Friday, 29 May 2015

May musings

We had two visiting speakers again in church Sunday of the week before last they were both quite good, it's hard getting used to different styles of preaching, but unfortunately this is what happens in an interregnum period.
On the Monday it was a lovely day, and we decided a bike ride was in order. We set off along the canal bank, but my tyres seemed to be inflated to the maximum, and I found it bumpier then ever! Through sheer determination I managed to get to the top of one of the little hills before the locks, but most of them defeated me. We rode as far as the Waitrose store in Berkhamsted, and that meant I could use their toilet, buy the paper, and a fresh bottle of water too. I also bought us a Mars bar each. We hadn't had lunch, but I thought it would sustain us on the way back. There were 2 stretches on the way back where we managed to go along quiet back roads. The locks were all downhill too, but I did stop a couple of times as I was a bit saddle sore. Husband was wearing padded shorts under his trousers. In total we did 11+ miles, which was odd as we did 6+ on the way there. I brought my bike into the garden to touch up some paint which had chipped off the mudguard, probably that time in the winter when I slipped on the hump back bridge and dropped the bike.
Someone extended their garden to Islands in the river

Arriving at Berkhamsted

getting ready for the return journey
The totem pole

I wasn't too sore on the Tuesday, the weather was quite fine again, my only exercise that day was a walk to the shops in town. I'd been having trouble getting to sleep for a while, so had started having warm milk with a dash of Sweet Freedom, a natural sweetener, before bed. This had stopped working and I had 2 really bad nights. It probably didn't help that I'd been reading the Poldark novels again, due to them being on TV and iplayer recently.
So on Wednesday, when I went to Sainsbury's, I bought some Ovaltine. When I had to stay in hospital after the birth of both of my children, it was always my bedtime drink. The hospitals must save a fortune now that new Mums are only in for 8-10 hours. We always were in 8 days for the first, 5 for the second. That meant that we had 3 meals a day, tea and biccies at 4pm, then a choice of drink before bedtime. There were also free nappies, free formula, or dextrose, baby gowns, and free breast pads.
I digress, the Ovaltine has worked, and I'm trying not to read too much Poldark before bed. I was up earlier on Wednesday, got to the supermarket earlier, and husband had his walk into town earlier. We collected Lydia, our Daughter had gone early, but her husband is  between jobs again, it seems to be a hazard in his line of work, so he can be available if we are late. Although he has interviews, and tests to perform, so we still take the children.
On the Thursday, the weather changed, I'd been wearing summer skirts and sandals, but we woke to pouring rain that morning. So it was back to long sleeve t shirts and trousers, there was areal underlying coldness as well. I left Lydia with her Granddad whilst I went to the shops, as she would have been behind rain covers. After lunch I asked if she wanted a nap, and she nodded so I put her  in the cot. I came down and she was singing away, we could hear her on the baby alarm, I was thinking of going up to bring her back down stairs, my own eyes were closing, due to my previous lack of sleep. Suddenly, it went quiet, so I  had a short doze, but was awake long before she was. When her brother came home from school he was very good and didn't waken her, so I let her sleep a bit longer.
However I'm alawys conscious that she won't sleep at night if she naps to late, so I did wake her up.
She was pretty dopey, so I reckon she would have slept much longer.
On the Friday, our Son and his wife and Ethan arrived in time for lunch. They were dropping Tom off on their way to the airport, for a holiday in Spain They had 'won' the accommodation free, just by test driving a car. They were staying in a hotel at the airport, overnight, as they had an early flight in the morning.
Saturday morning husband took the car to be cleaned, so I took Tom for a run on the field, then we drove into town, minus Tom to get the weekend shopping. In the afternoon I took Tom to the field near to Daughter's home. I needed to pop to the shops, but didn't want to take Tom, so left him at Daughter's home for a while, much to the delight of the children.
Tom after affection again

Friday, 15 May 2015

A miscellany

Oh my! Is it really 3 weeks since we came home? I am so behind with this blog. Well it hasn't been an over exciting time. the first part of the first week was spent washing, and putting stuff away; looking for a new hairdresser, the 3 in the local 'village' were too expensive, so I checked with the one where I used to go when the children were at primary school, and I got an appointment for the Tuesday morning. I had a mile walk uphill, can't believe I used to do that every day, and it turned out to be pensioner's day, so I got it done even cheaper. We have walked past the old hairdressers a few times, and it's been done up. Husband reckons it's going to be expensive.
We looked after the children as usual on the first week, then on the Friday, late morning we went for a bike ride. As I hadn't ridden much whilst  away, I kept it fairly short, only going as far as Kings Langley. I suffered no ill effects, so I reckon I did drink the caffeinated coffee after all.
On the Sunday afternoon I got  a phone call, asking if we could look after Nathaniel whilst his parents took Lydia to the hospital, as her Daddy had been pretending to be a horse,and she was riding on his back, when she fell off and hit her head on the fireplace. He arrived with pjs, just in case it was a long wait at A&E, we were instructed to get him ready for bed and take him home.
Granddad was napping upstairs when he arrived, but after about an hour I went up and told him, so he came down to play with Nathaniel. We gave him tea,and his parents arrived back at about 6.40pm, too late for us to go to the evening service. The Doctor had checked Lydia over, and glued the scalp wound together. We chatted for a while, then they went home, relieved that it was not a bad injury.
The next day we set off on a bike ride and covered nine and a half miles there and back, we almost made it to Berkhamsted.

Information board

This fellow landed just before we arrived

But we scared him off to the other side

It may have been the Tuesday when we went to the garden centre, mainly for grass seed. We always seem to have bald spots on the lawn.
That week, on the Wednesday, we took the children home and Nathaniel changed into his Doctor's outfit, got out his toy medical kit,and subjected some of us to 'medical' examinations. It was quite lovely to  watch him play. I went to visit our friend C who had been in hospital for a few weeks, she'd had a fairly minor procedure, but had had a complication, and then got a chest infection. Poor lady, she was very low, but I hope I cheered her up a bit.
On the Saturday, we took my bike for the after sales service, I was rather late taking it, as I'd taken a while to do the required 40 miles, and we had such difficulty getting it out of the Focus, so that we wanted to use the bike rack. We went into town for lunch, then to a couple of shops, but Watford had been playing their last game of the season, with an early kick off, and there were fans and police everywhere. It was a bit intimidating when the fans were all going in one direction,and we were going the other way, especially the mob that came through chanting. We stayed a bit later to allow the traffic to die down a bit.
So last week, being a bank holiday week, husband went out on his own on the Monday, I got no rides at all, but he made it to Berkhamsted. I did some walking for exercise but the day I took Lydia in the buggy, it poured with rain, and I got soaked whilst fitting the rain covers. I was glad when Saturday came. Husband took the car for its first wash and brush up under the deal we signed up for at Fords, and then we were off to Watford to collect my bike. we had lunch in the M&S cafe first as there was something I wanted to buy for Mum in Law's Birthday later this month.
We eventually got the cheque for the cancelled insurance, although I had to prompt the AA insurers, apparently they have a backlog, not a good way to do business.
The other big items this last couple of weeks were the birth of a new Royal baby, much guessing went on until the names were announced, then of course we had an election last week. No one came canvassing until the night before, when our local council Conservative hopeful came.
I was very surprised to hear the result, obviously people have not forgiven Labour for what happened last time they were in power, and weren't happy with their leadership.  Our local council have even more Conservative seats, so they still remember who closed most of our hospital services.
We will have to see what happens over the next 5 years, but in the meantime pray for our Government to be given wisdom, and that Christians will be able to live their lives in peace and freedom.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

More rain, but it did get better

The Wednesday wasn't a particularly nice day, I had to do more shopping, and went to Morrisons', but it took ages as I couldn't find stuff.  I couldn't find the flowers, but late in the afternoon, it had stopped raining, so I went to Sainsbury's, bought some flowers, and took them to Mum and Dad's grave at the cemetery, leaving the car at the gate. The cemetery was deserted, but as I walked back along the path I saw another lady, then realised that she had driven her car in.
Later that evening husband and I went to see my sister, and as we drove back I was surprised to see that the cemetery gates were still open. That's not very good, it's an invitation to youths bent on mischief and vandalism.
The next day we were expecting visitors.  After a lunch of bought lasagne and salad, I prepared rolls, cut up quiches, put out pringles, cherry tomatoes mini sausages, and other treats and waited for everyone to arrive. My niece who lives in Rhyl arrived first, then my sister, her husband and my niece from Birmingham, then my other sister who had insisted on getting the bus from Rhyl. Daughter got a phone call to say her car was ready to collect, so we looked after the children whilst my husband took her to collect it. The grandchildren were slightly bewildered by all the newcomers, but behaved quite well. The weather was better, but still a tad cold. Husband had put the garden furniture out, so when it came to teatime, daughter took the children to eat outside, less messy!
Fortunately there were plenty of mugs in the bungalow, so I managed all the teas and coffees. We all had a good chat except my Bro in Law, who is quite a quiet chap, and seemed a bit out of sorts. He is diabetic, and his blood sugar sometimes fluctuates.

My eldest sister

The middle one
The Birmingham family left at about 6 and gave my sister and niece a lift home, so that they could easily find the A55 from there. We cleared up, gave the carpets a thorough vacuuming, and the kitchen and conservatory.  I felt like a walk, and duly set off across the dunes to the promenade. I walked to Splash Point, and watched the sunset, but then felt I couldn't walk back. That bed really wasn't doing me any favours, so I tried to read a bus shelter timetable, but didn't succeed as I had no specs with me, So I rang husband and he collected me. Then we began our packing. We were relatively early to bed, but I didn't sleep too well.

 Up at 6.30, then on with the sorting of food to bring home, breakfast, packing the cool bag, showering, emptying the fridge etc. Husband had to refit the detachable towbar, but had to wait until everything was packed in the car before he fitted the cycle rack.
At the last minute, I remembered that my rings were still in the bedroom, Daughter was trying to pull out of the drive, but the cleaner, who wasn't due until 10.00 am had arrived.  I hastily returned the keys to the keysafe,and shut the garage door, looked at my watch,and it was still not 10.00 am, we had been warned the cleaner would be there at 10, but she was at least 5 minutes early. We continued hoisting the bikes on at the side of the road where husband had parked. We were soon on our way, stopping for lunch with our Son and Daughter in law, but our Daughter had decided to press on. Ethan kept us entertained with some snatches of 'row row the boat', but we couldn't stay too long, husband had decided he wanted to get home that day. We had a comfort stop at Norton Canes, and a coffee, then later, a drink at Watford Gap. We arrived home at about 5.30 pm, took the car to the rented garage, unloaded the bikes and the bike rack, then unpacked the car. Once I had checked the mail, and the answering machine, I went out to get some food for that evening. I had a piece of beef in the freezer to defrost for the Sunday.
There was still quite a lot of stuff to be sorted and put away. there was no sign in the post of the cheques for the cancellation of the Focus insurance. Husband went to bed, but I stayed up a bit longer to watch something on iplayer. It was lovely to be back in our own bed. I had quite a good night's sleep.
On the Sunday we had a visiting preacher, we spent the day quietly as usual,and I phoned Mum in Law in the evening to catch up with her news.