Well I never!

Nan has started a course of Vitamin B12 injections. Due to her Diabetes she is short of it and it has to be taken straight to the blood, so every couple of days it is off to the Doc’s for a quick jab. There are 6 over 2 weeks to start with and then it reduces to one a month. Hopefully it will prevent any neurological degeneration often associated with Diabetes. The B12 injections coupled with regular visits for her eyes and other tests and reviews connected with Diabetes, it means that it is rare for a day to pass without us being sat in a surgery waiting room. I am not looking forward to getting old.

Jamie and I went to the Derngate Theatre in Northampton to see Derren Brown (hypnotist and illusionist). We are fans of his TV shows and couldn’t miss an opportunity to see him live. It was a brilliant evening, both mind-boggling and entertaining. He certainly is a talented guy and a master of illusion. It is quite spooky how he can control people and situations, I can see why he has been banned from entering many casinos (though I don’t think he needs the money anymore).

The following day Suraj, Charlotte , Jamie and I travelled down to Bedfordshire to thrash through a forest on Segways. It was a very early start and as we were up and away by 7am the Rothwells came the previous evening and slept over. Sue had volunteered to look after Lucas and Ellis and that meant taking Lucas to school. Unlike our previous escapade on Segways the conditions were dry and the weather relatively pleasant. After the obligatory practise and health and safety talk we were let loose. The top speed of a Segway is 12mph and the limit was pushed by all. All too soon the session was over and we had the long drive back. It had originally been planned to play golf in the afternoon, but Sue and I had a funeral to attend that afternoon.

The funeral of David Jarvis, held in Little Bowden church. Again it was nice to see past friends, but this time in rather unfortunate circumstances. It was interesting to listen to his life story. He had so many interests and had positively affected so many people’s lives that it wasn’t surprising that the church was packed. His son gave one of the funniest eulogies I have ever heard and that and the choice of music ensured it was not a sad affair. Sue and I sat and chatted with Janet Lord (old school colleague) over the excellent buffet that had been laid on, inside the church.

On the Saturday Sue and I attended the wedding reception of Samantha Brown (Jeremy Brown’s daughter), it was held inside a barn in the village of Ashley. It was a very posh affair and it was lovely to see a lot of friends that I don’t see so much of now-a-days. We left around midnight, giving Robin and his wife a lift home.

A few days later Sue, Nan and I attended my cousin’s funeral in Wales. We had decided to travel up the preceding day as the cremation service was to start at 10am. Rather than cause a fuss for the family by having to put us up, we decided to book a hotel for the night. As we couldn’t get into the De Vere Hotel near Chester (our usual preference) I looked on the Net and chose the Bryn Howel Hotel in Llangollen. We drove straight to Josie’s (Thelma’s mum) but she wasn’t there. Luckily the back door was open so we let our selves in. As Josie had only gone shopping, we left Nan there to wait for her and Sue and I drove to the hotel to check in.

As we drove into the car park, memories began to stir. After check-in and putting our bags in the room, we had a walk around the very picturesque grounds. When we reached a little bridge over the canal at the bottom of the garden, the penny dropped for both us. This was the place we had first met 40 years ago at a Christmas ball! We were astounded. We had stood on this very spot, together for the very first time all those years ago. Well we never! We enthusiastically explored the rest of the hotel, trying to gauge what had changed and what had not. Strangely, I could still remember exactly where the Gents Loos were and what they were like (they had not changed, apart from fresh toilet paper). I had stood outside them for quite a long time trying the persuade a friend (Ieaun Williams) to come out as he was trying to avoid a girl that he said was stalking him. I was eventually successful and several years later, they married (who says stalking doesn’t work?)
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Later that evening I drove over to Brymbo and picked Nan up and took her back to the hotel for a very satisfying evening meal, before retiring to bed after a few drinks in the bar.

The following morning (after a quite an exceptional Welsh breakfast) we checked out and drove to the Crematorium, only 10 minutes away. The Welsh side of the family have been prolific so there was an awful lot of cousins to meet and chat to and find out (1) Who they were (2) Where they were living (3) What they were doing and (4) How many children they had. The Crematorium was so full that many people struggled to get in and many had to stand at the back. With a sense of De-Ja-Vou we sat and listened to Thelma’s life story, eloquently told by the priest. What can you say? Our little Thelma was a much loved and respected mother and member of the community. She played an integral part in the life of the area, organising community events, meals, outings and was on so many committees that I soon lost count. You could tell that she was going to be a hard act to follow, if indeed it could. To demonstrate the respect that the village had for Thelma, they came together and put on a fantastic buffet for the mourners at the local cricket club (the place that she had organised so many charitable events). Afterwards we took the long drive back to Harborough.

The children had organised a Murder Mystery evening for my birthday, but as Sue and I were celebrating this event in far-off Brazil, it had been booked in for a date in late April. The murder was to take place on a steam train which left Loughborough on the Great Central Railway. The scene set for the murder was the 2nd World War and of course the characters were all dressed appropriately as were quite a few of the other participants. The evening started off in the best possible way; in the waiting room (which vended an excellent real ale brew!) sat on a couple of seats that a lovely warm radiator underneath that kept our legs toasty warm. Prior to boarding the train, the detective in charge (Inspector Bauls) explained the circumstances concerning the murder of farmer Forage and a bit of information regarding the possible suspects. On the train we were treated to a rather nice four course meal as we chugged our way through the Leicestershire countryside. We stopped in the middle of a lake to eat and were treated to a quite spectacular sunset, what a perfect place to solve a murder. We had the opportunity to interrogate the suspects as they walked through the carriages and we did so. We had been provided with quite a few notes and background information on the characters and armed with this we developed several theories on how, when and most importantly who. They actors of course, attempted to throw in a few red-herrings (quite appropriate on a lake) but we were not shaken from what we were convinced was the solution. On return to the station, we all met in another of the waiting rooms and the Detective announced the true details of the crime and the culprit. Apart from the method of murder we were spot on. We had correctly surmised that the farmer had been done away by strychnine poisoning though we had rejected the idea that it had been placed in the gas mask as being too obvious and had opted for a more devious method of being dissolved in his morning drink. Great fun, we must do it again.
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Now that the spring is here the Council walks have started again. The first one of the season was to a venue that sue and I had been to before, Lyveden New Bield. Charlotte is making efforts to get a little fitter and volunteered to join us. It was a bitterly cold day and we at one stage we did have a rather nasty hail storm. As it was very windy it didn’t last long and we were back in sunshine, though a strong wind was blowing from the north and on the outward leg my left ear froze and on the return the right ear had the treatment. Surprisingly at the end of the walk we were the only hardy/fool hardy ones who elected to have their picnic sat on a bench, the rest of the group sat in cars with no doubt the heaters turned up full!
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I had a trip to the opticians to have some new glasses. The eye test showed that my eyesight had deteriorated from the last visit 3 years ago and a new prescription was needed. Now I am now the proud owner of a pair new reading glasses and in the words of Johnny Nash, “I can see clearly now.”

Ellis caught chicken pox.
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Sarah has been busy with her essays and the planning of a trip around Europe. She came home briefly for a couple of days last week to order an InterRail ticket and also organise her accommodation for next year.
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I drove over to Rothwell one late afternoon last week, to help Charlotte and Suraj with their front lawn. It had been looking very bedraggled after the shocking winter we have had and was in need of some tlc. Charlotte had decided that it was to be put under slate and that’s what we did. It took a couple of hours to dig it out, lay slabs and put down the slate. Looks very good.
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Jamie has been busy at work and also on his car. He spent a day in the garage changing part of his exhaust system and I gave him a hand. He obviously enjoys working on his car as a couple of days later he did the same for a friend of his, this time I didn’t lend a hand. After he had done I popped over to his flat for a coffee and to see what he had been doing to his bathroom. He had wired in a very modern mirror that gave the impression of being a window (but obviously wasn’t), quite novel and combined with some stenciled quotations on the opposite wall, it looked very effective.
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For once Suraj gets his own paragraph. He and I went to see the quite excellent film ‘Oblivion’. We have the same taste in genre and are now planning to see the new Star Trek saga. He has been quite busy with his hobby of repairing and selling laptops to make a little extra cash, and it seems a quite lucrative venture. On Friday we managed to get a round of golf in, we had to pair up to make a foursome with a couple of amiable chaps as there was a tournament later on that day. We had several downpours during the round and our new chums got soaked as they had no rain gear to put on. It was a sprint back to the clubhouse to avoid a very nasty looking cloud.

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