Quite a lot actually.
Let me list them:
I have the use of a car. A small economical-to-run one. Mostly mine. May be used occasionally by S, she says, but they have another car and a van. This car deserves a short blog post of it's own - with a picture.
I love the countryside and this bungalow is surrounded by it.
Even in November it's very green around about. I love the green of the grass and the bushes and the tress and narrow lanes and there are still a few flowers out on bushes and plants. The large kitchen and lounge windows frame a view of hills, trees and cottages.
A Proper Fire
In the lounge there is a working fireplace where a living fire burns each evening. As an adult I've never lived in a place with a working fireplace so this is a real treat. Rural areas of Britain are not restricted to burning smokeless fuel so we have real coal. They also burn logs but I haven't seen that yet. I even laid a fire yesterday. It's quite easy.
There are two cats. They are new to the household so are not allowed outside yet to guard against them wandering off before they feel that this is their home. There is a fat older cat called Sally and a 10 month old cat called Milo. Sally loves attention but Milo is not used to being handled so I can only stroke him when he's sleeping. He likes that. They were only introduced to each other in this home but get on quite well. Milo licks Sally and they both curl up together on a pouffe looking out of the floor-length window in the lounge.
I've been invited to give all my ironing to the cleaner that comes once a week! So I did. She's good too, and fast. And jolly. And her name is Sally, which is a little confusing because she's not sure if it's her that's being talked to or the cat.
They have a Wii Fit and encourage me to use it. In fact part of my job is to exercise with L each day. She is building up stamina. She did a total of 30 minutes yesterday in three blocks. Whilst she was resting I had my turn. I did one hour altogether. I like the sound off but L has difficulty keeping time on the stepping without the 'music'. I'll not talk about the 'music' because this is a positive post. :-) S also likes L to go outside for a walk each day. So far L is only comfortable walking around the garden but it's large and on a slope so it's quite strenuous for her at the moment. She's been sitting in front of a TV in a care home for 4 years so it will take time for her to be comfortable with the outside world and the exercise.
I have the best bedroom in the house. It's a double room with fitted triple wardrobes, lots of space surrounding the comfortable double bed. It's warm and dry unlike the master bedroom. I don't know if the sun comes in yet because I've not been in it when the sun is out.
L doesn't like reading but she enjoys watching the television. M&S don't watch much TV. In fact they got one especially for L when she came. They found after the first few days that the noise of the TV disturbed their concentration on their work. L wanted the TV loud but insists she's not deaf. M solved the problem by getting some wireless headphones for her. So she's happy in her world of soaps and quizzes in the evening watching a silent screen. Am I'm delirious because my mum's loud TV really bothered me.
There is a large filter jug in the kitchen and one on each bathroom. The shower has a filter on it because apparently the mixture of fluoride and chlorine create a vapour that's detrimental to health. And the shower has a great flow of lovely hot water and it's in the bath so there's plenty of room. The water in the South West of England is lime-scale free so I'm happy with that too.
Fresh Olive Oil
Did you know that olive oil is a fruit juice? This means that it's not oily until it's 6 months old. This couple sell fresh olive oil, in fact M is a connoisseur of it. It's really lovely! and very expensive. £30 a bottle. If they still have oil six months after the harvest they have it made into soap. They also deal in Balsamic vinegar. The real stuff. Not the stuff you get in supermarkets that have been made with chemicals. They sell 10 year, 30 year and even 100 year old balsamic vinegar. The older it is the sweeter it is. Quite opposite to olive oil.
I'm writing this on my day off and at this minute they are in the kitchen making the evening meal of steak (especially hung and very expensive), salad and chips cooked in the oven with olive oil.
One Hour From Mum
My mother really needs a housekeeper. Each time I get back from being away the kitchen is piled with many days of washing up. She has difficulty climbing the stairs, let alone bringing heavy shopping up to her first floor flat. She won't acknowledge the need for help but is very happy when I do all the stuff for her. I think she thinks she should be doing it all herself.
Anyway, I'm just one hour's drive away from her and at the moment have two days off each week so I'll be able to use one of those to go visit, clean her kitchen and do her heavy shopping. Good job I have use of a car because it wouldn't be an easy journey on public transport.