Archive for September, 2009

Highs and Lows

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2009 by David Palmer

It is such a long time since I wrote my last blog, and so much has happened since then, that I am sure I won’t recall everything. But, as I got a request from Charlotte I shall take a time-out from the drudgery of housework and write one now, before it all fades into that little corner of my brain called the recycle bin.

Highs: Sue is at last seeming to recover, mostly because she has been sensible enough to take it easy. I think the best analogy would be to compare her to ‘Little Weed’. You remember her don’t you? She was the one that grew between Bill and Ben (The Flowerpot Men) down by the potting shed. She didn’t move much, but smiled in the sunshine and of course new about everything that went on in the garden. I watched her the other day reading the newspaper at the table on the patio. The sun was shining, her head began to droop, then she placed her head in the paper and fell asleep. Never seen that before.

The other day, I came back home after fetching some bread and milk (the magic fridge and bread bin had lost their magic) and was about to take Sarah to Kibworth (more about that later), when I couldn’t find Sue to tell her where I was going. We checked inside the house, no Sue. We checked in the garden, no Sue. Sarah ran to the neighbours, no Sue. The neighbours checked their garden, no Sue. The neighbours went down the river with their torch, no Sue. Sarah ran to our other neighbours, found Sue.

Last Saturday, Charlotte and  Lucas came down for the day, we went out for lunch to Welland Lodge and for tea Charlotte cooked a lovely curry (I didn’t cook a thing, it was heaven).

I think I have enough wood/logs for the winter. A friend who is having a house built asked if I wanted the trees that were felled on his property. They were all chopped into 2m lengths and stacked. It took four car loads to move them and a lot of personal sweat, but I did it. Now I am the proud owner of half a forest and the Newark Palmers are jealous.

Jamie, after quite a lot of interviews for various jobs (all of which promised to inform him of the result, but never did) has got a job. Not as a carpenter, but using his newly acquired qualification as a Forklift Operator at Magna Park (a large industrial warehouse complex in Lutterworth). It is only until Christmas but may be permanent after that. He is still looking for jobs as a carpenter. It is a shame that the only job he can get is one that doesn’t actually produce anything.

Charlotte, Suraj and Lucas came back from the Dominican Republic alive (more later).

I am now officially the best cook, bottle washer, clothes cleaner, hanger-upper, hooverer, fetcher and carrier and shopper in the world. If anyone disagrees, they don’t eat! The perks of such a high commendation are you are allowed to get up very early in the morning and stay up late at night.

Sarah has started the sixth Form, taking ‘A’ level Biology, Geography, Psychology and Sociology. She seems to be enjoying it and certainly is taking her studies seriously as she spends  up to 2 hours each night after school writing up her notes.

Suraj has a new car, a BMW 3 series, not seen it yet.

I made 32 paper bricks, using my paper brick maker. Ordinarily that would not be a high, but times have changed and it is light years more intellectually challenging than house work.

Lows: Washing, cleaning and fetching.

Sarah got an evening job at a Fish and Chip shop in Kibworth. After the second time of taking her there she announced tearfully that she had resigned. The couple that run the shop are Turkish and were very unpleasant to her. The husband in particular, was in her words, always watching her. I am glad she was brave enough to call it a day. I am much relieved.

Charlotte went to the Dominican Republic for a holiday, but 10 days before, she caught the ‘Swine Flu’ and was very ill. Luckily, she recovered in time to fly. Only to spend 48 hours in a Dominican Republic Hospital when she got there, with a very nasty stomach bug and dehydration. She recovered just in time to fly home. Other than that, the holiday was lovely, apparently. She is well at the moment and living in Newark.

I think I have a hole in my exhaust. It sounds so much meaner than Jamie’s back-box, and he paid a fortune for his.

I was expecting to take Nan to Bulgaria to see David in October, but now I am not. David and Genya came over to the UK last week to sort out the business they have in Rotherham, but when they returned on Tuesday, they found that the builders who were putting in a central heating system while they were away, had made a mess of things. When they fired it up, the house filled with smoke and only a third of the radiators worked. Not good for such a big house. The pump they had installed was nowhere big enough to drive the system. It sounds like they will be putting it right, but David doesn’t want Nan there while everything is cold and in a mess. We shall go in the spring.

My knee is hurting again (old tennis wound), it is all that kneeling and scrubbing of floors.

Saga: Jamie says there is a hole in my exhaust. Dad says put it over the pit and let’s look at it. Jamie says look the pipe has nearly cracked through. Dad says ok I’ll get a friend to weld it in a couple of hours, it won’t cost anything, but don’t drive the car or it will drop off and will be difficult to weld in the right place. Half an hour later, Jamie drives off (somewhere), and returns pretty quickly. Jamie says the pipe fell off. Dad says what a shame (and other things that escape my memory). Welder says which way did the pipe fit? Jamie says this way, definitely. Welder says there you are a perfect job. Later back at the pit, Jamie says Dad the bolts won’t fit now. Dad says what a shame it must have been welded at the wrong angle (and other things that escape my mind). Jamie drives to the scrap yard for another pipe (cost £15). Jamie says it doesn’t fit Dad. Dad says what a shame. Jamie drives around Harborough for 2 weeks without an exhaust (luckily we now have Hi-tech double glazing and couldn’t hear him). Jamie says I bought a new pipe Dad. Dad says how much? Jamie says £30. Dad says good that should be fine now. Jamie says it needs a bracket welding on. Dad says ok I’ll get a friend to weld it in a couple of hours, it won’t cost much. Jamie waits. Welder says there you are a perfect job. Dad says how much does he owe you? Welder says £5. Back at the pit Jamie says it fitted ok Dad and drives off into the setting sun.

Hospitality operates!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 2, 2009 by David Palmer
When the house got cleaned thoroughly from top to bottom and the fridge and larder were suddenly fully stocked, the laundry basket was empty and all the drawers were full of nicely clean and pressed garments and a carry-all of nightwear appeared in the bedroom, it could only mean one of two things. We were about to have another addition to the family (I didn’t know about the last three either!) or, Sue was going into hospital for her operation. Thankfully, it was the latter (male perspective).
I drove Sue to the hospital for 11am. We had been waiting all morning for a decision as to whether there was a bed for her. I left her there, after seeing her to the ward and checking visiting hours. There has been a drastic curtailment of hours due to the Swine Flu epidemic, only one visit a day from 6-7pm. When I returned that evening she told me that the operating theatres had been very busy (with miscarriages) and she didn’t have her op’ until 4pm and she had only just come round. She looked it, a cadaver would look worryingly healthier. She was very thirsty, having not drank since 7am. She gulped down 4 classes of juice that Charlotte had bought her in as many minutes. She seemed amused that she had no feeling from the waist down and that she felt as if her legs were up in the air but she could see they were not.  The anaesthetic from the op’ had not wore off yet and she couldn’t feel any pain. By the time the hour was up, she had tingling feelings in her toes and she was able to move her knees. She asked the nurse for some painkillers. I didn’t think that she would have a good nights sleep. But I was wrong. The following evening, Jamie came with me and reassuringly Sue looked fine. The ashen look had gone and she had been refreshed from a good nights sleep. The ward of 4 that she was in was constantly cycling people in the beds. They were in for days op’s or tests, but Sue seemed to know all about them, so there must have been enough time to talk. The food was good and the nurses attentive (good old NHS). The following evening she didn’t look so good, she had been out of bed for the first time and I think it had an effect on her. She wasn’t sure when she was due to come home, but seemed satisfied to stay where she was. If you are wondering about the absence of Sarah, it is because she was away with the RAF learning to glide (she also had a go at a helicopter). On Saturday Sue came out of hospital. That day she had woken up with a headache and they were keeping her until they were satisfied that she was ok. I got a phone call to fetch her at 6pm. Jamie went with me, Sarah was back but I left her sleeping as she was exhausted by her week away.
She spent the next 2 days in bed or in the chair next to her bed. You could see she didn’t like it, but she knew she had to be there (plenty of warnings from friends, neighbours and relatives). Jamie and Sarah were not so happy at Dad being the main food provider, but then what can you do? Life can be a bummer at times. Especially when you get told to:
Take things to the kitchen
Tidy your bedroom
Hoover your bedroom
Wash the pots
Fiill the washing machine
Hang the clothes on the line
Switch the lights off
Switch the TV off
And no we can’t have a take-away. I cooked it, you eat it.
They don’t look starved, they don’t look scruffy and they are now starting to be helpful (without being asked!) Sue came down stairs yesterday and mooched around. Doreen from next door came to visit and they seemed to have a good long natter about medical things. Doreen had cooked me some soup and a casserole during the week, but I fed it to the kids (there wasn’t enough for everyone), they said it was very tasty. They haven’t commented about my cooking (so far). Today, I took Sue to the supermarket. We stocked up with everything that was needed.
Worryingly, Sarah appears to have a nasty cold and is laying in bed. She tell me that one of the group she went flying with has come down with Swine Flu and 8 of them are feeling ill (not good news). Luckily she was well enough on Tuesday to register in the sixth form, she is doing Geography, Psychology, Sociology and Biology A levels. She did well in her GCSE’s, mostly A’s and B’s with a C, and a D in PE (can you believe that?), she is so talented in sport. I was very pleased with an A in Science (I put a lot of work into that!).
The Newarks are now in the Dominican Republic for 2 weeks. It is Charlotte’s birthday today, what a nice place to spend it. It is also Suraj’s birthday and their wedding anniversary over the next few days. They appear to be having a great time, Lucas is very excited and loving it. (it is raining here at the moment and the temp is 19 degrees).
David (Bulgaria) was having a day out last week with Genya and when they returned back to the village, they came across a group of people oreinteering and later they found one of the derelict village houses on fire. They helped to put it out with their only neighbour, Mark. Less worryingly, they have weasel trouble in their roof. David did catch one of them and re-located him further away. Now he has discovered a mummy and baby weasel wandering around looking for their daddy. He made the foolish mistake of asking for my advice.
Though life has been very complicated recently and extremely busy, I know that tomorrow I shall wake up with a smug look on my face. Why you may ask? Purely, because the schools start back and I don’t.