My fall last weekend is causing more problems than I thought. Marcela and her Mum, kindly took the dogs for their daily walks for four days, then it was time for me to get back in the harness, but so far, I certainly can’t walk as far as previously, which is disappointing.

However I have been doing some work around the house and garden, albeit, I suffer afterwards.

Yesterday was interesting, Marcela and her Mum were out at the Gym, and we had two powercuts, on both occasions, the solar backup didn’t automatically cut in, I had to go to the battery bank in my workshop and fiddle with the cables, sending showers of sparks in every direction, which is not what you want when the place is covered in wood dust, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, as I do clean up, but it’s still a hazard.

Later I was using a high powered tool and the solar turned off, I went into the workshop, and the cables were red hot, definitely not right! When Marcela returned, I asked her to phone our Electrician for an Emergency call out, he said he would be with us later, true to his word, he arrived about 4pm, we tried to start the system again, and one of the battery terminals was glowing red, an explosion risk. On closer inspection Silva (Electrician), found that the terminals had never been properly secured, they had been like that since installation, I had never tested the bolts, because I didn’t know how to isolate the batteries, and wasn’t keen on frying myself. All the bolts tightened, and for now it appears to be working fine.

I now had all the parts from Amazon to install the generator connection directly to the house system, Silva confirmed they were all correct, and rather than come back again, he asked if he could continue working and install the connection, he had no argument from us!

I think he thought the installation would be plain sailing, unfortunately, like every job related to me, that was not going to be the case. The problem we have is that the overall electrical installation is not straightforward, the power originally went from the meter in the road, to the Cabaña/Apartment, where there is a breaker panel, and then continued to the main house to another panel. When the Solar system was installed, that was diverted, from the road, to the solar Inverter, then to the consumer panels, therefore if the solar inverter is not working, no mains power can get through, with a couple of exceptions, we won’t talk about! Silva was trying to get the Generator connection to override only to the mains power, leaving solar running but that wasn’t going to work. At 8pm he and I had a conversation, which we should have had at the outset.

I wanted a triple system, the main power from Public Utilities, with back up from solar, and when the batteries are flat, leaving us with no power, close off that system, and turn on the Generator, that way, we are not using Petrol unnecessarily, which with the forever rising price, is not what we want. Once Silva realised that, he had all the wires disconnected and reconnected in half an hour. By this time, I was nearly crippled, because it was pitch black, I was the torch holder and Goffer, my back and side were killing me, so was glad when it was finished.

At 9pm Silva packed up and left, having only charged me £57 for five hours work, and a call out about ten days ago, I couldn’t believe it, so gave him a decent tip on top. We then cleaned up, and went to bed, in my case, not only exhausted, but aching from head to toe.

So from a power point of view, I think we have most options covered

Starting with Public Utilities, going on to the solar Inverter

Finally, the Connection from the Generator to the first Consumer panel, so that the power to the road can be shut off, and not electrocute anyone.

That only leaves wind power, which I think we will give a miss for now!

Finally, I have my appointment for the two biopsies on my back for skin cancer, in ten days, at 8am, so it will be an early rise, I am not concerned, the Dermatologist said it is just to remove them before they take a hold, hopefully that’s the case, but as you know by now, skin cancer was my fault, from my years living in Spain, it’s just something I now accept.

I’m trying to get as much done health wise, as possible, before the new system comes in, and I no longer have the option go direct to Specialists by paying extra, when that comes in, I think I will be able to say goodbye to any further procedures, unless we can go privately, in case that will be possible, I have started putting money aside each month, unfortunately for me, it’s far too late to think about Private Health Insurance, I have too many existing ailments.

As if the proposed changes in the operation of the Health System weren’t enough, the current political turmoil is making those changes even more difficult, because we have no idea where this will lead.

I now have to pluck up courage, to do one of my least favourite jobs about the house, painting, I bought 5 gallons of white paint the other day, I think I’ll have to take out a mortgage to pay for it, now it’s a case of working my way around the house, but first, I need to clean the walls in the kitchen, and I hate ladders / steps, so it won’t be a quick job. I could pay someone to do the work, but in Colombia, my experience of paying people to do painting, hasn’t been the best decision, everyone of them has managed to get paint on the wooden ceilings, and make a mess, I rather take my time, and do it myself.

I think just about brings me up to date, so I’ll go and finish tidying up, after yesterdays work.

Disappointing News!

On Tuesday, we took Pepe for his cancer check up, which involved an Ultrasound, and blood test. The Ultrasound showed that the cancer is growing, and his liver changing shape, not in a good way. It was disappointing, but not a surprise, after his last check we knew it was back.

Later that day the Vet phoned Marcela, with the results of Pepe’s blood test, that was even worse. Apparently the cancer is spreading at an alarming rate, nothing more can be done for Pepe, it is just a case of time, and we will make sure that time, is quality time. One of the result should have been on the range of 50-150, his result was 7500, I don’t pretend to understand any of the technical side of his health problems, but that said it all. It could be days, it might be weeks, no one knows.

As for Nala and Tito, they gave me a pleasant surprise yesterday, we have been having a problem with neighbourhood dogs coming onto our property from the stream below, I have video footage from our wildlife Cam

I decided to get Nala used to the Orchard, somewhere she has never be allowed, to be sure she didn’t take off, I had her on a 50ft training lead, and she played with Tito like two young puppies, it was great to see, and Tito showed no aggression whatsoever.

Today, I decided to do the same, thinking the more they played, the less likely Tito turned aggressive at the house.

Unfortunately Nala got her lead wrapped around a tree branch, I put my phone away, fortunately, and went to untangle her, but the ground which was saturated, gave way underfoot, and I went flying. I threw myself onto my left side, but in so doing twisted, and have damaged both an already unstable spinal column, and my prosthetic hip on the right side, I am hoping it is just muscle damage, but for today at least I am back walking with a stick, I could kick myself… but that would just add to the list of injuries!

Oh well, time for some bed rest it hasn’t been one of my better days, I spent most of the morning on the phone, firstly to the UK Future Pension Centre, the first fifteen attempts I went through the selection process to get to the right department, then was immediately cut off, I then by some miracle was put in the queue where I stayed for an hour and ten minutes, before talking to a lady, who said I needed to talk to HMRC, so all that time for two minute conversation.

I then rang HMRC, and was in the queue for another fifty five minutes, only for the lady to say I needed to talk to their taxation department… not today thank you!

I was looking at paying some of my missing contributions towards my State Pension, which starts in January, because being in the Police I was ‘contracted out’ and paid less in, but it looks as if the amount I would have to pay is more than I would benefit form in the short term, and being in Colombia, and on a ‘Frozen pension’ I will not gain much. However I will still speak to the appropriate Department next week. Thank goodness for Skype!

I love keeping busy!

When I retired from the Police in 2006, family and friends said, “Now you can take it easy”, they must have been having a joke, since that day, I have never been so busy, I often wonder how I ever had time to attend paid employment!

The last ten days have been no exception. I had my last two hydrotherapy sessions, I was a little sad, as it was both an enjoyable experience, and it definitely helped my knees, the Therapist suggested that I ask my Specialist for another session, I will certainly do that, depending on the Health Service situation here, which is all about to change, how we still don’t know, but there is supposed to be a two year transition period, anyway thank you Fundacion Reines of Rionegro!

Having knees that work for now, made me make another decision, and that involved taking Nala on longer walks, which meant changing direction, and Nala loves it, it’s all new to her, and she meets new friends, albeit she isn’t totally confident about a close up meeting yet.

Pepe would have been nose to nose, he loves meeting new friends, but it’s early days, at least she didn’t start barking.

The Rest of the Family
Cabbage / Zuchinni and other Crops for market
Black Vulture drying his feathers in the wind

For a few days we turned around at the same point

A local Artist and Sculptor, Diana, carved out a Eco theme on the sandstone at the side of the lane, she was the Artist who painted the portraits of our boys, and in time we will ask her to add Nala to the collection.

This type of road is called Placa y Huela, it is common out in the Veredas (rural back lanes) where the rain would make it impassable if left as mud, it usually only last a few hundred metres and then returns to mud.

The last couple of days, we have been extending our walk a little

but it is so steep, I am having to judge where it is sensible to turn around, otherwise I won’t be able to get back up to the top, there is no phone signal there, so phoning Marcela for a lift would not be an option, stopping a passing vehicle for help would be out as well, due to Nala. However our walks, have now extended from 1.5km to over 4km, so therapy has definitely helped.

As a result of our walks, Nala appears to be calming down, and damage reducing significantly.

Long may this continue!

A couple of days ago, Silva, our Electrician came to see what materials I need for him to add a connection, so that the Generator can be connected to the House Circuit, as an additional form of energy when we have power outages. I have my list, now we wait for it to arrive from Amazon, the common parts, (cable and conduit supports) I bought locally yesterday, but the rest would mean a trip to Medellin, and then trawling around the big Electrical Suppliers trying to find the required parts, nothing is easy over here!

Our Electrical circuit is not simple, because the main supply cables go via the Cabaña (Apartment), where there is a subpanel, and then continues on down to the house to the main panel, therefore to ensure the cabaña has power, the switch stopping the generator sending power back out into the road, has to be at the cabaña, if it was straightforward, I would have done it myself, but with the added complication of the solar, it’s beyond me, I know my limitations, and Silva oversaw all the wiring for the solar system as well, so bringing in the expert, makes sense.

It looks like we might be having a trip back to the UK, depending on the national situation here, my Niece has announced that she is getting married in 2025, and given us an invitation. It will be nice to see the family again, I won’t have seen any of them in the flesh for eleven years by that time, so now we save up, and hope that travel outside the country won’t result in any problems returning afterwards.

The rest of my time has been spent working the land, and dodging thunder storms, so much for summer being here! The “Experts” now say it will arrive in July, I won’t hold my breath. There is one exception to this, I am generally very happy with my project of building the bunkbeds, but I accept there is always room for improvement, and one thing that bugged me was that there was nowhere for anyone on the top bunk to put their phone or a book. Putting a shelf above the bedhead was a non starter, as they would keep hitting their head, and a shelf along the side wall, would also result in bruises.

It’s taken a while, but I think I have come up with the solution, that was to create a shelf that extended out from the bed, it slots over the safety rail, it’s position can be adjusted to suit the occupier, there is a trim to stop anything falling off, and sufficient room for small items.

Another problem solved!

I do all this work on the place, and it is for the comfort of ourselves and guests, however I have also got to look at our lives long term, and decided that this will not be our last move.

I am 65 years old, and made the decision that I will renew my driving licence one more time, at 69yrs (at my age it is every five years), which will take me to 74yrs at which time I will surrender my licence, I don’t believe in driving until you drop, or have it taken away from you, I saw too much of that during my thirty years in the Police.

I also have no intention of Marcela then becoming my Chauffeur, albeit, there will be times, I will need a driver, if she is not available, I will take a taxi.

I know that when I pass, Marcela does not want to stay living in the Campo, she was, and to a certain extent still is, a Town girl, and that is where she wants to end up, by that time, we will only have Nala, so I decided, having discussed it with Marcela, it will be time for me to do everything possible to make Marcela’s life easier, she wants to stay local to here, but live in an apartment or town house, something I dread, but she has given up a lot for me, it is the least I can do. It won’t be a quick transition, because I will have to sell up my workshop, just keeping necessary tools for DIY, and then spend my time with another past-time possibly computer based. However this is still a few years away.

Work, work and work!

They say it’s good for the soul, I have to admit I love being busy, but it’s getting to the stage that I have to know when enough is enough!

I have been enjoying my hydrotherapy at Fundación Rienes, in Rionegro, it is certainly helping my knees, the Therapists give everyone some individual attention during the sessions, and they listen, sometimes there are two, sometimes three Therapists, and up to sixteen Patients a session, everyone likes them, and we as Patients, get along as well. I’ll try to get some photos, without invading anyone’s privacy.

I’ve only got two more sessions unfortunately, but I would recommend them to anyone.

Back home, Nala is continuing to prepare the ‘lawns’ for miniature golf, there are so many holes I have lost count, and given up trying to stop her. She is still destructive when left to fend for herself, if we are both out, she has jumped up and ripped Pepe’s leg support beyond saving, fortunately I had bought a new one, and at the moment he is managing without it, but it’s there when needed. Anything left within reach is fair game, which for a German Shepherd, doesn’t leave much protected. I think we have just resigned ourselves, because no amount of pointing out her bad ways, makes a ha’porth of difference.

Tito has his on and off days, on the off days, he waits in hiding ready to pounce at Nala given half the chance, fortunately we have learned his ways, and 95% of the time, we can jump in before the confrontation.

Pepe, is Pepe, he goes for a short walk in the morning, and being able to sniff all the local smells, keeps him happy, then his world revolves around food and resting, jumping up occasionally to mediate between Tito and Nala, it’s quite amusing to watch, he pushes himself between the two barks, and they back off… definitely the Elder Statesman of the group.

Marcela has taken to the Gym, and goes twice a week, then on other days, does her exercises at home.

Me, well I just get on with it, Avocado’s have come to an end for a few months, until the next crop is ready, now I am trying to look after the Plantains and mini bananas. Which are growing in what appear to be random locations between the avocado, but I suspect there was a reason. The other day, I took the machete and went into the orchard to start work on them.

As you can see from the photos, the stems have to be supported, as they can’t take the wait of the ripening fruit, they are not like tree trunks, if you cut into the stem, water pours out, as it consists of rings of fleshy growth filled with water, there is no other natural support.

I cut out all the ‘adult’ stems that had no fruit, if they haven’t got them now, they never will, and just rob the goodness from the others. You have to be as careful cutting these down as a tree, because they are full of water, they are heavy, but a machete soon has them down… if sharp!

I have two problems, firstly they all look the same, plantain and banana, until the fruit is fully formed, so I am going to have to map them this year, personally I prefer the banana, but the plantain are great for cooking.

The second problem is getting the bunches down without smashing the fruit, I have no idea how professionals do it, the locals just cut the stem, and let them drop, which can result in a whole bunch, it can result in them smashing, and then you have to cut the hands off the bunch. Some bunches are within reach, in which case, no problem, others, can be fifteen feet in the air, as you can see in the photos, I’ve tried researching this, but come up with nothing.

Saturday, I cut the climbing hedging plants on our perimeter security fence, and had a slight accident. After cutting with the hedge cutter, I went up the ladder, and was reaching over to the neighbours to cut the parts climbing the power post, and in doing so, caught one of my fingers on the razor wire, I’ve done this before with no long term effects, but this time it went deep, and I think that it’s damaged a nerve. The cut had healed, but from time to time when I move the finger, I get a shooting pain, I’ll just have to live with it, and hope it goes away, at the moment it’s just a nuisance.

Today, I have cut the grass with the brushcutter, it’s looking much more like a golf course now, thanks to Nala ha! ha! I started early, which surprised me, because Nala woke me at 3.45am for a stroke… grrrrr! then every half hour, until Tito wanted his turn, but that is usually a weather warning, and sure enough at 5am the heavens opened and we had a thunder storm, fortunately it soon passed.

I then fed and walked the dogs, after which I used the leaf blower to clear off the patio, and mopped it. With Nala, it doesn’t matter what you do, she will find wet soil and leave paw prints everywhere.

After breakfast, it was grass cutting, which included, going down the orchard, and clearing all the paths.

Finally, routine maintenance of the brushcutter, I gave it, it’s end of session wash, once dry, into the workshop remove and clean the spark plug, and remove the grease nipples and pack it with grease, hopefully it will run 100% next time, there was no problem today, but it didn’t seem it’s usual self, once or twice I thought it was running out of fuel, when there was still plenty. If this doesn’t do the trick, then it’s time to take it for a service.

That’s me now done for today, time for lunch, then put my feet up.

Changes are on the Way!

Last week we went to Fisinova to cancel further appointments for Physiotherapy,, it was my intention to tell the Physiotherapist to her face why I was cancelling, rather than just ring and cancel, but she was not at work, so we saw her stand-in, who advised us to fill in a complaint form, which we have done.

I am continuing with the Hydrotherapy, and that is definitely helping despite my initial scepticism, I only have another four sessions, but I am not sure if I will be able to complete them all.

Last week I went to see another Dermatologist regarding my skin cancer, every time I get into the swing with one, the HCP (Healthcare Provider) discontinues the service for another, it’s been twelve months since my last review, I was of the opinion that at my age, it really wasn’t worth continuing, but Marcela insisted. This Dermatologist is a lady, and very thorough, as a result I have to go for two biopsies, and then a review every three months due to my age, and being a whitey!! If I can’t get all my hydrotherapy sessions in before the appointment comes through, they will have to stop, as I can’t go into the pool after.

I have found a YouTube Channel where the Doctor specialises in arthritis of the knees, and he has more than 94 videos on the subject, “El Paso Manual Physical Therapy”, he trashes a lot of what I have been told or advised to do, Dr. David Middaugh explains why, and the reasons for his view, and what I should be doing. I have decided to follow him for a while, take his advice, and see if my knees improve, if so, I will be recommending him to my Specialists here, those that speak English.

Unfortunately, the crime rate here, and I mean locally, is escalating at an unbelievable rate, gang robberies, both in the countryside, and against commercial premises in town, this week a Taxi Driver was found murdered about three miles down the road, Gangs on motorcycles raided shops in town whilst armed, and people feel unsafe, and yet despite a load of rhetoric, nothing seems to be done. As a result, the other day, we were sent a copy of a leaflet going around town, we believe the Authors are local Businessmen, I say believe, because for obvious reasons it’s anonymous, threatening any thief of extortionist with instant justice, even death. It really is a sad state of affairs.

Our Leader of Government, is finding that he is not universally popular, and the other day as a result of the opposition, and verbal attacks on him, his family, and friends, announced that he has ordered his Supporters to monitor all Social Media, Internet sources, the Press, and elsewhere, to find anyone criticising any of those mentioned by name, and he will deal with them. I obviously have my opinions, but this problem, is the problem of the Colombian people, it is for them to resolve, not a Visitor in their country, that is the reason that for now, you will not see me commenting on the political state of the country, that maybe for sometime in the future.

We had another sneaky problem here last week, Marcela and I were in the house, when all three of the dogs were barking like made by the front fence, this is not unusual if someone or something is in the road outside, but Marcela called me, because Nala had changed the tone of her bark, she told me that all three were stood on some cutoffs of MDF sheets I had put to try, unsuccessfully to stop Nala digging, Nala was barking at the edge of one of the sheets.

I went to have a look

It was a Coral snake, the most venomous snake in the area, not the first we have encountered, but a bit close to the kids! I asked Marcela to call the dogs into the house, and I went for my snake catching pole, I bought it after our last encounter. Once the dogs were safely locked indoors, I removed the snake, releasing it on the other side of the lane. Hopefully there are no more about for a while.

About ten days ago, we started a hot spell, and there was a Government warning that El Niño was here, and to take precautions, I welcomed the change in weather, the only downside being that we are already struggling with our water supply, and this could result in us having no water, and be a bit niffy! However, I needn’t have worried, two days ago the storms returned, and now we are informed that El Niño will start in July, I won’t hold my breath!

To add to this, there is also a campaign to outlaw Avocado Hass, apparently the trees take too much water from the ecosystem, other than the rains we don’t personally use any additional water, and when you see the number of farmers here who grow hydrangeas and go out watering them daily, and create illegal mini reservoirs

waking us at 6am with their Industrial water pumps, taking water from the source that feeds the Town, it’s a bit rich, we will just have to wait and see what happens, hopefully it won’t be the end of Marcel’s business, whatever decision is taken, I don’t think it will come overnight.

I am home alone with the Kids, Marcela has gone over to her Sister’s, for Mother’s Day, and will come back tomorrow… hopefully! I took her to catch the 5.45am bus this morning, and then returned and started work, walking the dogs, then getting the ladder out. With the increased traffic on our lane, the vibration is causing the tiles over our main gate to move, and threatened to start falling, with rubber mallet in hand, I have tapped them all back into place… until the next time. Then I did a bit of tidying up after the Destructive Whirlwind continues to wreck the garden. I have given up trying to stop her, I will redo the garden, once she has calmed down, which is she is like the Golden Retriever I had, will be once she is four, by which time there won’t be much left.

Then I have done a few loads in the washing machine, all dog stuff, at which time it was 8am, and time for breakfast. Hopefully I can relax for the rest of the day, or at least until I think of something else that needs doing.

God Save the King!

The start of a new era, but despite being on the other side of the world, I will always be English, so I was awake at 5am, sometimes time differences can be a pain! glued to the TV, only the Coronation Ceremony was shown, but I expect the procession will be on YouTube later, I have to admit to being a little disappointed, cutting much of the pomp and pageantry was a shame. However I wish King Charles well, not that he will be in the least bit interested if I do or don’t.

I have the oil for the Generator, topped it up, then used all my standby Petrol in the tank, it hardly made a dent, with six gallons, the indicator hardly moved, however, it started first turn of the key, that was impressive

I have to admit that it is very loud, compared to it’s smaller cousin, hiding in my workshop (2300w), but if it does the job. Now I will have to arrange for our Electrician to return and give me a list of materials he will need to install an interlock kit, so we can connect the whole house, without back feeding, and frying anyone working on the line.

Morning walks have been a pleasure this week, summer is definitely here, for how long, is another matter, but the Government have issued a warning to 15 days of very hot weather, the only issue, is if the streams dry up, and we are left without water, we may be a bit niffy!

However, in the mean time, we’ll enjoy the views.

The dogs seem to be settling down, Nala has definitely made herself at home, and Pepe is playing with her, even Tito, who keeps his distance, is slowly accepting the situation.

This was taken the other day, I had come in from working the land for lunch, and had five minutes with these two, before starting again.

Thursday I went to the Physiotherapists to inform them that I wouldn’t be returning, I had decided that I wanted to do it face to face, and explain why, but true to form, my Physio was not there, so we explained it to the Physio covering, and she gave us a form for complaint.

I will now continue with my Hydrotherapy only, and to be honest, I think that is helping, and they listen to you, well done ‘Fundacion Reines’ in Llanogrande!

Things are changing in Colombia, everyone seems to be at loggerheads, the International Press have yet to cotton on, they seem to be only seeing one side of the picture and reporting that as gospel. I have my opinion, but will keep it to myself for now, it is up to the people of Colombia to decide what they want, and as a Guest, I accept that. Let’s just say that on a local level, the people are starting to feel the pain.

Next week, I have more appointments, one for a skin cancer revision, hydrotherapy, and a trip to Medellin to collect our Authorisation card from Police HQ to carry a VHF radio outside the curtilage of our property, if stopped, we can produce the authority. So I guess again, not much will get done here, hopefully the long hot dry spell, if it happens, will slow down growth of grass and hedge, reducing my workload.

Thanks for following, and hope you all enjoy your week-end.

Relax…That’s a Joke!

After my knee Nerve Blocks, I was supposed to sit with my feet up for five days, but that’s not me!

I sat around for a day and a bit, and that was all I could manage, to be honest, I think Marcela was glad, at least she only had to walk Nala once.

We unpacked the Generator, but I can’t try it, I have been trying to get the correct oil, but locally that’s a joke, the only place was charging about three times the going rate, probably, because it is the only place. I have therefore ordered it online, and will be able to collect it tomorrow, then we can see what the beast is capable of.

during the week we have had a few commitments in town, which meant trying out another Eatery, we went to Marini Restaurante, small, basic, but the food couldn’t be faulted, we will have no problem revisiting here, the only downside, is there is limited space, we were lucky, there were many coming whilst we were there, and being turned away, I’ll put Photos on my Restaurant Review Page.

On Saturday, I decided it was time to do a bit of Community work, with the second access road from the Veredas shut, all traffic has to pass us (there is a third option at a push, but it means about an hour detour), as a result, it is being torn to bits, so with tools in hand I made my way to the nearest and probably deepest holes, and set to work, giving my soft hands a couple of blisters in the process.

Hopefully others will follow suit, but I seriously doubt it!

Yesterday, I was in bed all day, feeling really ill, we think it was food poisoning, but what, we don’t know, because we both ate the same, and Marcela had no problems, it was obviously only a 24hr bug, because today I am fine.

First, I took Nala for her walk, then took Pepe and Tito, so that Marcela could have a lie in, after looking after us yesterday.

Obviously our neighbours decided to do some exploring, from the state of the road, they had been out most of the night.

They looked quite docile until we passed, and the middle one stood up, and I realised it was a young Bull, fortunately my Boys behaved and walked quietly passed!

Time for me to hang up my keyboard for today, I have to cook a large joint of meat in the bbq barrel smoker!


My weeks seem to be much shorter these days, with at least two days a week written off for Physiotherapy and Hidrotherapy, the only upside of those days is having lunch out, either with Marcela, or if she was busy on my own. The Physiotherapy is coming to an end, the Therapist has been making matters worse instead of better, but for the Therapist at the Hydrotherapy, I think I would have been back on a walking stick, so at my next appointment, I am telling her…no more!

Yesterday, I had to be in Rionegro for 8am for a double nerve block, one in each knee, as always, I was left waiting on the bed, freezing, for ages for the procedure, eventually going in at 10am, but the Doc was fantastic, I couldn’t fault him, friendly, informative, and Professional, thank you Dr Carlos Restrepo! He showed me that there was fluid on my right knee, which he removed, before giving me the nerve block, other than the needle insertions, I didn’t feel a thing, as I was given a local this time, in the past, I had declined it, but there was no option this time.

However, since the local has worn off, the pain in my left knee has been strong(?), not unbearable, but not far off, so I have been using ice packs, and I am grounded for five days!

On our way back home, yesterday, we met a Police Squad leaving the Vereda, we were stopped for a check, which I was pleased about.

I deleted sound, because it contains our conversation. Nice to see them in the area, however I rather see one bike, and see them more often, than three bikes, and then nothing for months!

On Friday, Marcela and I went into town to collect my new aquisition:

I have a 2500w generator, but it’s not sufficient to run anything in the house, other than the fridge, the freezer and a light, this one at 8500w will run the house, when we have time I will ask our Electrician to come and install an Interlock kit, so that it can be connected directly to the main fuse panel, without sending power back up the line and electrocuting and Power Supply Workers, until then, I will continue with extension cables.

I had bought it online, and because we cannot get any Courier to deliver out here, had it delivered to their office. I knew it was going to be heavy, but didn’t realise quite how heavy, Marcela and I, tried moving it between us, but it was a case of an inch at a time, so the Assistant came out with a trolley, and helped us out to the kerbside. Marcela stayed with it, whilst I went for the car. On my return, I found that she had persuaded a passing Motorcyclist to give me a hand loading it.

Once back home, I backed up to the workshop, put a couple of planks to the back of the car, and we slid it down, and then inched it into the workshop, now I have to fit the wheels and handle, before we can try using it, I will have to buy the appropriate oil. It is certainly a beast!

It’s been a long week

We are now up and running on the Police VHF Radio, Marcela has taken a serious interest, which is probably just as well, as trying to understand what is being said, as the speed they talk is proving difficult, it’s bad enough when we are face to face, but at least I can understand more by watching facial expressions. Whatever, as least we now have direct communication, we book on in the morning, and off when we go to bed, although that doesn’t stop us communicating at any time.

My Sister-in-law posted photos of her using the costume jewellery stand, as a Trade Fair recently

At least it’s being used, which did go through my mind!

I have been odd jobbing again this week, the main electric gate was starting to look shabby, it was time to give it some attention, I gave it a coat of Teak Oil, and it’s come back like new.

Next will be a paint job to bring the black, back up to new as well, there are patches of rust starting to show, so I can’t leave it too long.

I have been for Physio and Hydro therapy again, leaving with the same impression, Fisinova just doesn’t care, on Tuesday the Physio obviously had her own problems, and had another Physio working on her, she got more attention than we did.

I have asked Marcela to come with me tomorrow for my appointment, and discreetly watch from outside the room, to see if my assertion is correct, or if I have just taken an unjustified dislike to the place, which to be honest wouldn’t surprise me, my previous experiences with Fisinova have not been good ones. However if Marcela agrees with me, I will be terminating any further appointments with the Company, and just continue with the Hydrotherapy.

I seem to be back to square one with my knees, in the past, I have described them as feeling as if I have a couple of wooden blocks as knees, pain and no sensation, they are feeling like that again, I know there is no gain without pain, but I would like someone to explain what I should be feeling, and no one has.

I have continued to move things around both in my workshop and down in the basement storage room, as I have said space was at a premium in the workshop, if I didn’t do something, I would have to stop buying gadgets, and that would never do, so the rest of the Christmas stuff, went down into basement storage, our old motorcycle helmets went on hooks from the roof, instead of taking up shelf space, there is still more to be done, but for now, I have a little more space…Hello Amazon, ha ha ha! 😉

Yesterday, we took the boys for a wash and brush-up, they had been starting to look like a couple of mini Yetis, and niff a bit, they needed, especially Pepe, a bit more than just a shower in the carport!

Now they are both looking smart again, although I am not sure they are thanking us, they seemed to be feeling the cold last night!

Despite Pepe’s medical prognosis, he seems to have perked up recently, which in itself may not be good news, he wants to play with Nala more than he has ever done, they run around the garden together, much to Tito’s disgust, but at least Pepe knows when he has had enough, and as the elder Statesman, Nala is learning to respect that.

This morning Marcela and her Mum left early for a Medical appointment an hour and a half away, when they were driving out, Marcela called me, one of the top rollers on the main gate had fallen off, and the gate had wedged itself half open, fortunately with just enough room for the car to get through, so I told her to go, and out came the tools.

I have to be honest, it’s my fault, I knew that over time the roller unscrews itself, and usually I check it from time to time, and I hadn’t, so paid the price. Once I had found the correct tools, it went back together easily, but as it was some time, since the last maintenance, it took some time to collect together those tools.

This put me behind with my chores, so after loading the washing machine, then taking Nala for a walk, followed by Tito and Pepe , I finally got around to breakfast about 8am. By this time I was ready to go back to bed, Nala had woken me at 3.45am washing my face, as she likes to do, if you don’t respond immediately, it’s at these times, you realise how big her tongue really is!

The rest of the day is just pottering, I am not expecting Marcela back until mid afternoon, so I can’t do a lot outside the immediate area of the house, I don’t trust my knees at the moment to venture further down the land, without there being someone to radio, if I have a problem.

What a Family!

Tuesday, I went for my first Therapy sessions, first for Physiotherapy at Fisinova in Rionegro, and I have to say that by the time I left at the end of the 40 minutes, my opinion of SURA provided physiotherapists has not changed since my experience in 2016, when physio for my knee lead to months of treatment on an old spinal injury, as a result of , lack of interest, I think the same is likely to happen here, and if the same attitude prevails, I will not be continuing with the course.

Having finished that, I went straight to Fundacion Reines, Llanogrande for my Hydrotherapy, which was different again, the two Instructors were excellent, it was obvious that they were watching you from their comments, and if anyone was struggling, one of them, would give some, one to one, the pool although covered and outside, was heated, and not just tepid, I could have stayed in that pool all day!!

I have the same time schedule this Tuesday, so watch this space.

Nala is back to her old tricks, firstly she took a liking to my work on the trailer, we came back after a few hours out to find:

She had chewed off my new lighting cable, leaving me just enough cable to attach new. I think she knew how much I loved doing this job, and wanted to give me practise, fortunately, it didn’t take me too long to do the repair, although I haven’t had time to test it out yet.

But that wasn’t the only incident… We had been having trouble with the drain in our bedroom shower, the water was draining slower by the day. We have to be careful because we have a septic tank system, albeit, fortunately the showers go into the grease trap, not the septic tank, so I had been trying chemical cleaners, unsuccessfully.

I have a drain snake, and decided whilst Marcela was out with her Mother, I would try to see if there was a blockage, and boy was there one, I suspect the build up had started with the previous occupants, and from the evidence, Marcela’s long black hair was the main culprit. I hooked out a load, and then there was the old rotted hair, which had turned to mud, it would come out, so I resorted to the toilet plunger, and after filling the drain with water, four or five plunges, there was a pop, and it all disappeared, problem solved.

I then disinfected the shower, and the plunger, putting the latter in the sun to dry. When Marcela returned, she made a comment about something down the garden, I went to look, and Nala had pinched the plunger, chewed off the rubber bowl, which was strewn across the garden, and the wooden handle was well chewed. All in all a write off. Nala was not popular.

On Wednesday we had to take both Pepe and Nala to the Vet, Nala was a straight forward check up after her Papaloma virus, and she was given the all clear. Pepe had to have an ultrasound, and blood test for his cancer, unfortunately his remission didn’t last long, and he has two nodules again, and his blood reading came back higher than they should be.

Marcela and I had had a conversation the night before, in case this was the outcome, and we had made the decision, that Pepe would not be put through more chemotherapy, he will be made as comfortable as possible, for as long as possible, and then he will leave us peacefully, this was conveyed to our Vet.

Yesterday, was the turn of Tito, he has started being aggressive towards Nala again, I had noticed that there were days when Tito’s eye appeared cloudy, and I wondered if, an eyesight problem was causing his agression, Marcela agreed, so he went for an examination. The Vet concluded that Tito has the start of cataracts in both eyes, but not bad enough to cause a major problem with his sight, or requiring surgery…yet! That was good news, but doesn’t help us with the Nala problem.

Talking of Nala, having moved out of town into the countryside, she is still finding lots of new things to interest her, this morning

Turkeys and Guineafowls, something she had not seen, and surprisingly she didn’t bark, or lunge, she just stood and stared.

With all this going on, I haven’t had a lot of time to spend in the workshop, I have been looking at ways to create storage space, on the cheap, floor space is all but taken up, wall space is premium, with not much left that I can reach, so a bit of re-organisation is required.

I have started by using some scrap plywood, and making a rack for spray cans (paint, glue, oil), it fits above my mobile saw -horses

This frees up a bit of shelf / bench space. Now to see what else I can throw together.

Today it was time for some gardening, so the grass is cut, and leaves from the trees composted.