Archive for March, 2010

It’s a Boy!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30, 2010 by David Palmer

A couple of weeks ago I travelled up to Yorkshire for a few days, to take Nan to the Hospital for an eye appointment. Everything was fine and she got a prescription for a new pair of glasses. The weather was dry so I dug it over the garden and planted it full of onions, potatoes and broad beans. On the Monday I rang Sue to find out how things were, as she was due to travel up the Charlotte’s on the the Tuesday and accompany her to Lincoln for a scan that would let them know what the baby was. Unfortunately, she was booked to go into school on the Wednesday and had a lot of planning to do so couldn’t go. I rang Charlotte on Tuesday morning and asked if she wanted company and she said yes. I drove over just before lunch, we picked up Lucas from Playschool and had some very nice butternut squash soup she had made the previous day for lunch. Suraj arrived later and we set off for Lincoln. They were very efficient at the Hospital and we all sat and watched the scan taking place. As you will have guessed by the title it is a rather fidgety boy (no change there). I noticed today that Sue has a list of the names that they are thinking of calling him. Apart form a few, they appear to very modern sounding names, and not a little strange to my ears. Sue said that this year’s popular name is Ellis, wasn’t that an island with a prison that Nelson Mandela was shut away in? I drove back to Harborough later that evening and had a very nice Special Chow Mein take-away when I got back.

Last week I decided to build a new raised garden because though I had moved down the waiting list for an allotment to 10th place, it still looked like a year or two before I would be offered one (unless Jack the Ripper makes another appearance and helps me out). I had some railway sleepers delivered and with a great deal of effort and  both of Jamie’s skateboards, I managed to get them around to the back garden and position them. With some judicious bargaining with a friend who was having a house built, I took possession of a pile of soil he had spare. After 32 dustbin loads of soil transported in journeys of four over 3 days, I had enough. His house is being built around the corner from Farndon Fields School and his builder is a friend that I played rugby with. As I was digging the soil and putting it into the bins, a lot of parents from the school went past and noticed me. They waved or said hello and hurried on. On the third day they all stopped and asked if it was my house, or was I working for the builder. Though I was tempted to play games with them I resisted the temptation and told the truth (I wouldn’t have done that a few years ago). I next drove over to horse manure heap near Braybrook and transported 8 bin loads of smelly stuff, and put that on the garden. So far I have planted some onions, broad beans and transplanted some chard into the new soil, and now we shall see (photograph taken from the balcony in the rain).

I went to the cinema with Sarah and saw Alice in Wonderland (in 3D), it was really very good. I also braved a film with Sue, it was called ‘An Education’, apparently a true story and it was ok, but definitely a film for the ladies (I did stay awake). Sue had booked us to see ‘Julie and Julia’ , but luckily Sarah said that she would go and see it (I didn’t mention that I was planning to bribe her with £5 if she would take my place).

Sarah had a surprise visit from Lee the other day. He turned up at 3.30pm, stayed until 7pm and then went back on the train to Nottingham. She has gone on the train this morning to see him and have lunch. Sarah has a new friend called Amy (from school) that she is quite friendly with. Amy’s father died last year and she is having trouble coping with the situation. I don’t think she could have a better friend to help her through this time in her life than Sarah as she has a very caring nature (though she is really messy! I should take a photo of her bedroom one day and publish it, Jamie works at a recycling plant and feels quite at home when he goes into her room!) Sarah has dropped one of her ‘A’ levels. She didn’t want to take Biology, but was persuaded to by the school who said she could drop it after a year. Well, she has. I think 3 ‘A’ levels is enough for her as she works very hard on them and has a better chance of achieving her predicted grades if she isn’t spread too thinly.

Jamie is still working, though his hours have been restored: 7.30am to 6pm. He even worked last Saturday. He appears to have a whole new set of uniforms and kit (looks very smart) supplied by the company. They had repercussions at management level because of the fine they were given. Quite a few lost their jobs and some others resigned. Harley’s father has been banned from entering the site. Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practise to deceive. Harley and Jamie’s relationship still seems strong, though we don’t see so much of her as we used to, as she seems to work a lot more at the Red Lion as well as attend college.

David and Genya went back to Bulgaria yesterday. They were burgled earlier in the year and lost most of their electrical equipment. The thief has been caught, he was a builder from another village, and made it a speciality of robbing houses owned by Brits. They are going to claim their stuff and also check up on some of the work they have had done on the house. They expect to be there for 3 weeks.

Nan is fine. She keeps knocking her upstairs phone off its cradle and doesn’t seem to worry when she doesn’t get any phone calls for a few days. I have had to ring Janet to pop down and check up on her. When the weather gets warmer I shall fetch her down to Harborough.

My hospital visits are thankfully running out. I attended Glenfield Hospital to check on my chest and heart. I had fun on the ECG running machine. I pounded away for 20 minutes on the highest setting, to have the reassuring diagnosis, that I am the fittest person they have seen this year and their is nothing wrong with my heart or chest. I have two more tablets to take and have received a letter from the specialist at Melton Mowbray that the biopsies were fine and he doesn’t need to see me again (that was a relief as my throat is rather camera shy and reacts accordingly). I have one more appointment to see a specialist concerning the other end, and that will be that, a full MOT and service.

Sue and I are completing all the organisation for our cruise around Japan.   The tickets and details have arrived. The visas are in the passports. We have checked in online (already). Our Chinese Yuan have been delivered. New suitcases have been bought. We are travelling down to Heathrow and staying at the Holiday Inn overnight to ensure that we catch the flight, as we are due for some train strikes pretty soon. We only have to choose the trips we wish to go on when we are docked and of course pack. Looking forward to it.

Roger and I have booked flights to Italy to stay with Joan and Phil for a week. We fly on May 3rd to Ancona. Roger has just returned from a month in Cyprus and though rather brown, the friends that he was expecting to see there, didn’t turn up, so I think he spent quite a lot of time on his own, and is looking forward to Italy. It will be nice to their garden and how it has developed over a year. We shall have to pop down the valley and see the only true Italian that we developed a close relationship with; Wags the dog!

A Testing Birthday

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7, 2010 by David Palmer

As you can see I have had a birthday. Quite a memorable one for quite a few reasons. Jamie bought this cake for me, and Sue and Jamie sang ‘Happy Birthday’. It is probably not true but I don’t remember having a cake on my birthday, even as a child. I had quite a lot of presents and they ranged from an axe to underwear and of course a selection of beers etc. (No Ferrari this year, again).

A couple of weeks ago I had started having a problem with swallowing my food, it went down ok, but caused a little pain. After a visit to the Doctor’s it was thought wise to set up a series of tests to find out why. Test One: was an ECG, that looked fine, and should of, as I had taught the nurse that conducted the test. I would have taken a dim view of anything else. Test Two: that was a Gastroscopy. It took place at Melton Hospital (very nice and new) on the morning of my birthday. They are supposed to be quite straight forward affairs. It was a nightmare, extremely painful and brought tears to my eyes. However, it was found that I had a couple of ulcers in the gullet just before the stomach. Probably caused by too much acid being produced. A biopsy (painful) was taken to be sure. The Doctor gave me a prescription for some tablets to sort the acid and ulcers out. Having taken them for a couple of days, the symptoms have gone away.  The good news is that he is making an appointment in 4 weeks time to have a look at them again. Can’t wait! Test Three: This is yet to come (10th), it will involve looking at my chest, running on a treadmill and other things. Test Four: This happens on the 17th and involves a camera and the other end of the body. Can’t wait! People seem to knock the NHS, but I have no complaints. I think I am getting my money’s worth. I am pretty sure we already have discovered what the cause is, but it is wise to have the other tests done, and I shall (I think). After the  Gastroscopy, Sue took me to Zizzi’s for lunch. It was very nice (I had Lasagna), but my throat was very sore and I stuck to soft food.

Last Sunday Charlotte, Suraj and Lucas came down (to bring my axe and install a larger drive on the Media Centre in the lounge). We had promised Lucas that we would get him a little car to play with when he next came, and of course he was very excited when he arrived. Sue and I had bought him a car that he could sit in and drive around the garden (electric motor). He loved it. They took it home with them and he eats his meals in it now.

Nan has been out and about. This week-end she has gone to Aunty Edna’s to stay. She lives in Sheffield, so it will be handy for the nightclubs etc.

Sarah has had a week in Cornwall on a Geography Field Trip. The weather was very kind to her and by all accounts she had a great time. Certainly came back very tired. She seems to be planning to have a University taster week over the summer and she is sending away for brochures etc. She still has another year to go with her ‘A’ levels.

Jamie is still working and has had his first wage. He now has a new exhaust on his car (some things never change). He broke his phone. The company he works for were fined over a million pounds for burying some waste, and the effect of that is that Jamie’s hours have been cut from 9.30am to 6pm. He seems ok about it. Yesterday a friend came around for a coffee before we went to the club to watch the 2nd Team. Jamie and Jim had a good chat while I was getting changed and Jamie was persuaded to play rugby next weekend, I was surprised. I will be even more surprised if does play, we shall see.

Sue is fit and healthy and took me to see a film called ‘Starbright’. Do not under any circumstances ever feel the urge to watch it. The man in front of me fell asleep, I squirmed and yawned and managed to get through it. Having a tooth pulled out would have been more pleasurable, but Sue enjoyed it and I suppose that was what it was all about.