Friday, 20 September 2019

An update on Nina

After being referred by her GP Nina finally gets to see an Orthopaedic Consultant at King's Mill Hospital

Xrays are done and blood tests performed
The team in the fracture clinic are superb and the Consultant spends a fair bit of time with us getting to know the medical history and evaluating the next course of action

The bad news is that there appears to be no discernable bone growth in Nina's femur from when she last had Xrays a few months back in Spain
She is advised to go back to non weight bearing movement on her crutches and we are told her knee is intact and doesn't need replacing despite limited flexion of the joint

Inter-Consultant letters are sidelined and after a few calls to his colleagues Nina is fast tracked to go see a Professor Moran at Queens Medical Centre
This guy is a specialist in treating 'Non Unions' as in Nina's case and complicated non healed fractures. After such bad news at least we know we will be in the right hands now...

A couple of weeks pass and we visit QMC

More blood tests and a preliminary examination by the 'Prof', as the staff call him, reveal a way forward for Nina
He says she now needs surgery as soon as he can book her in to perform a bone graft and do work relating to the supporting metalwork
He also points out that a follow up operation involving stripping muscle back from her thigh bone would help with knee articulation but its a complex op and a painful rehab afterwards
This can't be done first as its the muscles that provide the blood flow to the bone for healing. He promises he can do good work and perhaps incorporate both techniques to some extent in one operation
A CT scan and lengthy consultation is now expected and at this stage he will suggest the best course of action based on his tests, scans and Nina's wishes

We were OK right up to the point he pointed out her leg had been "smashed to pieces" and "you've had a life changing injury"
Nina broke down bless her as the reality of her injury and future capabilities was finally spelled out by a Specialist in his field

He also said that her supporting metalwork could fail at any stage but in any case would not last two years being the sole means of support for her leg
Bizarrely he advises now to go back to weight bearing movement on her crutches with pro active physio. We guess this is to get her legs in best shape ready for the next lay up

Can you believe we threw away the bedpan and dumped the wheelchair!

Now we wait and hopefully a date for her surgery will soon be known.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Back home in Dethick

Next day we relocate to our 'Home'

Dethick, our English base beckons and we arrive to a newly mown area of grass with our customary stunning view over Riber & Lea Bridge

We settle in and visit family by means of a newly acquired addition to the 'fleet'
Nina's folks just happen to be buying a new car at the moment and we are offered their outgoing wheels instead of the old 'part chop' arrangement with their dealer
We come away smiling having bought a cracking little C3 diesel for stupid money that will get us about nicely in the next few months

Not long afterwards the 'Nobbies' decend and the catching up begins in earnest

'Nobby' AKA Russ (for tax purposes possibly)

German sausage eating becomes one of the highlights of a trip to nearby Bakewell awash with tourists on a sunny day
Beer is downed (naturally) and we stroll the streets getting in those vital steps for Nina on her 'sticks'

Me and the Nob had some quality Tech time fitting three new AGM batteries to the Tour Bus
When they die they sure die quickly and my suspect cheap leisure batteries that were fitted prior to viewing a couple of years ago just gave up
I've big hopes for the new ones as they are better suited to being 'Inverted' regularly
(Thats 12v DC to 240v AC in case you thought I liked tipping them upside down­čśÇ)

Baz comes bounding up the field one day to our surprize bringing a bottle of Taylors Port and some good cheer for us all
Nob and Baz hit it off immediately and whilst I cooked and the girls chatted I lost count of the Internet buzzwords these IT dudes banged out at each other

Cameron came to stay one very wet weekend that saw us playing endless hangman games and evenings playing Spotify roulette 
Bless him, he spent a long time trying to educate us as to what was 'proper music'
This ranged from Ariana Grande (the only artist we recognised) to strange Rap Crap (my words)
I made him listen to Killer by Adamski at full volume as punishment and forced education
(one day he may understand but for now he just kinda smiled and I swear he had a look on him that simply said Sad T**t)

With some awful weather at the moment my riding rehab gets a little stunted but Nina is a star and encourages me to get out when it shines but makes me promise to take her out in the car when I return, a deal I'm more than happy with

All the gear and.....well some idea
I'm feeling more confident with every ride and getting to grips with the size of the bike and the huge difference from the days of Max

Martyn is a regular visitor and we go to the camping shop with him one day and help advise on where best to part with cash 
It took us just a few minutes to erect his newly purchased holiday abode and even less to take it down
Gone it seems are the days of head scratching sticking up those leaky frame tents...

Baz returns in his van for a few days accompanied by his new girlfriend Gina and we meet up at The Tavern for a few bevvies

Gina comes up with a brilliant suggestion for Nina...
Why not contact The Firefighter's Charity and see if we can visit one of their Rehab centres for Physio and some quality R & R?
Why on earth didn't we think of this earlier?

The calls are made and the application submitted so we are now awaiting a date to go up to Penrith
Well done Gina!

Mick our farmer host decides it would be a good idea to gatecrash the local Steam Rally one saturday night and after looking around briefly we find the beer tent and over indulge on Theakstons Old Peculiar

Nina and Mick's wife mary are back at the farm having a chinwag when we stroll in later
Several very large whiskies later Nina and me stagger back up the field to Tasca, me wandering sideways being supported by wife on crutches...what a pair!

Hank and Kev come for the day and we guys go out on a 13 miler around the locality taking in Holloway, Cromford Canal, Matlock Bath & Wetherspoons of course in Matlock

About halfway round...

1st refreshment stop at 'Twenty Ten' in Matlock

The steam loco at Matlock station

Our current 'Fleet' in our usual spot
This I guess represents the space 'Go' on a Monopoly board for us each year as we always come back here and its the starting point of a new round trip

We have no real idea of what the next year will bring as its largely unknown at present
Nina has begun Physio locally and the all important hospital consultation is next week
The result will dictate what we do and where we go but we have a few short trips planned in the next couple of months regardless of the outcome

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Green Green Grass of Home

To use the title of one of Tom's best hits and by coincidence, one of Mum's favourite songs, its time to go return to the 'Green Green Grass of Home'
And we are ready....

So first night en route back is spent like last year in Teruel only occupying more space of course...

Later in the day and after driving in the high 30's we discover both wheel hub covers are missing to the tune of approx £200.00 in replacement costs. We put it down to the extreme heat expanding the hub assembly and losing both caps in transit but I'm not sure as there's also the possibility that they now adorn some Spanish kid's bedroom wall
I'm sure they are on in this early morning photo though
Next time here I'll take them off before retiring to be sure....

The drive up through France is quite pleasant and the route avoiding tolls is actually easy going and the RV behaves impeccably
Our last night is spent at Bergues and a wander in to town is the order of the day to sample a few Belgian beers...

Wow, check the bill here..
Where's my yellow vest?

A short stroll through the previously unexplored part of town sees us stumbling upon a Craft Beers outlet with some very sensible pricing structuring

Poor Nina had this lot on her lap in the chair all the way back to the site

A hop and a skip after the ferry and we are back near Emilja & Richard's at Thurston on the very nice Dell Touring Park and we get to RV with the family

A few days later we are taken to visit the wedding venue at hedingham Castle where they will be married next June

Huge excitement for everyone especially the girls of course

The ceremony will take place in the huge tower behind

Hopefully on the day Nina will proudly walk up the spiral stone staircase and avoid her now customary bum shuffle technique

She make it though and we are bowled over by the beauty of the place

Back in the Manor the pianist gets the practice done

I say "Croquet anyone"

The layout and ambience is excellent and we all leave with high hopes for a great day next year

A random picture of a guy with an adventure bike...not really
Let me explain...

To my amazement and very shortly after her op back in December last year Nina gave me the nod to start researching a replacement for Max as he'd been written off by the insurance company
So a deposit was laid down in early April and collection from Reiten Motorrad was made soon after our arrival back in Blighty
We went with a new BMW R1250 GS TE Exclusive...Ta Da!
We both have very expensive full suits with matching laminate suits to boot all to Level 2 protection standards. The bike accessories were all obtained from Touratech in Alicante at a far cheaper cost than the UK equivalent
This procurement took many visits in Spain to the suppliers so we were kept busy over there which made time pass too thankfully

Nina with 'Gus'
(Well he needs a name doesn't he!)

A few days later I have a twin Innov K2 camera system fitted to Gus to capture the antics of the Muppets out there on the road

A leap of faith with the installer removing lots of gear and panels from the bike but its worth it

The plan when Nina is online is to travel as before but also tour on the bike from the RV staying overnight for several days enabling us to see the countries at length and enjoy the freedom of the open road. 

I have my courageous wife to thank for getting us this far.....

Friday, 12 July 2019

Pat & Jane come to stay...

Yes its been a while hasn't it?

Apologies for not keeping up with the blog but we've been kinda busy of late.....

Looking back over the past two months it really is a blur tbh with us spending most of our time on physio visits (three times a week at the end), walking around the locality as much as possible to build up Nina's leg strength and prepping for the housesit and the arrival of Chums Pat & Jane

We discover that its become a bit of a slog really in the mid thirties heat out here in Spain. All great fun of course when you are passing through or are active and out and about discovering new places. The reality of the almost daily trip in a non air conditioned car to either the dentists or physio takes it toll and we are left tired and very very hot!

The thought that our friends are coming to see us and the weekly improvements with Nina makes the time pass rather quickly and before we know it they are here!

Welcome to the heat!

Pat & Jane have come to Casa Rudo for 6 nights which fall smack in the middle of our house sit for Rudy & Dorine
We have the car and are able to get out during the evenings when its cooling down

He's waited long enough for it and its devoured with aplomb...

Our days are spent relaxing by the pool and just chilling (more like overheating) but we venture out to Elche one late afternoon to combine Tapas with a physio session with Raul (not at the same time of course)

Its a long way from the parking lot and we elected to keep to the wheelchair method of transportation to make things easier 
Jane does a fine job taking over from F1 driver Pat....
Nina is relieved (especially as he later confesses to having tipped out some unfortunate wheelchair bound guy many years ago)

Tapas in the square and a chance to ridicule my mate

We drove out to Santa Pola one evening and had a really nice stroll around the town and Marina area of course taking in a few bars then back for a few beers for the driver..

We have the cooking nailed down during our sojourn with Paella from yours truly one evening and...

One of Jane's finest creations, Salmon & Prawn Pasta washed down with several beers that Pat brought with him for us to share

I think this shot may belong to Pat but it conveys the atmos perfectly

We had a great time with our Chums who came a long way and it was a welcome distraction for us at the end of a three month stay at Casa Rudo
Far too long really but we were there for the Physio and the rehab and under different circumstances perhaps it would have been more enjoyable for us
We had the pool, supportive friends around us, and the blue skies above our heads
A perfect setting really to make the progress required

Our time with Raul sadly comes to an end as its time to start our journey home
He's happy with Nina's progress and we thank him for his expertise, his charm and his sense of humour. We promise to 'walk through the door' when next we are in Elche