The Lean Winter Months

You may have noticed a decided lack of updates on our blog over the colder months. It’s alright we are still in the land of the living it’s just that other things have been uppermost in our priorities.

The time has arrived though to bring you up to date with what’s been going on. There are a few changes to Voyager for which there will be another page very soon but we have also been busy at home doing upgrades of one sort or another.

Nigel has added many new bits of tech around the house. He says it’s now a ‘Smart Home’ – myself I thought we had always kept it smart. We now have two Amazon Echo Dots (one in the lounge the other in the bedroom) and Wi-Fi switches on a lot of the lights along with voice control of the TV (using a Harmony hub apparently) and his own design of Smart Thermometer – he wasn’t prepared to pay for a commercial one like Nest or Hive – too expensive at around £200. So he got a couple of cheaper bits and made what we need for £30.

You might be asking how a couple of poor old pensioners like us can afford to do these things – well we have had a bit of a PPI windfall. Nigel tried a while ago to claim for PPI miss-selling on his Credit Card. This was rejected because it turned out he had selected it when he applied for the card online. They wrote to him in December due to a court ruling about commission rates – they asked if he would like to try claiming due to this. All he had to do was say ‘Yes’. So he did and a few weeks later they sent him a cheque in the post. Totally unexpected but very welcome. It spurred him to make claims on all cards and loans he’s had in the past years. We will see if we get any more!

If you’ve had loans or cards in the past and haven’t had a go yourself it doesn’t cost anything if you do it yourself – just go to the web-site of the provider where most have got a link (usually at the bottom in small print) and a quick process to check if you had PPI and then make a claim if you want.

As the money was such a surprise we wondered what to do with it – no return worth talking about for investing it so we decided it was treat time.

We now have a new TV (a 48inch 4K Panasonic LED) a new Blue Ray player (again Panasonic) and a Sound Bar (not Panasonic because theirs was too long for our cabinet) – it’s like being at the Cinema all the time.

TV sml

We have decorated the bedroom – changed the colour scheme – new mattress’s on the bed (we put two singles together because my side of the bed is electrically adjustable to help with my back and hips). Replaced all the bedding – added co-ordinated curtains, bed valance and headboard. New bedside lamps (remote controlled – by me).

Bedroom sml

My new bedside cabinet has still to be made by Nigel (he says he’s waiting for the weather as he has to do sawing outside and it’s still too wet or cold). Also a new ceiling lamp shade for the Wi-Fi colour changeable bulb. It’s a bit Star Trek but being able to lie in bed and say ’Computer, turn on the bedroom light’ still seems magical to us oldies.  Nigel even had to change the old dimmer switch we used to have back to a normal switch because now we just say ‘Computer set the bedroom light to 20 percent’ and it does it, amazing!

I’ve got plans to do more decorating (hall, reception room and bathroom) replace carpets curtains and blinds – some of the details are still a bit vague but it’s nice to be able to get things done without worrying too much about how we are going to pay for it all.

Nigel keeps asking me if I need anything (new hobby, treat etc.) but I think that is only because he has invested in a new hobby – well he says it’s to take better selfies and views when we  are away on our holidays – but I know he just couldn’t resist a new toy.

What’s he bought I hear you ask – a new DJI Mavic Air drone that he can fly around and take HD video and stills with. He’s shown me some impressive shots on ‘YouTube’ done by other peeps so I expect some from him after he’s mastered the flying bit – and he hasn’t made his maiden flight yet.

You should get to see some as well as our Blog host ‘WordPress’ had a 30% off sale on Valentine’s day so he has upgraded from the free site we have been using that doesn’t allow video to the next level that does – and he saved £25 on the annual charge too.

We have plans for holidays as well. The Spring one is booked from the middle of March. An early tour of Cornwall and Devon keeping our fingers crossed that the weather is OK. We don’t expect to be doing a lot of sun bathing but hopefully there won’t be too much rain. Lap of the Gods though!

We have booked six sites to visit on this tour the first just for one night (near Exeter) to break up the journey. Then four nights a piece on each of the rest.

Route

Then we plan a few weeks in France from late April staying on mostly sites but hope to try a Passion and at least one Aire just to get the hang of them.

Hopefully the weather will be good when we get back – so home for a week or two then off to North Wales and Midlands’s areas – but that requires a bit more planning.

The summer (school holidays) we will spend at home tending the garden and avoiding the kids, although day trips to Weston SM or West Bay are possibilities.

Then something for a few weeks beginning when the school term starts again – not sure where yet – open to suggestions (home or away).

There is even some talk about Spain or Portugal for Christmas and the winter months but that’s just a dream at the moment.

 

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