The last week of October started on Monday 26th with me having an actual cold – great!!! Captain Caveman made me the best ever breakfast of beans on toast with jasmine tea and I wolfed it down then went back to bed to keep warm. Even though it wasn’t too cold I felt really chilly and so I tried to rest up a bit and keep away from everyone. I did manage to do some Vietnamese and some blogging but I couldn’t really concentrate on it. I started watching The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix which was kind of strange but I downloaded the second episode for another day. I wasn’t sick from the gluten at breakfast so I decided to really put the gluten to the test again and I had cheese on toast for lunch. I did well and wasn’t affected for at least an hour and even then it was different to gluten belly and I think the cheese was at fault. Captain Caveman had already watched Harry Potter 7 when Michael and Howie arrived with Ben asking if they could watch it. Ben and Veronika were having a coffee so Captain Caveman sat and watched the film again, Howie gave up after less than 10 minutes and all the neighbours were sick with sore throats so didn’t come over. I stayed in my room and had a bit of a siesta.
I only managed to do the first set of exercises for my bad leg and had thought I had a second zoom call with Ruth but she was on holiday for a week. I booked in to go to physio in Dong Hoi but was too sick to go and had to cancel – I also didn’t want anyone to catch my cold. My skin infection on my good leg was definitely getting better and the antibiotics had done their job. By dinner time my cold was worse and I had been relying on the lemon salt sweets to sooth my throat quite a bit. I managed to carry all the ingredients to make fried rice down the stairs in a box, with a pepper in my pocket! This time we had salami in it but I think I had put too much water in the rice. I abstained from any alcohol and went back to bed. I hadn’t actually ventured outside but the massive forecast storm had still not arrived so we were very lucky.

Typhoon Molave had caused quite a bit of damage in the Philippines and it was on course to hit central Vietnam this week! On Tuesday 27th October people were genuinely worried that the storm to next hit could be a big one and were doing all they could to prepare for the worst. Meanwhile, in our ‘ivory tower’ and privileged position we were doing ok. Except for the fact that I was now definitely sick with this incredibly snotty cold, sore throat and a bad head everything at our home was pretty tickety boo. Captain Caveman made breakfast and I had bacon, mushrooms and 2 slices of buttered sourdough with a pot of jasmine tea while Captain Caveman made himself a huge omelette in a sandwich!!!
The people of Danang had been warned to prepare for the onslaught of storm number 9 and a curfew was implemented from 8pm! I watched more of The Haunting of Bly Manor and still thought it was a bit strange, Captain Caveman brought me dragon fruit for lunch, to keep up the vitamins, and I downloaded episode 3. It was rainy out and we were just deciding what to have for dinner when Veronika said she was off to The Villas and did we want to order any food for her to bring back. We both decided on a pizza; mine was the showstopper which has blue cheese and prosciutto on while Captain Caveman had a One Upper, no bacon but with extra salami and chillies. I was hungry when I got it but, despite it being the most delicious pizza, I only managed just over half and then saved the rest. I went to bed early, still feeling unwell and cold so I slept in all my clothes and told Captain Caveman he needed to get my scarves and hat from the Glass House next time he went.

Wednesday’s proposed shopping trip on 28th October was cancelled on account of storm Molave coming. There was a text message from the authorities at 9am in Vietnamese, which we translated to English, warning everyone of the situation and what to do. The cleaners were here and were doing a full fettle of the whole place, including making sure we had spare towels for any leaks. Captain Caveman warmed up my leftover showstopper pizza for my brunch as I was still taking it easy because I wasn’t feeling too good – hopefully I think I might have been coming through the other side now. Captain Caveman was laughing at me wearing a pair of lounge wear trousers (they aren’t pyjamas, honest) that used to fit me. He took a photo and I looked like one of those slimming photos with the extra big trousers. I decided it was time to throw them away as they no longer stay up. The rain and wind was steadily increasing each hour and Captain Caveman had to rescue the deckchairs on the balcony as they were blowing about but it didn’t seem too bad where we were. Tonight was meant to be when the worst of the storm would happen so we would see but we were quietly confident we would be fine.
We had some fizz that night and had just opened it when Ben popped round to see Veronika, he showed us his premier amateur film of his experience of this last flood and it was pretty good. Captain Caveman asked me if I wanted him to make me carbonara, which is one of the best things he cooks but I said it was too late to mess about. He shocked me by saying he would do anything for me, including cooking a carbonara later at night! How sweet, so that’s what he did and it was delicious!!!

Here’s Ben’s video:

Before 8am on Thursday 29th October the tropical storm Molave had passed and, once again, we were extremely lucky. There was some damage in Phong Nha and flood water had come in at certain places but it was not the devastating results that had been predicted. Obviously our place was absolutely fine except for Ky, the dog, now had nothing left of his shelter and the odd plant pot had blown off and broken. The Farmstay water levels were high but the building had not flooded and we all breathed a sigh of relief. Elsewhere in Phong Nha town, where the market usually is, it was flooded again and some of the people who had vulnerable properties had some damage but on the whole people had been evacuated and considered themselves very lucky. In Danang and Hoi An they had been battered by Molave with significant damage, trees blown over and wind damage to property. In Quang Nam a whole roof had blown off the central hospital and there had been an horrendous landslide burying 53 people of which 15 bodies had already been recovered and a dangerous search continued.
Captain Caveman made me a bacon sandwich with mushrooms for breakfast and he had his with eggs and brown sauce. I had 2 pots of jasmine tea and, feeling lucky to have missed the typhoon (now only a tropical storm), I had crisps for lunch while watching another episode of The Haunting of Bly Manor which I couldn’t decide if it was extremely badly cast or just odd. I suggested to Captain Caveman, who was now doing nothing but scrolling on his phone all day, that he might like to make us a Spanish omelette for dinner and he rose to the challenge – it’s another one of his signature dishes which he cooks really well. We had some for dinner with cheese and pickles and I saved a small slice for my breakfast the next day. I abstained from alcohol hoping to completely be rid of my cold by the weekend.

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