I can’t remember the last time we had such a hot and dry March. Since the last blog we have had daytime temperatures over 20º and though the nights have been much cooler we haven’t made very many fires, the wood pile is still lasting. The daffodils and crocus have bloomed and the lawn has been cut 3 times now. However, all things come to an end and the weather forecast for the next few days is for much cooler with night frosts and someone may get some snow!
A few days before Mother’s Day I travelled up the Thurcroft, in the hope that she would come back to Harborough. Sue and I had found an apartment on Welland Park Road that we thought Nan might like to see and it would be a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Things got complicated when I rang Sarah to see if she would like to go out for lunch, she sounded dreadful. She had picked up a chest bug and was running a fever. She slept most of that day in her digs and didn’t attend lectures. Nan and I went for lunch on our own. The following morning Sarah rang and she sounded worse. She contacted reception and they gave her the address of the NHS drop-in Centre. I drove over and took her. She was given a prescription for some anti-biotics. She wanted to go home, so after picking up some things in her flat I drove over to Nan’s, picked her up and set off back to Harborough. On arrival, Sarah raced off to her bedroom clutching a hot water bottle and her tablets.
Nan and I went to see the apartment, but as it wasn’t in a great condition and needed redecorating and a new kitchen plus bathroom it’s only redeeming feature was its location. We shall continue to look.
The whole family came over for lunch on Mothering Sunday. Sue cooked it and the other two mum’s helped out (when and where allowed). Sarah perked up a little. The following morning (7am start) I took Sarah and Nan back to Yorkshire. Sarah had lectures that she couldn’t afford to miss and Nan had a Doctors appointment. I got them both to their appointments on time. I stayed at Nan’s for a few days before heading south.
The following Saturday Sue and I had a council walk to Peatling Parva. Extremely hot day. A very picturesque part of Leicestershire (Horsey country) full of history and big houses. We had lunch in the local pub and afterwards I went to the Rugby Club and watched the final Six Nations games.
The following Wednesday I drove up to Thurcroft, stayed the night and in the morning took Nan to the opticians for her annual eye test. She ordered a couple of pairs of glasses. Later that afternoon I picked Sarah up with quite a lot of washing (it was the end of term) and drove to Harborough.
The Rothwells returned from Cape Verde refreshed and brown. They enjoyed the break and pronounced that it was worth a visit. They certainly took enough photos! We sat through over 400 in one session and over 300 in another. I had got the impression that it was a lovely place after the first 20 pictures and the next 680-ish didn’t change or improve my opinion. I suppose it is only what we do to them when we go on holiday, so I don’t think I can complain. I have decided to put 16gb SD card in my camera when we go to Borneo!
Charlotte is now a member of the school PTA and Sarah is now Social Secretary of the Ponds Forge Scuba Diving Club. I suspect that life will be getting a little more busier for them both. Friday curry nights are still taking place, and as Sue said after last Fridays effort, “That was the best one you have made for a long while.” I wouldn’t be surprised if a few red chili peppers made an appearance on a certain plate next time!
Jamie’s car got fixed. He bought the parts second-hand off the internet at a fraction of the price and got a local garage to fit them. He saved himself quiet a lot of money as he was quoted £650. He is finding the drive to Northampton each day tiring and is busy looking for another job a lot closer. He is also not keen on working weekends and having mid-week days off. Fingers crossed he finds one, but there are nearly 3 million looking with him.
I missed Lucas’s Easter Bonnet Parade for the 2nd year running. Sue and Sarah went to see the bonnet that Charlotte had spent 3 nights working on, using 2 litres of glue, one bale of straw and a dozen eggs (not to mention several locks of her own hair that I believe got pulled out). Apparently it was good enough to be awarded a cream egg with all the other bonnets. I believe that by all accounts the judges were quite amateurish and were obviously visually impaired. Glad I don’t work in a school any more!
With all this fine weather I have been busy at the allotments. At present not a weed can be seen and today some of my broad beans decided to make an appearance. The vines, and raspberries have begun to sprout, so I am expecting several heavy frosts soon. Most of my onions are in the soil along with a row of parsnips. The tomatoes in the propagator are up and smiling so I sowed some cucumbers, aubergine and melons in their place and moved them into the greenhouse. I am holding back on the rest of the vegetables as though it is warm it is far too early to yet to risk them.
On Sunday Sarah and I went to London. The image Project that Jamie has been involved in, wanted to test Sarah and paid for us both to travel to Denmark Hill for the day. With Jamie the journey there went smoothly, but last Sunday two of the tube lines were shut for maintenance and we had to catch a bus from and to London Bridge as part of the trip. We discovered that London Underground couldn’t organise a bat in a tunnel. We were told to wait at a particular bus stop outside London Bridge Tube Station to catch a bus. Like the other passengers we eventually go fed up waiting and decided to seek further advice. I stopped a bus and asked the driver, he said the stop was down the road and around the corner. We all tramped down there to find that the stop had been decommissioned (just for that day!!!!). Sarah and I went back to the station and eventually got advice (from the headman himself) that a bus would turn up at the stop outside the station. We returned, we waited, we left. We eventually found a public bus (about a mile and a quarter away from the station) that was going to Denmark Hill and got on it. After two changes of Nigerian bus drivers we got there. The testing went smoothly, it took around 3 hours, we had chicken, herb and lemon sandwiches to eat with a drink of orange. The journey back was a little better, we only stood at the wrong stop for half an hour and though another Nigerian bus driver got on the bus to take over, the lady in charge told him to go away as she was working overtime. He didn’t seem bothered. When we arrived at St. Pancras we had one and a half hours to kill, so we went to a nearby pub and had a cheeseburger each.
During the journey back from Denmark Hill I had a phone call from David asking where Nan was as he was trying to ring her. I told him she had gone to Wales today. He had read on Facebook that someone in the family had died and he thought it might be his sister Janet as she has been quite poorly at times. I said I would get back to him. I rang Nan and she had only just arrived, but she confirmed that it was Janet. She was asthmatic. She had been taken into hospital the previous night and had died at 9am that morning. I sent David a text. Apart from David, Janet was the only one of the Nixons that I had got to know. She was a hardworking Yorkshire lass, and had the heart of a saint. She had a caring nature and nothing was too much trouble for her (even though at times she was very ill). I relied on her to keep an eye on Nan for me, and she would always pop around or let me know where Nan was if I couldn’t contact her. The last time I saw her was a couple of weeks ago when I sat with her outside one of the local charity shops while I waited for Nan to have her hair done. She had been helping inside the shop but she was having difficulty breathing so had come out for some fresh air. I know she will be sorely missed by the family.