We've been here just over a week now, 'here' being the home of our elder daughter and her two children, just outside Guildford. To our Andalusian selves the weather initially was a little chilly, but it has now picked up nicely and we have daytime temperatures reaching the high twenties, so I'm back into my shorts. Although it's lovely to be with our grandchildren, the prices in Surrey and Hampshire are simply too high for our budget. Originally we had decided on the Isle of Wight where prices are within budget, but my back problems have put paid to that. On and about the island is not the problem' it's the need to use ferries to get to and from the mainland. All the ferries offer disabled-friendly access, but unfortunately the Solent cannot be relied upon to be so accommodating.
Effectively that rules out the south of England as a whole, so we have had to review our options, and currently our hopes are pinned on Southport on the Lancashire coast where prices are very much lower. However, it's also a major U.K. holiday resort which means that for the next couple of months available accommodation is thin on the ground and very expensive so we have an enforced pause.
So right now we can devote our time to dealing with British bureaucracy, which thankfully is much less complicated than Spanish, and staffed by people whose aim is to be helpful rather than obstructive. Temporary registration at the local health center was dealt with on our first visit and took no more than fifteen minutes even though the girl on reception was new and had to keeping popping into the back office to check that she was doing things correctly' unfortunately the earliest appointment she could offer me for a consultation with a GP to set up my medication requirements was a fortnight away.
Yesterday a trip to the library in Guildford was all it took to apply for a pensioners' bus pass and it will arrive within fifteen days. I was also provided with the form on which to apply for my blue badge for the car. Letters have gone off to HMRC to announce our resumption of tax resident status, so we are making good progress.
Perhaps the best thing of all is that youngest granddaughter has given up her bed for me, leaping at the chance to sleep with mummy. The bed really deals with my discomfort, and so after six months of literally sofa-surfing I am sleeping comfortably in a bed.
The next adventure has begun!