Wednesday 30 November 2022

If it were not for a neighbourly friend lending me a lawn strimmer the grass in my backyard would have got totally out of hand. 4 months ago the strimmer I had bought from a charity store for a few dollars refused to accept new string. After a few phone calls the manufacturer gave me a ‘once only’ warranty to get the repair done in Tampa. Unfortunately this company took so long to complete the job but now I have it back and am able to strim away quite happily once again. To my arsenal of garden tools I have also added a mini chainsaw which has allowed me to stem the growth of larger plants. I’m sure you really wanted to know this!

My friend Bert has returned from his annual 5-month sojourn to the Pokenose where he has a house. One of his friends there journeyed south and has a good reputation as a handyman. I hired him to pressure wash my driveway and clean up the pool area. Later he will paint the back of the house hopefully before my brothers arrive in January.

During a recent doctor’s visit it was determined that I have an abdominal hernia. Unfortunately it is quite high up and close to the long scar from my gall bladder removal op. The muscle in this area will already have been weakened 30 years ago so the hernia is not going to be easy to deal with. Over the next few months I need to lose some weight so that the pressure on any further operation scar can be reduced. I’m not in any pain at the moment so there is no need to rush things.

In November 2019 my house in Sheffield was in the epi-centre of a biblical storm which affected much of England. Covid meant that I could not visit the house to assess the damage until May 2022. Then I learned that Endsleigh insurance company had sent in a restoration company to dry out the cellars which had been flooded by 3 feet of rising water. I had stored many of my possessions in the cellars so this was a concern. I also learned that the restoration company had removed several items from the house however years later the inventory of what was removed could not be located. To add to the complications Endsleigh Insurance had sold the landlord insurance aspect to Zurich Insurance. Zurich accepted responsibility and paid out about 7000 pounds.

The long saga of my UK house sale continues but my tenant, who is the purchaser, now has secured a mortgage and so I am just waiting for a completion date. To avoid interest payments I have had to pay off some outstanding accounts which has left me appearing financially short but I’m hoping it will not be long before the sale goes through. The pound seems to be gaining strength against the dollar following the political changes in UK so this will be good when I move money over to USA.

Last week a technician visited the house to install a digital doorlock. He took 6 hours to do a 90-minute job and left the lock crooked on the door and without a connection to the wifi! A second technician arrived on Saturday to straighten the lock but could not get it to connect to the wifi. He might have managed it eventually but I had to leave to go to work. When I got to the office I found the door to my office closed and impossible to open. This was just too much! This matter was resolved easily. On Monday a third technician will arrive with his manager to try to sort things. Hope springs eternal.

Hurricane Nicole visited Florida all too soon after Hurricane Ian.It was a weaker event than Ian, thank God, but was still a concern. I had some damage to my new vinyl fencing but this was easily rectified. Today is officially the last day of the hurricane season and mysteriously the weather is set to change. The last weeks have been much cooler and cloudier but things will become sunnier and warmer from today. Without doubt climate change is a reality here as elsewhere and we have experienced an unusually hot summer but the end of November still marks a meteorological change.

A few weeks ago friends gathered at Joe & Beth’s house to bid them farewell before they moved south to Bradenton. I was the last to arrive because I’d been working. Everything was packed up already and not even a corkscrew was available! Joe had busied himself by carefully labelling all the boxes of possessions. I persuaded some of the gang to re-label several boxes in a way that might be somewhat embarrassing. Hours later there was a loud yelp of laughter as Beth spotted what we’d done. Apparently when the movers arrived days later they too were amused!

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One thought on “Wednesday 30 November 2022

  1. Hilarious as ever, Phil – though I am concerned about your hernia problem. Do take care and get it sorted if you can before it starts to make you feel pain. One day I will get out to you to see this amazing garden! Will catch up properly soon but thanks for keeping us posted on everything. Sarah x

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