Archive for Jun, 2013

Planes, trains & mowers.

Posted in Uncategorized on Jun 28, 2013 by David Palmer

Harborough has a brewery located just outside the village of East Langton. They produce a selection of beers that I must admit that I nor any of my friends are impressed with. Last week I was invited (along with the two Jim’s and Paul) to a BBQ and tour of the brewery with the Harborough Chamber of Commerce. Sarah drove us there and picked us up again quite a few hours later. For once the evening was warm enough to wear shorts and T-shirt and not feel the chill. Keen as always, we were there quite early and had sampled a few of the beers before the ‘official’ guests turned up. The brewery is located in the barn of a farm and as we sat round little tables, we were joined by a friendly herd of cattle who leaned over the fence and watched and waited for the milk stout to appear. They were disappointed. After a what turned out to be a very long monologue of the history of the brewery and the life of the brewer we got back to the point of the evening which was sampling the beer and tucking into what was a very generous BBQ (2nd’s and 3rds followed) and chatting about the Lion’s Tour. It was a lovely way to spend a Wednesday evening, and even though we are now experts in how they go about the brewing process, our opinions on the quality of the ales have not changed.

We have a hole in the garage roof. I had a friend pop around and give me an eye watering quote to replace it. Checking up with Jeremy (builder) I was disappointed to learn that the quote was reasonable. I have since had another ‘roofer’ look at the roof and has promised to give a quote. Not too many years ago I would have just read up on how you replace a roof and set about it. How times change. It will get done before the winter arrives.

Jamie still has his friend ‘Walker’ staying with him, but he now has a place of his own and Jamie has been helping him decorate it before he moves in. Earlier this week Walker’s mother treated Jamie to a meal out as a thank you for helping out. We had a minor panic last Saturday when Jamie drove down to London to pick-up a friend ‘Hobbsy’ who had been to the races at Ascot. He had booked his car into a specialist garage there to have the engine re-mapped. Unfortunately he had forgotten to take his cards with him and after a frantic phone call I transferred the money. The following day I helped him replace a sensor on the exhaust system, I remember when I used to have to take an interest in such things because money was tight and garages were so expensive. Recently he and Harley have been out for a couple of meals together and last night Sue and I were treated to a very quick visit by them both.

Nan has been very busy. This week she had a visit from a couple she was very friendly with back in Thurcroft. She took them out to lunch at the Waterfront Restaurant and afterwards she brought them here for coffee and a chat. The following day she, Charlotte and Ellis went for lunch to Wildwood, in town. The day after that she and Isabel went for lunch to the Royalist. Today she has invited Sue and I out for lunch. When she has not been eating out, Sue has been to her flat several times helping her sort out cupboards and drawers. Putting everything away in a logical order, that no doubt will slowly get disorganised again as the weeks go by. This week she also had a visit to a garden centre, which had been organised by one of the Huntingdon Garden inmates. At ALL other times she has been glued to the TV watching Wimbledon.

The Rothwells have booked a holiday. They are off to Tunisia for 12 days. It is a chill-out holiday on All-inclusive terms. Guess who is looking after the chicks? Suraj has changed his car, he is now driving a BMW (again). I can’t remember him driving the same car for a whole year. Peter and I have been a couple of times to Charlotte’s allotment to do some more work on the ‘chicken-run’ and it will soon be ready to take in some residents.

Sarah has been busy working at the Rugby Club. Gary the bar steward has been away on holiday so Sarah has been running the bars in his absence. She has been organising the staff, setting up the functions and banking the money as well as opening up and shutting the Clubhouse. She managed to fit a day away in Sheffield to attend another of her friend’s weddings. Last Sunday she flew with Chloe to Krakow to begin her European Tour. The weather is just as poor as it is back in the Uk, but it doesn’t seem to quell her enthusiasm for adventure.

Now that it is just Sue and I again, we have been busy in the garden tidying everything up. I reset quick a few of the slabs around the pool and pointed up the rest. The mower broke on me earlier this week. I had taken it to the allotments to mow the paths and it wouldn’t start. Taking it out of the boot of the car caused me to rick my back (not sure where the phrase comes from, but it is painful). Since than I have been wearing my back support and taking things gingerly (another phrase I don’t know the origin of). It is slowly getting better, though the cause of it, unlike me, has now been fixed (Mick Edwards) and the paths and lawns are now a lot shorter.

Sarah’s Travels:
4 (3)

1 (16)


2 (4)
7 (8)

10 (17)

10 (18)

7 (1)
5 (14)

6 (7)

6 (10)

5 (3)
14 (18)

18 (7)

19 (2)

19 (3)

19 (5)

13 (12)

14 (14)

14 (17)
20 (10)

21 (7)

21 (8)

21 (9)

21 (13)

21 (14)

22 (14)

22 (18)

20 (5)

Plans are hatched.

Posted in Uncategorized on Jun 18, 2013 by David Palmer

On the 23rd of May Sarah returned to Sheffield to attend the wedding of a friend from Uni.

The following day I joined the throng from the Midlands and travelled down Twickenham to watch the Aviva Premiership final (Tigers v Saints). I was on one of the Tiger’s supporters bus. Due to a road accident in Northampton (Saint’s HQ) ) we were caught in a jam and the journey to the ground took just over 4 hours. A necessary change of plans meant that we ate in the Harlequin’s Hog Roast Tent instead of our usual haunt, we washed down some fine pork and stuffing baps with lubricating Guinness before making our way to our seats in the North Stand. In revenge for delaying some of their most ardent fans on their passage through enemy territory, our tigerish heroes outgunned the opposition and were victorious. On the return the journey we were again delayed when a caravan overturned on the M25 (no doubt another Northampton driver).

On the Monday Sarah returned from Sheffield to start her half-term. The following Saturday she joined Sue and I on a council walk around Hallaton. The 3 hour ramble started and finished at the Bewick Arms. We had lunch there before returning to Harborough.


The next day Nan, Sue, Sarah and I journeyed to Harbury in Warwickshire to visit some relatives (Andrew and Sue) who along with their fellow neighbours, were opening their garden to the public. As we arrived in the town centre we stopped for a little while and watched what appeared to be a marathon wheelbarrow race. I guess it is one of those quirky pastimes practiced by in-bred country yokels who are not aware of the true purpose of a wheelbarrow. We found Andrew’s place, looked around their garden and after consuming drinks and some excellent cake (so I am told) started our trek around the village. I lost count of how many gardens we wandered through, chatting to proud owners about plants, water features and pigeons (apparently there is a lot of the latter in Harbury). For a change it was a lovely warm day. On the journey back we arranged to meet up with the Rothwells for Pizza in Harborough, but plans went awry when the reservation couldn’t be made in time, so it will be re-scheduled at a later date.


Sarah went with me up to Thurcroft on the evening of the 4th June. The following day she had an activity day at Uni. and I had to meet the engineer from Eon to service the central heating. We drove up late, arriving around 11pm and went straight to sleep on the two beds that are still there. Sarah had awoken and left before I got up, she had arranged a lift with a friend. I spent the day mowing the lawns, cutting the hedges and trimming the bushes. I also dug over the borders. The engineer was on time and spent an hour servicing the system. I made a run to the local dump to take a table and TV that were no longer going to be used. On the return journey I called in at the estate agents and stopped to chat to Nicky who I met in the village. Sarah returned late that afternoon and we made our way home.

The rest of that week Sarah spent on her final essay of the year. I read it when she had finished and predicted that it would get tops marks (I was right: a 1st). That Friday we had a family BBQ. Nan had invited a friend from Huntingdon Gardens (Isabel) and the two of them seemed to enjoy each others’ company.
The Lions are touring Australia. I have been trying to arrange matters so that I could watch the games, but up until the fourth game, I had not succeeded! Saturday the 8th was a notable day. I managed to watch the Lions beat Queensland Reds in an awesome, bruising, brutal encounter while having breakfast at The Angel (10.30am kick-off), followed in the afternoon by a Beer Festival at the Lord Nelson (a fine selection), then to cap a perfect day, that evening I watched England stuff Argentina in Rio. Not many days like this.

Sarah’s perfect day occurred the next day. She travelled down to Wembley Stadium with Lee and spent the whole day watching her favourite groups perform.



That Tuesday morning I drove Sarah to East Midlands Airport to catch a plane to Amsterdam. She was spending a couple of days there with friends for Uni. When I returned to Harborough I watched a recording of the Lions playing New South Wales at Nan’s (she has SKY) and drank coffee.



Wednesday saw me tidying up the allotments and then swapping duties with Sue who was keeping an eye on a workman repairing a window in Jamie’s apartment. Sue was meeting Lynne Brown for lunch so I watched TV and waited for the window to be fixed (took 3 hours), afternoon TV is so mind deadening!

The following day Sarah flew into Manchester and caught the train back to Harborough. I drove over to Wansford and met John Lee. We had arranged to go on a 8.5 mile walk. Wansford is just off the A1 and is truly a beautiful chocolate box village. After a leisurely walk, catching up with all the news, gossip and rugby talk since our last outing prior to Christmas, we stopped for lunch at the Paper Mills (village pub). His son Nick had given him a lift to Wansford as he had an interview that morning just a few miles away. The plan was to pick his dad up afterwards, but he went home instead. Thus our stay in the pub was quite prolonged, but pleasant, while Nick retraced his steps.

On the Friday Sue and I went to the film Club and watched Flight. Quite entertaining.

That Saturday I met the two Jim’s and Roger at the Angel for breakfast and the Lions v New South Wales. Again the Lions roared and the Aussie reprobates wilted.

Sunday saw Father’s day coincide with Nan’s birthday. We celebrated both at the Cinnamon Lounge on Northampton Road (in the light of recent events I think it should be re-named Tiger’s Way!) Excellent Indian food, we have been before and should go more often. Afterwards, we went to the Fernie Hunt Open Day in Great Bowden. There was plenty to see and do of a rustic nature. We watched birds of prey fly (one didn’t come back), stroked a million loudly baying foxhounds and slowly went deaf. Laughed at Terriers racing each other to catch a lure pulled along by bicycle power. Bought Joules wellies. Hooked ducks. Shot targets and ate ice cream (I missed out on the latter!)



On Monday Sarah and Charlotte were taking Nan out for High Tea to Kilworth House Hotel, but Sarah had to stay and plan the itinerary for her month-long InterRail trip around Europe on as Chloe (travelling companion) was coming. Charlotte and Nan went and by all accounts had a very posh time.

Other news: Jamie’s ex-girlfriend Harley ran her car into a brick wall at 50mph in Husbands Bosworth. She was in hospital for a couple of weeks and was quite poorly. Jamie visited her a couple of times in hospital and last weekend went over for Sunday lunch with the family.

Jamie has been having a friend (Walker) staying with him for the past few weeks while he sorts out a place of his own. I think Jamie has been enjoying the company as we have seen very little of him recently. Walker has now found a place and will be moving out soon, not doubt we will be seeing more of Jamie then.

Sarah has not only been busy sorting out her Europe trip, but also working as much as she can at the Rugby Club to fund it. Often she has been starting a lunch time and not getting home until the wee-small hours.

Charlotte has been bitten by the garden bug. She has turned her front and back garden into little oases of peace and tranquility, no mean feat with two little plant destroying menaces for children. She has branched out into the allotment and tidy little rows of vegetables are starting to appear. I guess her worst nightmares are now centered around weeds!!!! A shed has now appeared to store away the tools, but I suspect it is where the menaces will get locked away when plants are threatened.

The chicks have hatched. Five in all. One less now that Pepper caught one and ate it. They should have kept the cat well fed.


Peter and I have (under Charlotte’s instructions) been building her chicken run and coop. It is now fox proof, badger proof and child proof. Time will tell if it is Dalek proof! Rumour has it that razor wire and a pen roof is wanted to prevent low flying dragons from scooping up helpless chicks. We shall see.

Nan has had new glasses, though they have been returned to SpecSavers as they are loose. The staff there are very wary of Nan (no idea why) but they certainly react when she makes an appearance. She says it is because she has such an unusual prescription, I suspect it may be her brand of Yorkshire/Welsh humour. She went out to lunch with Isabel last week to the Three Swans. Nan was not impressed with the food or service (glad I wasn’t there).