Friday, 28 November 2014

November notes

On the Saturday of our visit to Mum in Law, we did our usual walk into the village, husband went in the junk/charity shop, whilst I collected the Telegraph, then we wandered around the village and looked around the hardware shop. I love hardware shops, but unfortunately they  didn't have what husband was looking for.

The sea front a few miles form Mum in law's home

Later we took Mum in Law into Eastbourne and our first stop was C&H fabrics cafe for lunch. I had my usual goat's cheese and red onion tart, and the others had jacket potatoes. Then husband went to do his round of the charity shops, and we had a look in the materials section. Nothing really caught my eye, which is just as well as I haven't finished what I was making. I got discouraged when the zip wouldn't go in straight on the third try, and started what seemed a complicated method shown in the sewing machine manual, but still haven't got round to finishing it. Not going to get time to make many Christmas cards this year too.
Afterwards we went to Boots so I could print off a couple more photos for Mum in Law, then we went into M&S. I found some rather nice trousers and bought two pairs, my polyester ones were past their best, not terribly warm and quite old, so they have been consigned to a charity shop. Mum in law bought herself a couple of ready meals, for when she doesn't feel like cooking, and I found husband's favourite biscuits, so bought 2 tubs.
Next we went to Lakeland I wanted an icing tube, as mine had gone rusty. I do have icing bags, but find that they discolour so easily when I use coloured icing. I'm reluctant to use them for white piping in case the colour bleeds in, although the bags have been washed. Last year my cake was totally white. I also looked at the electric airers which they sell. They are supposed to use far less heat than a tumble drier,and dry quicker than an ordinary airer. I dislike the smell of clothes dried indoors,and am allergic to the smell of most fabric softeners. I get headaches and sneeze. Some of them can be so strong that I sneeze if the neighbour 2 doors away has used them.
I bought a couple of things, then decided we had done enough shopping  for one day, Mum in law walks slowly, holding my arm, so I can't rush around like I used to in Eastbourne.
I rang husband and we met up at the lifts for the car park, then we drove back to the bungalow via Pevensey Bay.
We had the beef casserole I had brought, then watched the festival of remembrance from the Royal Albert hall. It's not something we usually see, and with it being the 100 year anniversary of the start of WW1, there was an added poignancy. I was glad that they still give thanks to God, and sing some hymns.
Next day Mum in Law wasn't up as early as she had intended, but I pointed out she still had plenty of time to get to her service at the Anglican church. She was back before we set off for the local independent church, but this time said she wouldn't come, as she was tired. It wasn't a pleasant day, wet and windy, and we arrived early for the 2 minutes silence. It wasn't the usual minister, he was preaching elsewhere, but we still had a warm welcome. The service wasn't too long, so we went back and collected Mum in Law. It wasn't raining then, but we took the car to the local pub Restaurant, for the Sunday carvery. It was busier that day as there had  been a remembrance service at the war memorial, which is in the middle of a roundabout, just yards from the pub.The road through the village had been closed, but reopened in time for us to drive there.
Husband and I had the beef, Mum in Law turkey. She didn't want a dessert, just drank her J2o. We had black forest gateau, but it seemed to lack cherries. The young chap in the carvery was working very hard, but some of the girls were gossiping behind the bar instead of replenishing the roasties, stuffing, yorkshires etc. They looked like school girls who perhaps work there just at weekends. It was a pity really, as the place is good and was very busy.
We had coffee back at the bungalow, then spent the rest of the afternoon resting reading or dozing. After tea, Mum in Law watched one of her favourites on the God channel, then we naughtily watched Downton live. It was the last in the series and not a very happy episode. Some of the plot lines are repeated, but I don't want to give away too much to those who haven't seen it yet. there is to be a Christmas special,and even a series 6, so I hope it cheers up a bit.
The next morning we packed, checked that there were no jobs needing a man's hand, then left just before lunchtime. We had a good run to the services, where we had lunch, then quite a good run home, arriving at around 3.30 pm. I quickly turned the heating back on, and the hot water, and later I cooked a half shoulder of lamb with roasties.
I spent some time that week replanting some of the daffodil bulbs which I had taken from the pots last spring. I forgot to mention that I made it to the Women's hour bookstall the previous Thursday.
I took Lydia in the buggy, but by the time I got there she was fast asleep. I had a coffee, but no cake, I bought some Christmas cards, books for me to read to the children and a couple of small items for Mum in law's stocking. I must get around to asking her if there is anything she needs for Christmas. She probably is the hardest one to buy for, she doesn't use perfume, can't see well enough to read a book, it may well have to be vouchers again.
We minded the children that week again, relaxing on the Friday. The Saturday was one of our church fellowship days, the speaker was quite well known, and spoke about how his church grew in the 1970s. I think that there was quite a lot of growth in churches in the 1970s, perhaps not as much as he saw, but certainly more than we seem to be seeing today. He spoke on the needs such as prayer, commitment, unity and outreach. It is not a magic formula, but it was quite challenging. We had the usual lovely tea between meetings,and the usual mountains of washing up after.  He preached again on the Sunday morning, but not the evening as he had along journey home.
I haven't taken so many photos lately, but will try and find some to the blog isn't totally boring.
Ethan's breakfast, (see previous blog)
My new bike

I did buy an icing tube and an airer, but I bought them online. The airer is ok, obviously nowhere near as quick
as the tumble dryer, takes abut 6-8 hours depending on the fabric. I don't ,eave it on overnight, for safety reasons. We will have to wait for the electricity bill to see if it has gone down.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Realising what we remember

On the Sunday morning I was up fairly early, and  soon Ethan made on appearance with his Mum. he was given a brioche roll for his breakfast, and seemed to enjoy it very much. I was sitting in the living room when Son came down, and he presented Ethan with a brioche, I commented, 'He's already had one of those'. Son shrugged and said, ' He normally eats 2'. Later as he saw his Grandad slicing a banana onto  a brioche, he made complaining noises till he was offered a banana. What a little pickle he is!
Lunch all prepared we set off for church,and Son borrowed my keys to lock up,as they were going to the 11.15 service in St Albans. It was the first Sunday in the month, so we should have stayed for communion, but the preacher overran a bit, so we didn't stay. I'm always aware that our family have to travel back home. We had roast pork, same as last time they were here. It just worked out that way. I had bought a red velvet cake from Sainsbo's, a new line, so we had some for dessert, and all enjoyed it, especially Ethan. Not long after lunch they packed up the car and were off, Tom eager to go, even if he does love us. We both fell asleep, but quite a bit later than usual.
On the Monday morning, we met up with our Daughter at the main station. She had taken Nathaniel to school. We bought one day travel cards, and boarded the train for Euston. Then we waited for a bus, which seemed to go around half of London, I'm not sure where we alighted, but we had quite a walk to our destination, which was the Tower of London. We were there to see the poppy artwork, 'Blood swept lands and seas of red'. We walked in a clockwise direction around the tower, but didn't go down into the gardens. there were hordes of people there, but a lovely atmosphere, people giving way to others, being friendly, and pointing out gaps in the crowds for photo opportunities. Sadly when we reached the North side again, we missed the 'weeping window', but we got some pretty good photos, and the sheer scale of the poppies makes one realise, the scale of the loss of life.

My Grandfather, Mum's Dad, and his Brother, both fought at the Somme, and both returned. My Dad's Brothers all served, and all came home, but one had shrapnel injuries, and complications from those eventually caused him to die fairly young.
We decided to go to a Pret a Manger for lunch. I was cold; (I usually overdress for London and complain I'm hot,) so I chose a soup as well as a roll. The soup was so filling, it was mushroom and rice, very tasty and warming. We managed to find stools to perch on, Lydia wasn't terribly hungry, she ate a little whilst seated in my lightweight buggy. Afterwards, we set off for the underground, suddenly I gave a yell, 'Ouch'. I felt as if I had stepped on a drawing pin, but as I took my shoe off, felt something tear my foot. There was a sharp object sticking through the bottom of my shoe. Husband managed to pull it out, it looked like a piece of wire. He threw it away where it could do no further harm, and I limped along.
Soon we reached the underground, and husband helped lift the buggy down the steps. We got off the train at Euston Square, as we left, the heavens opened, once again I was minus waterproof, and got yet another drenching. I got a paper and a magazine, then we boarded the train. It was a train which only stopped twice before our town, so a fairly quick journey. By the time we reached our stop, the rain had soaked through my fleece, and I felt really cold.
The heating hasn't been on much, as it's been so mild, but when we got home, I put it on, got changed, put a warm sweatshirt on, and stayed snug the rest of the day.
On the Tuesday I decided to dismantle the spare bed on my own, big mistake! I suffered with pain in my back afterwards, which made looking after the children a little bit more difficult, but I managed to take Lydia for a walk in the buggy on the Thursday, she fell asleep eating her lunch, so Husband took her up for her nap. So I had a rest and a bit of a doze too.
There was nothing remarkable about the next day's childminding, and on the Friday we were busy tidying, packing,and traveling to see Mum in Law on the South Coast. we stopped at the usual services for lunch. I threw the staff into confusion at the Costa, by asking if their chicken was halal. they really didn't know, so I chose cheese. Husband had a bacon toastie.
We arrived at the bungalow just after 3 pm. Mum in Law was pleased to see us and never complains about the amount of stuff we take. She was thrilled to get more pictures of her Great grandchildren, and especially the school photo of Nathaniel. comparing it to the Nursery picture from last year, we can see how much he has changed.
Unsure what to take for dinner, I had bought a couple of lasagnes from Sainsbo's,  so we had that with salad. I saw later that there was to be a 'Lewis', in ITV, so asked if I could watch it. It was a two part episode, but it got husband interested enough to want to watch the second half.
When we went to bed, I took something to help me sleep,as I find the bed uncomfortable, but there was thunder and lightning to keep me awake. Oh well, I did get some sleep. Enough to get me through the next day.

Friday, 21 November 2014

From childminding to dog minding

On the following Monday I awoke early with palpitations, I dealt with those, and decided that as I was up, I would stay up. We had a trip to the dentist, no, I tell a lie, we had 2 trips to the dentist. I was convince that our appointments were 10.00 and 10.30, but when we got there, we were told that it was 11.30,and 11.55. so we came home and did something else, then went back for our fillings. I wasn't told not to eat anything, but my mouth stayed frozen for quite a while,and I ended up biting the inside of my cheek. I have to go back for another filling, and husband for a filling and a crown prep.
That evening, our Son and his wife arrived, and stayed for about an hour. Their childminder was taking a week off, for half term, so they had taken time off they were heading for Lille in France.
Out Daughter and her family had been hesitating about booking a holiday, but when our Son heard he said, 'Come to Lille with us'. Daughter had been able to book the same apartment hotel, but they had gone on the Sunday evening.
Tom was left with us and the family departed for their overnight stop before catching the ferry the next morning. They all successfully met up, and had a good week.
The next day husband took Tom for a long walk, I had a shorter walk, but was so tired that I spent most of the afternoon asleep, due to my early start the previous day. Wednesday was not such a good day, but Tom got 2 walks as I took him around the big block early in the evening. he is still as soppy as ever,  and constantly comes and rests his head on me, if I have the laptop out, it's all I can do to keep it on my lap.
On the Thursday, we both needed to go into town, so we took him with us, each taking it in turns to have him whilst the other went into shops. One lady fell totally in love with him, even bending down to kiss him, I kept a tight hold on his lead as I thought she might waltz off with him she was so smitten.
Eventually husband and I met up again, and he walked Tom back up the hill whilst I hopped on a bus. During the week I had phoned a couple of bike shops and discovered that the first one we had attempted to visit in Watford did stock the bike normally, but he offered to order one for me. When I said I was unsure which colour, he said he would order both; what a helpful man!
On the Friday it was a beautiful day, so we took Tom out. We went in the car to the World's End garden centre, husband went in the cafe, and chose what he wanted, then stayed outside with Tom, whilst I ordered. It was a really hot day, we ate our lunch, I picked up a few plants, and advent candles, then we drove up to nearby Coombe Hill. Later we realised that we had been there exactly 12 months before, only we did it in reverse last time. There were lots more people there this time too, it was more like a summer's day than the last day in October. Tom spent lots of time chasing the ball, we spent some time gazing at the hazy view from the monument, then more ball throwing, and back to the car where Tom had a well earned drink.

The next day we went  for our flu jabs, at a designated time, much better than queuing round the car park, then I did the weekend shopping, whilst husband took Tom for a walk, then later we went over to Watford. Suddenly we  noticed the hordes, and wondering if it had been a good idea, as Watford were playing at home. We managed to find our way round the one way system to the shop, and they had just almost finished assembling one of the bikes. The young assistant was sent to start assembling the other one. We went outside into the street,and the chap had a little ride to check all was assembled correctly, then brought it back for me to try for leg length, saddle height, etc.
The young lad brought another bike through but he had assembled the wrong one, they let me see the colour of the other one,and said that they would assemble it, but I said 'no, it's ok', I'll take the green and white. The other was silver and blue. Then I chose a helmet, and when I came to pay, was told there was 10% off the recommended price. So I got bike and helmet for less than the retail price.
We wheeled it round to where the car was parked. We had taken out the child seats, and with the back seat laid flat, the shop owner and husband just about managed to wiggle the bike into the available space. Not so easy to take out at the other end, but once out, I had a wobbly little ride around the garage area, I thought the seat was a bit high, and it seemed along way to the ground, but hey ho! I'll get used to it. We locked the bike in my rented garage, and husband promised to fit the basket at some time.
Son and his wife and Ethan arrived back at about 3.40 pm. I had made up the bed for them during the week, as they were to stay overnight. We had spag bol, which Ethan ate with his left hand whilst holding his fork aloft in his right hand. He then polished off a yoghurt, and complained till he got a banana. What an appetite! They all 3 went to bed quite early, I suspect they were tired after their journey daughter an her family caught a later ferry, and got home quite late as the M25 was very busy.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

A Birthday and a bike hunt.

The Sunday after we came home was Lydia's second Birthday. We went to our Daughter's after the morning service at church, and we gave Lydia her present, she opened it, and it was a hit! It's a Fisher Price happy house and can be quite noisy. We had a lovely lunch,  then after a while most of us dozed off.  Eventually our Son in Law took the children to the park, then we had tea. Lydia was quite excited by her hedgehog cake. After tea the children went to get ready for bed as it was late, so we came home.
unwrapping the gift

Waiting for Granddad  to put it all together

Here comes the cake
Nathaniel is impressed

Blowing the candle out 

On the Monday a lot of my time was spent sorting clothes, washing, and stocking up on food, and we had a roast chicken for our evening meal. On the Tuesday I wasn't terribly organised,  I saw the Doctor in the morning for a problem which had worsened whilst we were away. Then collected the newspaper. I wanted to go to Watford. Before we went away I had bought Lydia and outfit for winter, and had forgotten whilst away to look for something for the boys. We didn't go till the afternoon. I found them both an outfit, then we were going to walk to a cycle shop to look at the bikes. As we approached the road where the shop is, we suddenly saw that it was cordoned off as a crime scene. I couldn't work out how to get there by car, so we drove to another shop, couldn't work out where to park, we stopped at a petrol station to fill up, then drove back along the road, spotting the small car park too late to turn into it. I said, 'Let's just go home'. Later I looked up the incident online, and discovered someone had been stabbed, that is why there was a cordon and police  everywhere, in broad daylight too!
We had the children on the Wednesday afternoon and Thursday, on the Wednesday, Lydia was napping when we got there, I had left a pan of soup cooking on a low heat, fortunately it was ok when we got back,and I had a large bowlful. There was plenty for the next day too, it was one of my 'use any old veg from the fridge' soups, Cauliflower and bacon. Nathaniel decided to watch some Thomas,  on the Thursday and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open, in fact I may have dozed a little.
On the Friday, I said I would like to visit a cycle shop in Berkhamsted. So we drove over there after lunch, we had a browse in the garden centre, they have their Christmas decorations on display,all very pretty, but I think I have enough. Then we looked in a couple of shops before finding the cycle shop. It was smaller than I imagined, and they had Raleighs, but mostly for children. I asked and was told ' We could probably order it for you'. I said 'thank you but I'm still undecided which colour, and wanted to see them again.'
We split up and went each to our own favourite shops, meeting up in time to go to the antiques/retro shop together. Then on the way back husband said he wanted to go somewhere else, I ended up I M&S cafe, sent him a text asking if he wanted coffee, then got no reply. Just as I  paying for my tea he arrived. No problem, we ordered him a coffee, and sat with our drinks before doing the weekend shopping in the store.
 On the Saturday morning we put on our walking boots and went for a walk through the local 'village', up towards the hotel. We were surprised at how little building has gone on on the redevelopment field, there are as yet no completed houses. We wondered why the delay. I don't think that the local primary school will cope with a large influx of pupils. The trees were not as spectacular this year, some still haven't turned, others have had their leaves blown off in the high winds which we had. We came along the path through the golf course,over the railway bridge We called in at Sainsbury's for the paper and other oddments, and were home in time for a late lunch.

A rose in the churchyard

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Wales, not terribly wet or windy.

So on Saturday the 11th, we loaded up the car and set off for our 6 monthly visit to see my sister. We had a fairly good run. despite lots of roadworks in Northamptonshire. We stopped at Corley for lunch, by which time I was really hungry, and the sausage and mash sounded appealing. Husband chose fish and chips. The mash was probably dried and reconstituted potato, there was too much of it, and there were 3 sausages, where I only ever eat 2. I left a lot of the mash. Husband's fish and chips left a lot to be desired too. We had quite a lot of rain on the journey.
We decided to use the M6 toll, and sped along.Then we turned off on the  A5, and A41 to Chester. We did some shopping at the Sainsbury's there, and had a cuppa. We arrived at the rented bungalow in Kinmel bay just before 6 pm. I unpacked, then ate my sandwich, then realising I hadn't packed the tights I bought, called in at Sainsbury's to buy some, and something to take away the smell of smoking from the bungalow. It's really strange, the bungalow is non smoking, yet there is always a smell. Perhaps the owner smokes, or maybe it was once for smokers, and the smell lingers, or maybe some have no regard for rules.
I picked up a scented candle, and a couple of diffusers, but one proved so strong, I put it away again after a few days.  I went over to my sister's and caught up on all my sister's news, but as usual struggled to hear all that she said against the TV noise. I guess that as she lives alone apart from her dog, it makes the house less quiet for her.
I left at around 11pm, and drove back. Husband had been relaxing after the journey. I had worn my compression stockings from the hospital as it was such a long journey, and it was a relief to remove them. As usual, in a strange bed, I struggled to sleep, and consequently overslept, so much so that we were running late and didn't make it to the morning service. It starts at 10.30 am, and is at least a 15 minute drive to Rhuddlan.
Later we went for a walk, and blew away the cobwebs. We walked along the sea front towards Towyn, and were passed by lots of cyclists. We stopped at one point, and a lady stopped beside us protesting  that her saddle was too hard, and she had ridden far enough. We got chatting to her and her husband, it turned out they had ridden from Rhos On Sea, around 10 miles. It's ideal for cycling there, mostly flat. After our chat we said goodbye, and walked back, me even more determined to look at bikes. It was so hot that I removed my fleece. Others were walking in T shirts.
We cut through some side roads, and discovered a whole lot of bungalows with not very well made up roads, but huge green areas, where folk had planted flowers, put benches, bird tables, and garden tables and chairs.

We arrived back, and I started lunch, the gas pressure was a tad low, I couldn't even see that the hobs were lit, but could feel the heat.We had steak, mushrooms, tomato, broccoli and baby potatoes.
The heating was on in the bungalow, and whilst my catarrh had been bad at home, it was now worse, with the familiar face pain from the sinuses. It was too cold without the heating, so we had to cope.
Later I drove over to collect my sister, and we had tea.  No one else was available for visiting us. Sister wanted to go back before Downton, as she didn't like leaving the dog alone for too long, so I drove her back at about 8.30, and then husband and I watched Downton live for a change.
On the Monday we decided to walk into Rhyl. It was a tad windy, but we walked down past Asda, and along the sea front, then we crossed the new pedestrian and cyclists bridge. At the far end of the bridge we discovered that there was a cycle shop, so we went in for a browse. One of the staff came over and was quite helpful, but we said we couldn't really buy there, as we would have also had to buy a cycle carrier. It does help though to know what is available. There is also a cafe next door to the shop, I don't know how well that will do in the winter months, but there are a lot of cyclists who use the route.
We walked along Wellington Road, and husband made off for one of the junk shops, I didn't want to join him. I did spot a particular clock in another place, which was only £45. We used to have a clock like it  when I was young, but my Mum gave it away. The chap in the shop assured me that it worked, but when I met up with husband later, he reckoned that the price was too cheap, they go for about 4 times that much when they come up on ebay.
He headed off to the barber's, and I continued into town, there was stuff I needed to buy at H&B. The demise of the M&S has affected Rhyl quite badly, more shops have closed since they went, and as the young woman assistant said, it will deter other businesses from moving in. There are still a few shops empty in the shopping centre. The proposed new development where the fairground was has still not started, the company involved are the people who did the development at North bay Scarborough, which is really attractive looking.
We met up again and went to our usual place for lunch. For once they had not sold out of lasagne, so husband had that. My choice of salmon was not available, so I had braised steak, and very nice it was too. Husband continued his tour of the charity shops, and I found the cycle shop which has been there for as long as I can remember, and they had the bikes I like in stock, so now at least I have handled one, tried it for leg length etc. I explained the situation to the manager, he was quite helpful. He is a real enthusiast, has 14 bikes and never owned a car. I met up with husband again, and he came back to the shop with me and bought himself a gel saddle for comfort. We then hopped on a bus back to the bungalow, relaxed and had a light meal before visiting my sister.
On the Tuesday, we went to Llandudno, we had a meal at the Cottage loaf again. This time I chose a pork chop with a sort of black pudding fritter. I've never seen such a huge pork chop. There was mash, and a 'jus', and veg, and the flavours were amazing. It was easily as good as that which we had at the Grand in Eastbourne, and a lot cheaper.Husband had fish and chips, and he said they were so much better than what he had had on Saturday, we decided to skip desserts, then went off to tour the shops. I bought shoes, I found a jacket in EMW, which would go with a skirt I bought recently. I don't think I had anything new last winter; and I bought a pair of warm joggers for the colder weather.
I also got a new pvc shopping bag in the lovely kitchen shop. The only problem with upvc coated bags is that the handles go after a while. I've thought of a way I can replace them, but haven't tried it yet.
We went back to the bungalow and again had alight meal, it saves me having to cook. then we spent the evening with my sister.
On the Wednesday we decided to go and visit Erddig, a NT property. Unfortunately it was a much duller day, it was quite a drive from where we were staying. However we arrived at around lunchtime, and decided to sample the food in the stableyard cafe. Husband had a pork casserole, and I had cottage pie. In NT preoperties the cafes always seem to be in the stableyard. It was very interesting going round the property. The last 2 owners were pretty broke, and didn't even have electricity, the last brother handed the property to the NT in 1976. Of course the Coal Board didn't help, by tunneling under the property from the nearby Bersham colliery, and they had to compensate the brothers as the house was on the verge of collapse. There is a lot there about the servants, and the servants quarters are on show. It's well worth a visit. Afterwards we had a carriage ride, pulled by a beautiful shire horse. Then, mindful of the rush hour, we headed back. We have certainly had our money's worth of NT properties in our first year of membership.

Real candelabra
red drawing room
Portable shower
Servants bedroom

Music room
My carriage awaits

On the Thursday we were not sure what to do. We normally visit Chester, but I'd had my fill of shops in Llandudno, didn't need to buy, so it would have been a visit to explore, and visit my elderly friend.
Before we went away however, I had read on a Chester forum that there were roadworks on both sides of Chester, and that traffic was horrendous, so we decided to give it a miss. We decided instead to go to Betws y Coed. It was a very mild day, we had lunch at the Alpine cafe, eating in the outside covered area. I had a savoury cheesecake, which was interesting, and husband chose welsh rarebit with bacon. Mine came with salad and chips, so I said he would have to share my chips. Unfortunately as he sat down, he misjudged the width of the bench and topple over backwards. he fell into a confined space and had difficulty getting up. Fortunately all he had was bruised  elbows and pride. I must confess to getting a fit of nervous giggles, once I knew he was ok. When someone left, we moved to seats with backs for safety.
After lunch, we did a tour of the nick nack shops,and then made our way up the main road via all the outdoor shops. I skipped a couple of shops as I had to go up to the cash machine, and arrived at the bridge over the river Llugwy before him. I could see folk on the bridge watching something, and when I looked there was a heron on the rocks, so out came my camera. Husband caught up,and he took quite a few shots too.

The waterproof I bought half price in the summer turned out to be quite heavy. Husband said he had found a more lightweight one, half price in a shop. So we went to look, but it was tad loose,I like plenty of room, but it was a bit tent like. They didn't have a smaller size, but we managed to find  a smaller  one a few pounds more, again reduced in price, so I bought that.  A lot of waterproofs seem slim fitting these days, I'm not sure why.
 We decided to head back before the traffic got too heavy, and that evening I cooked pork steaks,and veg. When we arrived at my sister's my niece was there, and after a while there was a knock at the window, which turned out to be my nephew, so we had a time of catching up and chatting with them.
Friday morning was a time for finishing packing, popping to the supermarket, then the cemetery,and putting flowers on Mum and Dad's grave, then sandwiches, packing the car, cleaning up and setting off for our Son's home in Cheshire.
It was our Daughter in law's Birthday, so I took flowers and chocolates. I took a meal for us, as the plan was for them to settle Ethan, and then go out for a meal whilst we babysat. We had our meal, son downloaded New Tricks for us to watch, as my sister doesn't watch it these days. Eventually Ethan did go off so they were able to get a break, and have a meal out. I wish I could babysit for them more often. They came back refreshed, and with a cake they had picked up in a late opening supermarket, which was a substitute Birthday cake. Our Son was working on the Saturday, but we were up early enough to see him. Then we just spent a pleasant morning playing with Ethan, and chatting, leaving after lunch, and stopping at Watford Gap for a drink, and arriving home at around 4.30. We called in at the garage with the M&S for something for the evening meal. I put the heating on, but the weather has continued mild, so the radiators have hardly been on.