We have had a very dry June. I can only remember the one day when we had some really worthwhile rain to give the garden and allotments a necessary dousing. Rain water always seems to bring a growth spurt to the vegetables. There has been a few very hot days and on those occasions Charlotte brought the boys over (after school) to take advantage of the pool and of course I have used the excuse of hoovering out the debris that inevitably makes its way in under the cover, to cool down after a hard day at the allotments. Both the vegetable and fruit seem to be about a month ahead of normal. The broad beans have been picked and replaced by kale and shallots, cucumbers are in abundance in the greenhouse and we have been picking and eating the raspberries, gooseberries and currants for a month!
A couple of days after returning from Peru, Sue and I travelled up to Braunstone to meet with the in-laws. Sarah and Lee had organised a BBQ to ‘break the ice’ and it proved very successful. I found Diane and Ian quite amiable, both Ian and I share a love of all sports and he was quite knowledgeable on rugby too, so the topic for discussion and finding common ground wasn’t difficult. Sue and I made a couple of new friends.
On the 16th Charlotte came over early and with Sue we drove over to Caergwrle after first picking up Sarah (she had a poorly car) on the way. It was Nan’s birthday and it has become tradition that we have a picnic in the castle grounds and check on her memorial seat. As usual it was a splendid day, sun shine and warmth. We checked on the honeysuckle that was planted when we scattered Nan’s ashes (still surviving), and dug in a few Lily of the Valley (Nan’s favourite spring plant) around the ruin to bloom next year. Afterwards we visited Aunty Doreen and the Aunty Josie. (her sisters). We stayed at the Wynnstay Arms Hotel in Wrexham for a couple of nights. We had a two lovely meals while we were there, Chinese and Indian (quintessentially English!).
On the second day we visited Llangollen. On the way we stopped off at the hotel that Sue and I first met at a college ball in the seventies to show the girls. We then drove on up to World’s End, to one of my favourite places of all, the girls were suitably impressed, but we had to forego the walk I had planned as the day turned out to be the hottest so far of the year. We spent the rest of the day in the town, paddling in the river, exploring the train station, eating ice-creams and sitting in the beer garden alongside the river enjoying refreshments. A lovely day.
On the 22nd I gathered along with a few friends to perform table duties a Ladies Charity lunch at Marston Trussell Hall. It had been excruciatingly hot the previous day and I had not been looking forward to wearing my DJ, but luckily the day turned out to be pleasantly warm with an irregular refreshing breeze to keep the workers cool. A good time was had by all and as usual the food was first class, which we benefitted from after our duties had been completed.
The following Saturday, Suraj, Jamie and I drive over to a go-carting track near Nottingham to meet up with Lee and three of his friends. It had been arranged as part of his Stag Night which was to continue later on that night in Birmingham. An endurance race had been booked, which entailed 10 minutes practise then a 50 minutes race. Afterwards I could see why it was so named, very draining on the senses and body and disappointingly I only came third, Jamie was first with Suraj second. There is always next time!
On the 26th I travelled to Somersby to meet up with John. I had plotted what turned out to be a very scenic walk around the Leicestershire countryside before having a splendid lunch at the Stilton Cheese Inn. After a great deal of consideration, we managed to turn around the 1st Test loss by the Lions but it still remains to be seen whether we have found the solution to the present world terrorism.
Sue and I have managed to see quite a few excellent films at the Odeon Silver screen, often calling in to see Roger in Braybrook on the way home. On one occasion we attended a Wednesday evening Comedy Club in Harborough. It had been arranged to give some comedians a chance to practise their routine before next months Edinburgh Fringe, but if what we saw was a gauge of the quality of humour, I don’t think I will travelling north any time soon. Earlier that day Sue had met Sarah near Syston for a fitting for her wedding dress. It is getting close now!
On the 7th July Mia came to stay. She was dropped off by Sarah and picked up be Lee three days later. They were having a few days at a Spa Hotel in Sheffield to celebrate Ian and Diane’s wedding anniversary, it also coincided with Diane’s birthday. I treated Mia to a very long and hot walk to the Langton beer festival along with Jim Hankers and his two collies. But before that I had enjoyed a thoroughly tense and dramatic draw between the Lions and All Blacks in the 3rd Test while enjoying breakfast at the Angel Hotel.
I went for another walk on the 11th with John, this time to Langham, with the aim of having one of the Wheatsheaf’s famous and substantial burgers. It was a good walk, but annoyingly the pub wasn’t opening at lunchtimes anymore and when we walked across the road to the Noel Arms we were greeted by a notice pinned to the door stating ‘Due to technical difficulties we will be closed to day’. Resorting to plan ‘C’ we drove to Whissendine, we had passed by the pub here a couple of hours previous and knew it was open. However, on arrival it had a notice pinned to the door, ‘Due to kitchen refurbishment there is no food today, open this evening’. B******s! I drove home to a tin of soup.
Yesterday (14th), as well as the Rothwells we had Sarah and Lee over for a family BBQ. Later on in the evening Lucas and Ellis tried on their page-boy outfits, they looked proper little gentlemen and seemed very proud to be wearing their wedding gear.
Sarah and Lee have bought a second home. They have splashed out and bought themselves a yacht. At present it is moored on Rutland Water and goes by the name of Annie. It sleeps two and probably four at a pinch, so is ideal for the weekends and learning to sail. ‘Dad’ has been volunteered to teach them to be mariners and is looking forward to the adventure.
Jamie has started his own Limited Company. His Binary Destroyer business has been doing very well and he has decided to make everything official. He is now a Director. Tomorrow he is off to Tenerife for a week with one of his mates.
Sue and I have booked our flights to see Phil and Joan in Italy. We are going in September after Sarah and Lee return from the their honeymoon to the Far East and we return Mia to them.
Lee and Sarah recently camped over at the Melton Mowbray Sausage and Cider Festival, the weather was good as was the company, food and refreshments.
Charlotte’s gardening business is doing well and she is very busy, with an ongoing problem of trying to fit her clients in. Sue often steps in to look after the boys while she tries to catch up from rainy days.
The Rothwells have new lodgers. Charlotte and the boys have hatched a clutch of eggs to add to their already ravenous flock.
Ashton moved in with Jamie at the end of June. She has a long drive to work and is looking for something much nearer to Harborough.
We have new fencing. My next door neighbour complained that the fence between us was rotten and wobbly (we get on well). I had to point out that the fence in question, was in fact theirs, oops! They arranged to replace it with 6ft panels which was done pronto by some builders. To foster a good relationship I also changed the 5ft fencing that was mine and borders their garden to 6ft panels. To save money I did it myself and it took exactly a week (among doing other things). I now have 6X5ft perfectly good fence panels that I have no use for. But, I still have a good relationship with my neighbours, though I no longer can see them.
My cousin Jeff Vaughan passed away this week. He has been very ill with cancer for the last few years and things recently turned for the worse. I shall be going to the funeral.
Ellis lost his first tooth this week. A significant milestone!
Sarah is on her Hen Night tonight! Yeeeeeee Ha!