My opening paragraph, containing a well constructed argument about the nonsense of of global warming has just been deleted. The new me does not grump about tax rises/rates/carbon offsets any more. I won’t point out that the temperature has hovered around zero or below, since before Christmas and that there has been a carpet of white stuff on the driveway for much of that time (and it is still snowing now). Or, that my log pile has nearly gone. I am not annoyed about it, and there is a silver lining to it all. Isn’t there? It’s just not in my pocket.
Sue has been busy around the house with a cleaning fervour only seen in the best NHS Hospitals with an MRSA problem. It is half-term and she has had no distractions of a schoolish nature to focus her attentions on. She travelled up to Newark last Monday to have lunch with Charlotte and Lucas. I got the impression I wasn’t invited, so I rang Roger and pointed out that he owes me lunch and we went to Rothwell. Sue picked up Sarah on the way north, as she had been staying at Lee’s for a couple of days. I think they had a nice time and engaged in lots of girly talk. Roger and I had a nice time and talked a lot about rugby.
Charlotte had day off work this week as she wasn’t well, she spent all day in bed. If I remember correctly, pregnancy does that to women (it is quite hard on the men). By all accounts she is better now, but Sue has just received a text from her saying that they are snowed in and she is not getting out of bed (it is quite hard on the men).
Jamie has been busy at work. He still smells when he gets home from work, but the Freesia squirter is doing its job, so the atmosphere is tolerable. We had heavy snow on Wednesday and Harborough was cut-off from the rest of the world (according to HFM). Jamie rang at 6.05pm and said he was in a lay-by, his windscreen wiper fuse (and electric windows) had blown and he couldn’t see out. He asked if I could fetch him. He was not impressed when I told him that I couldn’t get out of Harborough. Ten minutes later he rang back and told me that he had swapped the heater fuse for the wiper fuse and it now worked (but it was very cold). He asked if I could get him some replacement fuses. I felt surprisingly ‘chuffed’ that he had worked it out what to do on his own. I drove over to Halford’s to get his fuses. I should have walked, HFM were not lying. The roads were lethal. ABS didn’t work, and when you had stopped you couldn’t get moving again. Luckily, there were very few vehicles on the road, so I got there and back unscathed. Jamie finally arrived home at 8.45pm. He looked shattered but was obviously very pleased with himself for managing to get home. Despite snowing over night, he was up and gone at 5.30am the following morning, to work.
Lee came down on Thursday to stay. On Friday, Sue and I took them to see a very good film called ‘The Lovely Bones’. We drove to Kettering in a blizzard, but luckily it had stopped when we came out of the cinema, and the journey home was uneventful. Lee went home on Saturday morning.
On Wednesday I went to see if the owner of a huge mountainous pile of wood in the field across the road wanted it. He ran a small Cruck building business from some buildings in the corner of the field. He said they were moving premises next week and that I could have the wood. I returned after lunch with my chain saw. As soon as I started to cut the wood, it started to snow. After half an hour and a big pile of logs, I gave up. It was blizzarding and my pile was getting covered in snow quicker than I could cut wood. I haven’t been back as the snow is too deep, and the wood pile (as high as a house) looks like a ski slope.
I set about organising the finer details of our Asian jaunt in April. As we are catching a taxi to our hotel in Shanghai I thought I would check out how far away the hotel was from the airport. There are two airports. Virgin fly into Pudong Airport. Having sorted that out, I needed to find the location of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. There are 6 of them in Shanghai. After more research I found out which was ours. Next, as we were arranging our own transport to the pier, to catch our ship, I had to find out where the pier was. After much more research, I eventually found it. I checked all the distances on Google Earth and luckily they all seem reasonable (we shall see). At the week-end I had sent our passports to the Chinese Embassy for Visas. They rang on Monday and explained that because of the Chinese New Year, we wouldn’t be getting our passports back until March. I was planning to go to Bulgaria in March, so I hope they are back, with no complications. The Visas cost £230!!! Luckily, UK citizens don’t require Visas in Japan or South Korea. Didn’t we let the Chinese have Hong Kong back, free of charge? Jokingly, a friend mentioned that our passports could be used to bump off a few enemies of the State of China, well I supposed we all get 15 minutes of fame.
On Saturday as the matches in Harborough were all cancelled (more snow) I went to watch the Tigers play Gloucester. I caught the train in Harborough and it was absolutely packed (I didn’t think I could squeeze on, but years of playing rugby solved the problem). Some one had thrown a brick through the previous train driver’s window, and all the passengers were moved onto ours. We then stopped further down the track because there were trespassers on the line and they were checking for damage. We eventually got there, and because of numbers we all had a very friendly journey. The match was brilliant. The Tigers won, and it was even more satisfying as next to me were some Gloucester fans and they had to listen to my witty repartee throughout the match. I cracked the best joke I have made in years, but I can’t write it down as it is isn’t PC. On the way home, the trains to Harborough had been cancelled as a train had come off the tracks near the Langtons. A bus was provided, which we duly caught and arrived home not that much late.
The snow has just stopped.