There’s snow business like snow business!

Surprisingly, it’s only been ten days since I wrote the last blog. The sun made a rare appearance today, encouraging me to tidy up the garden detritus and chop a pile of logs in readiness for more predicted cold weather. Except for the remnants of an igloo on the patio that Jamie and Harley built last week, the snow has mostly melted away and the thaw has encouraged the river to wake up to become a raging torrent. The Welland hasn’t broken over its lower bank for around four years and fortunately, it hasn’t this time. However, it doesn’t stop Sue from fretting that it will one day.

Many of my friends have been decrying they have had enough of the snow and are longing for a bit of warmth. I must admit to feeling sorry that it has gone, it adds bling to our drab winter weather, making each outdoor task just that little bit more interesting. Many of my summer months were spent collecting wood for the fire and a cheery blaze makes for a perfect evening for dozing in front of the TV when there is not a lot on. I just need to train the other members of the family to fetch the logs when the basket gets low.

Last week I chose to make ‘Leek au Gratin’. The ground in the vegetable patch was so frozen that persuading the leeks to relinquish their hold on mother earth turned what I thought was going to be a two-minute harvesting, into a ligament-breaking, finger-freezing, leek-snapping unpleasant task (did I say that snow-made tasks more interesting?). Fortunately, the resulting dish tasted heavenly. You will have to take my word for it as I finished it all off. It is now officially one of my favourite top ten dishes. Obviously, like so many things in life, the harder you have to work for it the more you appreciate it.

Sarah has been busy studying for her four ‘AS’ Levels. It has been a worrying time, especially with snow threatening to close schools. She has been very sensible and made a lot of social sacrifices sitting in my study each night to read through her notes and make new ones. I have been regularly testing her on the material she is studying and it seems to me that the Media are procreating a lie when they say that the examinations are being dumbed down (it is the sort of negative reporting that sells newspapers, but not in this household!) I consider that much of the ‘O’ level material I studied as a teenager now appear in the primary sector and the old ‘A’ level has been shoved into the GCSE course work, the current ‘A’ levels contain material once considered to be degree level!!!!!

On Friday, as a treat for surviving a gruelling timetable, I took her and Jamie to Kettering for a KFC meal and then to see ‘3D Avatar’. What a brilliant experience. I flinched in my seat to avoid a rock that came hurling towards me during one of the on-screen explosions!  I was amused when I saw Sarah trying to pluck floating, tendrilly plants out of the air that appeared to be drifting around us. It is surely the future of filmmaking. On Saturday Sarah travelled to Nottingham to see Lee and came back this morning.

Jamie starts his new job tomorrow. He had an interview about a month ago in Kettering at a company owned by  Harley’s Dad, he starts along with another guy that had also been taken on. As yet, his new car is not insured until the end of the month so Sue is going to take him to work. The hours are long, 6 am and 6 pm, but I think he is glad that at last, he is going to earn some money. Only last week he was thinking of doing voluntary work and had started to write some applications, I am glad this opportunity has at last arrived. The present economic crisis is quite soul destroying for the youth of this country and as yet I can’t see an end to it. Many of my friends are in business and they inform me that work is very hard to come by, yet I see the Bankers are still getting their bonuses, it makes me spit.

Sue had been hoping to be called into school for some supply work, but so far the phone has been quiet since Christmas. However, the house is very tidy and she appears to be up to date with all the washing etc. She has seen the doctor about the headaches she occasionally suffers from and he thinks it might be Diabetes, but the test results of some tests indicate that it isn’t. She had a very long conversation with Shiela (a family friend in Tenbury Wells) the other day, the snow was very bad there and she bemoaned the fact that she hadn’t been able to get out of the house for quite a few days and had decided to ring Sue to pass the time. They made plans for Sue to visit in the summer.

I have managed a couple of supply days at Farndon Fields since Christmas. On one occasion I had to teach French to Keystage 2, all day! I don’t speak the language and I dislike the French and their attitude to the British! However, it was a laugh and I shall say no more about it. I have since been booked to teach Year 4 next Thursday morning, it will be an interesting session as the school is being OFSTED’d on Tuesday and Wednesday. I shall look forward to hearing the result.

As the weather has been so atrocious for all outdoor sports, Harborough Rugby Club has not been able to play any matches for me to watch and I haven’t been called on to referee. To satisfy my thirst for rugby I have been to see Leicester Tigers play Wasps and also when they took on the Italian side Viadana. I went as a guest of a friend who is a season ticket holder as the weather was too cold for his wife. We travelled to Leicester on the train, however, walking to the station, my I twanged my knee on the slippery conditions which resulted in seeing a doctor the following Thursday. He suggested an operation, but after discussion we decided against that as I didn’t fancy the three months of total inactivity.

In chilly Thurcroft, Nan is managing to keep warm with the central heating on 24/7. I recently filled in her passport application form so that she can go and see David in Bulgaria. She still manages to use her mobility scooter to get about the village, despite the snow (she fancies herself as an F1 driver).  While the weather is bad I have been phoning her each day to see how she is coping. Through watching TV, she is now very much an expert on most sports but can chatter at length on a very wide range of subjects. I can’t keep up with her depth of knowledge and try to change the subject to something I know about (rugby).

The Newarks are fine, and appear to be fit and well, free from any viruses or bugs.

CHARLOTTE

CHARLOTTE

CHARLOTTE

I have long suspected that Charlotte has been using a search facility to discover how many times I write about her in my blogs, when we meet up she usually complains that I don’t mention her. A search of this blog will show she has been mentioned four times. That’s enough for anyone, surely?

Maybe I should also mention that she is now pregnant, and that makes five!

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