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Showing posts from December, 2014

Christmas week

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Part 2 of my end of year round up.  Sunday was the usual for the time of year - handbell rehearsal in the afternoon at our house, then choir rehearsal at St Nicks, then handbells prior to the Carol Service, then the Carol Service itself and finally handbells at the convent.  Hayley didn't turn up so there were only 3 altos - me, Michelle and Gwyneth!  I enjoyed singing And The Glory, and seemed to be able to muddle through the rest.  David seemed pleased with it all at the end.  The handbells went well - all experienced ringers so even the runs worked!  I had a nice chat with Sister Barbara afterwards and thanked her for the cross stitch kits and the book and told her what progress I had made with the wolf.

On Monday it was down to Devon at last.  The weather was good for the first part of the week, especially Christmas Day itself, but Boxing Day was horribly wet and cold all day.  We both took Suki walking when the weather was ok - but I did the Boxing Day ones as it was so wet. …

The week before Christmas

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Things got too frenetic to keep up with blog writing, so here we go with part 1 of a round up of life to the end of 2014.  I ended the week at Devon with handbells at Tracey House on Saturday afternoon.  We set up all the tables and got all the bells out and then discovered Jean had forgotten to bring the music!  So Charlotte drove her back to Moretonhampstead to get it and the residents had a cup of tea and mince pie.  We used the Alphington bells and music - the music being simpler so we could do it on the one rehearsal.  It went quite well - just a couple of restarts!

Went back home on the Sunday - Mike took Suki out in the afternoon while I sorted myself out.  Then it was off to the Albert Hall to sing Messiah.  I was sat next to Judy, which was nice, and we were moved down to the back row of the stage section which was a relief as I felt much more connected to the conductor and the performance as a whole.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Spent the week finishing off Christmas cards an…

Friday 12th December

Declared the dachstein's dry and took Suki up on the moor.  It was quite damp and grey, but actually very enjoyable with waterproofs on and hands snug in mitts.  Went from small car park to Black Tor and back along the tramway.  Went to see Mary again, and joined in yet another sing-a-long of Christmas songs.  In the afternoon finished off Christmas decorations.  Handbell concert in the evening went well - packed hall (which was tiny and seated about 35!).  Finished off the white wine before going to sleep.

Thursday 11th December

Slept a bit better.  Took Suki to Parke in the morning and plantation in the afternoon. Wet and miserable all day. At lunchtime went over to Exeter to ring with Tim, Sue, Sue and Lynn.  Had another go at Yorkshire Royal.  Got to the end this time but didn't count it as last couple of leads were all over the place.  Pleased to have got through it though.  In the evening went for final handbell practice before concert.  Seemed to go ok.  Got home and drank half the white wine before going to sleep!

Wednesday 10th December

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Slept badly although not actually lying wide awake. At 6 listened to episode of I'm sorry I haven't a clue. Got up at 7.10.  Took Suki for a long walk from the house up Shaptor Woods and on to Slade Cross, then down th byeway and back along the Lustleigh  back road.  Saw improvements to railway track, including construction of new bridge at the end of Parke.  Not yet open but looked very close. When we got back Suki sunned herself on the windowsill.  Went to handbell practice at 2.30 - we practiced the pieces for Tracey House and then went over the Christmas Music which was good.  In the evening I finished writing all my Christmas Cards and got them ready for posting. Went to bed early and drank all the rose wine before going to sleep.

Tuesday 9th December

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Got up and 7.15 having slept reasonably well.  Had breakfast and went for a walk with Suki to Bovey Valley Woods.  Usual paths were closed for tree felling and we had to walk up to the top of the ridge on the left to get to the gate out to the track. Then went straight on up the bridlepath and explored the heath, coming back round to the middle car park and then back down to the gate. It was lovely to be up high on the heath and look back over to the woods and the beautiful colours.  Then went left along the track and back on the other side of the river.  It was lovely.  I was wearing far too many layers - it was one degree and very cold when I left but the temperature was rising and the walking uphill had made me very warm. Then went to see Mary - and joined in Christmas sing song in the lounge.  I think Mary and I joined in some of the songs the lady wanted to sing herself, but we were enjoying ourselves.  Got home and put on soup mix with the old veg from home and the black eyed be…

Monday 8th December

Got going nice and early with shower and breakfast.  Updated the handbell music with rehearsal marks and corrected notes, and produced PDF and Midi file for Mike to circulate.  Also got out Mike's carol books, and cling filmed the plates.  Took Suki out for a short walk round Wendell then packed the car.  Svetla arrived just before I left and she helped me put plates and glasses back on shelves.  Nice sunny but cold morning.  Set off for Devon at 11 and got there at 2.30 having stopped for petrol. Unpacked the car and found jar of tapenade had leaked on my new dachsteins so had to wash one. Had some salad and cup cakes I had brought down with me for lunch and a cup of tea, then went for a walk from the house to Parke and back via the pet shop to buy some more collars with lights as Suki's had broken.  Got in and watched the news then went ringing.  Very cold!  Went to the pub after ringing and stayed quite late although only had one pint of beer and one scotch.  Watched episod…

Sunday 7th December

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Didn't go to church as only woke at 7.40 am.  Mike went off ringing.  Waitrose turned up just after 10 am with all the food.  Luckily I opened all the boxes as I found the filo tartlets needed cooking!  At 15 mins per tray it took an hour and a half which was fine.  Lorraine helped me put it all out on the table and it looked really nice.  Chivers came at 11.30 to tune the piano and was very pleased to be able to do so without the dog barking.  Mike cleaned all the bells.  Suki came back just after 12, and just before all the others arrived.  Rehearsed And The Glory on handbells for a couple of hours then had the lunch which everyone enjoyed.





Cantanti left at 4.30 and I took Suki for a quick walk in the dark round Southfields, and then Monica and Sue came round and we practiced the convent handbells.  Practice went very well as all had done it before.  Afterwards Monica stayed for a glass of wine and some food and then helped me clear up.

Saturday 6th December

Gave Suki a short walk in the morning as she was going off with Emma in the afternoon for a sleepover with her mates! Got the plates and things down from the shelf and sorted out table cloth. Cleared the living room table and surrounding area with Lorraine's help once she had got up. Grabbed some tapenade and toast for lunch then went to concert rehearsal at St M&AA.  Sat at the very back with Jo Mansell-Bentley and Margaret B - couldn't see very well but had a good sing.  Suki had gone by the time we got home.  We had another piece of toast and tapenade and I had a shower and got ready.  Mike's leg bag leaked into his clean clothes so I put a wash on.  Concert (Christmas Oratorio) went well.  Nice meal at Tarantella afterwards - I was up the other end of the table from Mike and sat with Caroline, Christine and Mike K.  Got in at 1 am and put the washing out on the radiators.   Lorraine was still up!  Very quiet without the dog.

Friday 5th December

Washed the shower curtain and cleaned out the shower tray this morning.  After walking Suki I put the final touches to the Christmas Newsletter and started printing it out, and also put it on my web site.  Marked up my music for tomorrow with stands, sits and omits, and then went through some of the dodgy bits.  Continued to listen to rehearsal CD on my phone while I walked Suki in the afternoon.  Finalised financial statement for District ADM and gave Mike a copy to take to planning meeting tomorrow.  Moved the furniture around in the living room and cleared it of presents etc ready for Cantanti handbells and lunch on Sunday. Went to ringing later than Mike, and did all the ironing first.  Came straight home after the practice and watched Inspector Lynley with glass of red wine then went to bed.  Mike brought Hugo home!  Had to get up and get sleeping bag out from under bed, and sort out futon in back bedroom and grab my clothes.  Extremely annoyed!!

Thursday 4th December

Got up early and saw Mike off to work and then stripped both beds and started a mammoth lot of washing.  I kept the heating on all day and got it all dried too.  I also de-scaled the kettle!  Lorraine went off to the Convent so I had the day to myself. Sister Barbara had sent me three cross stitch kits and I was going to give a note for her to Lorraine to take - but I didn't get round to it.  I finally got round to doing my Christmas newsletter which is a great relief.  I also wrapped some more presents and am feeling somewhat on top of Christmas at the moment, although I haven't written any cards yet.  I took Suki out at 3 pm and then had a shower and put the final load of washing on.  Went out to meet up with Pru and Caroline for supper at Tas in the evening.  It was a lovely meal and I noted a first when I had read a book that they had both read (Children of Men by P D James).  Normally they discuss Booker prize winners etc which are somewhat out of my league.  Got home by …

Wednesday 3rd December

It was lovely having a houseful this morning.  Sam said the futons were comfortable, which is good to know.  I took Suki for a walk and then went to Westfields with Lorraine, Sam, Amanda and Bethany.  We went to the food court so that the others could get something to eat, and I bought a couple of wraps from the Lebanese stall for lunch - a falafel one and a halloumi and olive one. I went home once they started shopping as there was not much I needed.  We shared the wraps, having half of each one each.  They were excellent and very filling. I took Suki out again in the afternoon and then we went off to Baden Powell House for Goldsmiths rehearsal.  We got baguettes from Pauls again, and I also took a flask of coffee as it was the final, long rehearsal tonight. We got home quite quickly on the tube and I finished off the coffee and had a sake before going to bed and watching another episode of Doc Martin.  Rather annoyingly this one didn't follow on from the previous two (which had …

Tuesday 2nd December

Went walking with Maryanne.  Left in good time but it took nearly half an hour just to get on to the A40 - the traffic was virtually gridlocked along the Uxbridge Road compounded by the recycling lorries.  I was only 5 mins late and I picked her up and we drove to The Black Horse in Chesham where we parked the car.  It was a brilliant walk of about 5.7 miles, with only a couple of mild ascents and hardly any road walking.  The weather was wet and grey but it didn't seem to matter - just a bit thickly muddy underfoot at times. We took about 3 hours - getting back to the pub at 1 pm where we had a lovely lunch (hunters chicken for me).  Amanda came over with Bethany when I got back - she had been to Westfields with Lorraine and Sam and they had then gone on to a Slash concert.  Bethany soon got used to Suki, and vice versa.  I went out to choir practice at 7.30 - just as Amanda realised that Lorraine's bedroom was locked.  So I left her looking for a screwdriver to undo the scre…

Monday 1st December

Hardly slept a wink - which was particularly annoying after such a good night's sleep the night before.  Listened to my complete "sleep" playlist, then got up at 2 am and made a hot drink and watched two episodes of Doc Martin on iPlayer, and still didn't nod off.  Patricia's funeral at noon.  We were able to park by the shops using the blue badge which was useful. We reserved a row with our coats and a notice, and then rang half muffled until 5 mins before.  Richard gave a good sermon (not a Eulogy under strict instructions) and Evan and Ann (curate) did the readings.  Afterwards Jan was replaced by Adrian and we rang a nice QP of Grandsire Triples (after a false start which everyone would have heard!) half muffled.  Then we went to the Wetlands Centre where the drinks were being held.  I drove, and gave a lift to Adrian and a latecomer who had missed the funeral because Graham had given him the wrong time.  Mike went under his own steam.  We had a cup of tea an…

Family Get Together in Manchester

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Mike went to Barnes at 9 am to run a training day on Listening Skills with John Harrison (see report by Michael de Freitas on Barnes ringers blog  http://ringingatstmarys.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/now-listen-hear/) and I grabbed a lift with him to the tube station.  Didn't have to walk Suki as Emma was coming to get her and have her for the weekend.  Got to Euston really early and got the tickets without any problems.  We were all supposed to be meeting up for breakfast at 10 am but I got a text from the others to say they hadn't left the house yet so I went up to the first class lounge and had a hot chocolate and read my book.  The others arrived just before 11 so I went down to the concourse as our train was at 11.40 and they wanted to get something to eat on the train.  At 11.30 all the trains suddenly showed "delayed" and there was an announcement that someone had been hit by a train in the Watford area.  We dithered as to whether to go up to the lounge or not - a…

Friday 28th November

Suki woke us up at 3 am scrabbling at the ironing board - but neither of us could work out why as there was no thunder or any discernible noise that we could hear. I allowed myself to sleep in till 7.30 as I had not slept well after the disturbance.  Took Suki for a nice long walk through Wendel and round Ravenscourt.  Grey damp day but quite mild.  Went separately to Barnes - they failed to get St Clement Bob Triples.  Rang Bristol quite a lot, and some St Clements on the fly.  Went straight home afterwards and had a nice early night.