On Sunday morning, it was bright sunshine. Rather than sit indoors we wanted to make an effort to get out. Saturday it rained constantly. The grass remained partially mown, unfortunately. Carol is eager to get plants and other items to get the garden turned round. We went to Wickes the other day and bought some tools. Saves us having to borrow off other people. A spade and lopper which means we can cut down any stray branches and dig any holes as required for planting. We also bought a chimenea from the on-line company, Very, which arrived last week, which is why we went to Wickes to buy tools, including screwdrivers in order to put the chimenea together. The thing came in a large parcel and it didn't include such items as a cross-head screwdriver. We now have one which has interchangeable heads for different size screws. It wasn't such a big deal putting it together if you followed the instructions which came with it, as with most things you buy nowadays. Although, if you buy something from IKEA, for example, such as a piece of flat-pack furniture, it usually comes with at least an Allan key which allows you to put it together.
We wanted to go to a garden centre and had intended visiting one near Waddesdon Manor. We went there several years ago, and I think it may be part of the estate. We looked on Google Maps, and had found where it was, but when we drove all the way there we couldn't find this garden centre which was somewhat annoying. It's around 40-minute drive from Milton Keynes to Waddesdon. We then decided to drive toWaterperry Garden, which we visited several years ago. But, unfortunately, we had no map with us in the car and spent some time driving around somewhat aimlessly until I decided to try and find the address on my recently acquired Samsung smartphone. But I found it was very difficult managing to input text as we drove along, so we stopped in a layby and managed to find where Waterperry Gardens were. Near Wheatley, Oxfordshire, and just off the M40 a few miles east of Oxford. Once we had the address it was relatively easy to find, but in the process of driving around rather aimlessly, we discovered some really attractive villages and the scenery is really beautiful. We spent some time wandering around the garden centre at Waterperry and had coffee and sandwiches in the restaurant. We met a lot of cyclists as we drove around the Oxfordshire country roads. In brightly coloured Lycra and cycling in convoy. Unfortunately there we numerous cyclists as we got to Waterperry and some of them in the restaurant, one in particular with a rather loud laugh which was enough to put anyone off. Why is it some men, in particular, seem to get over-enthusiastic at such times, and can't control their behaviour and have to be so LOUD? We bought a couple of plants, a tray of wildflowers and a buddleia and, as it was beginning to cloud over, decided to drive home.
Today (Monday) Carol had an appointment at the medical centre in Stony Stratford. I think I mentioned in an earlier post on here that she had the appointment come in a letter and I had to drive all the way over to Stoney to make the appointment for her as she was at work. This seemed a complete waste of time and effort because we live around a ten-minute walk away from Milton Keynes Hospital, but we had to drive all the way across Milton Keynes for the appointment in Stoney, leaving at 8.20 for the appointment at 9.15. We got there far too early so we had to waste around 30 minutes so we walked along Stony Stratford High Street. A really interesting place which is full of history. We went into the medical centre, a rather run-down looking building which looks totally out of place in such a beautiful place and not the sort of design that would be allowed today. It looks stuck in the 1960's or '70's and most likely hasn't been given a lick of paint since then. Once inside it was heaving with people either queuing up or making appointments. We went into the waiting area and, well, yes, you've guessed it - we waited. As with most modern health centres and N.H.S. facilities, there was one of those computerised check-in screens and Carol was therefore registered, although, to be honest, I never trust them because the one at Ashfield Medical centre, where we're registered, never always works. You sit and have to stare at this computer screen on the wall in front of you and you're bombarded with a welter of instructions and information on everything from their policy on aggressive behaviour to a range of services for those with dementia to bi-polar disorder. It's really over-done as it flits past at such speed, so how are you expected to take it all in? People come and go, and everyone else sits and coughs, splutters and mutter to themselves. It's an a real barrel of laughs. I needed the toilet. When Carol arrived she went to the ladies in the reception area. But where were the gents? Why no toilet next to it for men to use? Which is usual in such places. I had to ask at the reception desk and found it was away from the reception area in another corridor. Why no sign to show you where it was? Crazy. What a depressing place. As I said, run down and desperately in need of redecorating. I know the N.H.S. is short of cash, but surely they could make this dismal place a little less depressing.
Carol's appointment came up, a good ten minutes later than it was supposed to be. I was surprised the nurse came out to call her and her name didn't come up on the digital screen (similar to Ashfield Medical Centre.) 20 minutes later she came out to tell me she has yet another appointment on 4th May. We left and then went to Costa to have a latte and cake before getting back in the car and going across Milton Keynes and the Academy and me back home.