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.
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.