Tony & Cynthea explore the 'Old Country' travel blog

Marylebone Station with Jill and Lyn, Cynthea leaves for Brackley

Digby goes to church...

... and goes swimming too.

Tony visited Banbury

In Banbury

Will have to ask Cynthea where this is, she probably took a...


Cynthea has work from the 30th of August as a live in carer. She is in the village of Brackley, about half an hour from Banbury. She has written a few words about where she is living... We are not sure how long her placement here will last, initally seven weeks.

I was met at Banbury Train Station by Hennie, Michael’s carer. We head to Brackley a small market town (over 14,000 people). London, as the crow flies is 68 miles (109km) away, it is not too far from Oxford, and Birmingham is 1 hour away by car.

Formula 1 is not far away in Silverstone and some day I hope to go there (but I think it will only be in Summer???). Towcester is just up the road (pronounced Toaster, I haven’t got a handle on pronouncing the names of some of the places) and I go there to take Michael to the pool as the local one does not have disabled facilities.

I have joined the local pool and in my two hours off a day I go there to give the brain some away time. A carer from the local agency comes in. I did manage to accumulate six hours of time off, so headed off to Birmingham in the car to see Cliff Richard. I got the ticket on the ‘get me in site’ for just over £20 ($40) instead of £78. I drove there too, I would never be without my navigator, it came free with the phone, so cool. I would never have managed with a map. The only thing is the navigator will tell you to head off a roundabout down a particular road and they don’t label the roads so sometimes I have to back track several miles to get back to where I was in the first place. If Michael is with me he loves the countryside and I say that’s why we are travelling up these country

lanes, what a laugh.

Brackley has lots of Pubs and cafes, and lots of them are just over the road from where I live. It has everything you need, Post Office, Town Hall, and small shops. We go to church most Sundays, its Anglican and is very traditional with contemporary thrown in. We stayed at home when the world cup semi and final were on.

We have NZ butter and honey and sometimes had apples and kiwi fruit (I guess the season finished).

I have wanted to trace my ancestry here, but have not started yet. Day to day activity seems to take over. Must get on to it if there is any hope of tracing unknown people and tracking the families down. Some reading would not go amiss as I want to finish a book on Scottish History that I had to leave in Edinburgh. Have joined the local Library and have been going through their cake icing section. Have bought some icing to play with and even made some snowmen to sell at the Church Fair.

I live in a retirement Village, I am not the youngest the Manager Bev is 1 or 2 years younger and I am not sure how old her husband is. There are over 40 units and we share the two washing machines and two dryers. You can imagine how popular I would be if I get distracted and don’t remember to put it in the dryer or collect it when its done so I set the alarm on my phone. The unit that we live in is a semi detached 2 bedroom house, with two bathrooms and double glazing. Its only been built in the last couple of decades, so, so far seems easy to heat (central heating is on 1 and there is another 9 to go). Waiting for the snow…

Bev has invited me to lunch at one of the pubs over the road on Thursday so I am asking the agency to have someone come over the lunch break to relieve me. I will keep the timeslot in so if I get any more invites I will be ‘free’. So looking forward to having a ‘normal’ social engagement. I am in the process of changing my hours off so there is better use of the two hours off. I am not going to have anyone come at the weekend so I have longer on the other days, then it’s not so much of a rush. I joined the local swimming pool on the first day here, I go three times a week and zumba weekly. I could go to the Gym in the membership but would have to reduce swimming. I think water is kinder on my joints…

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