The People (US!)

Another Update 22nd February 2017

This have changed considerably since I last updated this site nearly a year ago now.  The horses have finally been re-homed to a lovely smallholding in North Wales and all the animals are now gone.  I have recently been diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder which it would seem I have had since my teens, which now explains my mood swings and other issues over the years.  My time in the Police Service seems to have kept the condition largely depressed, probably because of the discipline, but now I am retired the mood swings came back with a vengeance and my poor GP (and Irene) has been struggling to deal with me ever since we came to Wales.  It is good that I finally have a diagnosis but why oh why has it taken so long to get diagnosed?  Oh well, onward and upward as they say.

Irene’s health has also deteriorated and the problems with her feet has got to the stage where we have had to purchase a power wheelchair if we are to have any hope of having an enjoyable ‘day out’. I have also purchased a mobility scooter which folds down quite small and is also very valuable.  We don’t have to use them all the time but they are there when we need them.  We have also had to swap Irene’s beloved RAV4 as we couldn’t get the power wheelchair in the back.  Stupidly the rear tailgate doesn’t open fully and you cannot get ramps set up to get the wheelchair in easily.  We went for a Japanese Import Toyota Grand HiAce, a lovely Day Van with two side sliding doors as well as a large tailgate.  We can get everything we need in the van as well as the dogs and all the paraphernalia that goes with it.  We have installed an Amdro Boot Jump making the van into a very versatile day van with all the mod cons needed for a day out touring or on the beach.

It’s a long time since this page was first published, 7 years in fact, and much has changed in the intervening period as I have written elsewhere.   Irene is no longer running her ‘stitch and bitch’ and our deteriorating health has meant a complete re-think as to how we want to live our lives.  We have discovered that Irene has a severe intolerance to gluten and she has also been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, she is suffering with arthritis in both wrists making it difficult to lift pots and pans etc and her plantar fasciitis has slowly worsened.  The upshot is that at 63 and 61 respectively, and with so many celebrities prematurely passing away in 2016, 37 in 4 months at the last count, we have decided a change of emphasis is needed.  It is time for us to do something completely different, so we now have a 20yr old Autocruise Impala Motorhome in which we intend to have some adventures before dementia!

This is US!

We are Gary & Irene.  We are both in our 60’s and were born in the East End of London.

We have been together 0ver 20 years now  (as at 22/02/2017) and have been married for 18 years.  Formerly married to different partners, we have 5 daughters between us from marriages of 23 years and 21 years respectively.  We were friends before our previous marriages came to an end (mine ended first) and we supported each other, as friends do, through the unpleasant parts that any separation and divorce create.

Over time our friendship developed further and, despite our previous experience of marriage, decided we would make a good couple!!

We lived in Colchester, Essex, for a few years before I was medically retired from work, so we decided a complete change of scenery and lifestyle was in order, and the rest as they say, is history!!

My early retirement was as the result of an injury that has left me with a mobility disability which will not be resolved until I am so disabled it warrants surgery.  Irene too has a chronic disability which means that everything we do has to be carefully planned and we have adapted our home and ourselves so that we can cope (just about).

We moved to Wales in 2003 and after a short period in a bungalow, moved to our current house in 2005, which at the time of writing is 177 yrs old.

Irene loves cooking, looking after the animals, painting watercolours, and loves making quilts, dolls house fabrics, cards and crafting in general!  She used to run a monthly ‘Stitch and Bitch’ club at the local pub to encourage people to take part and enjoy all sorts of crafts, but that has now been discontinued.

As for me I used to enjoy gardening and riding my motorcycle, and I was quite keen on DIY having fitted our new kitchen.  We used to enjoy riding and driving our horses but they have now been re-homed as mentioned above.  I still enjoy music but mainly on the guitar and ukulele now and brewing Real Ale has been put to one side. The  ‘open mic’ sessions at the pub are also now a thing of the past.  However, I don’t sit around idly as I have joined an ‘At a Loose End’ group of men, who are mainly Women’s Institute widowers, and we have regular monthly meetings and outings.  Our prime focus now is enjoying our travels in our Motorhome, and this will be the main focus of this blog from now on.

Our ‘caricature’ picture created in Las Vegas!
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