Lucky break?

You have to feel for the poor people of Nepal. Such a devastating tragedy for so many families. Just prior to Nan passing away I was busy researching flights, hotels and activities to Kathmandu with the aim of spending some time during late April on a visit. Having always wanted to experience the Himalayas (at Terra Firma), some 15 years ago I was planning to attempt Everest Base Camp with Mr Crawford (he subsequently trekked Alaska), but unfortunately at the time, differing family holiday commitments prevented us from firming up arrangements. I think I can count myself lucky (in a way) that Nepal went out of my mind during the last few months. However, Base Camp was not in my plans , I was considering temples, markets, authentic Nepalese restaurants and stunning views with perhaps a flight over Everest, Surprising how age lowers your horizons. Lucky that plans didn’t come into fruition!

Late April did have its highlights. On the 22nd we had Mia visit for the day for some soccer practise, and to dig up my veggie patch. Lee dropped her off at 8am as he was working that day in the Northampton Courts and picked fer up again around 6pm.

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The following day we had a another visitor. John Lee came over for a few days. I met him in the morning at Corby Golf Club for an enjoyable game of ‘follow the little white ball’, It was a gorgeous sunny day. We had lunch in the Clubhouse and then drove to Harborough. After tea we visited the new Beer House to sample some of its brews before relocating to the Catholic Club for my usual Thursday night pool. John knew most of our fellow players as he had lived in the town many years ago and indeed had played rugby with them at the time.

After breakfast we set off to Gumley to follow one of mine and Sue’s favourite walks, to Laughton and back. As usual, on return to the car we had a very pleasant lunch in the Bell. He drove back to Bourne during the afternoon and I set about making Thai Green Curry and a Balti for the ‘Family Curry Night’. After scoffing what I considered to be a particularly fine Tha Curry, Suraj and I left the rest of the family playing Mario Kart on the Wii and we went to the cinema in Kettering to see Avengers; Age of Ultron. A good film, though I am afraid having not seen any of the prequels I failed to join in with the laughter from the mainly ‘young’ audience and was left wondering what was so funny about the dialogue? At one embarrassing moment I laughed out loud to a completely silent cinema. Well it was funny. I let you judge for yourself: On commenting about the number of robots that were attacking our heroes, the main character quipped, “They breed like Catholic rabbits.” Well that’s funny isn’t it? I didn’t get into bed until 12.45am.

Up again the following morning at 7pm (tired) I roused myself to accompany Sue and Charlotte to Hambleton on Rutland Water. Colin had organised a walk to see the blue bells in the woods there. Again, as always it was a lovely walk with great views, blue bells and pleasant company, only spoiled briefly by a short shower (someone had not bothered to bring a water-proof,  ‘cos he was tired!). Afterwards we travelled to the Fox and Hounds in Tugby for lunch.

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Returning to Harborough late in the afternoon I trotted over to the Rugby Club with Jim to watch a game. I was surprised to find that my old club Stoneygate were there playing Sileby in the final of the County Spring Cup. They were losing 24:10 at half time but turned the game around with the final kick of the match to win 24:27. We wisely decided not to  enter the bar afterwards and catch up on old times with past playing chums. I was tired and we were due out at Joules for 7pm later.

Sue and I met Jim and Brigitte at the predetermined time in Joules for a BBQ and a concert by Govannen. A folksy group with at least on of its members appearing in Bellowhead. A thoroughly enjoyable evening with great food and great music.I bought their CD to play in the car. Hopefully Mia will appreciate them more that pink Floyd the next time I give her a lift.

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Sue, Charlotte and I had a nice meal at the Crown in Tur Langton on the Tuesday. We have been meaning to visit the place due to its rather good reputation among our friends, and we were not disappointed.

We saw Mia again on the 30th and she improved further on her soccer skills, fine tuned her digging and accompanied Sue and I on a walk to Lubenham, me to see Peter and Sue to call into  the tea-shop there. The walk tired the little puppy out and on return home, she slunk into her cage and remained there sleeping until Lee came.

The following day I had plotted a walk with John. I hadn’t planned to, but on his previous visit he had left his fleece at the Bell. We had picked it up on our return from the Hambleton blue bell walk and it seemed convenient to have another outing and return the item of clothing.  I plotted a circular walk from the The Stilton Cheese Inn appropriately in Stilton.  A lovely day, a lovely walk and a lovely meal: cod, chips and mushy peas. Why not something with Stilton in it will have to remain a mystery.

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The following day I accompanied Jim and Peter to the Rugby Club to watch a county match. Leicestershire were playing Buckinghamshire and there were several Harborough lads playing for Leicestershire. I was pleasantly surprised to spot that the Buckinghamshire fly-half was a lad that I had coached while lie lived in Harborough. We chatted to his parents afterwards. Leicestershire won quite easily but Matt did score a very good try for Buckinghamshire and kicked all their points.

Jamie has sold his car. He had a blue Vaxhall VXR and now has a red  Vaxhall VXR limited edition sports. The last one was quick, I dread to think how fast this one is. He had to borrow his mother’s pink Suzuki  for a week (caused much comment on Facebook from his friends).

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Sue seems to recovering well now from her broken wrist and has been able to continue sewing the tapestry she bought in Bergen, plus she is able to carry a lot more without wincing with pain. She has been out a few times for lunch and teas with Lynne and Doreen and still attends her weekly physiotherapy sessions at the Cottage Hospital, the doctor says she is doing well.

Charlotte had a visit from an old school friend, Helena Wilson. Ellis was off school with yet another throat infection, so Sue and I looked after him while Charlotte took Helena into Harborough to have a coffee and wander around the shops.

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Sarah managed to train for and complete the Three Peaks Challenge in Derbyshire at the beginning of Ma with several of her work colleagues.

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May Bank Holiday Monday had Jamie travelling up to Braunston to see Sarah with Sue and myself. Of course I drove in my more economical Fiesta as apparently VXR’s are quite thirsty when they are moving. After Jamie had been given his tour of the house and garden, we all had a lovely walk through, and then around Braunston Park with Mia. Considering it was such a lovely day there was surprisingly few people out and about. We left around midday as Sarah had to go to work for 2pm, though Lee quite rightly had the day off. Sue had lunch with Jamie, but I took myself to bed as I wasn’t feeling too well, cold and achy! Suspecting it was a reaction to one of last week’s inoculations I stayed there until the following morning.

Feeling a lot better, the following day I was on my bike again for a scoot around the Leicestershire countryside. I called into see Peter and had a coffee on my way back home. After my shower I had a short foray in the car to collect some logs left by some hedge-cutters from the previous week, Peter and I later delivered some Lib/Dem leaflets for Roger Dunton to the houses on the small estate opposite. After a lunch of some excellent chicken and leek soup with Peter that Sue had made that morning I took Peter home and then drove up to my allotment and spent the afternoon planting a row each of Snowball turnip, Kohl Rabi, Fennel and Beetroot. It was a very blustery day and proved to be quite annoying with the constant buffeting, particularly when I attempted to sow my little seeds. I still have carrots and beans to sow but they may have to wait awhile.

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