With apologies to Robert Browning and Clifford T Ward for the title of this week's entry.
My one and only niece is travelling around the world and having a wonderful time. She's seen here with her friend Jaqui wearing dresses they had made in Thailand. They were wearing them in Singapore and went to Raffles Hotel for Singapore Slings. It’s hard to imagine that this young lady in the blue dress was once the hours old baby I held in my arms, just at the time Mike and I started going out. It makes me realise how long we have been together, more than 22 years now. Where did all that time go?
Catherine & Flo are settled into their flat and the kitchen is now fully installed. I asked her this week about getting the phone line in, so that we can chat via the Internet and Web cam. We had expected there could be a 2 week delay in get the line connected but I can’t believe that, in Germany of all places, in the town they live in all the lines are used up, so they have to wait for one to become available!!
It reminds me of the house we moved to when I was 10 years old, the phone there had a party line. What the heck was that about? We didn’t have an option, we had to share a line with the people over the road. The evenings I wanted to phone my friend Karen and picked up the phone and found they were on it. Then you would have to wait a decent interval before you picked it up again. Of course you could hear everything they were saying, so if you felt they had gone on too long you would stay on the line listening, just to make sure they got the message. Thank goodness we’ve moved on a bit.
You don’t get crossed lines any more. They were good fun.
Harper (dog) is waking us at 5.30 every morning now. We have to let him in the garden and then he insists he comes up on the bed with us. I’m now finding it almost impossible to get back to sleep. I think he’s getting really senile, as he has taken to screaming if he wants something. This is way above the whining that he was so good at, this is a full volume scream. It can mean anything, like open the door, where have you gone? I want a biscuit, why are you in the toilet? He doesn’t appear to be in any pain and his tail will be wagging while this is going on. I think he will have to see the vet again soon but I don’t want to until Simon is back home, just in case he needs an operation and doesn’t pull through. Although I don’t think there is anything really wrong, he’s just old, he will be 14 this year. Harper is Simon’s dog and he would be distraught if anything happened while he was away, which is another worry.
We expected Simon to be back on Good Friday but we haven’t had a letter confirming this, so we have no idea what is happening. How strange to think that when he last saw the world we were in the depths of winter and when he steps on land again he will find we are well into spring. (I wish someone would tell the weather that!)
I used a phrase this week that has been a joke in our family for about 18 years. It always brings back memories. My sister was married to a man, who was the son of Polish immigrants. His father Boleck (I think that’s how you spell it) was very dry, to the point of being dour. He was a dear little man but I don’t think he ever quite adjusted to England.
My sister made a birthday cake for her daughter’s birthday (4th I think) Boleck turned up at the end of the party and as the cake had already been cut she tried to describe to him what a wonderful creation it had been. She had been so proud of it. Boleck looked at the remains of the cake and said " I see you try your bestest" This still cracks us up now if one of us has had a go at something and it's turned into a bit of a pig's ear.............Like some of Mike's DIY attempts.
I think Boleck had a rather pessimistic view on life. On another occasion, one Spring, my sister commented on the improving weather, saying "Soon be summer", he replied "Soon be Winter, soon be Christmas, soon be dead" What can you say to that?
There was an amazing story I read this morning. A Jack Russell had gone missing from his owner’s house in Kidderminster. The owner drove 500 miles around the area looking for his beloved dog. It turned out the dog had been with him all the time. Somehow he had climbed into the engine compartment of his car and got stuck. He ate the clutch cable, which I think is how they found out where he was. Apart from being hungry and thirsty, he was fine. Happy ending there but it does ask the question. How stupid was that dog? Why didn’t it make a noise?
I’ve had news now that means we shouldn’t expect Simon back for a while yet. I feel very depressed about it, as there has been nothing official at all, we just know it won’t be this week. This has upset a number of plans and means his girlfriend is sitting alone with wasted leave that she is unable to alter. I feel so sorry for her, it’s her first experience of him being away at sea.
Just to depress myself a little more, as I now have it in my head there is a problem. I decided to have a look on The Royal Navy website. I came across this.
“As a result of operations in a hostile environment submarine losses may continue - in peace and war. We should respect the courage and sacrifice of the crews who operate boats in such a dangerous environment for long periods.”
I don’t want my son to be in a hostile environment, nor to make any sacrifice!
I certainly don’t want him to make a sacrifice for arrogant men in their thirties who sit in their flash cars with the kids, in the DISABLED spaces by the door at supermarkets. Just so wifey can go in and get his Lager without messing up her hair!
Wednesday I went for lunch with a friend I used to work with, I picked her up from her house and we went to a lovely old pub a short distance away, in a village with a green and duck pond. It was an absolute picture, there were people feeding the ducks and clumps of daffodils all around.
We both had Greek Salads in an attempt at healthy eating and ever mindful of trying to lose weight but the Feta cheesehad been marinated in olive oil. Although it was very nice I don’t think it was a very healthy option after all. Neither was Sue’s large glass of white wine (was it Sue?). Although she was four pounds lighter after she paid for it.
We nearly had an incident on the way to the pub. I was doing about 50 mph on a straight, but rather narrow country road. There have been a number of fatalities along there and it’s not a road I feel comfortable doing 60 mph on.
A large 4x4 was behind me and obviously wanted to go faster. Suddenly I spotted a male Pheasant on the nearside grass verge. I just knew that instead of going the way he was facing, he was going to turn round and walk across in front of me. They really are the stupidest of birds.
I took my foot off the accelerator and my car slowed to a speed that I could do an emergency stop from. Sure enough, pea brain turned and started to stroll across the road. I then had to brake fairly sharply to avoid hitting him. Of course pea brain 2, travelling behind, had to brake really sharply because he was too close to me. He blew his horn. So I blew mine and gave him a cheery wave with a couple of fingers (I was taught road rage by a world class road rager, my mother!)
I know you shouldn’t endanger lives for the sake of a Pheasant but he should have been at a safe distance from me, then he wouldn’t have had a problem. I wonder if I can get a sticker for my back window saying " I slow down for Pheasants!"
Happy Easter, or do we call it Spring Festival now?