What will this New Year bring?

The family made it to 2022 relatively intact, albeit Sarah and Lee (and probably Alice) started the year suffering from a variety of Coronavirus (not sure which). The world is a very different place from that of two years ago, fraught with challenges and worry brought about by the tiniest of life forms that leap from continent to continent with seemingly little effort, only improving as time passes as to its effectiveness in assaulting we humans.

Jamie and Ruth appear to be the only ones in the family to have celebrated the New Year with a party, they joined up with friends to see 2022 in. Sarah and Lee were still isolated and Charlotte and Suraj,  like Sue and I went to bed well before midnight. Even the traditional Harborough ‘war-zone’ at midnight failed to rouse me from my slumber.

Here in the south of Leicestershire the year began unseasonably mild but damp, we even had one day in Harborough which reached the giddy height of 16°C! With the pool now filled in it has released me to set about the vegetable and fruit plots, a similar satisfying task that involves moving yet more spadefuls of soil, but thankfully not over such a distance.

Despite the ‘spring-like’ weather, our badgers are very lethargic. Just a couple of visits each night and rather than early evening, they don’t make an appearance until 2-4 am, as they often leave food uneaten now provide less for their consumption.

On the 1st, Sarah and Lee, at last, tested negative and were keen to get out of the house with Alice and Mia. In a flurry of activity over the first few days, they managed to fit in visits to the shops, swimming pool, Play Zone, and a castle.

Charlotte and family, keen not to be outdone managed to spend the day in Lincoln and at the same time were successful in having the central locking fixed on her Nissan, saving £400. The following day they treated Harry to a greyhound meeting. I guess the last time he met so many fellow hounds he would race them around a track somewhere in Ireland, I wonder what he thought about it all?

Unexhausted by celebrations, Jamie, Ruth, Joey, and the dogs headed to Clacton-on-Sea on New Year’s Day on the south coast. Intending to stay over the weekend, they were disappointed to discover that their ‘booked’ hotel was closed on arrival. However, they managed to find a Travelodge open, so all was not lost. From the photos on Messenger, it seemed that the weather was good and they had an enjoyable time.

On the 2nd, the Rothwells met up with the Newbold Verdons in Bradgate Park for a family ramble, while Sue and I looked after Jamie’s rabbits and planned some future trips out, Covid willing!!!!

While Sue and I bunkered down at Willow Bank against the highly infectious Omicron the rest of the family continued to get out and about taking the canine family members for essential walks. Harry was treated to a trip to a disused WW2 American airbase at Grafton Underwood.  Built in 1941 it was the first airfield in England to receive an Eighth Air Force flying unit, when in May 1942 personnel of the 15th Bomb Squadron took up residence. It was a fascinating visit for the humans in the family as they explored this relic of the war, but I wonder what Harry thought of the whole experience. Alice and Mia had an equally interesting walk when snow fell on north Leicestershire. Alice looked well wrapped up against the elements but poor Mia seems to be missing her waterproof coat.

Tragically there has been a hiccup with Charlotte and her family’s move, the solicitor who had been dealing with the legal paperwork involved in their house sale sadly died of Coronavirus over Christmas. A terrible loss for the woman’s family and all those who knew and worked with her will undoubtedly lead to some delay in the exchange of contracts for those involved in the chain.

In a very annoying incident, when Sue was engaged on a U3A ramble near Kibworth some antisocial scoundrel stole the front tow bar cover from her parked Mini Clubman.  Unfortunately, Sue did not have the dashcam switched on else we could have identified the culprit and hopefully recovered the cost of the little bit of plastic, £35 from eBay. A pox on the varlet!

Mad grandma.

Muddy dog.

On a miserably cold and drizzly Saturday (8th Jan.) the Verdons decided to visit the grandparents. Arriving mid-morning they opened their Covid thwarted Christmas presents before Sue accompanied them to Mini-Mischiefs (a children’s indoor play and party venue) for Alice to enjoy herself and also to have lunch. Despite frequent showers, for the first time in nearly a year I took Mia for a walk, the intention was to have lunch at the Coach and Horses in Lubenham but short-legged dogs and mud on a rainy day is not a good mix. Predictably she was far too grubby to be allowed into any hostelry so I had to be satisfied with lunch at home after first showering Mia for a good twenty minutes!

The following Monday I caught the bus to Leicester General Hospital for a scan on my much-improved eye, it was decided another injection was warranted, it will be scheduled in a few weeks. On the same day, Jamie and Ruth

Jamie, Ruth, Joey & friends

informed the family that they had bought a Waltham-on-the-Wolds house. They have been looking for quite a long time, hopefully, things will go smoothly and they will have moved in by spring.

It seems that Jamie’s company Fx Learning has become acclaimed and made it into the Financial Times. Hopefully, his already successful business will become even more lucrative for him.

 

What fun!!!

Congratulations

At 4 pm on the 19th of January Sue and I made ourselves comfortable in front of the TV to watch a quiz programme called ‘Tipping Point’, over a year ago Sue’s sister Philippa had been a contestant on the show (click link). She had been sworn to secrecy over the result and today we discovered that she had won and taken home the princely sum of £2900! Unfortunately for Pip, she is on holiday in Lanzarote with Paul and Simon and missed the screening and will have to watch the show on her return.

On the 22nd, despite complaining bitterly, Jamie had his booster vaccination to enable him to travel abroad later this year. Sue and I (already boosted) booked to go to Madagascar in June on the same day. With Covid still rattling around the planet we won’t be getting our hopes up just yet.

As Charlotte and Jamie are soon to be moving homes it seems appropriate that Sue and I have at last decided what is to replace the swimming pool and have arranged for a garden room to be built in its place. It has been a convoluted process weighing up the suitability of designs and materials, but at last, are happy that we have settled on something which will be functional and look right. It seems that we are not alone in our thoughts and our little project has to wait its turn as Composite Garden Buildings who are building it have to schedule its construction due to a large number of ‘lockdown’ orders. Hopefully, late February to early March will see it built, and then the furnishing and supplementary landscaping begins. More difficult decisions!

On the 27th I joined the ‘guys’ for what hopefully will turn out to be our once a month gathering in local eateries to enjoy each other’s company. This month it was The Roebuck, which before the Pandemic burnt down and miraculously rose from the ashes. Our soiree coincided with a quiz night and the pub was quite full, so it was fortunate that we had booked a table for eight in a small ante-room. However, we couldn’t isolate ourselves from the quiz-master’s patter, so until the prizes had been handed out our conversations were punctuated with thoughts that wandered off into the never-land of quiz-world. Still, we enjoyed the evening and are looking forward to February’s edition.

 

 

 

 

 

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