Archive for June, 2012

Zippety quick!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 24, 2012 by David Palmer

The following Tuesday I woke up early and hit the motorway north, arriving in Thurcroft just after 9am. After reading the post that Nan had stacked up for me to read, I planted some runner beans (at Nan’s insistence) while she had her hair done up in the village. When I picked her up we went to the Consort Hotel for lunch. I was fascinated by a group of guys also having lunch and both Nan and I wondered what they were doing there. They were quiet in conversation, obviously retired, some were smart in  suits and others were dressed quite casual. So they weren’t walkers or had just been golfing. They were a conundrum. On leaving I asked the waiter who they were and he informed us that they had been coming for years, once a month, they were old school friends and as the years went by their numbers were getting less and less. How nice I thought, a change from the usual gaggle of women that seem to  fill the pubs and restaurants at lunch times, drinking glasses of wine and every now and again shrieking with laughter, similar to Macbeth’s encounter on the moor (eye of toad…..)

Afterwards I took Nan to see Aunt Edna. We had rung up the nursing home earlier and found that she had been moved to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield. She already had a visitor. One of her neighbours at the flat she owns, a very nice and concerned lady, like us, keeps an eye on Edna and visits when she can. Edna was quite thin and pale and her reluctance to eat was one of the causes of her removal from the nursing home. She perked up a little after an examination by the doctor, who pronounced that she was doing much better and if it continues, she can be discharged soon. We left after an hour and half with a promise from her that she would eat her meals.

The following day (Wednesday) we drove back to Harborough. We arrived in time for lunch and at 3.30pm I took Nan over to Huntingdon Gardens to meet a lady from ‘Seven Locks’  (they run the centre) and have a look around the flat. She appeared to like it, particularly as their was Bingo going on in the Communal Lounge. We promised to make a decision by Friday morning. The following morning Nan said she would like to move so I rang ‘Seven Locks’ and informed them. To my surprise they arranged a meeting for the following day to complete the paperwork. That afternoon Sarah Nan and I went to Rothwell to see Charlotte and the boys.

Later that night we had a distressed  phone call from Charlotte who was not very well at all. She had a migraine the previous week and it had not gone away, but during that evening things had got seriously  worse and she couldn’t cope and was in a lot of pain. I rushed over to pick up the boys and take them back with me. Suraj took her to Kettering Hospital who immediately admitted her and gave her an MRI scan and blood test. The pain killers they gave her didn’t appear to be of much use. The boys slept over and the following morning Sarah and I took Lucas to school. The news on the scan was good, the results were clear. The blood test indicated an infection and it was thought it could be viral meningitis.  Nan and I attended the meeting to complete the paperwork and we took charge of the keys with the tenancy to start the following Monday (that was quick!!!) In the afternoon Sue, Sarah Nan, Lucas and I went to see Charlotte in the hospital. She looked a thousand time better than the last time I saw her on Thursday night. They had given her very powerful painkillers and it was keeping the headache at bay, but she did appear a little light headed.  After school Sarah and I picked Lucas up and took him to Harborough. Early that evening the hospital discharged Charlotte and later Sarah and I took the boys back to Rothwell. Charlotte was missing her little terrors, and they were missing her. She looked much better, but you could tell she had been through the wars and was frightened that the pain might come back. Surprisingly England beat Sweden in Euro 12 (soccer).

Saturday was Nan’s 84th birthday. During the morning Sue and I went on a Council walk to Bilsdon and then had lunch in the local pub there. Sarah and Nan went into Harborough to do some therapeutic shopping. The Rothwells came over in the afternoon to see Nan and have a family birthday tea. England lost to South Africa  in the 2nd test (rugby), I watched the game at the rugby club with Sarah as the Fernie Hunt Masked Ball was taking place their later that evening and she was working behind the bar (Uni money). She got home at 3.30am the following morning.

Sunday was Father’s day. Charlotte had booked for Suraj and I to have a Zip Line day at Woburn Safari Park. At 59 years of age, with a multitude of rugby orientated aches and pains, I must confess that I was less than enthusiastic. My current thinking of a good time is based mostly on activities that involve my eyes closed, brain shut down and a warm pillow. However, needs must. So with Sue and Nan looking after the boys, at 8.30am  Suraj, Charlotte, Jamie, Sara and I set off, it was raining heavily. It took an hour to get there and the rain had stopped and the sun had come out (things were looking up). After strapping on my harness, memories of my climbing days came flooding back and I perked up. After a short practice session on a mini-course that I was less than impressed with (but still managed to get sent back to do it again!)  they released us to do the proper course in the forest. It was FAB, earlier concerns  that it would just involve climbing ladders and then sliding down a wire roped up with overkill health and safety procedures and kit were unfound. The course was quite challenging both in height and complexity and best of all, our family were the first there so we could go at our pace and prat around. We probably completed the course in record time and because it was such fun sneaked back on at the start to do it again. Though this time there were others that were on the course and we had to go at their pace. Unfortunately, the extra time gave us even more time to prat about and eventually we all got yellow carded by instructors for various misdemeanors. Jamie manged two yellow cards. Great adult fun, I would do it again. Afterwards we drove around the Park and looked at the lions, elephants, rhinos and giraffes etc. On the way back we stopped at a pub in Woburn for lunch and then Charlotte, Sarah, Jamie and I had a walk around the own while Suraj had a nap in the car.

On the Monday Sarah, Nan and I went to Corby and bought a settee fro Nan’s flat, that evening Jamie gave me a hand putting them in. He had been in the Peak District that afternoon and had sent a text saying how beautiful it was. Having walked the Pennine Way with him when he was 9 yrs old, it  confirmed my suspicions that he wasn’t taking a great deal of notice of his surroundings at the time!

On Tuesday we went back to Cortby and bought a single seater chair, and a table and chairs as well as ordering a cooker to be delivered the following week. I arranged for BT to connect a phone line and also install BTVision so that she can have access to Sky Sports and ESPN (it is a big saving on the SKY package she has now). Surprisingly, England beat the Ukraine (soccer).

On Wednesday Nan and I took Charlotte and Ellis out for lunch in Rothwell.  That evening I officiated at the Rugby Club AGM, I was standing down from office as after 3 years I think I have done my shift, plus collecting membership means I have to be at the club on match days and this last year I have not been there as much as needed be. No one so far, has stepped forward to take up the post.

On Thursday I took Nan back to Thurcroft. I spent most of the afternoon on the phone informing various companies and agencies of her new circumstances (took hours). We went to the pub for lunch. That evening I dismantled various bits of furniture that were to be taken back to Harborough and had an early night. Lee came down to see Sarah.

I drove back to Harborough on Friday morning after dismantling the bed and then loading it all in the car, it all just fitted, but I couldn’t get the mattress in, that will have to be for another journey. It hammered it down with rain all the way back. As I arrived Sue and Sarah were on their way out to Charlotte’s for the afternoon. I sent out the Club news letter that I had prepared a couple of days earlier and then drove to Huntingdon Gardens and spent 3 hours assembling the furniture in Nan’s flat. The warden came over for a chat and to find out when Nan was moving in. Jamie turned up with quite a lot of sausage and meat from work that had been mis-branded and rejected by one of the supermarkets. It got deposited in the freezer.

On Saturday, Charlotte had Lucas’s School Fete, she was on Hook-a Duck and I think made a tidy profit (they asked her if she would organise next years Fete). I went to the pub to watch England draw with South Africa (rugby) with Roger and the two Jim’s  and Sarah went to the Rugby Club to serve behind the bar at the Club’s Annual Summer Ball. Sue and I used to go them each year, but our days of eating, drinking and dancing until 2am are now thankfully behind us . However, I did get a phone call from Sarah during the evening and made an emergency dash to the club with my longest extension lead as they couldn’t get power to the cash till which was in the marquee. Seeing all the revelers in their finery reminded me that I would have had to wear my DJ to attend and I am pretty sure that in my present state of corpulence that was going to be a non starter! Sarah got home at 3am. Jamie had a BBQ with some of his friends and repossessed most of his meat from the day before.

Tonight, England play Italy in Euro 12.

After 120 minutes of agonizing 0:0  soccer, England yet again contrived to lose in a penalty shoot out. The better side won, and for once England tried.  Despite the considerable amount of luck they appear to be having, a lack of talent eventually was their downfall.

On the road again.

Posted in Uncategorized on June 7, 2012 by David Palmer

During the week Sarah went on the train back to Sheffield. As social secretary of the Scuba Diving Club she had organised an end of year dinner/party/booze-up. She also had a final course meeting and had to finish off packing up her things at the Pinnacles.

On Friday we had the Rothwells around for curry. The weather had turned cold and wet and a walk to the pub in Lubenham that I thought we might do afterwards ,didn’t happen.

On the Saturday I got up early and I drove up to Sheffield to pick Sarah up. After loading up the car I sat in the lounge and pretended to watch Time-team on the TV while she  cleaned around and made things look respectable. I would have helped clean-up but watching Sarah tidy up, was something quite novel, a thing I had never seen before. With practice I feel she could (with a bit of application) get very good at it. After one last check of her room, she handed in the keys at the office and we set-off  south. Unfortunately there was a bad accident on the M1 with long delays, so I detoured and added another hour to the journey!

That evening Sue took Sarah to stay with Charlotte over the next few days. She was helping Charlotte out with ‘Sure Start’,  she was doing face painting to raise money for equipment etc. It looks by the evidence on Facebook that they had practiced on each other before they did it for real. (quite comical).

Photo: Facepainting turned into a knicker wetting experience

Sue and I had decided that as I was going up to pick up my mother from the airport, we would both go up and visit Uncle Stanley and book into a hotel for the night. We chose the Last Drop Inn Village Hotel (Mercure Hotel) just outside Bolton on the edge of the Pennines.  After making a fairly early start on Monday we arrived at Stanley’s around midday. Despite trying to take him out for lunch , he stubbornly refused. We had a couple of coffees, had a nice chat, but it was evident that his eye-sight is quite bad  now and you can see that it he needs help in keeping things tidy etc. I think we shall have to tactfully suggest that it is about time he moved into accommodation where he can receive support. I am not sure how he will take any advice as he loves his  independence and his garden. We stayed a couple of hours, said our goodbyes and drove to the hotel about half an hour away.

After checking in, instead of doing our usual explore of the facilities we drove to a garden center we had passed earlier and had a light snack in their cafe.  As we hadn’t taken Stanley for lunch we were rather hungry. Afterwards we drove up onto the moors and had a lovely walk around Entwhistle Reservoir before stopping for a drink at a pub that had stunning views over the reservoir and moor. As we were sat on the balcony admiring  some little piglets that were rooting in a field next door, the landlady came  and pointed out that the newspaper that Sue had picked up off the bar, belonged to one of her regulars and he wanted it back. I offered to fight him for it but as  Sue had finished reading it, he got it back without any fuss.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped off at Turton Tower and had a quick look around, as it was Jubilee weekend, that afternoon they had, had a rock concert, but we arrived as they finished.

On our return to the hotel we had an explore. The hotel was built from old farm buildings, and very much had a village feel to it (as the name suggests). Among the cottages and rooms were , little shops and a pub. We discovered that at 10.15pm they were going to light the beacon that was in the hotel grounds. So, after an excellent evening meal in the hotel restaurant we stood outside  (in the chill) with other guests and quite a lot of locals and witnessed the lighting, in celebration of sixty years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Then we were treated to a short fireworks display.

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We had a night-cap in the bar then retired to our room. The following morning after breakfast we had quite a lot of time to waste so we went for quite a long walk along a path that took us through a quarry, over the moors and around Turton Golf Club. Though it threatened to rain, it didn’t. We checked out of the hotel at 11.30pm. As we were not picking Nan up until 2.30pm we stopped in a suburb of Manchester to have a shandy and waste time. Mistake, the area was depressed and the pub was up for sale. The landlord had been knee-capped and was hobbling about. The local drug pusher came in and vended some of his wares to the landlord, who promptly disappeared, leaving the opportunist drinkers in the other bar to help themselves to beer.  We left soon afterwards.

Nan’s flight was an hour late . We met Andrew in the Arrivals Hall (Josie’s son), and chatted while we waited. When they eventually came through, we said our goodbyes and set off our separate ways. We stopped in Whiston for something to eat before getting to Thurcroft. It was an early night for Sue and Nan, but I watched Scotland beat Australia at rugby, in a hurricane on SKY, before venturing upstairs. Well done the Scots.

The following morning was Wednesday, which meant Nan had her hair done. I took her up the village and then weeded around the garden, until she rang to say she wanted picking up. We had lunch at the Royal Elephant in Dinnington, before Sue and I set off for Harborough. Sarah came back with Charlotte and the kids during the afternoon. Suraj has hurt his back on a bouncy castle and was left sleeping at home. When I rang him this morning to play golf, his back is still bad and preventing him from coming out to play. It has rained heavily most of the day but I did manage to clean the pool (in water-proofs), but first fixing the pump connection that was leaking and preventing the head from sucking up the debris.

Last week Harborough Council rang to say that there was an apartment in Huntingdon Gardens available for Nan to look at. Jamie, Sue and I went and had a look. It was a nice place and we thought would suit Nan. On her return from Spain I showed her some photographs I had taken of the place and she was keen to have a look herself. She will be coming down on Tuesday to have a look.