Archive for Sep, 2012

Scarecrows and houses

Posted in Uncategorized on Sep 18, 2012 by David Palmer

On the 8th of  September apart from Jamie, we all went to Lubenham to see their scarecrows. It was a scorcher of a day,  fooled by the previous few days weather we didn’t dress appropriately. I particularly suffered through a lack of head cover. The boys loved seeing all the extremely imaginative Scarecrows, they were particularly impressed with the exhibit that gave free toys out to children (I think it was to persuade us to vote for their scarecrow in the Village Competition). We had burgers and drinks in a marquee while sheltering from the furnace that was cooking my bonce (burgers seemed appropriate). There was a fair on the Green and the boys had a couple of rides, the grown-ups busied themselves looking at the various stalls, talking about buying the pretty things that were on sale, but I don’t think anyone did. We had seen everything that was to be seen by 2.30pm and we went back to Willow Bank, feeling a little cooked.

Click on a photo to enlarge.

As we got back I got a phone call from Jim, and I cycled over to the Rugby Club and met him to watch the Colts beat Lutterworth (I changed into shorts and took my hat!)

On Monday Nan and I were going up to Yorkshire to check to finish off the work I was doing on the house and again she decided she didn’t want to go, so I travelled up alone. This time I took a working Freeview box, so I had some entertainment during the evenings after I had finished for the day. On the Thursday I had an experience similar to that of those that had been in the Twin Towers on 9/11. I was moving the shed further up the garden to create a parking space. I had knocked out the front and back walls and was chiseling out a stubborn screw on one of the side walls when the whole thing tilted side ways. Realising I was going to be trapped and the post I had braced the walls with, had slipped, I made a dive for the rapidly narrowing escape route  to be thwarted by the step-ladder that tipped over at the wrong moment. Bouncing off the ladder I hit the floor to be miraculously covered by the apex of the roof. I was trapped inside it! I manged to brace myself against the underside of the roof and pushed it to one side and then crawled out of the gap I had made. Despite a gash on the top of my head (bouncing off the ladder) and a painful wrist that I must have landed on, I think I was very lucky.

I drove back to Harborough on the Friday after having the house valued by a couple of local Estate Agents.

Sarah’s car got MOT’d, Taxed and insured and her first journey was to see her sister in Rothwell. A few days later she drove up to Lee’s to stay for a few days.  She and Charlotte had an evening at the cocktail bar bin Rothwell to celebrate Sarah passing her test, by the look of Facebook it looked quite a hectic and long evening, I believe they suffered for it the following morning. I played Suraj again at golf, and honour was regained, though I discovered that my golf clubs don’t fit in the boot of a Fiesta, hmm.

Last Sunday saw Nan and I drive up to Yorkshire with Sarah following, she was starting Uni’ on Tuesday and was moving into her room in the house she has rented with 5 other friends. We left after lunch and were soon there. After lugging around a tonne of clothes up the stairs to her room, I took Nan to Prior Bank as she was  chastising the other students about the state of their Kitchen and the untidiness of the garden, it didn’t seem to be going down too well.

Priory Bank was the Care home that we thought Aunt Edna was in, but when we got there the staff were completely new and after inquiring where she was ,m we foud out that the staff were all agency staff and were a little evasive as to explaining where the resident staff were. Something has obviously gone on. Edna was not there, and no one knew where, other than after half an hour of interrogating her notes we found she had been taken to hospital, but no indication as to which one.  A phone call to the Northern General showed she was not there but at the Hallamshire, which was lucky as that was only a mile away. We found her there in the ”Stroke Ward’. She didn’t look to bad but part of her face was frozen and she had some difficulty sayingcertain words.  But, she recognised us and wanted to know where she was. She had been there for a couple of days. After chatting to the nurse I found out that she was still having tests, but she was improving quickly from when she first arrived. We stayed around an hour and then left for Thurcroft as it wasn’t visiting time and the nurses were getting a bit shirty.

That evening we had Quiche and coleslaw for supper, watched golf on the TV and then went to bed. It was a cold night. The following morning Nan picked the runner beans from the garden and then I pulled up the plants and put them on the compost heap. I took Her around to Nicky’s  for coffee and a chat. We had a surprise when we got there as she announced she was pregnant and having a baby boy (she kept that quiet). I left her there and drove around the streets of Thurcroft, knocking on the doors of houses that displayed the ‘Fore Sale’ sign of the two agents that had valued the house. I wanted to know how they felt about having them as an agent.  Typically, it being Yorkshire, within a few minutes of conversation both parties knew each other’s lineage back to the Ark and I was instructed to remember their dad, mum, aunt, uncle , friend etc. to Nan. After satisfying myself which I should choose I picked Nan up and we drove to Whiston where we met Sarah and had a pub lunch.

On return to Thurcroft, I visited the Estate agent and put the house on the market. I loaded up the car with a few things from the shed and then after a brief stop off at some friend’s of Nan’s we set off back to Leicestershire.

That evening Sue informed me she was going to the Sugar Loaf. Disappointingly she rejected my offer to accompany her for a drink as she was going to see if a pair of sunglasses were there. They had been lost by Charlotte the previous Sunday, when they had lunch there. At £140 for a pair of Prada glasses, that seemed quite an expensive meal, and ridiculous for a pair of sunglasses. Luckily, Sue the ferret badgered them into looking for them, and they were discovered at the back along with another pair (which we seem to have acquired as well).

Over the weekend Jamie and  a friend worked on Jamie’s car. Unbelievably they raised the suspension.  Apparently, it was too bumpy a ride before, I wonder if he is developing piles?  At least the road humps in Harborough can rest a little easier.

Now that the allotments are producing fruit and veg in abundance, the grapes have decided to join in. We have been scoffing the red variety for just over a week, and though not big (more like large black currants), they do taste quite nice and are very moreish. With around 10 bunches per vine there is plenty to keep us going. The white grapes are even better, they are much bigger and even more plentiful, but disappointingly not ripe yet, and are still hard. We need more sun!

Sue and I went to see  ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’ at the Harborough theatre. A very entertaining film, well worth watching.

Yesterday, Nan and I went to ‘The Waterfront’ for lunch, the meal was very impressive and it was nice to look out over the canal (where we used to live).  Sue went out with Lynne Keane (Charlotte’s childminder) to Emerson & Wests.

View overlooking the water and canal




Posted in Uncategorized on Sep 5, 2012 by David Palmer

The family have been so busy I am bound to miss out something vital and no doubt will be reminded when this gets read.

Things I remember:

Sarah and Charlotte returned from Paris and by all accounts saw everything that was to be seen. Charlotte managed to pass for a student  (using Sarah’s Union Card) and thus managed to get into all the attractions with Sarah, at the discounted prices. They were particularly impressed by the Eiffel Tower. They fell in love with French bread, and brought me some back. I have to admit that though the French are a detestable race, they can make a pleasant cob.

Nan announced that she was happy in Harborough and that she would like the house in Thurcoft sold a.s.a.p. As Sarah had an interview in Sheffield a couple of days later I drove her up to her new Flat  in Newington Road the night before. We had a bit of a panic when after stopping in Thurcroft to drop off my tools, she discovered she had left her keys back in Harborough. After a bit of  soul searching, emailing and texting, she discovered that one of her house mates was there to let her in.When we arrived I set about putting a lock on the door to her room as the council had  (in their wisdom) removed all the locks for safety reasons. Unbelievable isn’t it? After hanging up a giraffe picture I returned to Thurcroft. The following day I set about painting the rooms up stairs. As the walls and ceilings had been Artexed, this was no simple or easy task. That night I bought a take-away chicken Biriany from the local Indian curry house. It was significant enough to mention as it was probably the worst  curry I have ever had the misfortune to remember. Any previous bad ones would probably have been consumed in my rugby playing days and would have been forgotten by the following morning. After consuming it, I worried I wouldn’t  see the dawn. However, I slept peacefully and awoke with no ill effects. I just guess that the curry was so bad it had probably killed any resident germs. I resolve never to return to that establishment.

The following day I fetched Sarah from Sheffield and we spent a pleasant 6 hours painting heavily rippled walls. We had sausage, pie and chips for lunch. Early that evening Lee arrived, and despite my generous offer to allow him to do a spot of painting, he declined and took Sarah to a Nando’s in Sheffield for something to eat (I bet it wasn’t as much fun!). I continued to paint  as the TV’s Freeview box had packed up that morning and I had nothing else to do.

The next day I continued painting, but visited the local Builders Merchant for some fence panels and posts (a task for the next visit) and that night I visited an old school friend who was moving house. Not a good time to visit as his wife was being treated for cancer and things weren’t looking good, and to cap it all, their son had been rushed into hospital that afternoon with suspected appendicitis, though they now though it might be gallstones. I didn’t stay long.

On the Sunday I again continued painting before picking up Sarah from her Flat. She had a driving lesson at 4pm and had to be back for that. Lee was there and followed us to the motorway where we lost sight of him.

Sunday was also Charlotte’s 30th birthday (remember she  can still pass for a 19yr old student, in France!) The Rothwells arrived after 6pm when Sarah had returned from her lesson. We all went to Pizza Express for a meal. Over the year, Charlotte had saved up her Tesco points  and swapped them for  meal vouchers. Afterwards we returned to Willow Bank and Charlotte  opened her presents,  we  sang happy birthday, everyone  ate cake and then played with the boys until they left around 9.30pm. On Mondays Charlotte and Suraj celebrated their 4th Wedding Anniversary. On Tuesday Suraj had his birthday, I played him golf and I lost ! It went down to the last putt on the last hole and he got lucky. We will be saying no more about the subject.

Prior to the Rothwells 3 days of celebrations they managed to have a couple of days in Skegness at a B&B. They visited Butlins and spent some time on the beach, though Lucas wasn’t impressed as the sand wasn’t white or the sea warm.

Today, Suraj had laser treatment on his eyes in Milton Keynes. It is his birthday present and probably will improve his vision sufficiently to further improve his putting!!!!! Doesn’t he know that most golfers have to have a handicap?

I have been busy picking the vegetables from the allotments and along with the fruit Sue has been occupied with cutting, slicing, pickling and freezing. The other day I took carrier bags of vegetables to Nan’s so that she could distribute them to the other wrinklies at Huntingdon Gardens during one of their Bingo sessions. I believe she won £12 that day and also a date and walnut cake (can’t be bad).

Sarah took her driving test in Melton Mowbray on the 4th September. SHE PASSED. To celebrate, that night Sue, Jamie and I took her out to a local pub for a very nice meal. Today we have been busy sorting out insurance, tax and MOT on her KA.

Jamie has a new car (Seat Ibiza)

Susan has a new car (Suzuki Alto):

David has a new car (Fiesta):

A few weeks ago,we had decided to replace the carpets in the on-suite and the family bathroom. We had chosen different pattern of linoleum for each room. The fitters arrived this week, ripped out the old carpets,  fitted ply-wood onto the floor to make a solid flat surface and then laid the new surfaces. Unfortunately it was the wrong pattern in the family bathroom. After a phone call and a visit to the show-room, they promised to replace it. As good as their word, today it was and in the correct pattern.