Archive for September, 2011

All quiet on the Western Front

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19, 2011 by David Palmer

I have installed Skype onto my PC in the study, onto Sarah’s laptop  and also my mobile (android) phone so that we can keep in touch. The idea came from Joan and Phil (in Italy) and I have rung them a couple of times, but since then I have installed a webcam and used it when calling Sarah. Last night I noticed that Chris Tippets, an old friend from College was on-line I video-called him. Unfortunately, his webcam was broken so he had the joy of seeing me. We chatted for nearly an hour. While on the subject of College friends, Sue was listening to the radio and heard Andy Perkins on a phone-in show about education. I listened to what he had to say, then sent him an email. He replied straight away informing me that he had now retired and he was missing the staff and kids after just 2 weeks. He was back on the radio again today, perhaps he fancies a new career.

Sarah and Nan managed to survive the week together, but the 2 hour daily journey to Sheffield was tiring for Sarah and she also picked up a nasty cold with a hacking cough. Lee came up on Friday to visit her and the 3 of them went out to lunch at the Royal Elephant. Sue and I drove up to Thurcroft on Saturday (after I had watched Ireland v South Africa) to help move Sarah into the Pinnacles. As the car was rammed with stuff (including 2 boxes of shoes!!) only Sarah and I made the 1st journey. There were a lot of students checking in at the same time so she had to queue to get her keys. We borrowed a trolley to transport her gear into the 2nd storey room that is to be hers for the year.  It didn’t take long and I was soon driving back to pick Sue and Nan up. I stayed at Nan’s for an hour so that Sarah would have time to put some of her stuff away before setting off with Sue and Nan. Sue made her bed for her, I installed her laptop onto the network and Nan watched, bemused. Sarah had already met her next door neighbour, who had also not long arrived.  We stayed for around half an hour before leaving.

We didn’t go far. I drove down the road, around the roundabout and parked in the Hilton Hotel next to the canal marina. There was a cafe there that gave a splendid view of Sarah’s room. Our intention was to have a meal and then drive back to Thurcroft. But, they were getting ready for a party and weren’t doing food. We drove to Whiston and tried The Golden Ball (pub), but they couldn’t fit us in to eat for another 2 hours so we went to the Sitwell Arms and had a very nice meal before returning to Thurcroft and bed.

I woke up and 6.45am and went quietly downstairs to watch England v Georgia (it was a win). After breakfast Sue and I said goodbye to Nan as we were going to see Sarah and then drive home. We took a bottle of milk, a kettle and a Hoover as they were needed. Sarah had been out on the town with her new friends and looked a little tired. It was a sunny morning so we had a walk into the City, we walked as far as the Moor (shopping street), it brought back lots of memories and Sarah listened very patiently to me waxing lyrical about my youth.

On the way back we stopped and did some food shopping for Sarah. Just 5 minutes away from the Pinnacles are quite a few cheap mini-markets and we filled four bags full of rubbish food that students eat. It was interesting to note that she took very close notice of the price of things, not seen that before in the last 18 years! We had lunch in the cafe that we had tried the night before, very pleasant, we will go there again. After filling our daughter with the last proper food she will have for a while we walked back taking a small detour to the sweet shop across the road. After escorting her to her room we said our goodbyes and left for Harborough.

Last Friday was curry night with a difference. No Sarah (Sheffield) and no Jamie (making Bolognese for Harley at his place) but we did have the Rothwells and a guest. Charlotte’s friend, Christina came as she and Charlotte were helping out at the Rugby Club that night and Christina didn’t have a car (she owned the car that Charlotte had crashed into, it’s one way to make friends!) After the meal I went to the Club to watch the Veterans play Leicestershire police in a friendly game, with a final score of 12:12, I suppose it was.

Today, I counted up the bar takings from the Club. Gary the bar steward has gone on holiday to Corfu and on Friday morning he had posted the paying in book through the letter box (before we were awake).  Luckily as I am telepathic I knew what he wanted me to do. Charlotte dropped of the takings on Sunday night. I banked just over £3000. I then chopped logs. At 1pm I drove over to Jamie’s place to supervise some workmen fixing his windows, but as soon as I arrived, they finished and left. I spent the rest of the day again cutting logs in readiness for the winter (I have a lot, and I know where there is loads more).

I am planning to visit David in Bulgaria on Saturday. He has quite a few jobs for me. I am looking forward to it. Genya flew back to the UK on Saturday to sort things out at the Unit and David has stayed to complete the restoration work started last year. I think Genya has come back for the winter.

They’ve gone!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 12, 2011 by David Palmer

As they say at Lidl:  “When its gone its gone.”

Charlotte was the first, then quite a long time after, Jamie. Worryingly,  when Jamie moved out, Charlotte did move closer, but only as far as Rothwell. Now Sarah has gone. And, now there is just two!!! (no I don’t mean allotments) Me and her indoors. What will we do?

Sarah Update: Last week Sarah and I travelled up to Yorkshire and stayed with Nan. One day we had a tour of the accommodation at the pinnacles and the following day she had induction at the campus . As her room is not available for the 1st week of term she will have to stay with Nan and travel from Thurcroft. As efficient as ever, using Facebook she found her room mates and already made friends plus she has been communicating with one of her fellow course members who lives in Rotherham and arranged to travel with her. Luckily she is called Charlotte, so that will be easy to remember. So, at 6am she got up and caught the bus from Thurcroft to Rotherham, met Charlotte and together they caught the bus into Sheffield. Later that day, I picked her up with Nan outside the Pinnacles as she wanted to practise the route to her accommodation (so sensible). She also made another friend on the course (from Bristol) who was staying in student halls just 2 minutes away and they travelled together. We returned to Harborough later that day.

The following week she busied herself collecting boxes of stuff and packing 2 suitcases. I remember I used to go with one suitcase and a hold all for my rugby kit! She had several driving lessons during the week, on the Friday she took her test, but like many she failed her first one. The indicator came off on a roundabout that she was navigating and she failed to spot it. She has rebooked another for later in the term. To earn money she has been doing quite a few hours behind the bar at the club, but she found time to pick out a new laptop (at Dad’s expense) for use at Uni. I installed Skype so that we could keep in touch.

Yesterday, I drove her back to Nan’s in readiness for the start of the term. She got herself up again at 6am and caught the bus into Rotherham to meet Charlotte. I woke at 9am took Nan up the village for some shopping. We had lunch in Whiston before I drove home. I have resisted all day sending her a text asking if she is ok. I must remember that we were are Lidl shoppers now in this family.

Jamie update: Jamie is still living in his apartment, but appears very regularly for meals now. I even played him tennis one afternoon. Harley is still on the scene but we don’t see her so often now, though she did make an appearance at a family BBQ (on one of the few fine days we have had). I did have to be at Jamie’s place last week to let some workmen in who had come to look at his sticking windows and Harley was already there. I didn’t attempt to figure out why I had to let them in. Jamie has a new job.

He built some decking in Charlotte’s garden and made an excellent job of it. I brought the wood from the Wood Merchant on the top of my car, but otherwise left him to do it on his own.

He now works for the Disney Corporation in Lutterworth as a VNA driver (don’t know what that is). He applied for the job a couple of weeks ago and though advised that there had been in excess of 850 applicants he got an interview. They informed him the day after the interview that he had got the job and he had an induction training the following day. Today was his first day at work. He came for tea, he smelled much nicer and informed us that tomorrow he is going abseiling with the company (I have already said I don’t ask why any more). He works from 6am until 2pm which is  a lot better than the 6am to 6pm he has been doing for nearly the last 2 years. It appears that they are very worker friendly and do a lot for their staff relationships (very American).

Sue update: Sue is up to date with freezing vegetables out of the garden, but I think she must be getting fed up of seeing tomatoes. I think I must have consumed several gallons of various types of soup (mostly courgette). We have looked after the grand children at various times as well as provided Sunday lunch or curries for the rest of the family. It is funny how they move out, yet you continue to feed them. We went to the funeral of a friend in Braybrook. A lovely woman and very much a strength in a family of rugby playing boys. She tragically died of a very aggressive  brain tumour that killed her within a few days of being diagnosed. Extremely sad.

Sue and Philippa spent a couple of days together in Tenbury Wells at Sheila’s (friend of the family). They met old  friends and caught up with news and by all accounts had a nice time. Sue and I travelled to Bourne  on Saturday for a surprise 60th birthday bash of an old friend John Lee. I was his best man, played rugby and fished with him nearly every week for 8 years, but I haven’t seen him for the last 15 yrs. His wife rang a couple of weeks ago and asked if I would go. I said yes, not thinking that it was also England’s first game in the Rugby World Cup. It worked out ok as I watched the game at home and then drove over to Bourne afterwards (lucky they kicked off at 9am). After the surprise of seeing us we had lunch then went for a walk through the fields. It was lovely to chat to him and find out what each other had been doing. He also has two daughters and a son. Their youngest  (Katie) is also at Sheffield, but in her second year, and their son of course plays rugby. When we arrived back, Bharat and his wife Andy arrived (surprise guests). Bharat shared various types of accommodation with John for many years in Leicester and the three of us were great friends. Bharat was a presenter and reporter for ITV, but now he does mostly freelance work. I haven’t seen him for the same a mount of time. Quite few of John’s school colleagues turned up and we all went into Bourne and had a very nice curry. We left afterwards and got home in the early hours. Of course we all promised to meet up again, I hope we do.

Rothwell’s update: Suraj and Charlotte have been ‘doing’ quite a lot of car boot sales and it seems to be quite a profitable way of enjoying themselves. I guess they haven’t come across any of the items that they had burgled, I wonder what they would do? We sent the family away for a few days to Legoland as a birthday present for Charlotte and Suraj (but it was mainly for Ellis and Lucas). They had a nice time the but the weather wasn’t the best. They were treated to a meal at a local Thai restaurant by Nan for their wedding anniversary (we looked after the boys). I believe that Suraj is now doing a bit of private IT work to supplement the family income. Charlotte and Sarah have had a few girlie nights out in Rothwell with some of the other women on her street (not quite on the same par as the West-end of London) and they seemed to have  enjoy themselves in a parochial rustic sort of way.