An interesting road trip on the way to our next location…

This has been our view for the past two weeks.  This has been an excellent place to stay!

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Falmouth

“In 2016, the town was credited with the highly prestigious accolade of GB High St Best Coastal Community.”


We’re packed and ready to go.  Tom hauled all the bags downstairs and now has to haul each 23 kg (50-pound bag) up two flights of stone steps to reach the car.  
As it turned out we have a choice parking spot and once at the top of the steps, he can begin loading the bags into the car.  Our lovely and helpful neighbor Sheena came by to assist Tom in hauling the bags!
Check-in time at our next location is 4:00 pm but the owners promised to notify us if we can get in earlier.  Most likely, we’ll dine out tonight in our new town, St. Teath, Bodmin, Cornwall.  We won’t have room in the car for groceries if we stopped to shop on the way.

We’ve decided to do as we’d done in Falmouth, we didn’t unpack.  We lived out of our suitcases after taking out only toiletries, a few clothing items, and odds, and ends.  If we need something else, we can dig through the bags to find it.  It made packing quick and easy.

At this point, both needing new clothes, which we’ll purchase in Minnesota (there’s no state sales tax on clothing, saving us 8%) we’ll continue to wear the same items over and over again, saving a few nice items for outings. 
We’ve had a good time in Falmouth, having a chance to scour the area and we’re left with great photos and memories of our time in this charming seaside town, the largest city in Cornwall with a population of 27,700 as compared to Cornwall’s over 555,0000.
Overall the house has been comfortable having everything we’ve needed.  As mentioned in past posts, the only drawback has been the parking situation and the 25 uneven stone steps to reach the road.  But, we’ve certainly had the benefit of some extra exercise while here.
I’ll always remember Falmouth for another reason…it was here that I finally became well after coronary bypass surgery when I stopped three medications.  I began the weaning process while in Ireland, completely stopping them while here in Falmouth.
Finally, after all this time, I can walk, climb steps, and bend over for the first time in almost seven months.  This morning I dropped my phone and it ended up under the bed.  I was able to get on my hands and knees to retrieve it when only three weeks ago, this would have been impossible.  
No words can describe how pleased I am to feel better.  It’s not perfect and it may take a full year before I am 100%.  But, in the interim, I am capable of enjoying our world travels with the enthusiasm we’ve come to know from the beginning on October 31, 2012.  Soon, we’ll celebrate our seven-year world travel anniversary!
In only 63 days, we’ll be in Minnesota to spend time with our family.  In the interim, we’ll continue to revel in the wonders and fascinating scenery and history of Cornwall from three different perspectives and one in Wales.
We’ll be back tomorrow with all new photos from today’s road trip and arrival at our new home.
Be well.
Photo from one year ago today, September 6, 2018:
Two Ms. Bushbucks and the baby, waiting for the pellet delivery.  For more photos please click here.

Changing our criteria…Last full day in Falmouth…Tomorrow, “on the road again”…

Our holiday home is located in this colorful grouping of attached yet individual dwellings.  We captured this shot from across the harbor.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Falmouth

“Falmouth was made the Royal Mail Packet Station in 1688. In 1805 the news of Britain’s victory and Admiral Nelson’s death at Trafalgar was landed here and taken to London by stagecoach.”
Tomorrow at 9:45 am, Tom will load our bags into the car, and we’ll be on our way to our following location, entitled Mill Barn in Tredarrup, Treveighan, St. Teath, Bodmin (yes, all of these).
A red barge with a crane, seen from across the harbor.

From what we can tell from the photos, the property is ground-level and has a master bedroom with an ensuite bath on the main floor. This will make moving in and out much easier than it’s been in Falmouth.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve loved this location but getting our three 23 kg (50 pounds) bags down from the second level of the house, following the walkway to the stairs, and then hauling them up 25 steep and uneven stone steps is no easy task even for Tom who is quite strong.

Fishing ferry for rent.

I’m of little assistance since I must carefully navigate the steps to avoid a fall while still a little unsteady on my feet. He won’t even let me haul any of the carry-on bags up the stairs.
In the future, we’ve agreed to be more mindful of renting properties with relatively easy access. We don’t mind a flight of stairs leading to the bedroom. It’s a good exercise, especially when I tend to go up and down a dozen times each day.  

As we drove as far as we could along the oceanfront roads, it was easy to see how close properties were to one another.

But, a one-bathroom house with the bathroom upstairs is bothersome. From now on, we’ll strive to book properties with at least a ½ bath on the main floor if it’s a two-story property.  Otherwise, one bathroom is satisfactory.  

As for the parking situation here, or the lack thereof, we’ll also investigate the availability of a designated parking spot, whether close to the property or nearby.

The blue sea and bright green neatly trimmed oceanfront property.

Otherwise, everything else here has been suitable for our needs.  However, we’re grateful Tom isn’t taller than his six feet. If he’d been three inches taller, his head would have hit the kitchen ceiling.  

But, we understand the nature of oceanfront properties and the limitations that may arise when they are remodeled with the intent of using every available inch of space to enhance the potential rental income.
Many of the small towns in the area have banners flying to the main part of town where shops and restaurants are located.

We’ve enjoyed our time here, and yet we’re ready to move along.  How do we like staying in one location for only two weeks? These four properties in England will give us a clearer view of whether we prefer shorter-term stays instead of our usual two or three-month stay.
We’ve been living out of our suitcases except for a few items we each stored in drawers and cupboards. Packing has been quick and easy. We’re both done packing except for the toiletries items we’ll use in the morning, the non-perishable groceries, the digital equipment, and a few odds and ends here and there. 

Entrance to a pretty park in the neighborhood with park benches.

There’s no more packing required today. We can sit back and relax, reveling in a sunny day with marvelous views. Since Tom landed a close parking spot, we won’t be heading out today to ensure we hang onto that spot, making loading the car more effortless in the morning.
Tomorrow morning, we’ll prepare a post, upload it before leaving. On Saturday morning, we’ll share photos of our following location. We won’t be posting “final expenses” until after our stay at the fourth location, grouping all the English countryside properties into one total.

May your day be meaningful and stress-free.

Photo from one year ago today, September 5, 2018:
My friend Little was lounging in the garden. It’s not easy lying down and getting comfortable when you have tusks. For more, please click here.

Dinner at a pub with new friends…Two days and counting…

Chris, Barbara, and Tom are standing in the pub at the Boathouse.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Falmouth

“Some of the surrendered German U-Boats were dispatched to Falmouth at the end of World War I. It is thought that this was for ‘explosive trials’ testing for weaknesses in their construction. According to the Atlantic Scuba Dive Centre, the UBoats now lie off Castle Beach, Pendennis Point, and Dodman Point.”

It’s always a special occasion to have the opportunity to meet new people. Barbara and Chris are local property owners and summer residents of Falmouth, which made the evening all the more meaningful.

Their knowledge and love of the area were inspiring and educational. They had a captive audience with enthusiasm for this fantastic seaside location rife with history and neverending charm.
We returned to the Boathouse Pub and Restaurant since it was a convenient walk for all of us with their property only a 15-minute walk from the pub and ours, a mere five minutes, downhill on the way and somewhat challenging on the uphill return.  
Seafood chowder with tomato sauce, scallops, hake, mussels, clams, and prawns. It probably contained more tomato sauce than I should have in a single dish, but it was delicious!
We appreciated they were willing to walk further than us on the hill roads. I suppose the locals who walk these hills become pretty fit. We’ve seen several seniors who seem to be managing the mountains with ease. Undoubtedly, after years of walking up and down the hills, they acquired quite a degree of fitness.

When we walked in the pub’s door, Barbara and Chris had already arrived a few minutes before our planned 5:45 pm. It was such a pleasure to meet them both, referred to us by theirs and our friend Liz from Bristol, where they spend most of the year. They have several rental properties in Falmouth which are not necessarily holiday rentals. They arrange the rentals in such a way they can spend the majority of their summers in Falmouth as avid boaters and outdoor enthusiasts.
Tom’s bacon cheeseburger with chips and a side salad.  He handed the salad over to me.

Their adult children and grandchildren come to visit while they’re here during the summer months while they all take advantage of the many water-related activities readily available in Falmouth and its surrounding villages.

As it turned out, our meals at the Boathouse were fantastic. I had one of the best dishes I’ve had in a long time, meeting my dietary requirements; a rich seafood chowder made with a sugar-free tomato sauce. The portion was huge, and I savored every bite.

Tom, not much of a seafood kind of guy, had a burger with chips. He blissfully devoured my mini-loaf of crusty bread, which usually would be used to “sop up” the juices in the chowder.

Barbara and Chris’s shared plate of fried calamari.

Barbara and Chris also had seafood, sharing a massive pot of mussels and a platter of fried calamari. The conversation was lively and animated as expected…a friend of Liz’s would be a friend of ours!

Back at the house, we watched a few shows, drifting off the bed by 11:00 pm. We both had a good night’s rest feeling refreshed and invigorated this morning. We gathered the last few items of laundry to wash in preparation for tomorrow’s packing. With the cool and humid seaside weather, clothes can dry for days.

At this point, I’m 90% packed, with only odds and ends we’re using around the house. We’ll have consumed all of our perishables and packed such items as coffee, coconut cream (for coffee), tea, and spices. With our concern for baggage fees, we purchase all new spices each time we move from location to location.

Barbara and Chris’s pot of cooked mussels.  
This will be the second time since 2012, we’ve been able to drive to the following location, taking our remaining foodstuff with us. This time, the packing is easy when we have no concern about the individual weight of our bags.  

The weight of our bags won’t be a concern until we fly from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 8th (after the upcoming transatlantic cruise). It’s hard to believe we’ll be in the US in a mere 65 days!

For those of you still working, enjoy “hump day,” and for those retired folks, enjoy yet another day in the life…
Photo from one year ago today, September 4, 2018:
In the late afternoon, we had so many visitors. We lost count. For more photos, please click here.

Socializing tonight…Three days and counting….

Entrance to the Church of St. Mylor in the sleepy town of Mylor, Cornwall.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Falmouth:

“Operation Chariot, a famous Commando raid on the heavily defended docks of St. Nazaire in France during World War II, which helped to shape the war at sea, was launched from Falmouth.”

While in South Kensington, London, in 2014, one of our enthusiastic readers took a train from Bristol to meet us in person.  We were flattered by Liz’s interest in meeting us after she’d been reading our posts for the previous two years. Here’s the link to that beautiful day with Liz.
The view of St. Mylor from atop the several flights of stairs. I walked up and down all of these steps with relative ease, well worth the effort.
As mentioned in prior posts, we had a fantastic day with Liz in August five years ago and have stayed in close touch since that time, often exchanging long email messages back and forth.

When Liz read we were coming back to the UK, we were hoping to see her again, especially when we navigate closer to Bristol as we move north/northeast from one of our four locations to another. It appears we’ll be able to meet up in October.

At the bottom of the steps, I was treated to this view.
In the interim, Liz contacted friends who have a rental in Falmouth and were going to be here for a few days until Thursday when they return to Bristol. Liz and Glenn are close friends with the couple.
Much to our delight, yesterday Barbara (and husband Chris) contacted us by email to set up a time to get together for dinner, leaving open lots of possibilities as to where we’d meet. In her thoughtful message, she offered to come this way.  
An easy walking path to the graveyard and opposite side of the church.
With the dreadful parking situation coupled with Tom’s frustration over driving around for 45 minutes to find a spot, we decided to go back to the Boathouse for dinner tonight. (I can easily walk this hilly short distance). Barbara and Chris, familiar with the pub, enthusiastically agreed.

This evening at 5:45 pm, we’ll meet them in the pub, staying for dinner after happy hour. We’re so looking forward to socializing once again. The views are spectacular from the pub, and there’s no doubt we’ll have a great evening.
Thanks, Liz, for referring your friends to us!
The cemetery overlooks a yacht club and the sea.
We’re heading to our following location in a mere three days, a converted barn in St. Teath, Bodwin, Cornwall approximately a two-hour drive from Falmouth. We’re so looking forward to our two weeks in this inland area, on a farm with goats, pigs (yes!), sheep, and chickens. Gosh, I need an “animal fix!”

Undoubtedly, the second of our four-holiday homes will serve us well. Of course, as any of our avid readers are aware, the fact this property and the next are located on farms was highly instrumental in our booking these particular properties.

On Thursday, we’ll pack with no worry as to the distribution of the weight of the luggage, except, of course, for the fact Tom has to haul the bags down a flight of stairs in the house and then up 25 uneven stone steps to the street.  

The steep steps from our holiday rental to the street.  Tom will have to haul the heavy bags up these uneven 26 steps.
I’ll go up with him to watch the bags as he gets the car from a distant parking spot and then stay with the car when he goes up and down for more. This has been the one drawback of staying at this lovely property in Falmouth. It would have been much more manageable if we were typical “weekend travelers” with a tiny suitcase or duffle bag. 

For now, over the next few days, until we depart, we’re pretty content, looking forward to making new friends this evening, enjoying the gorgeous ocean views, and simply “being” while reveling in my newfound well-being.

Tomorrow, we’ll share details and photos of our evening out tonight, more food photos, and whatever treasures we may find in between.
Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, September 3, 2018:

Last night, Tom took this photo when he checked the thermometer to find a toad doing the same.  It was 25C, 77F at 2200 hours, 10:00pm. Over the next several months, this toad often rests atop this decorative fixture, later joined by a mate. For more photos, please click here.

Dinner at a local pub with photos…Unusual sunrise…

View (overlooking an umbrella on the veranda) from the second-level dining area at the Boathouse Pub and Restaurant.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Falmouth

“Falmouth is home to one of the leading art universities in the UK, but in addition to the creativity the students bring to the town, there are many creative industries located in Falmouth. With a host of shows and exhibitions, Falmouth arguably holds the title for the most creative town in the entirety of the UK!”

On the last several days of the cruise, Tom and I each came down with a cold. His cold resulted in a runny nose, and mine was an outrageous cough. In an attempt to avoid writing more about medical stuff, I didn’t mention it here.
Tom ordered our drinks at the bar.  I had one glass of red wine while he had a beer.
Of course, I was concerned about the dreadful cough turning into pneumonia which is more likely to be an issue after open-heart surgery. Fortunately, I never had a fever, and after about three days, it started to turn around.
His cold has since entirely resolved while my cough continues, but he is obviously on the mend. You know how that goes…once it loosens up, it feels as if it’s on its way out.
The sitdown bar.  We moved to the dining room located on the other side of the wall for our meal.
Once we arrived in Falmouth, I purchased several packs of Hall’s sugar-free cough drops. For the first time, I found the cough drops helped. This morning I ran out. I don’t cough that often, but when I do, it’s loud and annoying. Otherwise, I feel blissfully delicate.
Tom didn’t care to drive to the pharmacy to purchase more cough drops with the parking situation here. Nor did I ask him to do so. He’d gone around the block for 40  minutes a few days ago looking for a spot and didn’t want to deal with that again.  
My “Sunday Roast” with lamb, cooked cabbage, mashed pumpkin, carrots, green beans, and peas. I traded my starchy vegetables for Tom’s cabbage.
I can’t stress how problematic it is to find a parking space in this area. When finally finding a spot, it often blocks away from the property, requiring a strenuous walk up and down endless steep hills. It’s not pleasant.
This morning he insisted on walking to the pharmacy without me.  I wanted to join him, but he felt I wasn’t quite ready for that long a walk up and down these hills. I pleaded with him not to go since I didn’t need the cough drops. I’d be fine without them. He wouldn’t listen.
Tom’s Sunday Roast with beef, oven-roasted potatoes, cabbage, carrots, mashed pumpkin, and Yorkshire pudding.  The potatoes were his favorite.
He took off on foot to the pharmacy, a hilly walk about 10 minutes each way. There was nothing I could say or do to keep him from going or let me join him. Considering that Tom is not an exercise-kind-of-guy who prefers not to walk long distances, I knew this wasn’t his idea of a good experience.
However, he recently returned with four packs of sugar-free cough drops and a little brown bag containing two donuts filled with cream and jelly. That’s my guy, always making lemonade out of lemons.
Of course, it’s killing me watching him eat the donuts. In my old life (eight years ago), an occasional donut would be a favorite treat. I began eating this way in August 2011 but seldom consumed processed sugary foods before this date.  
Sunrise this morning when Tom was up shortly after 5 am.
Now, all these years later, I haven’t so much as a taste of sugar, starch, grains, or carb-laden foods. At times, I’ve thought, “a lot of good that did me,” but the heart doctors explained I would never have survived if I hadn’t been so conscientious about diet, exercise, and health my entire life. So it continues.
Speaking of food, last night we went out to dinner at the mentioned Boathouse, a short hilly walk from here. We’d made a 6:00 pm reservation, arriving around 5:00 pm for happy hour.
The food was fresh, hot, and overall good but nothing compared to the Sunday Roast we’d had at the Andover Arms in London while staying in South Kensington for two weeks in 2014. It was one of those memorable meals we’ll never forget.
Upon taking this sunrise shot, Tom noticed what appeared to be a duck in the cloud formation.
Last night’s dinner was good but not necessarily noteworthy. We’d preordered my dish as gluten-free and starch-free, but Tom’s plate was both gluten and starch-free when the meal was first served.  The server returned both plates to the kitchen and started over.  
There were still many items on my plate that I’d specifically stated I needed to avoid, including sugary carrots and starchy peas. I passed my carrots to Tom and pushed my peas around the plate. I love peas, and it was difficult to avoid eating them.
It was disappointing that the indoor part of the restaurant doesn’t have a bar with barstools, allowing guests to mingle. There is a bar, but it’s used for handing over beverages to guests and servers, not for socializing. The main bar is outdoors on the veranda, but it was too cool and windy to sit outdoors comfortably.
Zooming in, he could more clearly define the shape of the duck in the clouds.
By 7:30 pm, we were back at the house, spending a pleasant evening streaming a few favorite shows, me sipping tea, and Tom, his ice tea. It was a good evening, as usual.
Today will be a low-key day. I have some “paperwork” to handle and two separate meals to prep. Tom will have bunless bacon cheeseburgers with a side of rice, while I have crabmeat salad stuffed into two halves of a small avocado with veggies on the side. 
May your Monday be filled with good food and beautiful surprises!
Photo from one year ago today, September 2, 2018:
A pair of laughing doves, commonly seen in the parks and our garden. For more details, please click here.

Beach scenes in Falmouth and gorgeous surrounding areas…

The greenery, the cliffs, and the white sand beach create a stunning scene at Swanpool.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Falmouth

With the development of Falmouth Docks in 1858 and the introduction of railway services to the area in 1863, the town was thriving with business and tourism. Falmouth currently has three railway stations to service the town and is currently noted as one of the key resorts in the UK’s number one tourist destination, with Cornwall attracting an average of 4 million visitors a year!
Falmouth and its surrounding areas are rife with things to see and do. Whether the casual vacationer wants plenty of dining options, diverse shopping, gorgeous beaches, and over-the-top scenery, this is the place to be. 
A food stand at the beach.
We had no idea how much of a holiday town Falmouth would be, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the opportunities we’ve had to experience this special location.
Tonight, we’re walking to dinner at the popular, highly rate Boathouse Restaurant and pub, specializing in the “Sunday Roast,” which we were required to pre-order when we called for a reservation. Walk-ins cannot be guaranteed there will be anything left when they arrive.
The beautiful Falmouth Hotel.  From this site: “A unique, Victorian chateau-style hotel set in 5 acres of landscaped gardens,  a prime seafront location, award-winning dining, Caudalie spa, and leisure facilities and overlooking Falmouth Bay and Castle Beach.  On one side is Pendennis Castle, the headland, beach and sea and, on the other, views over to the famous port of Falmouth.”

Some reviewers whinged, leaving fewer stars than they would have when they arrived at 7:00 or 8:00 pm requesting a table and the “roast.” It certainly makes sense that the establishment would only prepare so much food in an effort to avoid unused portions going to waste. These small pub/restaurants can’t afford a lot of leftover meats.

Tomorrow, we’ll post photos of our Sunday Roast experience as we had when we were in South Kensington, London, in 2014, as mentioned in our post of August 28, 2019. 

There was nowhere to park to investigate this historic building.  Thus, a photo while driving.

Need I say we’re enthused to dine out. After all the food on the ship only nine days ago, we needed a break from “big food” and have cooked our meals in the tiny kitchen, mostly basic meals with some form of protein, vegetables, salad, and rice (for Tom only).  

Also, since we arrived here, we haven’t had a wine or cocktail. We’d had enough on the cruise and decided a break would be good. But, I am anticipating a glass of red wine tonight at the bar in the pub at the restaurant. After that, we’ll be back to our teetotaling ways, most likely, except when dining out.

The beach at Swanpool, a popular holiday location.   From this site:  “Swanpool Beach is a delightful swimming cove with adjoining Swanpool Lake Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Excellent watersport centre where you can try your hand at dinghy sailing, kayaking or windsurfing. Bouncy castle located on the beach during the summer months for the smaller children. “

Knowing we’re leaving Falmouth in five days, I’ve been thinking about organizing some of our bags, but these short stays in England, requiring lots of packing and unpacking and…living out of a suitcase makes it seem like no sense at all.  

On Thursday, we’ll throw it all together, pack our leftover food (mostly non-perishables) and be on our way to the next location, a 90-minute drive from Falmouth.  

Steps leading to an overlook at Falmouth Bay.

The concept of shorter-term stays is very appealing for our future travels, but there will be circumstances where longer stays are more appropriate. The only drawbacks are the extra packing and unpacking and how we get from one location to another.

Three locations of our four rentals in England are in Cornwall (with one in Wales), and all are within a two-hour drive of one another. This makes travel easy and ultra enjoyable. No possible overweight luggage, no waiting at airports, and no immigration checks and issues (as long as we comply with the terms allowed by each country).

A place to sit and savor the view. 

Gosh, I have a whole new outlook now that I’m feeling well after all these awful months. The future looks bright, and the prospect of walking without pain and exhaustion is truly a gift as we tour an area now and into the future.

Happy day for us and for YOU!

Photo from one year ago today, September 1, 2018:

Every evening around dusk, before Frank and the Mrs. (to his left) go off into the bush to “make their noise,” announcing the beginning of the night, they stop by the veranda steps for birdseed which we happily provide for them. Whatever is left is eaten by either the helmeted guinea fowl or, believe it or not, the warthogs.  For more photos, please click here.

A new lease on life…

Colorful buildings create a pretty scene on the narrow roads in small towns in Cornwall.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Falmouth

Falmouth was the start
and finishing point for both Robin Knox-Johnston and Ellen Mcarthur’s voyages
around the world (Knox-Johnston in 1969 and Mcarthur in 2007) – sailing
non-stop single-handedly.

It’s foggy, rainy, and humid today but our hearts are filled with hope and optimism. I am better…so much better it’s indescribable. After 6½ months, barely functioning as a frail, shaky, unsteady pain-ridden individual, I am now a completely different person, only five days after completely stopping all three heart medications with terrible side effects.
We wandered through a tiny town after another, often finding this style of row houses on narrow roads.  Banners fly in the main part of town where the shops and restaurants are located.

I can walk. I can climb the stairs. My hands don’t shake. My legs don’t swell. I can breathe more deeply. I can bend over to pick something up off the floor when I suffered dearly in attempting to do so over this extended period. I was no longer sleepy at 10:00 am, about when the drugs kicked in, having taken them at 7:00 am.

Three drugs no longer fill my little pill case; a statin (Crestor), Amiodarone, and Bisoprolol, and the side effects of each are rapidly being released from my system.  

We love driving down these interesting roads in Cornwall.
Oh, I understand the statin enthusiasts who believe in these drugs, but I dare anyone to find a valid study (not funded by Big Pharma) that says otherwise. So far, the only report I can see is that statins may extend the patient’s life by three days. I’ll give up three days for quality of life. 

I won’t get on my Big Pharma soapbox here. Each person must do what is best for them. Please, do not stop any of these or other medications without consulting with your medical professional. In some cases, alternative medicine may be beneficial for a patient’s heart condition.

Both the Amiodarone and Bisoprolol were prescribed for me for aFib (irregular heartbeats and high pulse), which I do not have. Taking medication for a condition you do not have is dangerous and may cause serious consequences.
Suddenly, there would be an opening through which we could savor the view.

No, I am not an expert on this topic nor other medical issues. But, I decided to take my own life into my own hands, as risky as it may have been since I knew if I didn’t, the remainder of my life, albeit short, would have been as a frail, shaky, unsteady pain-ridden individual.  

Perhaps the final road to my full recovery is yet in the future. My right thigh still has a painful hematoma that requires sleeping with a pillow between my knees. The remainder of the horrific wound on my lower left leg still has a way to go to recover fully but is doing well. The incision in my chest continues to be painful to the touch and may hurt during specific movements.

Many of these attached properties are actually single-family homes.

On occasion over these past five days, I feel a little breathless, but it passes quickly. This is normal in the first year after bypass surgery. I don’t panic, and I relax to find breathing easier a few minutes later. In time, all of this will pass simply through the healing process, but at least drugs aren’t paralyzing me.

Tom and I discussed what would have happened had I not weaned off these drugs. I would have been wandering through my life in a haze of exhaustion, pain, immobility, and despair.

Boat lift in Maylor, Cornwall.

One of the most common residual effects of bypass surgery is PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The trauma to one’s psyche as well as their body is astounding.  Somehow, although I felt anxious at times, I wasn’t depressed nor had symptoms of PTSD. I was sick from drugs.

Although I didn’t have the daily face-to-face support of family and friends, I had Tom at my side.  He never wavered in his attentive care and emotional support.  He did everything for me. Now, I’m attempting to encourage him to let me do things for myself, carry a grocery bag, cook a meal or lift anything over five pounds.  

Yes, it will take time to rebuild my muscles and build strength and stamina.  Here in Falmouth, the house is too small for indoor walking, and it’s raining outdoors.  

This bike advertised the local business behind it, a bicycle repair shop.
My goal is to be able to do multiple flights at a time. But the frequent walks on the hilly road on a sunny day will serve me well.  Today, I’ve set my timer to go off every 20 minutes when I’ll walk up the stairs to the second level and then back down. Good exercise.

Thank you to all of our readers who have stood beside me during this lengthy struggle. I apologize for perpetually discussing this topic. When I didn’t, many readers would inquire, wondering how I was doing. Now, I can let this go, and if anything changes, good or not-so-good, I will share it here.

“They,” say writing down how you feel is vastly therapeutic. I’ve always had a voice. I always had YOU! Could it be that I averted depression by being able to share what I was going through with all of you?

Be well. Be happy.
Photo from one year ago today, August 31, 2018:
This was our first daytime giraffe visit at this house. For more photos, please click here.

A sunny day drive into wonderland…

Look at the number of sailboats moored in this bay!

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Falmouth

 In 2016, Falmouth was
named best coastal community at the Great British High Street Awards, and in 2018 Falmouth has been named as one of the ‘best places to live in Britain’ by The Sunday Times.
We can easily see why the above statement under “Fascinating Fact About Falmouth” refers to Falmouth as one of the “best places to live in Britain.”  This is so true.  
If a potential resident can tolerate the “no assigned parking” on the majority of the streets near High Street, the center of town, and are willing to walk up and down many steep hills when out and about, this town has it all.
“The historic parish church of St Gluvias, dedicated to Gluvias of Cornwall (or Gluviacus), serves the Church of England parish of St Gluvias with Penryn. Gluvias of Cornwall was the son of Gwynllyw, the warrior, King of Gwentlog, and a nephew of St Petroc. The church was founded in the 6th century, and the parish was in the Middle Ages, sometimes called Behethlan or Bohelland. In 1881 the church was in a dilapidated state and need of thorough repair. It was rebuilt by J. P. St Aubyn in 1883, although the medieval tower survived and was built of granite blocks. The church contains the brass of Thomas Kyllygrewe, c. 1485. There are also three wall monuments of interest: Samuel Pendarves, d. 1693, and his wife; William Pendarves, d. 1671, and his wife (both are curiously positioned with the figures which should face each other on either side of the corners of a window opening); and J. Kempe, d. 1711, bust under drapery.”
Beauty, outstanding views from almost every location, mild weather in the summer months, friendly people, a quaint ambiance, and a sense of welcoming may be instrumental in making this a perfect place for a move or retirement.

However, I can’t stress how vital it is for a new resident to be pretty fit to tackle the steep hills. Long terms residents are probably in fairly good condition if they’ve been walking these hills for years.
Since the “action” on High Street includes grocery stores, shops, restaurants, and even a movie theater and is easily accessible “distance-wise” from many streets in this neighborhood and parking in town is at a premium, walking is a great way to get around.
The graveyard at St. Gluvias Church in Penryn, Cornwall.

As a matter of fact, on Sunday night, we have a reservation for the “Sunday Roast” at the local Boathouse Pub and Restaurant, which is close enough that we can walk. It’s hilly, but we’ve already tried it a few times, and I can make it up and back.

To give up one’s parking spot for such proximity to the pub makes no sense at all. On Sunday night, everyone maybe home, and finding a new spot will be nearly impossible.

Soon, once Tom finishes watching the last Minnesota Vikings pre-season game, we’ll be off again. It’s time to grocery shop, most likely for the last time with us leaving Falmouth a week from today, and we hope to plan to purchase sufficient groceries to last through the week.  

The side entrance to St. Gluvias Church.
We also plan to dine out on our last night here, Thursday, and have already selected another highly-rated establishment on High Street. Today, we’ll head to the pharmacy, the fishmongers market, and the Tesco grocery store, some of which are too far to walk from place to place.  

Tom will drop me off at the pharmacy, and I’ll meet him at Tesco a short time later. It’s only a block or two, and now as the pain in my legs continues to improve, I’ll be able to make it.

Yesterday, we hit the road again, driving to several picturesque little towns on the opposite sides of the bay. As the crow flies, it may have been a five-minute drive to the first town of Flushing but driving on the narrow, often one-car lanes took quite a while.

Another area of the graveyard.
We drove on to little town after another, reveling in the uniqueness and beauty of each area.  Some tourists wandered about the center of each city but nothing like how many there are in Falmouth, a port of call for many cruise ships that are older and considerably smaller than we’ve experienced.
We found parking spots in and approaching the small towns on several occasions stopping to walk to take photos. It was a blissfully sunny day, and we couldn’t have been more enthused to be out.

I surprised myself how much easier it was to walk up and down the many stairs and hills we encountered along the way. At times, Tom stayed with the car when there was nowhere to park, while I took off on foot on my own to get better photos.
Last posted church bulletin.

It was the first time I’d taken on such a challenge in almost seven months, and I felt energized and refreshed being able to make it up and back to the various venues, primarily churches, mostly up and down hills, without getting out of breath with heart racing by the time I reached the car.  

I’m hopeful for the future, more now than ever then, I dared allow myself to be.  But, you know how it is, as soon as we mention something improving, the next day can prove to be tough. So I play it by ear, one day at a time, until I can freely feel confident that I’ve fully healed.

May your Friday and upcoming weekend be filled with many beautiful surprises. For those in the US, please have a safe Labor Day weekend!

Photo from one year ago today, August 30, 2018:

This male ostrich appeared comfortably seated in the middle of a driveway of a bush home. For more photos, please click here.

Staggering beauty in the seaside country…

Ruins at the shoreline at an overlook.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Falmouth

It was following the development of the docks in 1858 and the introduction of railway services in 1863 that the town began to thrive as tourism and business prospered.”

Today, our photos are a bit hazy due to a cloudy overcast day which is not uncommon in England. Sunshine is a hot commodity here in the UK, even during the summer months.

Sailboats in the harbor.

The expectation of sunny days is foolhardy, and planning outdoor activities for the future is risky, often resulting in disappointment. This weather is not unlike the temperature in Ireland which we left a mere three weeks ago when we flew to Amsterdam to embark on the Baltic cruise.

As is the case in Ireland, there appear to be more cloudy days than sunny.  As a result, we do our best to take bright day photos.  However, we don’t allow the sun to dictate when we venture out or not.  As long as it’s not pouring rain, we’ll head out.
Young men were sitting on rocks overlooking the bay.

Nonetheless, we’ve had opportunities to see some beautiful areas on sunny days or not. Also, what starts as a sunny day can become overcast in minutes.

We’re enjoying our time here. The house is comfortable, and the views are beyond description. At times, we’ve found ourselves on the veranda at night in the dark, staring at the boats in the harbor and the stars in the sky  when its clear. 
Cloudy day views across the bay.

There’s always something magical about being near water, whether its overlooking a pond, a lake, a river, a stream or the vast expanse of the ocean.  Our eyes are drawn to its ethereal qualities, leaving us mesmerized and enchanted.

Yesterday afternoon I spent over an hour on a Skype call (using our Skype phone number, not Skype video chat) with my dear friend Karen in Minnesota. I took my phone upstairs to the bedroom to talk to her for a little “girl time.”  

Houses and boats across the harbor.

Like Tom, who doesn’t have an opportunity to interact with his old friends, except visa Facebook quips here and there, occasionally I long for some of the candid chatter women are so good at.  

It truly was therapeutic talking to my friend Karen when I spoke to other girlfriends I left behind. This is not intended to imply men aren’t capable of this kind of talk but many women seem to gravitate to one another for intimate conversations. It is a by-product of this lifestyle we chose almost seven years ago.

Lighthouse at a distance on a cloudy day.

Now, with eight days remaining in Falmouth, we find ourselves savoring every moment. Many times during the day as well, we run out to the veranda to gaze at a passing sailboat, a flock of birds, a special boat in the bay, and of course, the cruise ships as they come into the port. It’s truly remarkable!

We’ll be back with more photos tomorrow after we venture out for a while on this sunny day (so far).

The shoreline is rugged and uneven in many areas, but sandy beach scenes will be posted tomorrow.

Have a spectacular day!

Photo from one year ago today, August 29, 2018:
Wildebeest Willie hung around for several hours, resting and eating a few pellets from time to time. He makes good eye contact, letting us know exactly what he wants. Do I detect a morsel of love in those looks? Could be.  For more photos, please click here.


A walk in the hilly neighborhood…

Vegetables for sale in a front garden.  We selected a zucchini and a small pumpkin.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Falmouth:

   “Falmouth was originally known as Smithwick, home to the Killigrew family at Arwenack Manor. In 1613 John Killigrew began to build houses around the harbor, despite opposition from the ancient towns of Helston, Penryn, and Truro, and a new town began to emerge, split into two hamlets called Smithicke and Pennycomequick. Finally, in 1660, King Charles II decreed that they should be known as Falmouth.”
Three days ago, I was official “off” the heart medication Bisoprolol, which caused severe side effects, including difficulty breathing, difficulty walking, extreme exhaustion, and a constant feeling of general malaise.
This is the sign for the produce garden products.  We dropped the appropriate coins in the letterbox after we’d selected a few vegetables.
The side effects of the medication withdrawal may include dangerously high heart rate, excessively high blood pressure, breathing problems, and severe palpitations.  
During this gradual withdrawal process, I experienced infrequent episodes of all of the above but for short periods only, no more than a few minutes at most.  Knowing the possible withdrawal symptoms, I stayed calm and made my way through it all.
Plant prices were marked and offered for sale in the homeowner’s front garden.
Within minutes, my readings would return to normal.  Once I was down to ¼ of the original dose, these side effects dissipated completely. I stayed on that dose for another week, and three days ago, I stopped completely.
I hadn’t planned to reduce the dose while on the cruise, but since the process seemed to be going well, I continued, checking my pulse and blood pressure a few times each day, which were normal except for one night early on. As I patiently continued, those ill effects ceased.
This sign is located in the garden by the plants for sale.
Among others I recently stopped, this drug may remain in one’s cells for many months, still serving up side effects. I hope I will make it through the upcoming months without incident and be free of these toxic drugs.
(If you are prescribed any of these mentioned drugs, please see your physician for changing or stopping your medication. Some patients must be hospitalized during the weaning process when doing so may cause a heart attack. Proceed with caution. We are not offering any medical advice, nor are we qualified to do so).
A Black Rose Aeonium.
The literature included with this last drug stated three days after gradual withdrawal, the incidence of side effects may begin to lessen. I started noticing a dramatic improvement yesterday on day 2.

As a matter of fact, for the first time since the surgery on February 12, 2019, Tom and I went for a walk in the neighborhood, taking the photos included here yesterday and today (post found here).

No, during the 30-minute walk, I wasn’t free of pain in my legs, but I did considerably better than I’d done while on tour in St. Petersburg. The hills are steep in most Falmouth based on the terracing of homes for the outstanding ocean views. Walking on the local streets is a challenge for most people, let alone me in my weakened condition.  

Fuzzy burgundy blossom was spotted on the walk. Any ideas what this may be?
It’s not so much that I run out of breath when walking but more so having to deal with the severe pain in my legs. Now, as I continue to progress, we’ll walk more and more, taking advantage of those hills to aid in my recovery. I only push myself as far as I can go, frequently stopping as needed.  

Today, we’ll stay in on a rainy day. There’s no point in risking a fall on the cobblestone streets in the rain. Instead, I’m busy around the house, organizing and repacking my messy suitcase. We leave here in nine days for the following location, but fortunately, we’ll be driving, not flying.
We made a reservation for the “Sunday Roast” which we’d had at a restaurant in South Kensington, London, in 2014 at the Andover Arms.  Here’s the link from that date.  Fantastic meal.  I hope to be so once again.  Check back on Monday for details.
With the towel situation resolved and a bottle of Prosecco for our inconvenience delivered by a wonderful neighbor, Sheena, we’re willing to provide a good review if everything continues as it appears from here on.  

We love the beautiful location, and the house is fulfilling our needs with good Wi-Fi, constant electricity, running water, and a very comfortable bed. The fridge is tiny, but we’ve adapted, and every three days, we shop for perishables.

Have a pleasant day and evening.

Photo from one year ago today, August 28, 2018:
We visited the Railway Museum in Livingstone, Zambia. A steam engine reminds us of “Thomas” trains, appropriately named, built-in 1919.  For more photos, please click here.