Archive for November, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2011 by David Palmer

This week we said goodbye to Peter Miles, our next door neighbour. On Wednesday, Sue and I attended the cremation service at Kettering Crematorium. It was only close family and ourselves, in all it made 12 of us. Unknown to the family there was a minor incident, when on sitting down in the chapel I discovered that my glasses (which I had placed in my coat pocket with my reading) were missing. I told Sue and quietly left to check the car, as I was passing through the entrance I spotted that the undertakers were lifting the coffin out of the hearse!!!!! Luckily, Jonathan Stamp (I have played rugby with him) was in charge and I told him about my little problem. The coffin was put back in the hearse as I ran to check the car. It wasn’t there, I will have to squint I thought. However, Jonathan had spotted my misfortune and one of the pall bearers lent me his spare glasses. As  I sat in my seat, the coffin entered the Chapel and the service continued without mishap.

After the service we had been invited to an Italian restaurant in Harborough with the family. We had dropped Sue’s car off at the garage before the service to replace the exhaust which for some strange reason had started to grow a beard from the tail pipe. On the way back we called  in to pick it up. After dropping the car off at home we continued on to meet the family at the restaurant. The meal was nice and the atmosphere quite upbeat.

Earlier on in the week, Sue and I had been on one of the Council walks. It lasted about 4 hours and was a gentle ramble around Foxton and the locks. Nothing spectacular, but the day was warm and sunny and we stopped at the bottom locks pub for a drink afterwards.

The locks in action

The day after I travelled down to Rothwell to put up a picture wall in the playroom. It went up quickly and without incident and the results can be seen in the photo.

On Friday, after cooking a curry for ourselves and Charlotte (Suraj was installing a computer in Corby), Sue, Jim Brigitte and I went to a Comedy Night at the rugby club. There were three acts, all very rude and very funny. The club was packed and everyone seemed to have fun. They are booked for a return in April, we shall go again.

Saturday saw Sue up bright and early and busy in the kitchen. She had volunteered to make some salads for a buffet next door,  in celebration of Peter Miles’ life. The salads looked very tasty and were very popular. I had made a video from photographs of Peter that Doreen had sorted out the previous day, and after the many readings from friends and relatives it was shown. Charlotte had come and she served drinks and helped with the food. There was around 30 guests and it was fortunate that Sue had made quite a few salads to go with the meat and cheeses. I left after the buffet as I had another buffet to officiate at the Rugby Club (it was Saturday!) The food was not as good, but as I was rather stuffed didn’t mind.  After the home games, I stayed to watch the Tigers beat Ulster on Sky. Incidentally, on Tuesday Jamie came from work and told us that he had been speaking to Martin Johnson (England rugby manager) at work. He must have been doing a tour of the place. The following day Martin resigned his job. See what happens when you speak to Jamie! Harborough RUFC could do with a manager, I wonder if he is interested. Surprisingly he was in the Cherry Tree on Saturday night drowning his woes and drinking with Jonathan Stamp and Nick Allsopp, watch this space.

Sarah has a couple of exams coming up before the end of term and is busy revising. We keep in contact on Skype and phone. She sounds as if she has got a sore throat, but the everybody is sounding the same at the present. Nan has got over her throat problems, but Charlotte has a green stream gushing from her nose (according to Facebook).

Lucas has his Christmas play coming up in December and Sue and I have booked a couple of tickets to see him. He is growing up, he will be on X Factor next!.

I have been doing a little tidying up at the allotments, and also cleaning the pool as it is rather green. The cover has been taken off and I shall put it away. All the leaves haven’t fallen from the trees yet so I won’t put the winter cover on for a couple more weeks.

It’s getting chillier.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13, 2011 by David Palmer

As the title suggests, the evenings are getting quite chilly now, winter will soon be on its way.  We have started to make a fire in the evenings, though the central heating hasn’t been on (not cold enough yet, gas is too expensive, and there is only the two of us, plus WE sensibly put a jumper on). I just hope it is not as cold as last year, it was fun at first, then became a pain. Last year Joan and Phil, made a brief visit (from Italy), the day they  arrived heralded the start of the snow and freezing conditions. They are coming again on the 28th of November (remember the date), it is always nice to be able to blame somebody!

Last week, Peter (next door neighbour) died. He had been ill for quite a while and during the last few months he had been going down hill rapidly. While I was in Bulgaria he suffered from a stroke and I am afraid the ‘dye was cast’. Though I did not have a lot to do with our neighbours, our family had become closer during this last year when Peter became ill. He is being cremated on Wednesday and I have agreed to read a poem picked by Doreen (his wife) during the service. Sue has offered to help with the arrangements and is supplying some salads for the buffet.

Last week Jamie ordered some wall paper for his apartment. When it arrived we set about putting it up. It took around 4 hours to finish, but it does look nice (you can judge for yourself).

On Friday, I took Jamie and Charlotte to pick chestnuts. We do this most years with a variety of family members and friends, but this was the first year that Sarah wasn’t with us. It is the latest that  we have ever been to pick them and they all had fallen and most had been snaffled by squirrels (greedy grey ones I bet).  We did manage to find a few small ones and later that night, after having the obligatory curry, most of them got roasted on the fire. Lucas seemed to be intrigued and loved peeling them and feeding them to the Nan and granddad.  For the first time in a few weeks, Suraj came to eat and brought a hard drive full of films to copy onto my media centre. He took Jamie back to his place, to have a look at the wallpaper and on his return we watched the video of Bulgaria I had made during the week.

Sarah has been keeping in touch. She rang during the week to let us know that she had feedback concerning her last dissertation and the lecturer informed her that it was the best one she had read. What a nice thing to hear (and she seemed pleased too). According to the photo (from facebook) she has been dressing up and team bonding, what it has to do with’ criminal justice’ is open for suggestion, but mine is that when criminals are caught they plan to drag them around in a bag then shoot them.

Nan is recovering from what appears to be nasty mouth/throat infection (Thrush). She is sensibly staying in a lot, but still has managed to have her hair done and nip into Rotherham for some shopping. David and Genya have flown back into the country on Saturday, so no doubt they will be dropping by to pick up the mountain of post that is waiting for them.

Lucas, Ellis and a friend.

Pick n’ Nick!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 6, 2011 by David Palmer

Charlotte organised a family picnic to Stanwick Lakes. The weather forecast wasn’t great, and it did rain during the morning, but by lunchtime the rain had stopped and Jamie had arrived to travel with Sue, Sarah (back from Uni’) and I to Rothwell. Suraj had booked the day off and was going to make it a complete set for the day. We followed the Rothwells to the venue, which proved not to be too far away. The rain held off and we just had a few spots of the wet stuff to contend with throughout the afternoon.

We managed to set foot in most of the pools and puddles. We discovered a ‘grown-up’ assault course, so ‘the grown-ups’ assaulted it, lots of fun on a damp day and we didn’t get too muddy. Not sure what Lucas and Ellis thought of it, but their time will come. We had a picnic around mid-afternoon, near the play park and then went for a walk following one of the trails. Jamie discovered a bird feeding station and we spent a pleasant 20 mins watching some rabbits and pheasants eat the grain put out for them.  On return to the car park it became apparent that Charlotte had lost the car park ticket. The solution was for them to blast through the barrier after we had inserted or validated ticket into the machine and had  sped off as quickly as possible. It worked, they got through before the barrier came down, they also avoided the machine gunfire and mortar rounds from the Park Authorities and more importantly avoided running into the back of my car!

On the way back we stopped at a couple of furniture warehouses to look for a coffee table for Jamie (how times change).

The following Saturday, Sue, Sarah and I drove up to Sheffield to take Sarah back to her accommodation. The journey was uneventful and we soon left Sarah to her flat mates. We drove over to Thurcroft to stay at Nan’s for a couple of days. She was in Wales and not due back until Sunday afternoon. We had a Chinese take-away and watched TV until bedtime.

The following morning I dug the garden, pruned some bushes and tidied the borders. We drove over to Dinnington and had Sunday lunch at the Royal Elephant (very nice, and we pigged out).  Nan arrived back about an hour after we had returned. Hayden (cousin), had given her a lift. He didn’t stay,  just had a coffee and then set off on the return. We watched TV during the evening, but we all retired early as there wasn’t much on worth watching.

The following morning we took Nan shopping into the village (Sue bought some sausages for Charlotte) and then set off home. Nan declined our offer to come with us, but I learned later that she had left her tablets in Wales and they had to be sent through the post.

Monday was quite an eventful day:

Event1. Sarah rang us in a panic, she had been to a Night Club the previous night and had been robbed of her brand new iPhone and £20. Her shoulder bag had been ‘picked’ while she was waiting in the queue to get in. It obviously was a big shock to her and left  her quite rattled.  Especially as she had only collected her new phone the previous weekend and now it was ‘nicked’. She is now using her old phone and is no doubt a lot more careful and wary as to those around her.

Apple iPhone 4 16GB White

Event2. When Sue rang Charlotte to tell her about the stolen phone, she was at the time putting the rubbish in the bins outside. When Suraj called her, she raced off to take the call. Unfortunately she was carrying the fob containing the car and house keys,  they must have dropped inside the bin. Yes, you have guessed it, the refuse collectors had been and ‘picked’ the bins by the time Charlotte had discovered what she had done (not ‘nicked’ but just as effective!)

During the week I made a start on attacking the 5 weeks of weeds that had sprung up whilst I was away. Sue made quite a few jars of Quince jam from the ripe fruit that we had collected from Nan’s quince bush the previous weekend. It was quite tasty and unusual. The weather is quite unseasonal and warm. We haven’t made a fire yet, even during the evenings, but it has spurred me on to chop quite a few logs in readiness. Today I chopped down the fir-tree next to the front door, it had grown too big, it was starting to block out the light to the kitchen and the roots would probably have caused problems if left much longer. It didn’t take as long or prove as difficult to remove as I thought. I soon had roots and all out, and a new (small) fir in its place. When Jamie came for Sunday lunch and parked in front of it, he didn’t notice that it had apparently shrunk by 5 metres.

Yesterday, I had cycled to the Rugby Club to badger the 3rd team to pay their membership. The plan was to talk to them in the changing room just before they went onto the pitch. However, I should read my own newsletters as kick-off was at 2.30pm and not the 3pm I had turned up for. They were on the pitch already playing. As I wandered over to watch the game, my mobile went off and it was Jamie. He was in Corby outside Argos, and he had run out of diesel. Sue was out shopping, so I got on my bike, cycled home, drove to Sainsbury’s, joined the horrendous queue for fuel (memo: don’t attempt to get fuel from Sainsbury’s on Saturday afternoon, life is too short) and then drove to Corby. I found Jamie quite quickly, handed over the can, made sure the engine fired up, then I sped back to the Club. The 3rds had finished their game and were in the bath. They were surprised to see me in the changing room and duly accepted membership forms and chastisement without comment (I think I would probably have done so too if I had been starkers like they were).

That night, Jim and Brigitte picked up Sue and I to go to a concert. I had booked to see the Hamsters final concert before they retired from touring. It proved to be a brilliant night of rock and blues music. They even swapped instruments on one track; the drummer played bass, the bassist played lead, and the lead played drums (never seen that before). Brigitte was not her usual self, very quiet and obviously depressed. She is undergoing treatment for breast cancer and the length of treatment (another 18 months) seems to have got to her. She is an ardent rock fan (aren’t we all?), and hopefully will perk up in readiness for the Counterfeit Stones in December.

The Hamsters (click for large image)