Sunday, 21 July 2013

Back in the old routine

Well we had a much better journey to Heathrow to pick up the travellers,  than a fortnight before.  It was a smooth run, but at terminal 5 you can't just pick someone up, it's like Stansted, you have to park. We made a note of our floor number then got the lift to the floor where arrivals is.
We didn't take too long to find the place, although the terminal itself is huge, and I got that slightly panicky feeling that I might get lost, or miss P&E. As we stood there my phone rang, as I answered it, I looked up and there just passing in front of me was our Son. I called out to him, and he inadvertantly took the long way around the barriers to join us..
Of course his wife was with him. We took the lift back up to the car park, loaded the car, parked the trolley and set off home. They chatted about the holiday, and the flight. I asked if they had eaten and they said only a small sandwich they were given before the flight. They both said they were starving. I said we were heading to the M&S at the petrol station, to pick up some croissants so that they had more choice for Sunday breakfast, so we could get something there. I wasn't hungry, as we had had a small barbecue, just one burger in a bun each, salads and 2 sausages. Husband had his sausages in a bun, but said he was hungry, so we bought ready meals, and I just got a wrap.
The meals were soon ready in the microwave,and I brought it all through on trays to save pulling out the table and raising the second leaf. Many travellers tales ensued. The dog of course had been ecstatic to see them and was soon climbing onto his mistress's lap. We were relieved of the last walk before bed. Whilst they had been away the weather here had go hotter and hotter, so I don't think they had too comfortable a night, defnitely no duvet. I had replaced our sheet and duvet with 2 cotton sheets and a blanket for emergency chills, but we have barely had the top sheet over us.
I didn't have a lot to do on the Sunday morning, as they had promised lunch out as a thank you for having Tom. We had decided to try a local carvery, Daughter and Son in law were coming too, with the little ones. It probably wasn't the best carvery I have ever been to, the air conditioner was right over our table, and not only kept us cool, but made the food go cold too. The chap in charge of the carvery had disappeared, and when he deigned to appear, was a bit stingy with the meat. There were huge Yorkshires which I declined, and lots of veg, but only beef gravy, not so good on ham and turkey.
However it was fun being all together, and the little ones gave Son and his wife a taste of what they have to look froward to. Lydia was being fed orange coloured goo from a jar, and Son was marvelling at how far it managed to spread over her face then into her hair. When she reached out an orange hand towards his nice clean shirt, he moved away so fast. Nathaniel meanwhile got so engrossed in his ice cream dessert, that he forgot himself and we ended up with a puddle on the floor and seat, oh the joys of toddlers. Daughter grabbed a pile of paper napkins, and some cleaning stuff from a trolley, and cleaned up, apologising as they paid the bill.
We went back home, the young people gathered their stuff together, and packed their car, Tom jumped in, and off they went. Husband and I crashed out a bit, in fact husband didn't wake till 6.10 pm, so we didn't make it to the evening service.

My pots blooming

everything beginning to come out in the front garden

Close up view of the roses
Monday wasn't anything special, just stripping the spare bed, washing bedlinen and towels, thankfully it's good drying weather now. Then I took 2 lots of bedlinen and shirts to be ironed, my shoulder still protests if I iron too much. I had asked daughter if she fancied going to the big garden centre, and we had agreed, but I couldn't get hold of her on Tuesday her mobile was playing up, so we drove up there.  She was having a difficult morning with the children, so was glad to see us and glad of a trip out.
We had lunch in the cafe, but sat at one of the outside tables. Nat had fallen asleep in the car, so he was tucked up on a chair with a cushion for a while, whilst Lydia was being fed. He woke and ate his sandwich, and then we went to get our trolleys, only to find that someone had nicked ours, so husband had to go right back through to the outside to get another. We bought compost,and I wanted blue flowers to give some colour balance in the back beds. I found a lovely delphinium, verbenas in a bluish purple,and some lobelias. Last year I found blue and white salvias, but have found none this year.
Nathaniel thoroughly enjoyed himself, flitting between the 3 of us, running chatting, laughing, all the others shoppers were smiling at him. he was fascinated with the fountain, and called it a 'mountain', but when I gently corrected him, said 'yes it's a fountain'.
We stopped off at their house to leave some compost we'd had in our boot then came home and I planted out the delphinium,and started on the others, hot work this weather. Our house is such a warm house, we've been having a fan going in the sitting room nearly all day most days. Wednesday afternoon I called in on Daughter again to see what sort of day she was having. I'd been to Sainsbury's in the morning as usual.
Thursday I made it to women's hour, it was book reviews, but although I had started a book I hadn't got beyond the first few pages, so couldn't review it. Friday it was the annual fund raising coffee morning at the house in Dunstable with the railway in the back garden. Husband has not been before, but seemed to enjoy himself, he loved the garden railway, and was envious of the size of the garden. afterwards we went into Dunstable  to the Christian bookshop, where I bought a few sympathy cards, as it is so difficult to get anything with  a Christian message on them these days. Husband bought a book, then we drove home over Dunstable downs, then to the local garden centre for more bark for the side front bed. I restricted myself to an orchid pot as one of my orchids needs repotting. Husband bought two miniature standard roses to add some height in the front. Later, I walked to Sainsbury's, then to Homebase, and had to call husband to pick me up as I bought a hanging basket of fuchsias. he insisted on going in the store himself, where he found a half price water feature for the patio.
Saturday we had a church anniversary, with a young man speaking who grew up in a our church, but is now a pastor elsewhere. At tea there was a farewell to one of the elders who has served the church for many years, he and his wife have moved to Wales, where they have other family, they have been commuting a lot to help with child care.
As usual at tea the table was groaning, there were more there than usual, as many who had known L & J over the years, and now live elsewhere came back for the farewell service. They were presented with roses for their garden amongst other things. On Sunday I found it too hot to go out for a walk, a very lazy day again.

Husband fascinated by the railway

one of the trains
Gliders Dunstable Downs

The Downs

Beacon from the Jubilee

Chalk paths

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Homeward bound, and after

I didn't sleep too well in the Days Inn lodge, we didn't rush too much, but when we came to leave, we did as we have always done, drove round the back of the lodge, and up to the barrier to be let out onto the side road which goes under the motorway to the Northbound side, except that this time we were not allowed to. The chap said we couldn't do it, it was not permissible, health and safety, etc etc. we have done it on and off for over 20 years. Husband begged to differ having been on a health and safety course, and having been responsible for it in the Borehamwood office and the Bristol office.
We used that route last year, the manager claimed we couldn't have done and so it went on, but he refused point bank to lift the barrier, he claimed it was a private road, so in the end we had no choice but to turn around drive out of the services then back to the next junction, and off and back again to the North bound carriage way. We left at the next junction, and stopped at Cartgate picnic area for our usual bacon bap breakfast. It rained on and off on the way home, very heavy downpours. We had quite a good journey, not too bad when we got to the M3, and M25, we arrived home at about 1.30 pm.
We unpacked the car, then got together the shopping bags,and went to Sainsbury's, had lunch in their cafe and stocked up on food.
The garden was a bit over grown, the ceanothus was in full bloom, rhubarb and blackcurrant bushes overhung the path,and the honeysuckle still in bloom, had put out tendrils across the front door.
The weather wasn't too good all weekend, it wasn't easy with all that washing to do. We were welcomed back at church, where one of the preachers  had been replaced, as he had a bad case of sciatica. The week was fairly quiet, husband had a dental appointment, he had lost a filling, but now has to have it replaced with a crown, I went back to WW, had put on one pound for each of the weeks I had been absent. I was on duty at parent and toddlers, but the numbers were small.

I missed women's hour as Daughter wanted to come round and use my sewing machine to do the button holes for her dress. We minded the children, whilst she sewed, and we took them out into the garden later; Nat had been asleep when they arrived and at one point Lydia joined him.
I made up the spare bed, and our son and his wife arrived late on the Thursday evening. They stayed overnight, with Tom, then the next day we left Tom in the house and drove them to Heathrow, we left at 3pm, a journey of 23 miles, but the M25 was awful, there was a lorry on fire somewhere and this was holding the traffic up. Son worked out a route which would get us there quicker, but there was a delay as we had to cross a busy main road with traffic lights
We dropped them off at 5 pm, check in time was 5.40, their flight 6.05 pm. We dashed off to try and find a services, needing a comfort stop. We went off on the M40, to Beaconsfield services, then afterwards relaxed for a while with a drink, then set off home on A roads, which was a bit more relaxing. Husband tracked their flight to the South of France, where they were celebrating 5 years of marriage, in the place where they had their honeymoon, as Daughter said, 'enjoy your last kid free holiday'.
So we have had Tom for 2 weeks he is moulting so my carpet has a constant film of black hair on it, no matter how much I clean it. We have been doing plenty of walking, husband has been on 3 long walks, we have also had two outings to Ashridge Forest with Daughter and the children. I have only managed to lose half pound so far at WW.
We have had a couple of trips to the garden centre, one when we took lunch, and I had a M&S Italian coffee flavoured milk, which produced the same effect as the coffee in Falmouth. We renewed the car tax, minded the children again for a short while, with an over excited toddler shrieking at the dog, I had to send Tom into the hall out of the way.
Lydia gives her opinion
Lydia zonked, in her new dungarees

Nathaniel zonked

Lydia in the garden
playing together

Lydia standing

The weather has been mixed, I topped up my tan last weekend, and now we are allegedly going into a 2-3 week heatwave. I'll believe it when I see it. we have spoken to Mum in law, a few times, she seems fine, but tired, but is determined to plant beans! Honestly, what would you do with her? We must arrange a visit soon, when Tom has gone home.  He is a lovely dog, one day I walked him into town, and met 3 friends, all fell in love with him. We have bathed him once as he got hot chasing the ball and jumped in the canal, husband had to help him out, what fun!
Unusual coloured paeonies

Short babyminding session

At Ashridge

let's go that way


King of the castle

At the cafe