It rained yesterday, it’s raining today and there is no rugby on the TV or at the club, well none that I want to watch! We had Mia yesterday to stay the night as Lee and Sarah were away in Peterborough watching much slimmer and faster versions of their own hound, race around a track after a bit of rag that looks nothing like a hare and wouldn’t fool anything other than an imaginative greyhound. Today, they returned and took my floppy eared little bundle of rainy day distraction away!
This morning, before I lost my faithful furry friend I rang Jim in Cyprus. The temperature as expected, was in the high twenties (7 degrees here), it was dry and sunny and we discussed a problem he was having with his pool pump as Bridget was wanting to swim later. Wistfully, through the sun lounge window I stared at my own blue circle of frigid rainwater (4 degrees!) and the numerous splashes rippling across its surface, arrowing down from leaden skies . Why did I ring?
Today I did accomplish something, after numerous sorties outside and several ascents of a wet slippy ladder, I installed an external bell on the front of the house. It replaced the one that was broken around a year ago and now when the alarm system is triggered we can annoy the neighbours again.
On the 31st of March Charlotte was discharged from hospital. She spent the weekend at home, but she found it a bit of a struggle in a three story house, even with the large amount of equipment provided.
On April Fools Day, Sue and I attended a Beach Boys tribute concert in Kettering.
The following day was the start of the Easter break for Lucas and Ellis and with this in mind Charlotte and the boys arrived. Inevitably, the weather took a turn for the worse and cold and rain made an appearance, largely persisting until the writing of this blog.
The 5th of April proved to be an unfortunate interlude in the inclement weather. For once we woke to a sunny day, so it was decided to venture out and do a spot of shopping. Charlotte was happy in her wheelchair to have a bit of sun and the boys were overjoyed to be out of the house. On the return from our shopping expedition it was decided to take in more sun at the café in Welland Park. Disaster! While trying to support Charlotte out of her wheelchair to one of the café tables she fell, sitting down on the floor with a heavy thump. At first all seemed well, but after another 10 minutes the pain kicked in and despite a dose of morphine, in great distress we returned home. She remained in pain for the rest of the day.
The following day Charlotte had an appointment to see the specialist. I took her for the appointment and Suraj joined us. The Doctor carefully explained her condition and the proposed treatment. Charlotte was very thorough, she had made a note of all the questions she wanted answering and studiously wrote down all his comments. Reassuringly, he didn’t think that her fall of the previous day had any lasting affects.
On the 7th I caught the 715am train from Harborough with Jeremy, Jim and Paul to travel to Twickenham to see Tigers take on Bath. We managed to fit in a visit to JM Turner’s London home that he had designed himself. Sandycombe Lodge proved to be quite an interesting building, having been recently renovated after falling into great disrepair after the war where it had been used a s a factory for making airman’s goggles.
Prior to the match we spent a pleasant couple of hours imbibing refreshments at the White Swan on the north bank of the Thames and lunch in a Twickenham village café. For once, the Tigers proved too strong for the opposition and the day was ours! To celebrate victory we had a very pleasant meal at an Italian restaurant, which was topped off perfectly when a table of Bath supporters providing us with a bottle of red wine. A very generous act and one I think would NEVER be contemplated if we had been to see a soccer match. We caught the 9.30pm train from St. Pancras back to Harborough.
On the 9th Sue and I travelled to Salford. Sarah came down to look after Charlotte and the boys whist we were away. Uncle Stanley’s Social Worker had contacted us the week before and wanted our company when she next visited him. He obviously had proved to be a difficult client and she wanted our support.
We checked that his home was ok before visiting Stanley in the care home. He was pleased to see us and we chatted for around an hour before his social worker arrived. She wanted to know what his plans were for the future. He had to understand that there was a cost involved in where he was and that the council wanted the house that was at present vacant, if he wasn’t intending to return. He wouldn’t take much notice of his social worker and I had to put the questions to him. However, he had been discharged by physiotherapy as he had refused to co-operate and thus he was not in a fit enough state to return home. Hence the problem. I do not think that Stanley realised that the Physiotherapy sessions were so important for his return home. His social worker promised to see if she could arrange further sessions, but I don’t think that it is likely. He seems to have upset too many people.
After checking in at a nearby hotel, we returned to see him that evening. He was again very glad to see us and was quite upset when we left. We returned again after breakfast the following morning, just for an hour to say goodbye and ensure that he understood that if he did get more phsio’, he was to treat it seriously.
On the 12th I had a NHS Health Check and Charlotte and the boys returned.
Two days later we had another lodger. Maddy, Jamie’s rabbit took up residence in my greenhouse. Jamie and Ashton flew off to Rhodes for a holiday. The spring has been so cold that the growing season is at least two weeks behind, the greenhouse would normally have been full of plants sitting in growbags thriving in the heat of the sun, but Maddy had the run of an empty space as all my plants were small and still in the propagator. We did have Mia to look after on one day during the week, something that Maddy certainly did not enjoy as each time that Mia ventured near the greenhouse she would race around inside,madly screaming at the top of her little voice.
The 14th proved to be an intriguing day. Market Harborough RUFC hold a reunion lunch for past players and supporters each year and Paul and I had reserved ourselves a seat on a table for the event. An excellent meal was followed up by a good win by the club 1st team. Catching up with the latest news on old friends brought to light and interesting bit of gossip. Two years ago I met Ian Donald at the corresponding luncheon, I hadn’t seen him for many years as he spent six months in NZ playing polo and the rest of the time playing in this country. As usual, he seemed bright and sparky and it was with surprise that a few weeks later I received a phone call from his wife Tina, informing me that he had passed away. It was sometime before the funeral as there was an autopsy and during that time Tina kept in touch as I was the link with his rugby playing days. However, the cause of his death remained a mystery at the time of the burial. In conversation after the luncheon I learned that Ian’s body had been exhumed and Tina had been arrested. At the time of the funeral I wondered if there had been any shenanigans as there were rumours of Tina and an affair with a personal trainer. We shall see.
The following day we had a visit from John Lee. He was going to a birthday party in Harborough with his wife Catherine, but she was involved in a golf tournament and I think he was a reluctant guest and had decided to visit us as a reason not to spend so much time partying.
Sue went to the first car boot of the year at Saddington on the 22nd, fortunately the rain held off, though she reported that there seemed to be more buyers than sellers, not good for bargains!
After first celebrating his birthday on the 19th, Jamie and Ashton returned on the 21st and on that day I travelled up to Braunstone to fit an external power socket for the Spa Pool. Sarah was working but Lee had the day off to show a couple of estate agents around to value the house. I wonder if they are selling their house?
That Sunday Sue again attended a car boot and I met Lee and Sarah at Rutland Water. We were practised rigging the boat with sails and did a bit of tidying up inside after the winter.
During the following week I we looked after Mia on three occasions. Despite the horrible weather, on two occasions I took her out with Peter for a full day walk with lunch. On the third occasion Lee and Sarah travelled to Peterborough for a spot of greyhound racing.
Jamie and Ashton look like they may be on the move as they are starting to look at houses for sale and Jamie has had his apartment valued.
This winter we have been feeding the birds from feeder in the Scots Pine in front of the lounge window. It is lovely to see the large variety of birds queueing to take their turn to scoff the seed and hanging fat balls. For the last couple of months I have been scattering grain underneath the tree as a cock pheasant has been frequenting, at first alone, then with a hen pheasant and now the Romeo has two hens in tow.
Charlotte continues to suffer a lot of pain with her two slipped discs and progress/improvement appears to be very slow. She is bravely trying to carry on with as normal a life as possible, but most tasks are still beyond her at the moment. She remains positive.