Archive for February, 2011

Our Winter of Discontent

Posted in Uncategorized on February 27, 2011 by David Palmer

Just got back from the allotment after having :

1. Transplanted pathetic and bedraggled autumn sown broad beans from 4 rows into one row, as that was all that was left after a rather harsh December.

2. Painted my shed (with sump oil, it is cheaper). I started to paint under blue skies, but with 10 minutes it started to drizzle and by the time I had finished it was pouring down (again).

3. Had to move my car (though there was room to pass) from the end of my allotment because another allotmentholder was at the entrance beeping. I naturally thought that like me they had some heavy things to drop off at their plot, so I gladly drove down to the road and walked back to my plot (in the rain). I noticed that she parked next to hers and took nothing out of the car. Then proceeded to fiddle about with some plastic sheeting that had come loose on the plot. I will remember this.

On my Welland Park allotment I have now fully planted it  with vines, raspberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries. Hopefully it should now only be a  matter of pruning, hoeing and picking leaving me to concentrate on the other vegetable allotment. We shall see.

I have continued to referee on Saturdays and I do believe that the muscles and joints are reacting much better to running around blowing a whistle. Though on Friday Sue and I did go with the Harborough Council Rambling Club to Calke Abbey for a day out walking.  I left the choice of walks to Sue and she chose the long walk in the morning and the long walk in the afternoon (there was a choice).  We were both very stiff and ached when we got home  (I was left wondering how it would affect my Saturday refereeing). The day before we had travelled to Dunchurch to see her cousin Andrew and his wife. We had lunch at the Dun Cow pub. We looked at their family photos and they looked at ours. It was quite a pleasant lunch. We promised to go over to their place in Harbury later in the summer.

Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey                                                                                                            We sat here (Dun Cow)

Last week I assembled some wardrobes and drawers for Jamie, then hung a mirror and a flat screen TV in his bedroom for him. I also installed his washing machine for him, though he has yet to use it. We don’t see much of him now, though he is supposed to be coming today. It is Harley’s birthday today.

Life seems to have settled down for the Rothwells. Ellis is growing rapidly and Lucas has started swimming sessions with Dad.  Sue took Lyne Keene ( Charlotte’s old child minder) on a visit to see them that last week and it seemed they had a good old chat.

Sue and I have booked a hotel in March near Chester with the idea of visiting relatives, it will give us something to look forward too.

Sarah has been on half-term this week. She has visited Lee a couple of times and continues to work at Savers as well as revise. A busy life.

Valentine and Vines

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2011 by David Palmer

It’s Valentines Day. This evening we had a surprise visit from Lee who brought a huge card for Sarah, stayed a couple of hours then drove back to Nottinghamshire. This morning when I had made my first coffee of the day I was greeted with a card from Sue . I didn’t have one to exchange as we had agreed not to bother (quite a few years ago). She must be getting romantic or perhaps the coffee jar was poisoned and it was guilt. Come to think about it, I do have a dicky tummy. Too late to change the will!

Last Tuesday I drove up to Thurcroft and stayed with Nan for a few days. Tuesday was exceptionally sunny so we went to Rother Valley Country Park for the afternoon (after buying a new microwave oven at a local shop). Quite a lovely place, we bought a bracelet made of pewter for Charlotte at a craft shop and drove around the lake looking at ducks. The cafe served a fine chilli at just the right degree of spiciness. We watched Wales get stuffed by Ireland (soccer) on the TV during the evening. Wednesday saw us go to the White Elephant Thai restaurant for lunch and then in the afternoon I cut back the Quince bush and planted some spring bulbs. Late afternoon, David magically appeared and we had a nice chat about Bulgaria, cars and education. He had bought a 2TB hard drive to put movies on for him to watch in Bulgaria. It is now filled with only a couple of gigabytes left. When he left, Nan and I settled back to watch England v Denmark, it was surprisingly entertaining. On Thursday I had lamb chops for lunch and then drove to Newark to pick up the ceramic plant pots that had been left with neighbours during the move.

Aerial Photo

Friday night was curry night. Charlotte, Lucas and Ellis arrived at 3.30pm and Charlotte popped next door for her Reflexology session. Sue had a phone call at 1.05pm begging her to go into school to cover a class that was having trouble with a new child and she rushed off, she got back at 4.30pm. Suraj arrived just after 5pm. Jamie and Harley had popped in briefly to say hello and use my computer. We had curry and played with the young ‘uns until they left around 9pm.

On Saturday afternoon I was in Loughborough refereeing the Students 2nd team against Oadby Wyggs 2nd team. It was a fast game and my little legs felt it afterwards. I missed the England/Italy game, but got home in time to see Scotland humiliated by Wales. I vaguely remember seeing Brigitte pop into the lounge during the game. By half-time I had figured out that she and Sue were going to see a film at the Cinema Club. When Sue returned, she said that it had been very enjoyable. I haven’t a clue where Sarah was, but she was in the house somewhere (I think).

On Sunday I popped down to my allotment and planted my first row of vines. When I got back, Jamie arrived with Harley. He wanted my computer again. He confirmed that they both were going to Charlotte’s for dinner. Sarah was working at Saver’s until 4.15pm. We picked her up in her car and she drove Sue and I to Charlotte’s. We had beef for dinner, though she had done chicken for Suraj and Harley. Again, it was lovely and I stuffed myself (as usual). You never know when your next meal is coming, especially in these difficult times! Ellis is so alert now. You have to keep your eye on him. I played roll the car down the corridor with Lucas, he loved it but I think Charlotte was more concerned about her paintwork. We left at 7.30pm to watch ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ on the TV.  Sarah and I never miss it.  Sadly it was the last ever episode.

Today is Valentines Day. After purchasing posts and wire I planted 3 more rows of vines. I now have a vineyard made up of 10 white and 10 red vines. Not a big vineyard by industrial standards, but in a few years time it will produce some fine wine, or the plants will be dug up and sold on ebay (plan B).

 



And a bit more….

Posted in Uncategorized on February 6, 2011 by David Palmer

At the end of the last blog we had Jamie and Sarah ill with a sickness bug. That night I rang the Rothwell’s for a chat and discovered that they also had succumbed. Sue and I fully expected to make it a ‘family thing’, but obviously our generation is made of much sterner stuff and it passed us by.

Sarah was sufficiently recovered by Wednesday and we both set about  revising for her last exam (of this session). She was too ill to go to school but as she said she had to revise as their was no choice. I DO NOT like Psychology. In fact I am getting fed up of all ‘ologies! However, Sarah set off for her exam on Friday morning and rang afterwards to report that the questions we had concentrated on had come up and she thought she had done well. We now have a few weeks remission.

Sue worked on Monday and Thursday afternoon this week. She went out for coffee with Lynne Keene (Charlotte’s  old baby minder) on Wednesday. Today she is off to the cinema with Brigitte to watch a film set in the 60’s. I am told it wouldn’t appeal to me (luckily).

On Friday night, after Charlotte had visited next door for her Reflexology session, I cooked a very nice Chicken Korma for the family. Jamie and Harley turned up and also Brigitte and Jim (not to eat). England were playing Wales and I had the projector set up to watch it. Luckily people got the right idea and the Rothwell’s left followed by Jamie and Harley. Jim and I settled down to watch the rugby with the traditional beer and nuts and were treated to a deserved England victory. Sue and Brigitte chatted about non-rugby issues.

On Sunday we travelled to Rothwell for a late Lunch. Charlotte cooked chicken with some very delicious parsnips (done in duck fat, I am told). Washed down by a very special bottle of beer. We had a choice of pudding, but I chose apple crumble, I can’t remember what other people had (must have been the beer). We ate in the dining room on the table transported from Newark and re-assembled by Suraj. Though everyone sat down gingerly, it felt as if the  chairs and table were earthquake proof and no-one ended up on the floor. We had coffee in the lounge upstairs and left around 9pm.

Charlotte had sold her Discovery and purchased a Ford Fusion, a more sensible replacement. Suraj had also sold his Saxo so was carless as the BMW was untaxed. He was using the Fusion to get to work which meant that I was running Lucas to playgroup in the afternoons and while he was there I busied myself by doing a few jobs around the Rothwell annex. Wallpaper and shelves got put up in Lucas’s room and some drains got looked at. I couldn’t ferry Lucas on Wednesday as both Sue’s and my car were having their MOT’s. To our very big surprise, they both passed.  By Thursday the BMW was sold and a Smart car had been purchased for Suraj.

We have had tremendous gales nearly all week (still today and forecast for tomorrow).  So far no damage around the place other that the dead trees in the garden (killed by the winter frost) have lost their leaves and looked very pathetic. It did strip off the felt on the shed roof but I put it back and placed a lot of bricks on top and as we speak it is still there. However, this morning I popped around to a friend’s to fix his computer and on the way back I visited the allotment to see if my shed was still there. Surprisingly it was, but my next door neighbours was in bits. He was there with his two sons trying to put it back together, but it was still too windy. I left them to their task, pleased that my old second-hand rickety hut was made of Yorkshire grit and determination!

I refereed  in Leicester (on Victoria Park) on Saturday afternoon. It was a good game but really not well contested as the 40:0 score line might suggest. It was notable for the broken leg and dislocated shoulder counted among the various injuries. Did I really play this game? I drove back to Harborough and watched the Scotland game at the Club. When I got home I discovered that Lee was down for the weekend. He and Sarah played Monopoly and then went for an unhealthy KFC. He left Sunday morning as Sarah went off to work at ‘Savers’.

Today we were going for a ‘Snowdrop Walk’ at Maidwell Hall, but it is too windy and there is rain in the air. It is a  shame as we have been saying we should do it for years and when we finally decide to make the effort, the weather defeats us.