Our Christmas break. Goodbye PoppyDecember 20, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 5 °C
We spent a total of 8 weeks back in the UK, docking at Dover on 31st October and travelling as far as Alnwick on the North East coast. The trip began well with a diagnosis for Vicky's poor health; premenstrual syndrome with severe secondary dysmenorrhea, probably due to adenomyosis. She has been referred for a procedure, but when this isn't likely to be until March.
We had a roller coaster ride of quality time spent with family and friends, including 2 fireworks displays, 4 birthdays, a canal boat trip, 2 horse rides, walks, meals and drinks with loved ones. We got to watch Will's grandaughter's first ballet show and Christmas day was spent in the North East with our two brothers and sister in law. A HUGE thank you to everyone who made time to see us, took us in, fed us, gave us use of their drives, sewage drains, fresh water and washing machines and generally made us feel so welcome!
Even with the best laid plans, not everything worked out as we would have liked. We missed seeing some people we'd planned to see and found we'd be unable to fit the roof mountable solar panel we'd bought for the van until temperatures rose above 18°C. We managed to get our passports renewed but only after a palava with the photos, similarly we managed to get Will's new prescription glasses but only after navigating cancellations and store closures. We had aimed to get the van bumper fixed on the insurance from when someone drove into us in July, but it turns out 2 months isn't long enough for SAGA's garage to get the part delivered! Thank goodness we got the MOT done and dusted! The sudden closure of our Doctor's surgery left us in a pickle and the cancellation of Will's surgery on his piles and polyp once he was in hospital and prepped, put a spanner in the works. We managed to have it rescheduled close to Christmas, but stitches coming out, tearing and infection meant two trips to A&E, one on Boxing Day and one on New Year's Eve.
By the 30th of December we were ready for our ferry crossing to France and a little rest and relaxation. However, we were woken early by a very poorly Poppy dog. She had lost control of her back end, couldn't stand and was very distressed. Given that her health had been declining and she'd had two seizures within a month, earlier in our visit, we decided that enough was enough. We postponed the ferry and she recovered a little, but with her future quality of life in mind, we had the vet put her to sleep. They came out to the van where it was parked on Will's sister's drive on New Year's eve, so she encountered as little distress as possible in her last moments. We are glad to have been able to end her suffering, but are feeling very lost and sad without her. She's been part of who we are for more than 15 years and loved travelling as much as we do. Things just won't be the same without our stubborn, demanding, wilful, intelligent, beautiful and loving dog 😢Read more