Settling into my Rural Groove in England’s Green and Pleasant Land

Mobi Babble – A day in the life of rural Mobi

I guess you could say I am settling into some sort of routine in my new home in Rutland with my youngest daughter and her family.

The summer hasn’t exactly been what you could call great. We had a cold and wet May, A very hot June, and July hasn’t been that good – mainly dry but overcast and not very warm but the odd day of sunshine. let’s see what August will bring.

Oakham School playing fields

My Happy Pill

My nightly dose of anti-depressants always ensures I have a good sleep. I take the pill at 7 pm as it takes several hours to kick in. If I take it any later, I become a walking zombie for half the following morning, which I find most unsettling.

So provided I take the pill on time – along with a dozen or so other pills for such myriad conditions as IBS, an enlarged prostate, chronic heart disease and diabetes – I usually succumb to sleep around midnight, give or take.

Cemetery entrance

My alarm wakes me at 7.55 am and I lay there in a semi-comatose state for the next 90 minutes – one ear listening to the ‘Today’ show on BBC radio 4 and both eyes glued to the BBC sports news, followed by BBC world news, courtesy of my Samsung wonder smartphone. By the time my watch approaches 10.00 am, I am ‘all newzed out’ and wide awake.

Is that multitasking? I hope so, as it may help to ward off the onset of dementia -the terror and scourge of us septuagenarians.

Oakham cemetery – my next move….

For most of my life, I have been an early riser, going right back to the days when I had to get up before sun-up to do my paper round before school. This was something I continued to do during the first five years of full time work in the city to earn a few extra pennies.

During my years overseas and even back working in the city, I was usually the first person in the office at ridiculously early times – simply because I loved the early morning – it’s the best time of day by far, and I loved to get stuck into the day’s work before anyone arrived to disturb me.

Thatched cottage near Oakham town centre

But now I lie in bed so long because when I wake up, the pill is still doing its work and it’s quite an effort to shake the sleep off – something I have never experienced before. I am also in quite bad humor – probably the withdrawal symptoms of the ‘happy pill’, even though it is supposed to have the opposite effect.

All Saints Church, Oakham

I should add that I take anti-depressants for my IBS. When my stomach was really bad, I took two antidepressants – and when I tried to phase them out, my IBS came back with a vengeance – so, for now, I will continue with the one, even though it seems to do little for my mood.

But, who knows – maybe it does work, as once I am up and had a shower, my mood changes and I feel pretty much OK.

Trotting along the Oakham Road

Domestic chores

For the first time in more years than I care to remember, I have to do a few domestic chores. Nothing too onerous I hasten to add, but after being looked after so well by my lovely wife, Lek, for many years, it is a mild shock to the system.

My daughter, husband have their busy working lives plus a two year old to take care of so I must do my bit – clearing up the kitchen in the morning, stacking the dish washing machine. Later – usually after lunch – I empty the machine and tidy up the kitchen again. Then I have to prepare my own breakfast (cereal) and lunch (a sandwich) but am usually treated to a family meal in the evening, but I also stack the dishes and tidy up after the meal is finished.

Then I do my weekly wash but have yet to enter into the dreaded realm of ironing clothes. All my clothes look okay-ish if I hang them up immediately after washing. Well… maybe the odd wrinkle… but who’s looking? Then I have to do a bit of shopping  – maybe twice a week – my contribution to the weekly food budget.

It doesn’t sound like much – and in truth, it isn’t much – but it’s a helluva lot more than I have been used to for many, many years. I confess I did find it all a little bit wearisome for the first couple of weeks or so, after having led a sedentary life for so long, but now I’m taking it in my stride.

Weight Loss

In fact, with all this activity, which also involves countless trips up and downstairs every day, has had an extremely beneficial effect on my weight. I have lost an astonishing 4 kilos since I left Thailand.

Near Oakham town center with the church in the distance

Daily routine

I spend quite a few hours at my computer every day – my activities ranging from writing the odd contract article that still trickles in, dealing with my myriad emails, social media etc., writing my blogs or film reviews on IMDb or book reviews on Goodreads, sorting out my film and TV downloads, and just general internet research and studying stuff online.

I’ve  become an avid fan of Amazon and spend a fair amount of time choosing and buying a few essentials online.

I am also writing a few short stories for a website that publishes them online. It doesn’t pay much but it helps to keep my creative hand oiled. Not too sure what sort of writing I will be doing in the future – maybe another novel one of these days…

I also read books for an hour or so a day – mainly classic novels but increasingly I am turning to more contemporary fare.

Mobi’s trusty steed

In the afternoon, I try to either take a walk or a bike ride , and as I get fitter, my excursions have become more adventurous. I can now walk all the way into town, and if I don’t have too much heavy shopping I can also walk back home again. My bike rides have also become longer and I am usually it for at least 45 minutes. I now find that I can ride up hills where I previously had to dismount and walk up.

More cottages near Oakham town  center

Evenings see me glued to my 23-inch computer screen, watching movies, or more increasingly, TV content from the excellent BBC and occasionally other local channels channel 4, 5 and ITV.

BBC iplayer is simply great – I can either watch programs live, or I can download them (legally) for later watching at my leisure. There is an excellent diet of TV dramas, news programs and documentaries on just about any subject under the sun – from music, to fine arts, to sport, to history, wild life, to exposés, to bios, and goodness knows what else. I am truly spoiled for choice and never have enough time to watch all that is available.

Steamin’ Billy pub – Near the rail station

Of course, I chat to my beloved Lek, and daughter, Song, on ‘line’, every day who are waiting for their visas out in the wilds of Nong Khai, Thailand. We are all counting the days when we can apply for their residence visas and be together once more.  

By mid-October, I will be able to meet all the stringent financial requirements for their visas, but it is still a huge worry. So I am biding time, and hoping I don’t go round the bend.

19th Century Signal box – just outside Oakham station

Health Issues

My medical problems are all progressing quite well. Next week, I will have the final round of tests on my eyes, after which, I hope I will get my driving license back.

Then on 30th August, I am scheduled to have a medical procedure at Leicester Hospital –an angiogram followed by a likely stent or two. It has taken me quite a while to get this treatment, but I made it in the end.

The magnificent All Saints church, Oakham

The procedure has been complicated by my diabetes and the blood thinner I have to take for my prosthetic heart valve. There is the risk of a ‘bleed out’ if things are not handled carefully. I have been given even more medication for the period leading up to the day of judgment – as if 4 pills in the morning and another 12 pills in the evening weren’t enough already.

Out and about in rural Blighty

On top of all this, I have managed a few trips in the surrounding countryside – usually with my daughter and family – but occasionally alone, courtesy of bus or train…

To Melton Mowbray – famous for its pies and Stilton Cheese…

On the road to Melton Mowbray

The Conservative club – what else in Tory heartland?
Melton Mowbray Free Museum
Here’s something not allowed in nearby Oakham…



We must be better in times – the money lending shop is closed and shuttered
Those Chinese get everywhere….
A mark of the 2010’s – cheap booze and expensive nails – courtesy of Vietnam


Art Deco-style Regal cinema, circa 1930s, still showing classic films on a single screen.

And thence to nearby Rockingham – famous for its castle, beautiful grounds and scenic views.




I apologize for my somewhat boring account of  my daily existence in Rutland – it’s far too civilized here for me to lead the event-filled life that used to be part of my daily existence in Thailand.

But so far, I don’t miss  the excitement – only my family. I must be getting old.

Anyhow, I hope you have enjoyed the pics.

Next time – Market Harborough, Foxton Locks, and much more.

3 thoughts on “Settling into my Rural Groove in England’s Green and Pleasant Land”

  1. Great blog, beautiful photos of the countryside, getting that fresh air should be helpful towards your health. The weight loss is very impressive, I have half a mind to call Social Services on your family, suspecting them of shorting you on food! j/k. At the same time medications and surgery all seems very daunting, recommendations from the medical establishment never seem to go in the opposite direction (i.e. less intervention). Like a car mechanic that never fixes the problem, but only suggests doubling down on the previous attempts that apparently, didn’t work.


    1. Thanks, Gino. The plan is that the stents will hopefully reduce my reliance on so many meds to keep my heart pumping. We shall see…


  2. Thanks for the update.

    It’s great to hear things are moving in the right direction.

    Keep up the blogs!



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