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Showing posts from May, 2013

Thursday 30 May

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Got up early with lots to do.  Suki less inclined to get up! Got to Haldon Woods at 9.30 and spent a couple of hours walking round then drove to Horsington to have lunch with Jay at the Half Moon Inn.  Set off from there about 2.15 and got home about 4.  Quick walk with Suki then off to Highbury and Islington to ring handbells with David, Steve and Robert S.  Rang peal of Oxford TB Major on 7-8.  Had a beer and crisps afterwards provided by David.

Wednesday

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Walked in Parke in the morning- car park round to right at river to pick up track near road then left along high track and back by river.  Suki lost ball in river and then nearly got into difficulty trying to get it back as stuff she thought wss solid wasn't. Went to Exeter to ring handbells at lunchtime.  Lynn stuck on train outside station so instead of struggling through qp of Norwich surprise royal we rang a nice qp of 6 spliced major which was good practice for the others who are ringing a peal of it tonight. Got my lira on the way back then went up on the moor.  Walked from small road car park round to black tor,  round the back and up on to the summit then back by the ridge.  Lots of ponies round the car park including a couple of foals.  They were lying down and didn't move when we walked right by them on the way out.  When we got back one was standing.  It and suki eyed each other up for a while and then the foal got spooked and mum rushed over to scare suki away.  Po…

Tuesday 28 May

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Did some washing and fiddled around for a bit before taking Suki out at 10.  Went to plantation - circuit from Ashburton road car park.  Still some boggy bits to negotiate but otherwise paths good now.  Quite nice morning but occasional drizzle.  Practiced handbells then went to trago.  Nightmare.  All car parks full - so about 2000 cars on site and all their occupants thronging the shops,  cafes, rides and loos! Got some of the bits I wanted then gave up and went back to bovey.  Lira not yet in but got certified copies of statements for cofunds.  Got fruit and milk from veg man plus two Bakewell tarts - the big ones I used to get from temple sandwich bar.  Had one for lunch after veg soup. Did walk 1 from dog walk book 1 in the afternoon.  Teign valley.  Thought it was going to be a bit boring as started off in fields but second half coming back on the other side of the river was good with woods absolutely full of wild garlic.  The smell on a damp warm evening was heavenly.  Suki los…

Bank holiday Monday

Woke up 4.30.  Still wide awake at 5 so got up and weeded back garden, planted flower seeds, sprayed path with path clear and treated lawn. Then took suki for a walk at 6. Beautiful morning and had the park to myself. Got back and cleared front garden of rubbish,  weeds,  leaves etc. Had shower at 7 and made breakfast. Set off for Devon after breakfast and arrived about 1 pm. Cold and cloudy. Inside looked lovely as I had left it clean and fresh.  Hoovered porch of cobwebs which had built up.  Path clear put down last time has been quite effective especially at the back.  Had cheese roll and lemon cake for lunch. Went for walk in Parke - high path and back by river.  Drizzly which turned to driving rain and wind when I got back to the car.  Went to see Mary for an hour.  No bellringing practice.  Had pasta rice and bolognaise for supper and more cake! Kept off alcohol as funny head again.  Drank lots of coffee.  Cleared out top of main wardrobe.  Went to bed 10.30 and put magic radio …

Sunday 26th May

At last felt better this morning. Lovely warm sunny day.   Took Suki out early then went to church - where we had the Archdeacon in charge which made a nice change.  Tried ringing at Barnes - wrists seemed to hold out.  Got home and had to help local wheelchair user who needed his socks putting on!  He was very grateful. Mike rang qp at Barnes at noon.   Found great web site from Web User magazine which holds all storage sites in one place - so now have GoogleDrive, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Picasa and Flickr in one place. That issue of the magazine had loads of interesting stuff for a change so spent most of afternoon trying things out (eg Google keep and Google now) and looking at sites (eg national geographic photos of overcrowded everest) while Mike took suki for a walk.  Went to Thames Ditton at 4 for 5 pm qp. Roger and Geraldine had wrong time and only got there at 5.30.  Still rang nice qp of Lightfoot 6.  Locals commented on how nice the ringing was.  Got home and had penne and bolog…

Saturday 25th May

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Felt a little better this morning, especially after a shower.  Did lots of washing then took Suki to Chiswick House for a walk (in the car).  In the afternoon worked out how to convert all the books to epubs in one block session, then how to export just the epubs into a separate folder, and then uploaded that folder to GDrive - so now they are all available to me when I want one wherever I may be.  That took all evening (and all night).  Mike walked Suki again in the afternoon as I was still feeling ill.  Then went to Alistair's birthday party at the Arts Centre in Bracknell.  Lovely evening - really nice food and lots of wine and orange juice (which is what I stuck to) and a cash bar.  There was a concert of piano playing and singing afterwards which was excellent.

Friday 24 May

Became aware of Lorraine being violently sick at 6 am.  Administered some TLC and went back to bed feeling not too good myself.  Around 8 am she was in great distress and still being sick so dialled 111 for advice.  They sent paramedics out (blue lights and sirens etc).  They were here for a while and had her in the ambulance doing tests and observations.  They offered to take her to hospital but she declined.  When they had gone took Suki out (about 10.15 by then).  When I got back with Suki crawled into bed and stayed there feeling ill and shivery.  We both stayed in bed all day feeling really ill, although I wasn't actually sick.  Mike seemed to be ok luckily - so could take Suki out in the afternoon.  A complete waste of a day - even if it was cold and wet.

Thursday 23 May

Got up to get Mike off to work then went back to bed for an hour.  Ian Schofield rang out of the blue mid-morning to suggest coming over for lunch and to kick his heels while his dad was in Hammersmith Hospital for the day having battery changed on pacemaker.  Rushed out to have planned pedicure, manicure and fringe cut before he arrived.  Had lunch at CJs - I had veggie breakfast.  Ian worked on his laptop in kitchen preparing umpire rotas for a regatta while I did more computer stuff upstairs.  He left at 4.30 and I took Suki for a walk.  Then went over to Twickenham to ring a peal of Pudsey on handbells with Steve, David M and Chris O'Mahony.  A bit rough (I had to say half lead quite a lot of times!) but we got it.  Had some humus and pitta provided by Mary afterwards.

Wednesday 22 May

Found the USB cable for the Passport hard drive which I couldn't find yesterday at choir committee meeting -it had fallen on floor behind dog cage.  Had late breakfast and then walked up to convent for pushing.  Had dreadful woman called Stella who complained of the cold so much I took her back. Then she leapt out of the wheelchair and marched off down the corridor - clearly able to walk very well.  I went back to Chiswick House to meet up with the others again and walked round with them then came home.  Bought a new cover for the phone.  Spent some time researching sd cards with bigger storage for phone - bit put off by horror stories of them freezing the phone but in the end ordered one and also a credit card size holder for the cards.  Then went to Sainsburys with Lorraine and changed the tankini I bought on Monday for a swimming costume, plus bought another sun dress for a nightdress.  25% off now so even cheaper than before.  In the evening went for supper with Pru and Caroli…

Tuesday 21 May

Went to lunch with Anne C - at 11 am!  We went to the arabian restaurant near Shepherd's Bush market and had a drink first and then had food at just before 12.  I had a couple of arabian coffees which were like turkish coffee and then we shared falafel, borek, and lamb pastries.  Delicious.  Anne had to be at the funeral directors at 12.30 so I walked there with her and then bought one of the large meringues from the shop next door.  They were not as nice as they looked and not very sweet but at least I know that now!  I walked on to Lahori and got sufficient curry stuff to make up 6 meals plus Mike's lunch when I got back, so I froze the 6 meals for when I am away in Turkey. In the evening sang in the choir for special service at St Nicholas for induction of David as Sheriff.  Lots of dressing up!  Bishop, judges, trumpeters etc.  Enjoyed the singing very much.  Mike also rang but Monica had found a replacement for me to save my wrists which was much appreciated.  Then went t…

Monday

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Got up at 7 - and out of the house at 8.20 to pick up Susie at the station.  Drove to Ashridge Estate and arrived in a car park at 9.30 am feeling very pleased with ourselves for being half an hour early.  Half an hour later we realised we were in the wrong car park and rushed off down the road to one that was within view of the monument and found everyone else there waiting for us (with no mobile signal so our texts and calls had not been received).  Notwithstanding we had a lovely 6 mile walk taking in a couple of bluebell woods.  The bluebells were on their way out but still lovely.  Had a nice pub lunch at the Valiant Trooper in Aldbury - now under new ownership but still very dog friendly with dog treats on the bar.  Got home about 3.30 and spent a few hours on the computer updating blog and clearing out emails. Didn't go ringing so as to rest wrists.  They had 8 anyway and had a good practice - with Katherine ringing plain course of Stedman.  Had a nice early night after wat…

Sunday

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Had a lovely night's sleep in my own bed at last - even if it was under a sleeping bag because duvet in the wash!  Put the penaultimate load of washing on and took Suki for a walk.  Went to 8 am service and had to chime the bell because Monica wasn't there.  Went straight home afterwards as didn't want to do any ringing for a while to let my wrists recover.  Mike played the organ at convent and then went to ring QP at Barnes.  Finished off the washing.  Went to Sainsburys in Alperton and treated myself to a couple of swimsuits for Turkey and an ankle length sundress which is perfect for me to use as a nightdress.  In the afternoon Mike walked Suki and I did a mammoth ironing session (which inevitable follows a mammoth laundry session!).  Managed to see the last episode of Endeavour on the ITV player on the TV!  In the evening updated the church website and then had Tesco pizza and green leaf salad with bottle of McGuigan red wine which had been half price in Sainsburys.  W…

Saturday

Suki slept well again - I did not!  Woke in the morning to realise that my window had been shut all night.  Apparently Mike had shut it in the morning and I hadn't noticed last night because Judy had closed my blind for me.  So I did not have any air!  Packed up sleeping bags etc and put them in the car.  Cooker had run out of gas so couldn't make cup of tea or porridge as intended so decided to walk with the boat to Eastwood and then walk back for the car while they were ringing.  Woman had a go at me while I was doing the lock because Suki growled slightly when her dog went near her.  Set my location on the satnav at Eastwood and then set off back to the car.  Drove back to the boat and did all the washing up from the cooked breakfast they had had, then cleaned the cooker and the tables and kitchen surfaces, then cleaned the two toilets, sinks and the shower.  No-one even mentioned it or said thanks when they got back to the boat - but they set to making tea and eating cake!…

Friday

BWB man opened the flood lock gates early in the morning so we went through and then took on water before going up Erewash canal.  Judy and I got off at Bridge 3 (with Suki) and went to the station.  We only needed to buy a £4 single each to Derby and were then able to use our original tickets.  Four train journeys and some two hours later we reached Kidderminster.  The first taxi in the rank wouldn't take Suki but the next one was lovely and jumped out to say hello to her.  He had 7 dogs of his own apparently and he was very friendly and helpful - so I gave him a big tip at the end (equivalent to the fare) and hoped he would go back and tell the other man what he had missed out on.  We got the cars and headed off to Sainsburys at Kidderminster to get some shopping for dinner that night then drove to Kingswinford for a pub lunch.  We had to sit outside in the smokers area with the dog but had a very nice lunch with chips for the first time in a fortnight.  Then we drove to the chu…

Thursday

A lovely sunny morning although still very cold.  Suki restless at midnight so put her on my bunk and calmed her down sufficiently that she went to sleep by my feet. This left me very uncomfortable and had difficulty sleeping although must have slept some.  Had to calm her down again at 5 and she slept again this time in usual crook of arm so at least i got to sleep on the other side.  Really stiff in the morning.  Let suki on to grassy bit to stretch her legs then boat set off at 8. Boat bound for most of the day.  Walked the beeston cut as far as the marina where boat got a pump out and I played ball with suki.  Got back on board for rest of day.  Lovely sunny weather in the morning but by evening driving rain again.  Tried to get to long eaton but came up against a closed and padlocked flood lock at cranfleet cut!  Moored below lock and tried to find info about when it might be open.  Web site says shut until further notice.  Apparently it is a mile to the station from here so can …

Wednesday

Got up early.  Andy and Judy took suki out as bank here still too high for me to get out.  Went to try and negotiate with lock keeper but no joy.  Even the dredger can't get through.  The channel they thought they had dredged had filled up again. Lock keeper adamant.  So we are going back to Newark.  My train ticket for Friday now useless.  Also team coming out to take boat back will have to get new train tickets.  It will take longer to go back to Newark because against the flow of river.  Suki and I will be boat bound all day again.  Mike had to spend the day contacting towers we were due to ring at to cancel and contacting other towers to see if he can arrange ringing there.  Hoping to go up and down erewas canal and ring at 3 towers that way.  Finished book The Girl Who Played With Fire.  Then rang some handbells.  Finally got off boat at Hazleford lock at 5.30 and had lovely 4 mile walk along the trent valley way which runs alongside the river all the way to Gunthorpe lock. S…

Tuesday

Suki really good again all night.  Thought being moored by the path would have disturbed her. Got up early.  Boat moving by 7.20.  Did first 2 locks with one mile walk then back on board for more river trent.  Moored at holme Pierrepont for breakfast and to let cyclists off. Then spent pleasant time boating down the river with huge locks operated by lock keepers.  Cold but sunny.  Stopped at pontoon to pick up cyclists then boated to Newark.  Got much colder and windier.  I stayed on boat while they rang at Newark because couldn't get off as bank too high.  Cooked roast pork dinner with lentil soup to start.  Hammered down with rain from 5 pm onwards.  Boated to Cromwell lock which was closed due to large sandbar across it having been swept down during winter floods.  Moored overnight hoping to persuade lock keeper the next day.

Monday

Suki and I went to get church key from nearby house.  Ringers failed to ring qp of beeston while judy Louise and I washed up got water and investigated pump out. sun shining but still bitterly cold and windy.  Walked the first 2 locks about a mile then had to get on for river.  Got pump out at Sawley marina which had great chandlery shop, rubbish disposal and recycling.  Moored for lunch at beeston after turning on to canal.  I walked from there to Nottingham where we moored for the night by big sainsbury.  Treated myself to turkish delight.  Bought beer for boat too. JJ cooked fish pie which was delicious. Hal and becky joined the boat. Lashing rain early evening.  Suki completely whacked and slept on sofa right through dinner.

Sunday

Sun shining but still cold and windy.  Walked from Alrewas to Burton on trent except for 2 mile stretch when I had breakfast. Suki had enough by then so stayed on boat in the afternoon.  Stood on back of boat with mike driving while jj made beef curry which was excellent. Moored at Shardlow.  Cyclists arrived just in time for 7.30 dinner tired and grumpy at distance cycled and constant wind and rain.  JJ fell getting out of boat on wet slippery ground just as local who had offered to help said "here comes a competent crew member"! Others went to pub after roast lamb dinner but I had ovaltine and went to bed.

Saturday

Suki quiet all night.  Made a nice change.  All had a lie in as late start.  Others went to ring at Lichfield.  Judy and I stayed on boat.  Squally rain and gale force winds interspersed with sunny spells.  Decided to stay on board and walk suki later when boat moving.   Set off at 2. Walked from Lichfield to Alrewas. Weather continued to be very variable - hot and sunny one minute,  minor hurricane and rain.  Boat got stuck on the bank at one time but when I went back to help there was nothing I could do so carried on walking.  Did the locks up to Alrewas.  Forced to ring in the qp at Alrewas.  Really painful on wrists and arms and made me feel odd and dizzy. Qp was quite nice though and bells very nice and easy going. Dashed to pub for a pint after picking suki up from boat.  Then back for roast lamb dinner cooked by jj.  Others went to pub again afterwards taking suki although she was knackered.  I was on ovaltine by then and ready for bed so left them to it.

Friday

Still raining and windy when I got up.  Suki restless from about 4 with much scratching at the doors.  Set off at 8 with me and suki walking to Rugeley.  Rain and wind both eased but still quite wet and cold.  Put my waterproof trousers on today-never got round to it yesterday.  They had boiled goose eggs for breakfast so the washing up was much easier. Suki completely manic when we were on the boat while they were ringing because of banging against the side. Hid behind the fridge.  Later water pump stopped working.  Discovered cable chewed through.  Suki got the blame! Walked on to Armitage.  Sat outside the boat while they rang there.  Then stayed on boat for a while.  Got to Lichfield at 6 and went to pub where at last there was free wi fi. Tony cooked belly pork.  Drank quite a lot of wine.  Went to bed slightly later than previously.

Thursday

Slight lie in as others ringing at 10 here. Suki restless again in the night.  Obviously need to tire her out more during the day.  Cold and wet this morning although occasional sunshine.Cold wind. I washed up and did a bit of cleaning while others were ringing.  Weather turned foul.  Spent a lot of time fending the boat off the bank with the pole because the wind was so strong. Also very cold and very wet.  I was very glad I  had brought my goretex coat as was in two minds when packing on lovely sunny day.  We stopped an hour short of Rugeley at wolsey bridge. The rain lashed down just after so a good move. JJ lit the stove so we were nice and cosy inside and the pioes were warm through the bedrooms.  I managed to dry my gloves on them.  Tony cooked casserole which I am not keen on so had lots of veg and then cheese and biscuits.  All in bed by 10 again.  Suki was tired out - too tired to beg at the table.

Wednesday

Suki less restless with fleece on floor again.  I didn't sleep well but must have slept some. Walked on for a mile then moored up for breakfast and to ring at Tettenhall.  Judy not well so I had to ring.  Lost qp of Bristol after half an hour.  No locks for 4 hours.  Stayed on boat as suki clearly tired and not very scenic.  Rang qp of bob major on handbells.  Tony s first on 8 in hand.  Then rang some Lightfoot 6. Had a sandwich for lunch then stopped at Gailey bridge for gas and water.  After 4 hours on boat walked for a few miles with locks at half mile intervals.  Weather not as good today.  Cloudy and damp with some sunshine.  Moored just down from Penkridge locks. Walked into village for a few supplies.  Then rang qp of st clements minor on handbells.  Got very cold and started to rain so rang very fast. Got ready for pub then Mike needed gloves coat hat eyc. I had suki on lead and she made a lunge for the bank without me noticing.  So lead went tight and suki fell in canal.…

Tuesday

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Another lovely sunny day.  Suki less restless with fleece on floor during the night.  Walked for most of the morning. Had usual porridge and blueberries for breakfast.  They had cooked again.  Beautifully cooked by Tony. Took a long time to fill up with water at stewpony because tank kept belching.  At 11.30 stopped for a while at a boatyard to get bits for passing the boat inspection.  Andy and Judy joined the boat at Swindon lock about 2 pm. Boated to Compton where we moored for the night.  Suki very tired.  We went to the pub and I had two black cherry ciders.  So only had one small glass of wine with dinner.  Had chilli and jacket potato and Tony made delicious garlic bread.  I was stuffed and skipped the cheese course. Suki was in the boat in the evening and rather interested in the cheese course!   Had ovaltine and went to bed.

Bank holiday Monday

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Had to rewrite today's blog as it disappeared.  Didn't sleep well but didn't expect to! Suki very restless and I was only just comfortable enough.  Shoulder playing up too. Have hung Yankee candle lavender car freshener above my bunk which is lovely.  Off at 8 and suki and I walked to Kidderminster setting falling sands lock and Caldwell lock on the way.  Did big shop in tesco where I sneaked cleaning stuff and air fresheners into the trolley so I could clean toilet areas. Had porridge and blueberries for breakfast.  Walked to Wolverley then got on which was about midday.  Boated down to kinver arriving 3.30 which is where we stopped for the night. Suki sat on the back alternating between sun and shade which she found under the wheelchair.  Others went off to ring nice qp of Stedman doubles and I cooked roast dinner and also made a big chilli con carne for the next day.  Then sat in sun drinking peach and apricot cider and then glass of white wine.  Suki wouldn't come …

Sunday

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Very organised.  Did complete ringing circuit; sorted keys for stewards, updated church web site, paid bills and produced new bikes page for barnes before turning my attention to packing. Had Lorraines chow mein for lunch and left for Stourport at 3. A good run down and we were there by 5.30.  Gill and Tony arrived at 6.  We filled up with water and went up canal for half a mile to Bird in Hand where we moored for the night.  Got beer from pub and drank it on board.  JJ cooked roast gammon with veg and roast potatoes and big chunks of cheese for afters. Suki actually came on the boat of her own accord while we were eating so she could beg for scraps which she did quite successfully. Went to bed at 11.

Saturday

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Cloudy and damp first thing.  Good going home weather.  Would have found it hard to drag myself away from garden if hot and sunny.  Did a few going home bits before going out with suki so only got out at 9.  Went to plantation.  Parked at far end of main drag and turned right just inside gate to walk round the edge through the woods meeting up with templer way. This had beed diverted round a particularly boggy patch with nice hard path.  Continued right round the edge of plantation. Surface was very much better than previously with most of it hard and dry but there were still some difficult places.   Survived in boots although had to leap in several places and cling to trees.  Got home and swept drive and front patio then sprayed weeds at front with path clear.  Also sprayed some round the back door.  Had suki on lead slung round my shoulders so she could be outside with me.  Just as well as postman appeared!  At 11 went down to town to watch morris dancing.  Very lucky as Roy's …

Friday

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Slept well and had a mini lie-in till 7 am.  Out on the moor again at 8.30.  Took old tramway from small road car park in the direction of Bovey.  Had previously discounted this as being next to the road but it was actually really lovely and was often much higher than the road and contoured right up and away from it eventually.  Met the bridlepath near Ullacombe and walked back up it - lovely wooded path with streams crossing.  When the bridlepath met the small road, turned onto marked path and contoured back round in the direction of Bovey gaining height nice and gradually.  Lovely views - including out to sea!  Was a good walk for keeping out of the wind too - only realised there was a wind when I got back to the car park.  Only took and hour and a quarter which was quicker than I thought it would take.  Would have liked to have been out for 2 hours but decided to go back and get other stuff done.  The sun was out all the time I was walking but the clouds were gathering and the rest…

Thursday

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Up early again - another lovely morning.  Out on the moor at 8.30 - took the path across from small road car park straight over and down to the Hound Tor junction.  Went on down to the stream so that Suki could have a drink and followed the side of the stream for a bit until the path ran out.  I had not been down that way before and found that the babbling stream became a series of mini waterfalls - the photos don't do them justice (the roar of falling water is needed!).  Then went back up and took the Leighon bridlepath until it was clear it was going down to Leighon - then went up and carried on contouring round with Black Hill on my right.  Aiming to meet up with the path I contoured round on from the car park last time.  I got to the farm track and followed it up to the road but it was difficult to pick up the exact contour path I was aiming for and in the end I went up on to Black Hill where it was easier to see.  I was pleased to find the higher contour path almost immediat…

Wednesday

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Another lovely sunny day.  Out on the moor by 8.30 and spent 2 hours starting on saddle tor over to hay tor round by the quarry then over to hound tor path and back round trying to find lower footpath.  Went to Exeter at lunchtime via cardboard recycling and scored qp of Norwich surprise royal.  Several starts and it was ropey in places but first surprise royal in hand for most of the band including me so still an achievement.  Basked in the sun on the patio for a couple of hours when I got back then went for amble round parke.  Amazing how the river has gone right down.  Where Lorraine and I were paddling in wellies is now a vast beach. Suki enjoyed playing in the river again.  In the evening grappled with setting up the old Dell latitude (s) I have acquired.  Very time consuming. Got there eventually.  Nothing on tv so read book and had early night - as did suki!