Back from our Oceanic lap of luxury and now quite accustomed to grazing our way from one culinary delight to another, Charlotte, recognising the withdrawal symptoms one suffers when faced once again with beans on toast, took us out with her family to Zizzi’s for Sunday lunch. I was surprised to see the place so full, with many stomachs being filled with pasta and pesto on such a traditional English day. Has the modern family turned its back on roasted pleasures? None-the-less we had a lovely time and to continue that ‘having just been pampered’ feeling we visited the ice-cream parlour afterwards. That evening I watched Jamie play soccer in a Sunday night tournament at the Leisure Centre. They drew 2:2.
The following day was when Nan’s tenancy on her flat expired. After having a last look around and a little weep I gave the keys and fobs to the warden and then had a chat with some of the inmates. The renovations and updating had all been completed and I must confess it looked fabulous, such a shame that Nan isn’t here to see it. I am sure she would have loved it.
On the 11th Sue, Charlotte and I went to the Kettering Odeon’s Silver Screen and watched a film, as usual it was packed, we were fortunate that I had pre-booked the tickets on-line.
The following Sunday Jamie texted me and told me that he had ‘done’ his knee in at footy. Not good, as the following week he was going skiing. We saw him the next day on crutches. It was also the day that our rather poorly central heating boiler had a another visit from the engineer. This time the poltergeist inside had not done a runner and was merrily banging away. The spook was successfully tracked down to having created a blockage in one of the pipes and was exorcised! Hopefully never to return. As a precaution we have deposited a copy of the bible next to the controls. During the afternoon Sue and I gave Charlotte some time to catch up on housework and took Lucas and Ellis to see ‘Shaun the Sheep’. Though there was a brief reference to ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ I don’t think I can recommend it, too childish. The boys enjoyed it. And I think Sue did too.
On the Friday we met for Curry Night and I showed the video I had made of our cruise.
That Sunday Charlotte cooked a lovely Sunday lunch for the family and afterwards we went to Harrington to take part in the snowdrop walk. What a lovely day and we finished it off with sampling some Harrington Gin at the farm it is made.
A couple of days later the phone rang at 6.30am. It was Jamie and he sounded very ill. I drove round, picked him up and brought him back to a warm bed and a hot water bottle prepared by Sue. Later I took him to the cottage hospital, but they told him it was a virus and go to bed. Which he did. While I was attending to Jamie, Sue met Lynne for coffee and afterwards showed me her ‘sprained’ wrist. It didn’t look right and I again went to the cottage hospital where she had an x-ray, confirming that it was broken. They rang through to Leicester and an appointment was made for straight away. We drove to The Royal and saw the specialist. The bone had started healing but was out of alignment. So with pain-killers they pushed it back into place. We returned home (after £8 parking charges) to a cold and shivering Jamie, still in bed and not looking good.
The following day Sue and I had organised to take the boys to York on the train. However, with Sue having to stay home in case the hospital rang and wanted her back, Charlotte and I took the boys. Weather wise it wasn’t the best of days, but we made the best of it. We had reserved seats on the three trains there and also on the return, fortunate as some of the carriages were full and a couple of times we had to kick passengers out of our seats.
On arriving we set off in the drizzle to the Jorvik Viking Museum. As in the last time we had visited there was a very long queue outside, standing cold and wet nearly all the way around the square. We went straight in as I had booked the tickets on-line, oh how we must have been hated! The boys were genuinely excited and interested in the all of the exhibits we passed on our own little mobile settee and of course afterwards in the shop fruitlessly desired swords and shield etc.
We had a packed lunch with us, optimistically hoping to eat it in a pleasant park near the river, but wet benches and constant drizzle put paid to that idea. The solution was to board a river boat cruise and dine in the warmth as York’s riverside scenery drifted by and the history and geography of what we were looking at in between sandwiches was explained.
Next port of call was the National Railway Museum, much expanded and improved since I was last there. Of course the boys really did enjoy this. Especially the simulation of the Mallard on its record-breaking run. Next adventure was a walk along the city walls. Both Charlotte and I thought that this would bore them, but we were wrong. They raced ahead and had to be called back at regular intervals as they disappeared down steps, in turrets etc.
With time running out we had some food in a little cafe and then returned to the station. Thinking the boys would be tired out and sleep all the way home, we again were wrong. Ellis succumbed to the heavy eyes as the train drew into Harborough Station. It seemed prudent to catch a taxi home as the drizzle had given way to a torrential downpour. Walking back as we had done first thing that morning, was not on.
The following day I got a phone call to see the Doctor, the appointment was made for the following day which I duly attended. Previously, while Nan was in Hospital I had a very nasty flare up of my Cystitis and when passing water got too frequent and too painful I left Nan’s bedside and drove to the Harborough Surgery demanding to see a doctor there and then. Which sympathetically they did. A nurse on the ward had advised me that the waiting time in Kettering casualty was in excess of 6 hours on that day and suggested I go to my own GP. I took the caution of briefly stopping at home to provide the required evidence/specimen, that I knew would be asked for. I was quite shocked when my sample was bright red. The GP provided me with antibiotics and miraculously 2 hours later I was fine.
Wondering why the my GP wanted to see me, it transpired that he was concerned about the sample I had provided back in January. Worryingly he set up a battery of tests and even escorted me to the appointments desk and made the arrangements himself. Worryingly he shook my hand and told me he would see me again. I thanked him and said that I thought that I was ok and it was just the cystitis. The secretary informed me that the hospital would send me a confirmation letter. That afternoon the hospital rang and two appointments were made for the 25th.
Jamie moved from the bedroom to the settee downstairs as he felt quite lonely at the other end of the house. Charlotte took him back to the Cottage Hospital in an attempt to acquire some medication when Sue and I were otherwise occupied with hospital runs of our own. A couple of days later Sue took him to the Doctors and savaged them into giving him antibiotics. On the 22nd he flew off to Andorra with his friend to ski. The photos on his Facebook show a lots of snow. I do hope it is very, very, very soft snow.
That Saturday was a Council walk to Billsdon, but we cancelled as Sue couldn’t manage the stiles.
On the Tuesday I drove Sue to the Royal to see the specialist. It was a lovely sunny day. She was x-rayed and things appeared to be going ok and they opted not to give any more manipulation. Appointment in another three weeks. On the way home I took the rural scenic route back and we decided to stop off in Gumley for a very pleasant lunch.
The following day I attended my two appointments at the Leicester General. After Ultrasound and an X-ray for the first appointment I then walked the full length of the hospital for the next examination. A Cystoscopy is not a pleasant experience. They warn you that it will sting, that his hospital speak for it will bloody hurt, a lot. Stoical as ever I smiled sweetly, lay back and thought of England. Afterwards I was seen by the specialist who had all the results. Liver, kidneys, prostrate and bladder all normal. Some evidence of inflammation of the bladder. Cystitis he said and gave me two weeks of antibiotics to take. On the news we repeatedly keep hearing we are having severe problems with the NHS, I haven’t seen any evidence for this. Tests, appointments, consultations etc. all seem very quick and efficient to me. I have another appointment on the 10th of March to hear the results from a sigmoidoscopy I was sent for during December to have a look at my small and large intestine. Optimistically I can already guess the results. I think the brain is the only organ not looked at yet. Don’t hold your breath, I am sure they won’t find anything there! He, he!
Yesterday Sue and I went to See the film ‘Imitation Game’, a biopic of the life of Alan Turing. Brilliant, well worth seeing and a great travesty of justice ignored for too long and at last rectified. we called in to see Charlotte on the way there and Roger on the way home. He had Fran staying and they were off to Northern Cyprus (again) on Monday for a month. Politics, rugby and Sepp Blatter were all discussed.
Today I noticed on Jamie’s Facebook that his knee has gone. I am thinking that on Saturday when he flies back we are going to have a one-legged son. We shall see.
We haven’t seen a great deal of Sarah since we have been back, she and Lee are busy sorting out the paperwork and finances for their house. Our garage is beginning to creak with the number of furniture and white goods items stored in there and both our cars. Sarah was offered a job in Leicester the other week, but had to turn it down as they couldn’t be 100% sure it was permanent until after September as it was Government funded.