Archive for May, 2011

Alarming Wind!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 29, 2011 by David Palmer

It has been windy all week, with one day of rain.

On Monday, Jamie’s fire alarm went off again. I received a panic phone call at around 7pm and promptly set off to see what could be done. Again I failed to beat the two fire engines, which already had arrived several minutes before. But not before Jamie rang my mobile to inform me that, “They are coming, what do I do?” It was the heat from the shower that had set it off. The fire-men were very sympathetic as they could see Jamie was panicky and told him not to worry if it went off again, but stressed it should be replaced. I rang the Housing Association the following day to inform them that it needed replacing.

Sarah had been quite sick during the night and despite being sick and looking awful, she insisted on going into school, as it was her last “Geography lesson, ever”, she said. I picked her up an hour later and she spent the rest of the day in bed. She was well enough to go line dancing on the Tuesday. I drove her and Nan over to Charlotte’s for it, but as Lucas was having a new friend over in the afternoon to play with, Nan and I had to leave at 3.30pm.

Sue and I then came down with the same bug. Lasted about 24 hours and despite feeling full and uncomfortable, with frequent sleeps and drinks we saw it off. Suraj, Jamie and Harley also caught it, we suspect from Ellis. Today I read in the paper that cucumbers are full of e-coli, I wonder? Not to be outdone Nan also succumbed to it later in the week, a day spent in bed again saw it off.

Wednesday evening saw Nan, Sue and I attend a showing by the Harborough Cine Club. They were showing a selection of their work from 1960 up to the present day. It turned out to be a fascinating but long evening. Sue and I could remember many of the events shown, but a film of the Tungstone factory burning down failed to stimulate any of my memory cells, even though Sue insisted we watched it with Jethro and left because he was getting frightened.

A few years ago Charlotte printed out the ‘Palmer Family Blog’ for 2007 and 2008. As the weather was windy and chilly, Nan sat in the sun lounge reading them. This prompted me to printout 2009 and 2010. She has finished reading those now. As I printed them I started to notice all the errors, both grammatical and spelling within them (shameful!). I copied them into Word and corrected them before printing.

Friday saw Nan and I meet Charlotte and Ellis at the pub in Harrington for lunch.

She came over later in the afternoon with Lucas and Ellis for ‘Curry Night’. Sue had spent all week in school and preferred to catch up on some sleep as we were going out later. Suraj was still ill from ‘the bug’ and wasn’t coming. Sarah had caught the train to Nottingham to see Lee, who had arranged a surprise for her at Alton Towers (Paranormal Night). As Nan, Charlotte and I were the only ones eating we had the Thai Red Curry and I put the Rogan Josh in the fridge. Later that evening Sue and I went to the cinema to watch ’The Way Back’. A long, but excellent film that we both enjoyed.

On Saturday I caught the supporter’s bus at the Market Hall (9.30am), to Twickenham to watch the Aviva Premiership Final. We arrived at 12.30pm and walked into Twickenham village to have steak and ale pie and chips, at the Prince Blucher.

The Prince Blucher, TwickenhamAfterwards we watched the game. Very disappointing, the Tigers lost and deservedly so.

I got back just in time to watch Manchester United lose to Barcelona and deservedly so.

Sarah’s 18th Birthday

Posted in Uncategorized on May 23, 2011 by David Palmer

Today (Monday) is Sarah’s 18th birthday. Yesterday she and Charlotte went to Eden Hall for a day of pampering and a spa. Quite naturally they had a lovely time and came back looking quite clean.

eden hall Nottinghamshire

Tonight we are having a Chinese birthday banquet at home with the whole family to celebrate.

Sue managed a couple of days in school covering for the Deputy Head as the current Head was off ill and the new Head was in to see how things ran. On Sunday she went top see a film called ‘The Black Swan’, it was very impressive she said.

On Friday I drove up to. Thurcroft and brought Nan back. We had a rather chilly BBQ that evening with the Rothwells. Jamie popped around (briefly) to drop off his washing and then he went off to a party.

On Saturday I went to the  ‘The Angel’ to watch Northampton lose to Leinster,  good game. On Sunday I sat with Doreen as she drove to the hospital in Leicester to see her husband. She is not happy at driving and I sat with her so that she could see that she could do it. She was ok, if not a little slow and rusty. Hopefully she will be brave enough to make the journey herself instead of paying for a taxi each day. However, he may be coming out on Tuesday as they have not been able to do anything for him. During the week I have been busy watering even though we had a shower one night, it was very little. I am trying to get my potato plants looking as lush as the rest of the allotment holders. If watering them regularly doesn’t work I shall have to resort to a paper bag over my head so I won’t be recognised!

Jamie’s car broke down on Saturday. Same problem as last time, it cuts out on idle and will only drive on full throttle. (quite dangerous in a 1.6gti). I am trying to find a garage that will fix it this week as this morning I got up at 5am to take him to work!

UPDATE: The Chinese Banquet was excellent, lots of dishes and masses of food (just how I like it). Charlotte and Jamie took quite a bit home with them and Sue popped some in the fridge for lunch tomorrow (at school) and quite a lot has gone into the freezer. This morning I got up again at 5am to take Jamie to work. I’ve mowed the lawn, I am going to hoover the pool and make a chicken and leak pie. Nan has gone into town on her bat-mobile, it is sunny.

All quiet on the Western Front.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15, 2011 by David Palmer

The weather has taken a little turn for the worse, things have got a little chillier and a bit damper but unlike the Spanish we haven’t had an earthquake yet!

Sue spent Monday, Tuesday  and Thursday afternoon in school. I offered to help out with a science afternoon on Friction, but she wisely refused my help, thus avoiding any family friction issues.

On Monday afternoon I drove our next door neighbour (Doreen) to Leicester General Hospital to visit her husband (Peter) who is not very well.  He looked fine, but is due to have an operation on Friday to remove something they put in a few months ago and is not working properly. We stayed about 4 hours.  I popped around on Thursday with some cucumber plants to find out how he was getting on. Unfortunately he isn’t having his operation on Friday and it is now scheduled for Monday.

On Tuesday Sarah drove us over to Rothwell. Lucas and I then planted 8 sunflowers  in the garden that he had sown in pots earlier in the spring.  Sarah drove  as she was going line-dancing with Charlotte later in the evening. Suraj, Lucas, Ellis and I watched 2 episodes of the Simpsons before I drove home.

On Wednesday Jamie invited us around for tea. That is exactly what we got, except I had coffee. We spent an hour talking about his gerbils and how to clean an apartment etc. His fire alarm was still dangling from the ceiling, but nobody referred to it. We left after about an hour as no food seemed on the horizon. He rang again today and invited Sue over for a cup of tea. She stayed a couple of hours and the visit consisted of a lesson on how to clean skirting boards, what you use to wipe surfaces down with and a discussion on Hoovers and why they stop working when the dust bag gets full. She had a cup of tea.

On Wednesday night I took Sarah to see a film called ‘Hanna’. Excellent film, well worth seeing, particularly if you are a fan of the Bourne Trilogy. We had panic stations when we got home as she couldn’t find her mobile phone. After much wringing of hands, wiping of tears and dashing around, I decided to check where she said she had put it (and had checked at least a dozen times) and there it was. We got to bed at midnight!

On Thursday, Charlotte had Vodaphone over for a friendly chat on returning to work and I played pool in the evening at the Catholic Club.

Friday was Curry Night.  Two curries were created: Chicken Tikka and a Chicken Vindaloo (both exceptional). The Rothwells came, and later in the evening Jamie turned up and scoffed the Tikka. He is quite worried that he is eating too much junk food and is going to make an effort to eat healthily,  he should have had the Vindaloo as that would have cleared him out!!!! Lee arrived at about 11pm.

Sarah and Lee went to London for the day.  Sue had booked them both on a coach trip from Corby to see a show (Chicago), shopping and a visit to China Town. They got back at around 10pm. Sue went to the cinema to see ‘The King’s Speech’, she was supposed to be going with Brigitte but she wasn’t feeling well so Sue went on her own. I watched Tigers beat Saints on the TV at the Rugby Club. There was a Harley Davidson weekend going on there and the place was full of hairy bikers with tattoos. Harley was serving behind the bar.

Today Sarah spent the day working at Savers, Sue had a phone call from Gwenda who lives in Canada and I managed to get 4 tickets for The Aviva Premiership Final at Twickenham on the 28th!

Ouch! But they are good friends now.

Rain at last!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 8, 2011 by David Palmer

Lee cam to visit Sarah on Monday. It was a surprise visit and she was at Charlotte’s, so he had to go there.  He took her out for a meal and then left early evening.

After his 2 weeks holiday Jamie returned to work on Tuesday. At around 7pm I got a call from him asking me to come over as his fire alarm had gone off and he couldn’t stop it. I set off straight away. I jumped in the car and set off. I had to stop outside the entrance to Sainsbury’s to let 2 fire-engines pass me , they were going somewhere in a great hurry. Arriving outside Jamie’s apartment block I noticed the two engines parked outside and unwinding hoses. All the residents seemed to be outside looking up at the windows. I didn’t see Jamie. I had keys so I set off up the stairs and was passed by several firemen coming down. On entering the apartment I saw Jamie and his fire alarm hanging from the ceiling. It seems he was having a shower when the fire-alarm went off, he got out of the shower and rang me, then was greeted by two firemen coming into his apartment (he was starkers). How the fire alarm came to be hanging from the ceiling I have no idea and don’t wish to know. I attempted to push it back into its hole but it wouldn’t go. I left with Jamie ringing one of his mates arranging to go out later that night. As I drove away I was passed by 2 fire-engines slowly returning to their station.

Brandweer Witmarsum Iveco Ziegler 02-5734

On Wednesday Sue went for lunch with Lynn Brown and caught up with all the gossip. Sarah started back at Robert Smyth School. I watered the allotments. I met Roger on the driveway as I was on my way to the dump to take some grass cuttings. He was returning the scarifier he had borrowed. It was broken. All the tynes that rip the moss out were missing (it’s what happens when you run it over concrtete/tarmac). He didn’t know how it happened, but I bet his driveway is clear of moss.  I took it to the dump. He was picking up Fran from the station later in the day, she is staying for 10 days. I wonder if he will bring her around?

Thursday, Sue went to work and I went to the doctors to get the results  from my ultra-sound scan. However, as I was putting my socks on to go to the doctors, something went in my lower back. Excruciating, is the only phrase I can think of to describe it. I managed to get Sarah to school and attend my appointment, as expected the ultra-sound was clear, but he arranged for another scan. I am not sure what for as I was in quite a lot of pain and wasn’t listening. He checked my back over and told me to take some co-codamol tablets to take the pain away and return in a couple of weeks. We shall see.  Sarah went to Thorpe Park with Harley, Jamie and Jamie’s friend, they got wet in the log flume and had a very nice day (so I am told)

On Friday Sue went to work again and Sarah, Charlotte and kids went to the farm park for the afternoon. As I was going to the Rugby Club Annual Dinner that evening, the ladies in the family (and kids)  ordered a Chinese takeaway. Suraj was working all night counting voting slips for the local elections and so wasn’t able to take part. Despite the pain in my back I managed to enjoy the evening and through the miraculous wonders of local ale, I walked home.

It rained yesterday and again this morning. Great for the garden, especially as I can’t pick up a watering can. Forecast like this all week and warm as well.

Today,  Sue woke up with a bilious migraine, I still have pain in my back and Sarah has gone to work at Savers. Damn those French!

Beer, Bin Laden and a Wedding

Posted in Uncategorized on May 2, 2011 by David Palmer

On Tuesday I took Lucas’s  electric car over to Rothwell so that he could use it there instead of on the occasions he came to Harborough. While I was there I wired the Alarm Control into the hallway. When I returned to Harborough I watered the allotments (not rained for 2 months now!).

On Wednesday the hospital rang and gave me an appointment for an ultrasound examination for the following day. I had to starve myself again until after the examination. The beer barrels were due to arrive at the Club for the weekend Beer Festival.

I spent most of the afternoon there stacking the 20 barrels in the bar store with Gary the Bar Steward.

On Thursday I drove to Glenfield for a very easy and quick ultra-sound scan. I had mixed feelings when the doctor said she didn’t see anything, but to see my doctor in 7 days for the results.  Played pool in the evening with Jim at the Catholic Club.

Spent nearly all day Friday at the Club setting up the thralls and bar ready for the Festival in a marquee. Jim and Craig helped. There was a wedding reception being prepared inside the clubhouse, it looked fabulous, no expense spared.

Saturday was Harbie Hog Beer Festival Day. It was supposed to compliment the Club 7’s Competition to be held over the weekend. It is usually quite  a popular competition and attracts a lot of teams, but this year only 2 had entered so it was cancelled. Plan B was put into operation. Luckily there was a touring side from Worthing playing the Club in the morning, so the game was switched to a noon kick-off and then an inter club match was to be played at 2.30pm as entertainment for the crowd. The tour match took place (Jim and I ran the touch-line for the ref). However, not enough club players wanted to play rugby during the afternoon, so to provide a distraction while people were drinking I organised an impromptu ‘limited over’ cricket match between the Worthing supporters and Harborough. I umpired what was a very funny match. The Worthing guys had all changed into costumes after their game and we had a procession of penguins, ducks, kings, crocodiles etc. coming out to bat. As there were 20 beers on offer, by now everybody was quite merry and in the mood for such silliness. At times I was reduced to tears with laughing, a penguin waddling down the crease for a single  looks so funny when he runs into his partner who is a frog, who still had hold of his pint in one hand and a bat in the other. But the episode where the Harborough Club Captain needed a six off the last ball to win a book of beer vouchers launched into a drive and missed it completely to be greeted with the cricket ball in his own personal middle wicket. We did not have boxes and it was through a flow of tears that I watched him trying to walk off the pitch, bent over double. Such a heartless game is cricket, when played by rugby players.

There were two local bands playing during the evening, so we didn’t stop serving beer until very late. We started again at 10am the following morning. Sue had woken up with a migraine and was spending the morning in bed. I popped back at 1pm and she was up and looking delicate, but feeling a bit better. She told me that Charlotte also had woken up not feeling very well. Sue was going over to Rothwell for Sunday lunch, but that was now cancelled. I offered to make Sue something but she couldn’t face anything. The festival finished at 6pm. When I got home both Sue and I had an early night.

Woke up this morning to hear on the radio that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by the Americans in Pakistan. In celebration I went to my allotments to tell the onions and water the plants. As I hadn’t watered them for 4 hot days they were all grateful for my little bit of news.

On Thursday,  Nan came back from Wales, specially to watch the Royal Wedding on her ‘big’ TV.  Friday saw Sue and Sarah riveted to the ‘goggle box’ most of the day. I wasn’t allowed to speak when I was in the room, but luckily I was at the Club most of the day. The dress looked nice, better than Diana’s.  Apparently Osama has spoiled their honeymoon plans by getting himself shot and they will now be going later in the year. Can’t say I am bothered about either.

Last night Sarah went to Rothwell to stay the night. Suraj and Lucas camped overnight in their garden (boys night out) and Charlotte and Sara had a girls night-in (not sure what Ellis did, but he didn’t go clubbing). It was a warm night but very windy. Lee came over today and took Sarah out for a meal. I had a call from Jamie, his shower was blocked, so together we unblocked it. He is going to see ‘Fast and Furious 4’ tonight.

One evening this week, Sue, Sarah and I spent a frustrating evening filling in the on-line form for student finance. For a government website to be so amateurish is criminal. Its structure and the mere factor that it is riddled with inconsistencies, faults and page after page of disclaimers, that insist you must read,  has obviously been constructed by a 4-year-old to save costs. It brought back horrible memories of the non-sense I had to read every day at Farndon Fields. To have repeated pop-ups appear informing you in bold RED that you have just made  X-number of errors, when you put in the figure that it has asked for and then after several frustrating repeats, suggests that you just put a number in the box instead of the 0 that should be there. It then allows you proceed. I now have (allegedly)  1p in off-shore holdings to permit my daughter to have some student finance!!!!!! WHAT A NONSENSE. In essence all the information that you require to give it are: Income (worked or pension), savings, investments and benefits that you receive.  That is 5 boxes maximum.  Not the page after page of repeated clap-trap we faced. I suspect that due to such wordiness, it is aimed at those families that have already had a university education to discourage those that do not. A subtle form of Conservative discrimination against the working class. Up yours Cameron (and Clegg), we completed it!