Sarah’s present boyfriend (Matt) is in the Airforce (not sure where) and he came to see us over the weekend. He seemed a nice guy, he shook hands and said all the right things. She met him on our last holiday, though Sue and I were completely unaware of the relationship. Except at mealtimes, we didn’t see much of him as I think Sarah was showing him off to her friend in Harborough most of the time.
Sarah’s bedroom often looks like a bomb has hit it, but at the cost of a Cadbury’s cream egg each day as an incentive to keep it tidy, it seems to be working. Her GCSE studies and exam preparation seem to be going well. I checked over some essays she was working on in PE and they appeared quite good. They need to be, as unbelievably it is her weakest subject. Most of the elements she is covering are the same as I covered at college to train as a PE teacher! I wonder what they do at the ‘A’ level now?
Sue is back to work and appears (fingers crossed) to be ok, she still has a sensitive chest that causes a cough every now and then, but nothing major. She had a visit from some friends who had moved to Yorkshire, they were visiting Harborough for the day and had decided to call in. It was a chance to have a good gossip and catch up on news etc. Sue has begun to collect information on her family tree, she has been talking to Stanley and emailing relatives gathering information that will hopefully be inputted into the software I bought her for Xmas.
Jamie is working, but the present economic climate has started to affect his work, he now finishes at 4 pm each day and soon will only be from Monday to Thursday as there isn’t enough work. He repaired his mini motorbike the other day and now enjoys making a racket speeding up and down the drive, though I think the close neighbours are not impressed. We are pleased that he seems to have gotten bored with his Play Station3 and doesn’t play on it very often now. His best friend Tansley has recently moved into a flat in Harborough, and he now spends quite a lot of time there, so things are pretty quiet here at times, especially as Sarah is often out with friends.
Some good news is that Sue’s sister’s husband Paul has a permanent job now in Plymouth with the post office.
We haven’t heard much from the Newark side of the family other than they are fit and well. I understand that Vodaphone is making people redundant, but I don’t know if that will affect Charlotte’s position. I noticed that Charlotte had sent Sarah a lovely photo of Lucas sitting in a cage, and she has put it on the desktop of one of my study computers. Charlotte and Lucas came to stay at the weekend as Suraj was having a poker party at home with a group of friends and neighbours.
I am still refereeing (just), but I pulled my hamstring again on Saturday and this time it really hurts!!!!! Despite the aches and pains, as part of my fitness regime, I continue to explore the Leicestershire countryside on my bike each morning. It is surprising who and what you see when you are off-road in the middle of nowhere. I enjoy it a lot. Last weekend I organised a walk to a local beer festival in Clipston with several friends. We decided to detour to a Motte and Bailey castle in Sibbertoft which I had previously spotted on an Ordinance Survey map. Constructed in the late 11th century or early 12th century its history is unknown, though I read somewhere that it may have been where tolls were paid for goods passing between the River Welland and River Avon. On the way, we came across a couple of gamekeepers and the landowner’s son, they were very friendly and wanted to chat but when asked, didn’t know much about the history of the castle. It is now well hidden in the forest and covered in shrubs and bushes, it is part of a nursery for the breeding of pheasants.
On reaching the beer festival and after sampling many of the ales I think I can recommend the ‘Croak and Stagger’ beer from the Frog Island brewery, it seemed to have the most effect on us!
Later in the week I tried to research Sibbertoft Castle but didn’t find much online. I wrote to ‘Time Team’ and challenged them to do a dig there and find out its history. I volunteered to help dig. They wrote back expressing an interest and informed me that they will be doing further research and will contact me later in the year. Looks promising. Just in case they don’t reply, two days ago I planted several rows of potatoes (70 of them), so later on, in the year I can dig those up instead.