to My eldest Daughter’s place, parked up outside and walked in the unlocked front door to be greeted my Wife Julie waiting for Jake our Grandson to come home from School as Sue is working longer today! A sight for sore eyes indeed, it’s been about 6 weeks since we’ve met.

Waited for Jake and Sue to both come home, left their pastys, then Julie and I walked over to Her place about 300 Yards along the road, had a meal and some Lemon Drizzle Cake then chilled out for the Evening.

Friday 29/06/18  Rest Day.

Slow start today, lazy morning as befits a rest day, and then we went over to a local shopping centre to get my Hair cut (Normally do it myself with my Wahl Clippers on No.3 but with Tennis Elbow I cannot get my Right Hand up there with control. The Amusement factor doesn’t count, I’m not doing it! Took me 3 goes to get my beard anywhere near right (Left Handed)). Why do I do it myself normally? Well, today was cheap, only £9.50. My Clippers with all the combs cost £28.00 and I’ve been using this set for at least 10 Years! I like having short hair for work, all that fluff & Dust sticks to my really thick hair like glue so a No.3 buzz cut is ideal.

Went into the local branch of a Major Supermarket chain (Tesco) and got a couple of bits and back to the flat again. Sue and Jake called in after he came home from School, and I took him round to open the family lock up to retrieve a couple of Pillows, as the Hotel beds often come with only one each.

Back to the Flat and loaded the Cases into the car, then upstairs for another meal then TV for a bit before an early night.


Saturday 30/06/18  Travelling to Cologne.

Up relatively early at 05:25 and loaded the overnight holdalls and this laptop into the Boot (Trunk) and bags with our Maps, nibbles etc. into the body of the car and set off about 06:00. Left the Cake behind, never mind, it’s Jake’s favourite too!

Cooked Breakfast at Maidstone Services on the M20 Motorway, not that’s gone downhill since we came 2 Years ago, I may stop recommending it.

Left earlier than we had planned, Traffic had been really quiet for a Saturday Morning and it stayed that way the rest of the Journey to the Eurotunnel Terminal at Folkestone.

Pulled up at the self-check-in Automat Machine, to find it is still only 08:30, and the machine would not let us transfer to an earlier Train as they were Really busy today. We are booked on the 10:50.

Oh Bum, still it isn’t a bad terminal, much better to be here than at Maidstone Services we thought, Wrong!  Yes, it IS better to hang around at than Maidstone, and they don’t give you a parking ticket for staying over 2 Hours either, but it has gone down, they seem to have crammed a lot more concessions in, and as the machine had intimated it was really busy.

Still, we waited and waited and then got called for our train, left the Services building and passed through both Passport Controls and Customs ok without getting searched or shouting Bomb! Went and drove into the Queue lines for the Train Boarding, and after what seemed like a few minutes were released to drive round to the train.

We managed to get into the lower deck and only 2 carriages from the Front (so drove nearly half a mile through the train before parking up) and right at the front of a carriage so the roller shutter door was right in front of us. This slides down from the ‘Ceiling’ in slots in the fold out door frames at each side that are there for people to walk through in search of the toilet whilst the train is under the Sea.

I do like using the Eurotunnel Shuttle trains, they are quick, efficient, the staff always seem to be polite and courteous without being sycophantic and you drive out onto the correct side of the Motorway in France!

If you read my blog of 2 Years ago, I’d better tell you that I got onto the Correct Motorway (Autoroute) this time! (I don’t tend to use waypoints anymore.)

Stopped at one of the first set of service in Belgium for a cup of Tea and then again at the one just before the infamous Brussels Ring Road madhouse to get some lunch. This one was always good, we’ve always stopped here, no not again, drove on, round the Ring and stopped at the first one on the A4 instead. Got a filled baguette roll each which the young gentleman proceeded to Iron for us! Why do they do this?, we didn’t ask him, and I don’t do Ironing at home, let alone my food! Coffee was out of a vending machine that didn’t offer Tea so Julie had mineral water. The rolls were very good, even though Ironed!

Drove on Eastwards along the A4, stopping at the Services just into Germany after Aachen, which we Know are good, had a GOOD Mug of Tea each, a jug of Real Milk (Not Coffee Creamer) on the counter as well so set off for our final stretch down into the Rhine Valley refreshed and rested. Turned South on the A559 and off again at Porz-Whanheide, filled with Diesel and round the corner to our Hotel for the Night The Hotel-Garni Karsten.

This is a small family run Airport Hotel with a free shuttle bus to and from either the Airport or the local rail Station (Park and Ride into the centre of Cologne) where we were greeted as old friends, just walked into reception and was handed the room keys! Off again Tomorrow morning.




Blimey, I need a Holiday!


Four Weeks ago, Whitsun Weekend was a Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK, went back to work on the Tuesday with a niggling pain in my right Arm.

I’ve got various aches and pains at any time, so hadn’t really given it much thought as it was above my elbow at the front, and I thought that maybe I’d collided with a door or something and had a bruise that was below the surface?

I Struggled through the Tuesday, the pain really acute when twisting my arm, being totally Right Handed this made carrying my Toolbox very difficult and climbing into the new Van that I received at work not a week before was silly, having to pull myself in using the steering wheel with the wrong hand!

Went into work on the Wednesday having rubbed what seemed like half a tube of ‘Voltarol Emugel’ into my arm as it was so painful by now. Said hello to the Lads, went to make myself a Mug of Tea, somebody beat me to it… Result!

Went to drink my Tea, Ahh, Problem! Lifted the Mug up as far as my chest and couldn’t get it any further! The pain was Really Horrible, now I’m no wimp, I’ve got a very high pain threshold as a rule and rarely if ever complain about it. My Mate was there talking with me at the time, looked me straight in the Eyes and said: “Get yourself to the Vets Andy, You’ve got Tennis Elbow”.

Yeah, Yeah said I, thinking to myself that it’d be ok in a minute? walked round to our Service team Controller’s desk and put my tea down. “Are you ok?” She asked, yes of course, well I’ve done something to my Arm but I don’t know what. Pick up your Tea then”  I tried, really I did, “get yourself down the Doctors NOW”. Drank my Tea left handed and had to agree as She had just taken all my Service breakdowns off my screen.

Drove round to the Doctors and managed to see a Doctor within an hour of walking in the door, He apologised when I related what was wrong about what he was about to do, (Strange, thought I, what does he mean) so I sat there whilst he felt around my elbow, the muscles and tendons etc, all the while asking if it hurt and watching my face like a Hawk. His fingers relaxed but didn’t let go and still watching my he started going through the possibilities finishing with “Of course, it’s not only those because if I do THIS (waited for me to climb off the ceiling) it proves to me that You’ve got Tennis Elbow”.

I was advised VERY strongly that I was to take at least a week off work, I was to go home via the chemist, getting my prescription filled and to take one of the Naproxyn twice a day, no more and with food and definitely no other anti-inflammatories or I would be in Casualty. “Do not do anything you would normally do with your Right Arm”, (Raised Eyebrows) “especially that” Ooer, Matron! No, I didn’t ask him what ‘that’ was.

Drove myself home Very carefully, calling in the Chemist on the way, also work to let them know and went indoors and attempted to make a pot of Tea left Handed.  This is going to be different thought I, as I live alone and tried to unlace my workboots with the wrong hand!

I don’t like being home off sick, it always feels like I’m Skiving even though I definitely have a reason that I cannot do my job!  Didn’t go out at all until Friday Tea time, when I drove myself to the Chippy to get my usual Cod & Chips… Phew, that was far enough! can’t drive much further than this at the moment, too Bleddy painful.  Drove to Tesco Supermarket Sunday Morning to do my weekly shopping, couldn’t push the trolley round with both hands as usual, couldn’t grip items picked off high shelves either.

Monday comes round and I’m thinking that I’m going to have to ring the Surgery and make an appointment for Wednesday as that’ll be a week, and my self-certification for work will run out and there ain’t no way I’m going to be able to return to work anytime soon. Went into the Doctors Surgery as I prefer that to a phone call, spoke to one of the receptionists who informed me that nearly all the appointments were taken already, and certainly all for the Dr I saw!  She said She would put me on a list for the Duty Dr to ring later in the day today, and that it would probably be after 6pm.

Received a phone call about 18:30 from the duty Dr who discussed how it was going etc, advising me to go to the Pet Shop and get myself a Dog Collar to strap around my lower arm to restrict the pull on the muscles, also that he would leave a sick note for work at reception for collection tomorrow.

Tuesday comes round, I get collected in the Morning by one of the younger Lads and taken to an Engineer’s meeting that we usually have twice a Year, Didn’t want to miss it and there’s free Tea, coffee and biscuits as well! Got dropped home at lunchtime, went out almost straight away and collected my sick note from the Drs and went to the Pet Shop. 3 different sizes of Dog collar on sale, all tied onto their cards so I couldn’t see which size I needed! Asked a young male member of staff if he could advise me, No! Knew I should have waited for a female member of staff!

Gave up and went home via a pasty shop, I was really flagging by then, my arm felt like it was on fire and I’d bitten my lip in an attempt to be nice and polite with the young man who’d nearly had to get off his stool to come and help me!

Looked at the Sick note, it says a calendar week from Monday, Hummphh! Sometimes I have a day that goes according to plan, I must do I suppose, they can’t all be like this, can they? Yes? Thought so!

Rang the office to let them know and ordered two arm straps from Ebay for less than the cost of one Dog Collar!  Took a couple of Paracetamol to extinguish the fire in my upper arm and elbow and flopped in my chair in a heap for the rest of the afternoon.

The straps turned up on Friday, just the straps, no packing note, no how or where to wear them, nothing.  Spent a bit of time with Google and YouTube and found out.

Wow, what a difference, the pain just disappeared and though I still have restricted movement, it is now uncomfortable as against Bally Painful! Drove myself round to get my Tea again, phew, that was better, not right yet but definitely better.

Another week off work followed, I drove further and further, did some clothes shopping and bought a few other things as well and fitted a new pump in the Pebble Pool water feature in my back garden, Phoned the office on the Friday, “I’ll be back on Monday and we’ll see how it goes”.

So I’ve been back for a week, the first two days were bloomin difficult, especially as we were very busy and I can’t work at my normal speed, but I’ve stuck with it and I asked for someone else to do my on-call this weekend so it’s Sunday today and so far so good!

What about this Holiday then?

Well, this next Thursday I leave home to drive to my Wife’s flat, We’re going down to Austria by Car on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (1000 Miles) then we stay for 7 Nights before the 3-day drive home. So a 3 Day week for me this week, Shame!

I’ll try and take photos of this trip as we go, and of course, I’ll post them here as well as Facebook.