Sunday, 9 February 2014

January in a nutshell

Pressing onward, we went back to John Lewis the following Monday, tried out some of those mattresses again, and kept going back to the same one, so we decided to go for it. Unfortunately they don't stock the 4'6", so we had to order one and it can take up to eight weeks. This time we had lunch in M&S.
The next day sick of the puddle out the back in the parking area, which is actually caused by a blocked drain, I pulled my wellies on, grabbed a garden cane and said I was going to do something about it. Husband decided to join me. I also took an old nappy bucket to scoop out some of the water. the puddle was quite deep over the drain and was taking up 3 car parking spaces. Ideally, everyone in the 12 houses is responsible for the drains, on one set, sump drains, the top has collapsed, but getting people to pay up for repairs is not easy.
We poked and we prodded, and suddenly, we spotted a whirling, yes! the water was beginning to drain. It took about 15 minutes for it to go. We were quite pleased with ourselves,and some neighbours have queried where the puddle has gone, and have thanked us. It really needs a drain company to clean it through, our neighbours around the back have a problem with drains, too, so that their downspout overflows. I must check on what is happening there.
On the Thursday, we were looking after the children. Our Son rang to say they had left home late, so we arranged for daughter to pick up the children, as we did not want to be out when the others arrived.
Actually they made pretty good time, they were leaving Tom with us, then after a meal out, they were driving down to the channel tunnel, and from thence to Berlin. . I had just about managed to remove the last of the dog hairs from Tom's previous visit.
They had discovered that Ethan had the same problem as Nathaniel had at birth, but not so severe. This was suspected as being the cause of the windy colic which caused him to scream ear splittingly. He also had an additional problem. Unfortunately, the cut off point for dealing with the problem in their area health authority is 8 weeks, and he was nearly 19 weeks when it was suspected.
They arrived earlier than expected, so I got a few extra cuddles, and a few ear splitting screams to boot.
I was very pleased to get a text at 11.16 am the next day to say they were in Berlin.
We coped, just about, with Tom and the children together on the Friday, husband took Tom on most of his walks, including 2 long ones, then husband hurt his back by coughing in the shower, so I took him out that day, I went along the canal, big mistake as I didn't have wellies on. There are so many puddles on the path, and people have walked on the grass to avoid them so that is all churned up and muddy. It's been interesting, as they've been doing maintenance on 2 locks,and it's amazing to see what has been uncovered, there was a huge pile of tyres on the bank, I saw a bicycle pedal in the mud one day, I don't know if the bike was still attached. I also managed a walk with Tom on the Saturday morning.
Drained lock

pumping the lock

the drained stretch between the locks

We survived 2 more days with the children and Tom, although Tom did give a warning bark, when he had climbed on my lap, and Nathaniel, pretending to be a dog, suddenly jumped up at the side of the sofa and growled. One of the days, kids and dog all went to sleep, so husband and I took turns to nap; very civilised.
Our Son and his wife came back in the Sunday, and due to sheer numbers, we all went out for lunch. Partly to celebrate Son's 30th Birthday,which had been 2 days before. We went to somewhere we have been before, they coped with the children, who had a small portion each. Lydia, full of cold, picked at hers, but Nat ate all of his. Daughter had made a chocolate cake, and brought it with her so we had the cutting of the cake, and a piece each, then back to ours to share out the remainder for taking home.
I have seen the osteopath three times, after the first session I was much better for 2 days, I am due to go again next month. Nothing much has been happening, the snowdrops have come out in the garden, and a couple of crocuses.We went to the garden centre last week, as we had vouchers from the gardening club to use up. I bought new wellies, reduced, but it hasn't rained as much since; husband bought a ball thrower in case they forget next time Tom comes to visit.
Lodger at the garden centre

they put out robin seed for him

New wellies

Ethan has had his procedure done privately, and is now undergoing osteopathy for a different problem. Another baby was born in the wider family, who has tongue tie, so it must be from my genes I would think.
I managed, at last to sit through the Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug, at the cinema, but made a mistake in sitting to near the front. It was 2D, but for some reason my eyes couldn't cope and in the close - ups the characters had 2 noses, and I saw double a few times. I was given a copy of the extended first Hobbit film for Christmas and we have been enjoying the extra material on how the film was made. The dwarves on the spit was not CGI, but hey were actually bolted on, it was priceless.
The snowdrops are out and some crocuses, so spring is just around the corner. My ornamental brassicas have all been eaten, but not by slugs. I googled it and discovered that mice or rats can be the culprits, EEEW! I'd rather the former than the latter.

We haven't suffered too much from the bad weather, but a couple of local roads have been flooded, and closed.