It's been an interesting ten days, with two courses, two visits to the dentist (ouch!), a tick on my women's health check, three nights out, two nights with my eldest sister, catching up with lots of friends I haven't seen for years, and spending time with mum and dad whilst sorting a few things out for them. Phew!
I've succeeded in getting my mum as the main driver for their car insurance from 8th March, as my dad can no longer drive. Mum hasn't been the main driver for many years, so has no no claims bonus. When I tried to get myself on dad's insurance last year, with a company called RIAS, I was informed that as I hadn't lived in England for the past three years I was too much of a risk to be insured! Hilarious, as my dad at 93 seemed a far greater risk from my experience. Oh, and I had no claims discount for life in NZ, who'd accepted my UK no claims in 2005 when I arrived, but UK don't reciprocate. Why was I in the least surprised?
This time I took the opportunity to shop around a little, and got a great quote very quickly and simply from 'Saga' - who were quite ok with the fact that I'd been a renegade and lived in another country! RIAS quite happily let us go, without question. When I phoned AgeUK for a quote, they said that because mum hadn't been the main driver for years, and had no no claims, they wouldn't insure her! Unbelievable! There must be loads of elderly women who haven't been the main driver for years and then need to get insurance. AgeUk are supposed to care for elderly people - it seems not in this case.
Hurrah for Saga!
Meanwhile Barry's been busy sorting things for his business on the boat. He tells me he was runner up at the shuffleboard contest last Saturday, and then again at the darts match at Scott's Bar at Tattenhall Marina on Thursday. I suspect he may've been losing on purpose, to maintain friendships! But then again …
My face painting course with 'Cases Faces' in Ormskirk, was fabulous! I've got most of the equipment I need to get started now, and I'm really looking forward to transforming children's faces magically and seeing their eyes light up when they see themselves as a tiger, a clown or maybe a butterfly? I just need to find some volunteers to paint their faces, take photos, and have a portfolio of my own creations ready.
I've always loved it when there's a face painter around at festivals, so it'll be neat to be the person painting! I've had a bit of practice on my grandson and his friends, as well as nephews, so it was good to learn more about the art of it and have a beautiful face to decorate.
Me and Janet, from Cases Faces, with my butterfly face painted by one of the participants of the beginners workshop
My tiger - not bad I think?
I'm still working on a name for the business - does anyone have any ideas? I'm thinking of 'Magical Faces', but open to suggestions.
England is certainly turning on the charm for my first British winter since 2004 isn't it? The memories of how long it lasts and how miserable the weather can be, is all coming flooding back to me! Excuse the pun - especially those who are marooned or suffering. Luckily in the Marina all is ok, and my family haven't been personally affected so far.
My parents are about twenty minutes drive from Worcester, and we drove there yesterday for my dad's podiatrist appointment. Fortunately it wasn't through town - we wouldn't have made it if it had been, as the main bridge was closed.
Hard to believe this is the same city we moored up at in June (see the post here). They're experiencing the worst flooding in history, with levels rising above the devastation of 2007. Mother nature can be very cruel.
Tomorrow I'm dropping in on Andy and Helen from Wand'ring Bark - their land home not boating one. Just for a cuppa, a catch up, and to return a few DVDs they kindly loaned us. Then it's off to Ashbourne to stay with a friend I've not seen since 2009. Marvellous.
On Monday it's back to the lovely Barry, and AreandAre. By the time I get there she'll be out of the water and getting ready to have her bottom blacked before we venture back out onto the cut - two weeks from today!