Charlotte sent me an email pointing out that I hadn’t written a family blog for some time. I have to admit that after retirement I had planned on penning these blogs during those times when I had nothing else to occupy my time, however, my days seem filled with more tasks than there are hours in a day to complete them. For instance, among the usual day-to-day jobs around the house and garden, today I bought some ceiling lights for Sarah’s room and really should install them, but as I have now been reminded by my eldest daughter of this oversight, I shall push my youngest daughter’s lights down my to-do list and write this blog now. I rarely had such flexibility when working!
Sue has been working nearly every day at the two regular schools she teaches at (Church Langton and St. Joseph’s). As luck would have it, except for one Friday, on the three Tuesdays she didn’t work, it was on those days that I was called upon to work at Farndon Fields. Apart from weekends and evenings, we have yet to spend more than one full weekday in each other’s company. It is as if I was still in full-time employment when we had become like passing ships in the night and saw each other’s photographs on the mantlepiece more than we did each other.
The Friday we did spend together was very pleasant. We had booked to go on an organised walk to Coombe Abbey with Harborough Council. Thankfully, it just happened to be the one day in the week that was lovely and sunny, though there was a fresh, chilly breeze. We had lunch in the cafeteria before going on a fairly short walk (5 miles) around the grounds and through the forest. The scenery around the Abbey is quite pretty but not spectacular, but as there were some in our party over the age of 70 yrs. it was never going to be a challenging ramble. Depressingly, I have to admit that for the first time in my life, I fell asleep on the bus on the way back. As the coach set off, along with the more aged members of the group I nodded off, not waking until we came to a halt back in Harborough. Hmmm, I missed a very boring 1.5 hours through the very familiar villages of Leicestershire, I wish I had discovered this tactic in the past, I shall certainly try and employ it in the future.
On one Friday evening, Sue and I went to the local cinema club held at the Little Theatre in Harborough town centre, we saw two films; ‘Gone Baby Gone’ and ‘Happy Go Lucky’, they were quite entertaining, and it was a nice way to spend some precious time together. You know when Christmas is coming when the smell around the house for a whole week is of Christmas pudding being made, it’s looking yummy.
As usual, Sarah has been busy throughout with school, Air Cadets, swimming and the Duke of Edinburgh Award. She is so enthusiastic and appears to enjoy everything she does. Last week she went to Germany with the school, the previous week she attended camp with the Air Cadets. She always seems to be doing something for her D of E, such as helping out in local charity shops etc. She has swum in galas and achieved yet more PBs (they cost me money!) and cooked Thai food for her GCSE coursework, the outcome of which looked really tasty, such a shame I yet again didn’t get to taste it. A recent project of hers has been to plan and decorate her bedroom. I think I should rewrite that last sentence as in reality, she did the planning, and her dad did the decorating! I liked her idea of writing her name in Chinese on the wall, it looks very effective, the only problem is that Jamie now wants his doing.
Jamie is still busy with work, though he was ill on Monday and spent the day in bed filling a bucket with the contents of his stomach. On Tuesday he rallied and went to work at 9.30am. He is still seeing Harriet, but rumour has it that things got rocky a couple of weeks back, but normal service appears to be resumed at the moment.
He was working in London last week at an exhibition, he had been looking forward to it for quite some time and it sounds as if it lived up to his expectations. It must have been very lucrative work as he is now the proud owner of a Rolex watch, I have never known him to wear a watch, perhaps he will now wake up in the mornings on his own! He has also purchased a widescreen flat TV for his room (I haven’t measured it, but it is big) and a Playstation 4. Sarah and he spend a lot of time on it now, playing games in his bedroom. Thoughtfully, he donated his old TV to Sarah.
On the 5th of Nov he went with a friend to see the fireworks display in Corby, he said it was very spectacular and a lot of cars got stuck in the very muddy display field, he didn’t say whether he did, but he came back in it.
I still manage to fill my days usefully. I have done a few days’ supply work, and amusingly I notice that the rate I am being paid is still at the Head teachers’ salary level. I expect when the school notices, there might not be any more phone calls for me to cover (time will tell). A friend, Roger Woolnough has been on a Norwegian Cruise to celebrate his 60th birthday, so when he came back, I made a film for him from the photos he took. I have also just finished making a film of a weekend stay and walks I did some while ago with some friends to Mid-Wales. I had successfully bid on eBay for a cottage stay in Llangynog, Powys and had planned several walks in the area. We had a great time; we walked too far, drank and ate too much and the scenery was fabulous. We were fortunate with the weather, particularly as the rest of the country had rain. In any spare time, I have been busy chopping and collecting logs for the wood burner that is hopefully being installed in December, I think I have the whole winter’s load already (we shall see).
Nan is well and keeping herself warm, she sticks to her routine of shopping, going out for lunch and having her hair done. Things are now easier as she zips along in her bat mobile. Next door is having an extension built and she loves to moan about the mess and noise. Also, the house attached to hers is empty and up for sale and there have been suspicious people and noises seen and heard (quite intriguing). During the week stepbrother David and Genya took her out for a buffet meal up to the moors above Sheffield, she loved it, but couldn’t remember where it was, though I think she would like me to take her there again.
CHARLOTTE, SURAJ and LUCAS:
I am probably the one in the family that speaks the least to the Newark Palmers (Shahs), each time they call, either Sue or Sarah gets to the phone first, so any information I glean is usually second-hand. Both Charlotte and Suraj are still working despite the recession and Lucas is at the Nursery four times a week. However, Charlotte is not happy with the regime at the Nursery and Lucas is going to move to another one in a month. The boy who lives next door is also moving with him as his parents are also not happy. Lucas had a recent tummy upset but has gotten over it.