Showing posts from 2014

Christmas week

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.

Thursday 27th November

Amanda's birthday. Woke up before the alarm and got up at 7 and had shower. Breakfast done and dusted by 8.30. Updated blog before washing up and taking suki for a walk. Feeling better and more energetic.  Did ironing while watching Inspector Lynley episode. Emma picked Suki up at 2 and we went out at 2.45 to King's College Hospital for Spinal Research event.  Very interesting as usual - especially the spanish guy we talked to last time.  All the scientists seem so young!  But they are all very enthusiastic.  The lab tour was very similar to last time, with the usual footage of rats walking over ladders - although this time a petri dish was circulated containing rat brain with spinal cord attached (ugh!). Then had a presentation by top bods Mark Bacon and Lawrence Moon. I had an interesting chat with Robert Sheldon, another wheelchair user, who had an accident 12 years ago.  He was intrigued by the fact that Mike could descend a flight of stairs.  He seemed just as zany though…

Wednesday 26th November

Got up late and never really got going today. Messed around playing games. The only thing I achieved was to order the food from Waitrose. Also bought a couple more audible books in the sale. Rested on my laurels a bit as Christmas shopping nearly finished too. A somewhat unsatisfactory day. In the evening went to Messiah rehearsal and had a good sing which bucked me up. Watched some tv when we got in and then read my book for a bit. Set my alarm to get up earlier and kick start life again.

Tuesday 25th November

Got up early to see Mike off to work. Lorraine went over to Carolyn's so had the day to myself. Culled my Christmas card list and prepared the labels.  Went to Westfield and got several Christmas presents. Went in to Waitrose to recce their party food for the Cantanti lunch and found they did food to order. Picked up a brochure. Perfect! Spent the afternoon wrapping presents. Pleased with progress. Went to meet mike for Chinese before choir and found it had closed down - shame as the food was good and it had been there for over 30 years. Shared cod and chips instead which was probably not a good idea as I smelt of fish and chips all night and the grease lay rather heavy on my stomach for singing. James announced that the new MD would be Hilary Cambell. Went straight home afterwards and took koppaberg too bed and watched Have I Got A Bit More News For You on iPlayer.

Monday 24th November

Went for lunch with Joyce, Derek and Liz at the Palm Court Brasserie in Covent Garden.  Joyce and Derek picked me up and we drove to East Acton station and then got central line to Tottenham Court Road then Northern to Leicester Square.  I then navigated us to the restaurant with my phone map.  We were early, and Liz was going to be late, so Joyce and Derek looked round the stalls and I took the opportunity to pop into Jo Malone shop and get some stuff.  Had lovely lunch of fillet steak followed by banoffee pie.  Derek insisted on paying for the lot.  I took a lot of his chicken home for Suki. Took Suki out when I got back, in the dark by then, and then had a catnap to try and get energy for ringing (which worked). I made them up to 6 for quite a long time so had to ring quite a lot.  Remembered to take my wrist supports which helped.  Monica wore her new boots!  I didn't have anything to eat in the pub - just some of the communal chips - and drank diet coke.

Sunday 23rd November

Got up at 6.30 ok - no after effects of copious amounts of wine probably because I also drank copious amounts of water.  Took Suki for a walk then went to 8 am with Mike.  Did the ringing circuit. Monica liked my boots and decided to get some herself.  I should have been on commissison! Heavy rain all day.  Went to Steve's in the afternoon and rang successful peal of 6xspliced S Minor - lots of footnotes for Steve and Mike.  Emma walked Suki.  In the evening dropped the others off at Richmond to ring a QP (which failed) and parked car in Paradise Road car park then took tube home and finished off preparation of tower forms.  Had pakora for supper with a beer. Then watched HIGNFY on iplayer on TV and had an early night.

Saturday 22nd November

Mike went out ringing QPs.  I went to Acton market with Suki, after going round the park, to get a rucksack.  The rucksack stall wasn't there, but the Indian Veg man was so I got lots of pakora and aloo cakes.  Then went home with Suki before turning round and going back out to Oaklands centre.  Rucksack shop had closed down!  However there was a closing down sale at Sport Direct so I went in there and came out with 3 rucksacks and a pair of walking boots for everyday wear.  When I got them home Lorraine liked the boots so much we went straight back out again to Sport Direct and I bought her a pair of boots and a sleeveless padded jacket for Christmas - and took the opportunity to buy myself a neck scuff, some socks and some headphones with tangle free cable.  Had the aloo things for lunch when we got back. In the evening went to the UL dinner.  Cab came at 5.07 and finally dropped us off at 6.20!  We kept diving off trying to avoid the traffic but it didn't really work and in…

Friday 21st November

Went with Mike to Barnes in the evening, although neither of us was in the QP.  They failed to get PB Major which was a shame as we could have dedicated it to Patricia.  Went to the pub and shared nachos - Mike managed to knock the bowl of sour cream off the table over the floor and Tony's jacket.

Wednesday 19th November

John's birthday.  Got up later than I intended, at 7.40 so it was 10 o'clock again before I took Suki out.  Practised 4xspliced on Abel nearly all day till my head was swimming.  Went to Goldsmiths in the evening for first rehearsal of Messiah, picking up a goats cheese baguette from Paul's on the way.  A really good sing.  Found friend from last year to sit next to which was nice.  Went home by tube and were in by 9 - I had my baguette and then took glass of wine to bed and read my book for a while before having a nice early night.

Thursday 20th November

Got up early to get Mike off to work and then got ready leisurely and washed up and practised a bit on Abel.  I had arranged for Emma to take Suki out so that I was not under any pressure before going off to Twickenham to attempt peal of 4 x spliced on 3-4 with Steve, Hamish and Margaret.  Got there in time for coffee and croissant. Peal failed in the Rutland at the end of the fourth part (out of five!) which was a shame but it was very good practice and very enjoyable.  Went to lunch with them at the usual Italian - which seemed to have suffered from regime change.  Very slow service. The portions of pasta were much smaller and the arrabiata sauce had changed and was not as thick and tasty nor anywhere near as spicy as it used to be.  Got home just before 3 and had a cup of tea - then took Suki out for a short walk. Went to Guys and rang a peal of Turramurra on the trebles with James Chris O'Mahony and Caroline. Toyed with the idea of salad wrap but bus due so went for that inste…

Tuesday 18th November

Found it difficult to get going today.  Messed around on the computer and spent too much time playing games.  Tried practising on Abel but once again it just sent me to sleep. Cooked Linda McCartney cheese pasties for lunch which were dry and tasteless, coupled it with cheese sauce from a packet which tasted mouldy.  Not one of my culinary successes then.  Had pasta for supper which Lorraine had made - which was delicious.  Had it at 6 pm as I was restless, then got fired up and did ironing before going to choir practice.  Two conductors auditioning tonight - both very good.  I didn't participate in form filling as I am leaving next year. Went straight home and had nice chat with Lorraine, then went to bed with glass of wine and a hot drink and ready my book for a bit.  I need to finish it so that I can get started on the two Wilbur Smith ones I have waiting.

Monday 17th November

Had a good night's sleep and found it difficult to get up.  Mike had doctor's appointment at 11.  I took Suki out at 10 once Svetla had arrived.  Then went to Tesco with Lorraine.  Busy all day making DVDs from recorded TV programmes for Jayne - finished off my letter to her and posted the parcel.  Very exciting.  Tried to practice on Abel but head so woolly it just sent me to sleep. Went to Guy's without much expectation but we actually rang two thirds of a good peal.  Caroline dished out caffeine tablets she had purchased over the internet which certainly seemed to help me.  Too late when we had finished to go for a drink so went straight home and had glass of wine and salad wrap from Lara and watched some tv before going to bed.

Sunday 16th November

Leanne's birthday.  Got up very early and had shower then put bedclothes in the washing and made up the bed with fresh sheets etc.  Took Suki to Parke for 40 mins and then went to bellringing, having put the towels etc in to the washing machine.  After ringing went back and put all the washing on the radiators, bleach down the drainholes and fixed the smoke alarm to the fitting on the door.  At least that had stuck successfully.  The shower pole had collapsed away from the ceiling when I put stuff on the shelves - the paint had come off!  Left it for next time.  Packed car and drove to Horsington and had superb carvery lunch with Jay.  Treated myself to a chocolate marscapone cheesecake for pudding although Jay was very good and didn't have one.  Suki yapped a lot and then pee'd on the carpet so presumably she was asking to go out - poor thing.  Got back to London at 4.30 - Mike out at committee meeting and Lorraine over at Carolyn's, so place to myself for a bit.  Got…

Friday 14th November

Slept badly.  Got up at 3 and made a cup of tea and watched Morse on ipad.  Very heavy rain and strong winds during the night - lovely lying snug under the duvet listening to it.  Stayed awake until 5.50 and thought I would get up at 6 but  then fell asleep until 7.30.    Lovely sunny day so went up on the moor.  Did a new route - up over Saddle Tor from the car park then straight on towards Hay Tor.  At the bottom contoured round to the right and kept contouring right round the tor.  Brought me out at the top of the quarry and then took the path to the tramway and walked back along it to the end.  The cut across on a path which took me over a tor and round the back of Saddle Tor to pick up the public footpath back to the car park.  Really lovely walk.  Then went to see Mary until lunchtime. In the afternoon I thoroughly cleaned the porch and the utility room.  Looking much better.  Went for a walk in the plantation by which time it was raining again.  Went to Wolborough in the eveni…

Saturday 15th November

Had a good night's sleep thank goodness, and was ready to get up at 7.15.  Very foggy but it was starting to lift as I got in the car at 9.15 so decided to go up to the moor.  Still foggy up there but lifting.  Had some nice rain to start with - quite heavy but I had all my waterproofs on.  Then it stopped and the sun came out.  Nice rainbow over Hound Tor.  Did the usual circuit from the small car park in reverse - ie up the big track and back by the contour from Black Hill.   Had spectacular views on the way back of the valley below and the low lying fog still to clear - especially towards Teignmouth.  Went to Bell with Suki at lunchtime and met up with Barry Bob Tony Karen(?) and Paul. Had pint of shandy and a cheese and onion roll. Went to Arnolds afterwards and bought a new and smaller smoke alarm plus some no nails. Did the hoovering and also glued smoke alarm holder to cupboard door and erected shower shelves (gluing top to ceiling). Very pleased with achievements. Put all …

Thursday 13th November

Had a really good night's sleep - thank goodness.  Got up at 7.30 and had breakfast.  It was wet and windy outside - with very strong gusts.  Put on the waterproofs and had fun walking in the plantation in the rain and marching through all the puddles in my wellies.  Went on the perimeter path from the car park this time and then round the bottom and down the Templar Way, cutting across along the dissecting path just before the junction, which came out very close to the main path at the top so a really good route.  Got back and ordered a couple of things for Ollie and Leanne for their birthdays then went to post office and got some birthday cards.  Greengrocers had fresh supply of bakewell tarts so I stocked up!  Did computer stuff in the afternoon - uploading videos and photos etc and converting the recordings I did at the handbell rally from video to mp3. Took Suki out at 3 - it had stopped raining by then - and walked to Parke via the post office to post Ollie's card.  Havi…

Wednesday 12th November

Slept really badly so struggled to get up at 6.30.  Took Suki to Parke for an hour then went to Exeter for handbell peal attempt of 6xspliced.  Came to grief after an hour and forty minutes, but I rang ok and they seemed to trust me more to be in the right place.  Had soup and crumpets for lunch, then went to Bovey Valley Woods and did Walk 2 from Book 2 again.  It has been raining a lot over the last few days and nights, and it rained heavily as I drove to the car park.  But it was not windy and not cold and with all my waterproofs on it was great walking in the rain.  It stopped for about an hour in the middle of the walk.  I thought the rapids would be impressive with all the rain we had been having - and I was right.  They were amazing and thunderous, and easily equalled Becky Falls.  I was very glad I was wearing wellies as often had to wade through shin deep water. Suki got a thorn in her foot ploughing through the brambles to avoid some belted galloway cows on the path, but I …

Tuesday 11th November

At last a whole day to myself including the evening.  Got up early as alarm engineer coming at 11.  Walked Suki on the moor and was back by 10.30.  Engineer diagnosed spiders behind the sensor in the utility room, and blocked the hole with kitchen roll!  Walked Suki in plantation in the afternoon.  Man from Moorlands came to remove Jayne's battery.  Actually did some cross stitch. Watched all episodes of Grantchester on Catch Up. Rustled up a chicken stir fry for supper. Had a very early night but found it difficult to go to sleep.

Monday 10th November

Went to Exeter to attempt QP of Yorkshire Royal.  Could hardly manage a course, but we were all better than before and it was enjoyable again.  Went for a walk in the plantation in the afternoon and then went to see Mary.  She was up at supper time so must have been feeling better.  No news otherwise.  Rain and wind got up while I was there.  Went to PPT ringing in the evening - well attended.  Went to pub for a pint afterwards.

Sunday 9th November

Ollie stayed over in London and went to watch the ringing at Chiswick - Mike and Lorraine rang - and then wanted to stay to the service.  Apparently he was a star during the peace walking up and down the aisle shaking hands. I got up early to walk Suki and then go to 8 am service.  Took my book as I had an hour to wait between end of service and ringing. After ringing went back and watched Cenotaph service etc. Turned out all the food cupboards in the afternoon to see what was there and start eating up the tinned food.  Moved things around the kitchenette but ended up putting everything back in its original place.

Saturday 8th November

Handbell rally at Whitestone.  Drove to Joyce's house then Ann took us all from there.  Lots of floods from heavy rains.  Hairy journey there up narrow lanes.  Rally went well.  We did 4 solo pieces and all of them went well.  Tried recording them on iPad.  Handbells were interspersed with poems and "turns" which were all good.  Very enjoyable afternoon.  Rowena walked Suki ok and left flowers.  Had early night and actually read book for a while.

Wednesday 5th November

Mike went to work. I gave Suki a quick walk.  Packed the car to the hilt with Dad's coffee tables, Jayne's stuff etc.  Then helped Lorraine pack her car with all the stuff for Convent bric a brac stall. Drove down to Devon with Suki on front seat.  Reasonable trip down with no real hold ups. Listening to Bonkers by Jennifer Saunders. Funny being on my own in the house. Had some soup for lunch. unpacked car successfully and put first load of washing on. went for walk in plantation. Suki slept happily through the fireworks while we were in the sitting room with the telly on (watching Inspector Lynley) but when i went to bed she could hear them in the distance and started scrabbling so I shut the window and put the radio on. She seemed to be ok hiding behind the rocking chair and next time i looked she was asleep on the chair.

Friday 7th November

Two boxes on porch when I got back from walking Suki.  Flowers + pink teddy from Jayne (as I found out later - there being no clue in the box) and the new Wilbur Smith from Malc. Went to Exeter for another attempt at a QP of 6xspliced.  Failed again but more good natured this time and definitely didn't blame me.  Walked Suki around the town in the afternoon.  Posted parcels and dropped keys off at Rowena's. Went to Wolborough in the evening with Ann.  Photo of Mike in Ringing World brought to my attention!

Thursday 6th November

Birthday and wedding anniversary.  Got up and went up on the moor for an hour and a half walk - beat the rain mostly.  When it did start it was lovely walking in it because I had all my waterproofs on.  Went to see Mary on the way back.  She has been a bit lethargic in the evenings lately and not been down for supper, so they had called the doctor who was expected later today.  She seemed fine while I was there. Opened my presents in the afternoon - had lots from Jayne (all pink) and had two from Lorraine, one from Amanda and one from Maryanne to open too. Lots of cards here - several posted to this address! Went for a walk in the plantation in the afternoon.  Went to handbell practice in the evening - where they presented me with a card signed by everyone, and sang happy birthday!  Had a good practice and even mastered some of the malletting in Adeste Fideles.