Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Extreme Retirement Continues

I know I've said it before but I'll say it again - this retirement lark can be pretty exhausting. At least we can console ourselves that we aren't sitting around and turning into couch potatoes. Although I might be excused if I do turn into a couch potato over the next few days as I've ordered one of those Samsung curved UHD TVs. Which said it was one of the best tellies they had ever tested last year and gave it 89% on their Best Buys chart so, now that it has been superseded by the 2015 version (which costs a fortune) I thought I would take advantage of the dropping price to get one before stocks run out. It's about £400 cheaper at John Lewis than it was at Christmas and, on top of that, I found it at PC World for another £200 less so John Lewis have made a further reduction.

This means that I have to sell the Panasonic Viera (above). It's a very good TV and was also a Which recommended model when we bought it about five years ago. It's on eBay at the moment and, with twenty-four hours to go, bidding has reached about a quarter of what the 3D glasses alone cost. I am sure that the bidding will go up quite a bit higher at the end of the auction as there are about forty people watching the auction. If you are interested and can collect from Framlingham here is the link.

Selling and buying a television is not exactly exhausting so why am I claiming to be whacked?  Exercise classes are one reason. I've got no less than nine classes booked this week and have done four in the last twenty-four hours. Marion has a similar number booked as we are both trying to lose a bit of weight before we buy our summer clothes.  

When not exercising in the classes I've tried to get out on the bike. The fields around here are full of oilseed rape in blossom and it's been very pleasant riding in, to pinch a phrase from Sting, "fields of gold". It hasn't been very pleasant on the puncture front though. I have had two punctures now after none in the last two years. After repairing the last one with the kit that Paul and Josephine gave me for Christmas I bought a couple of new inner tubes to carry with me. My first repair held but the second puncture was in a different spot in the same tyre. I hope this isn't going to become a regular feature of our rides as, even with a new inner tube, it holds things up for quite a while.

I've been out with the metal detector a couple of times too. Now that the weather is warming up it's good to detect in the sunshine. The only problem is that, as most of the fields are full of rape, I'm stuck with going over the same field with diminishing returns. I always find something though. I'll post a couple of photos on here when I've cleaned the mud off the latest finds.

Another thing that's been keeping us busy has been my hearing. I've been wearing a Phonak Lyric hearing aid for about two years now and it helped my slight deafness immensely. The beauty of it was that it was invisible and I never took it out. That's a big plus as nobody likes to show the world their frailties and with this hearing aid nobody would ever know that you were wearing it. The problem with the Lyric was that it has to be fitted by the audiologist and has a battery life of around three months. This means that I had to travel to Ipswich four times a year to have it replaced. That was not such a chore but several of them failed in under three months and sometimes when I was on holiday. This resulted in me being without a hearing aid for more than two months in the two years I was using it. And, as my hearing is slowly worsening, two months out of twenty-four is too long. The last failure coincided with a special offer from Boots arriving in my email. My audiologist couldn't give me an appointment  to fit a new Lyric that fitted our timetable for about ten days so I took up Boots offer and went for a hearing test.

The hearing test confirmed what I already knew and my hearing has worsened slightly over the last two years. The upshot of all this was my agreeing to buy two aids on a 60 day trial. 

The aids are very small and sit on top of the ear. They almost look like part of my glasses.

But they are not invisible in the way that the Lyric was as there is also a tiny clear wire in each ear. So far the positives are that my hearing is already much better (the audiologist hasn't turned them up to full volume yet as my brain has to adjust to wearing them) and, if I keep them, I will actually own the aids rather than effectively renting them at £150 a month (and that was just for one Lyric). The negatives so far are that they have to be removed before bathing or showering (and at bedtime) and that they are not invisible. I suppose that at 61, I shouldn't be worrying about vanity but even my Mum at 89 wasn't keen on wearing her hearing aids for cosmetic reasons.

Another thing that's kept us busy - but a really pleasurable one this time, has been our lovely two and a half year old granddaughter. We headed down to Rochester very early on Wednesday morning to babysit for a couple of days as Paul had to do some extra days at work. We had a lovely time with her and, even better, we got to bring her and her daddy back to Framlingham with us on Friday for a weekend here while her mummy caught up with some work at home. We enjoyed their visit so much. We ate well and cooked delicious steaks on Friday night and a fabulous leg of lamb on Saturday - all provided by Hall Farm Butchers in Framlingham. On Saturday we visited Orford Castle and the Riverside Tea Room. 

Then on Sunday we took them both to Walberswick to try their hands at crabbing (no luck) before an excellent fish and chip lunch at The Anchor. All too soon, it was time to drive back to Rochester to drop them off and then head straight back to Framlingham. Although we see our Rochester family often, they are usually working and we hardly get a chance to talk so it was good to spend a whole weekend with Paul, catch up with what's going on and argue about politics.