Sarah is 17!!!!

A few days before Sarah’s 17th birthday the weather began to cheer up and the sun began to make an appearance, by the time the 23rd arrived we were experiencing the hottest day of the year so far. It was a Sunday and Charlotte, Suraj and Lucas came down. Lee was already here having arrived on Saturday and Harley also made an appearance. I hade been up to Yorkshire during the week to weed the garden and do a few jobs around the house and I had brought Nan back with me, so we had a houseful. Sue and I had planned a BBQ and for once the weather was perfect, we even had to move the table under the apple tree to escape the heat. Rather naughtily Suraj had brought some super-soakers and much of the time was spent avoiding squirts of water and the odd water bomb, Lucas loved it but I suspect his understanding of what (sensible) adults are supposed to act like, took a little bit of a knock. After food and the blowing of a birthday cake, we retired to the pool to cool off. Charlotte’s latest impression of a beached whale was very impressive as was Harley’s assisted swan dive. We watched England beat Mexico (on the big screen) later in the evening.

All the plants and seeds in the garden and greenhouse have at last started to grow and are looking good. I have now started to water in earnest most evenings. If we have a warm summer hopefully we will get a bumper crop, and as I do not intend to go anywhere during the month of June (World Cup month) they should be well looked after! Fingers crossed

David and Genya visited on their way to catch a ferry from Dover. They were returning to Bulgaria in a Dodge Motor-home that David had just bought. We had a BBQ then watched England beat Japan (on the big screen, notice a trend starting?) They are going to take their time driving over and will stop and see the sights on the way. As they were leaving, the evening had got chilly, and I had to give David a warm sweater as he had not packed any. Then he realised that he had also forgotten to pack any bedding. Unfortunately Sue had thrown all our bedding out 2 days earlier and bought new, and they were on the beds. As they were about to leave (9.30pm) to look for bedding on their way to the port, I remembered that there was an old quilt (a bit smelly) in the garage that we used  to cover Jamie’s car bonnet in the winter. I think they were glad to receive it. They left the laptop was stolen in Bulgaria (but recovered when the burglar was caught) with me to try and recover the files that had been deleted. Genya had been writing a book and had nearly finished it when the house was burgled. I shall see what I can do.

Last Saturday I had been lucky enough to get a ticket to watch Leicester Tigers v Saracens at Twickenham and even luckier to get a seat on a supporters bus leaving  from Harborough (I knew the organiser, another retired rugby playing teacher, its a great network!)  It was a fantastic day with tremendous atmosphere and the right result.

On Sunday Sue took a leisurely drive down to stay with her sister in Buckfastleigh. Despite many caravans having the same idea she got down their unscathed and sent me a text to say that all was ok.

Sarah got up early today and caught the train to Nottingham to stay at Lee’s until Thursday. She (and I) have been studying really hard for months now on her AS exams, which seem to be every other day. She reads her notes and then makes crib cards of the important details which I then have to test her on. I must confess that a lot of the stuff, I struggle to understand and my poor brain cells don’t know what has hit them. I am doing the cross word and Soduku puzzles much quicker now! She still has more exams after half-term. I can’t help wondering when any teaching is done. Tests don’t teach anything only inform you on what you haven’t learnt, there is something radically wrong, when you spending more time preparing for a test than being taught. However, she plays the game like everyone else, but it is not right.

A friend from the past rang the other night. Chris Tippets, an old College friend (we used to visit each other when we first start teaching) had decided to make contact and we chatted for 2 hours about what we had been up to this last year. We finished by each promising to visit. We shall see.

I believe Charlotte is getting plumper, but otherwise fit and healthy. Lucas fell over at playschool the other day and ‘mashed’ his face but seems to have shrugged it off as a little inconvenience. Not heard anything about Suraj, which means he is fine (but I still have to mention that, or I get an email from Charlotte!).

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