Reunited with Suki!

Suki's holiday photos!

Mike and I had a lovely day on the Saturday after I got back from Butlins.  We neither of us had any commitments until the evening, and with Suki still on her holidays we had the whole day to ourselves.  We sorted out the bathroom door and then the door to the utility room downstairs - working as a team to remove the doors and shave off the bottom until they fitted and closed properly.  The plumber came round and fixed an air lock in the hot water system - which was lucky as we thought we would have to wait until the next working day.  I had a shower while Mike went to the Lebanese for some things for supper, and then he cut down the diseased looking bits of the fuscia while I did the ironing.  A very productive day all round.  Pam Purser arrived about 5.30 pm and we had a good catch up over the Lebanese supper.  Then we went off to Ealing for the youth club reunion.  We arrived at 8 pm to find the usual tables reserved from 7 pm but no sign of anyone we knew.  We had a drink but still no-one came and at 8.45 we were preparing to leave when I thought about texting Phil on the number on the bottom of his email.  This produced an immediate response and we found they had been sitting (in the dark!) on the other side of the garden.  So we went and joined them - Sylvie, John and Claire Head.  We had a lovely evening chatting and catching up.

On Sunday we all got up early - Pam went back to Worthing while Mike and I did the usual 8 am service and bellringing circuit.  When we got home we fixed the guest room wardrobe door - while we were still in the mood.  Then we had some bacon sandwiches for lunch - using up the bacon from Butlins - and then I went down to Devon while Mike went off to sample the delights of the Notting Hill Carnival.  I had a straightforward journey down, with the car on cruise control at 70 nearly all the way.  It was lovely to see Jayne again - and of course Suki who had been dropped off by Lee and Emma earlier in the day.  Jayne had sent photos of Suki lying exhausted on her bed - which she had done for most of the day.  When I got out of the car Suki raced around barking like mad and then jumped all over me and covered me in kisses.

Jayne had finished upcycling the old shed chairs - she had painted them and covered the seats with the extra roman blind material we had ordered - and they looked amazing

Wayne was here all week building the ramp and steps to the front door.  He chose beautiful slabs, which also have a slightly rough texture so will be non-slip.  He finished it on Friday - just the handrail to go in and the concrete and bricks to be painted.  I didn't realise it would be a thing of beauty as well as functional!

I had a lovely week.  The bank holiday Monday was incredibly hot and sunny.  Jayne was at work most of the day and I had a lovely time to myself.  Suki and I went for a long walk in Yarner Wood and then I spent the morning doing stuff on the computer.  In the afternoon I cross stitched for several hours, listening to my Audible book, before taking Suki for another walk, this time in Parke, later in the evening when it was not so hot.  On Tuesday Jayne and I both took Suki for a walk in Parke and had a coffee at the Home Farm Cafe afterwards.  Then we dropped Suki off and went for some retail therapy and a hunt for the shed cladding we needed.  We tried B&Q without success - although I did finally sign up for the Diamond Club whereby the over-60s get 10% discount on Wednesdays.  I was a bit miffed that he didn't ask me for evidence of my age!  We were also looking for a fly paper to hang in the porch, as it had been full of flies for the last few days.  We went to Homebase and Home Bargains, where we got a few bits but couldn't find the fly papers, and to Jewsons for the cladding again without success.  Then we had a coffee and a toastie in Costa and popped in to Pets at Home where I bought Suki a large faux fur sleeping pad to go in her cage.  Finished by going to Sainsburys where I was intending to get a few bits of shopping, including some lager and wine, but ended up also purchasing a new shirt to go over my white trousers and a polo shirt which was in the sale!

On Wednesday Jayne was ill and spent all day in bed. I had slept really badly - in fact I had hardly slept at all.  I had even finished my Audible book at 2 am without it making me feel drowsy. It was raining hard so I put full waterproofs on and took Suki for a walk in the plantation - and then went to see Mary.  Her hearing aids were working particularly well - she thought I was shouting - and I spent an hour and a half with her desperately trying to think of things to say.  We watched a mouse running around outside and also a tree creeper who appeared briefly. When I got back the sun was shining and I walked to the High Street for a few bits, and got Jayne some orange juice which she was craving. When I got back it bucketed down with rain again - I had been very lucky not to get caught in it. I made us some soup for lunch, and then cross stitched again for a few hours, which was nice.

On Thursday I went for a walk with Suki on the moor - the usual route from the small car park to Black Hill and back along the ridge.  Jayne was feeling 90% better after a shower and we went over to the timber merchant at Ipplepen and finally got the shed cladding.  It was pouring with rain again by then.  They wouldn't cut it to size - just in half so that I could get it in the car (just).  It went diagonally from the front window to the back window, and Jayne sat next to it holding it to stop it ramming either.  We had been going to go on to the storage unit, but decided to take the planks back to the house and then go off to the storage.  When we got to South Brent it started sheeting down with rain again and we were very grateful the units were now all under cover.  The Refurnish people turned up to pick up the beds at the same time as us.  We jammed in the bench and the IKEA unit in my car - again going from front to back diagonally except this time Jayne couldn't see over them!  We got them back to the house without mishap and stored them in the garage for the time being.  They were the final pieces from the unit and Jayne has been able to give it up at last. It dried up in the afternoon and I took Suki for a walk round the Ant Trail - which is becoming one of my favourites.  Takes 40 minutes and I hardly ever meet anybody. I had expected to fight my way through wet dripping undergrowth but found the whole trail had been cleared and cut back so it was very pleasant. I had a great time at handbells in the evening - Barbara was away and I was on 11-12 all evening working through the pieces for the concert in three weeks time (which I can't make). Charlotte was on 9-10 as Fiona was also away.  When I got in I microwaved the lasagne Jayne had left out for me and had it with a small glass of red wine.

On Friday Jayne went to work and I had another nice day to myself.  Suki and I had another long walk in Yarner Wood and then I did the washing and caught up with more computer stuff.  Paul fitted the towel rail under the sink which was I think the last job to be done.  He gave me back the back door key - I was quite sad as I have got used to having them around!

Saturday was the Nourish Festival in Bovey.  We spent a happy few hours wandering up and down the High Street looking at the stalls and trying things (and buying things!).  We seemed to buy mainly cakes - although I did get some sausages and some beer.  We had a cup of tea and some currant toast at Pink's Place - which was manned by several willing volunteers who had no idea of what they were doing!  At 3 pm we went on the Distillery Tour - which turned out to consist of sitting in front of the still watching a couple of videos and listening to a talk, whilst the people behind us at the bar wracked up the noise level to compete!  However at the end we got a measure of neat scotch spirit - which was nice with water and which at least justified the £5 cost.

Went to The Cromwell for Sunday lunch - having booked just to be safe.  Very nice roast lunch - we didn't bother with starters or dessert and were out in an hour!  We had cream tea for supper! It hammered with rain all day - I got very wet on the morning walk but luckily it stopped about 6 for the second walk of the day.

I went home on Monday.  First I took Suki for a walk in the Plantation, then packed the car and drove to The Smithy at Charlton Musgrave to meet Jay for lunch.  We both had a ham sandwich and had intended to share a bowl of chips, but Jay tried one chip and declared they tasted of fish and wouldn't eat any more.  I manfully struggled on but couldn't finish the whole bowl.  They did have a funny taste and I won't have them again.  The ham sandwich was a bit of a mouthful - thick but uninteresting bread and very thick slices of ham.  Jay put half the ham in a serviette to take home, picked at the rest and left all the crusts!  I think I will go for a main course next time.

There was some traffic delays on the way home but I got in about 4 pm,  took Suki for a walk and then went to Chiswick with Mike.  Peter and I tried Kent on handbells with Simon - but he didn't really have much of a clue and we eventually struggled through a plain course (having intended to try for a QP).  The practice was very useful - particularly for Sophie.  I had the most delicious calamari in the pub afterwards - and tried very hard to be sociable!

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