Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Disappearing waist?

Yay, Let joy be unconfined. I have gone down a waist size.

For more years than I can remember, I have bought and worn trousers with a waist measurement of 36". Some months ago, I bought a pair of cords with a 34" waist as I felt I was getting slimmer. Having bought them, I found that wearing them, while possible, was not exactly comfortable. This morning, after my trousers got distinctly damp while cycling back from swimming, I tried them on again. They fit with room to spare and are comfy without any scrunched up waistband round my middle.

It is perhaps time to review the trousers in my wardrobe and look in the shops selling men's clothes to see what else I might like in this size.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Full of good intentions to make up for the eating and drinking of Christmas, I opened the garage door this morning to find that my beloved Brompton had a puncture in the rear tyre. Undaunted, I walked to the pool. I swam. I wheezed. I have had a cold for the best part of two weeks, and my ability to gulp in air and turn the oxygen contained in it into energy is depleted. After 30 lengths, I dragged my wheezing frame out of the water and under the shower. The good news was that there were very few of the regular early morning swimmers there. I think there were 4 people in the pool when I arrived.

The Brompton puncture was duly repaired when I got home, but I'm in need of serious training. What a wreck!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Slow, but getting there.....

Our twins each have a "first" car. One has what was my mother's car and the other has a small Seat that I bought via e-Bay. Both of them have arrived home this Christmas with niggling problems. With a childlike belief that I can help, they have mentioned these problems to me.

The Seat had two. The first turned out to be a burnt out fuse, so once that was replaced, the windscreen wipers worked again and the second was a rear hatchback lock that was frozen. Parking it so that the rear door was in the sunshine for a morning cured that.

The small Nissan had a non-functioning heated read window. After the fuse was checked and found to be OK, the connectors were taken off, and the terminals rubbed with an abrasive cloth to remove the layer of oxide that had built up. Upon re-assembly the heated rear screen worked fine.

Both the boys were highly appreciative of my efforts and it is satisfying to be able to pass on simple tips that will avoid the cost of involving a profession mechanic. One just hopes that the my beloved sons will remember the steps we have taken together to resolve these problems when they come to tackle any further hiccups and try the simple things first. However, I fear I have not heard the last conversation that starts "Dad, I have a small problem with my car......."

Lots of Love, Guys.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas Day

Christmas Day has passed in a haze of being pleasant to everyone. It was got off to a good start by a lie-in, rising for about9:45 and me cooking breakfast - baked eggs in ramekins lined with smoked salmon. Everyone seemed to like it. Then we went for a walk to the nearest park where the adults walked round the cycle track and the students swung on swings designed for 8 year olds.

The walk home was followed by lunch - fillet steak and all the trimmings. Turkey is tomorrow when there are a few more people here to help eat it. None of us could manage pudding, so we sat down to watch Star Trek on DVD and hey presto, pudding appeared half way through it. By the time that finished, and those who wanted one had had a cup of tea, it was nearly 6 o'clock and time for Doctor Who.

As I'm not a Doctor Who fan, I have decided not to watch that and set the dishwasher running so we have some clean plates for tomorrow.

It has been a splendid day, and I am so thankful for our good fortune. There are so many who will not have had a day such as ours. The really poor, the homeless, those who have had to work etc., may they too have the best Christmas they can and may their troubles ease in 2010.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

I'd avoid me, if I were you

I am confined to the house today. I have a cold. I am not a good patient. As I walk round the house, I have to pick up the small heaps of used tissues and put them in the bin. It is safe to say that I am not very good company.

Friday, 18 December 2009


It has snowed very lightly here. The traffic is moving without any difficulties, and yet the authorities are seen and heard on all the broadcast media saying "Don't travel unless you have to". Surely this is a grossly irresponsible move. In order to keep the economy and country moving, people need to go to work, college and school. As the weather is bad, they should allow more time to get there. What we don't need is the message that if you fancy a day not at work, school or whatever, today is the best day to skive off.

Shame on the powers that be and the media for peddling such a unhelpful message

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Traffic and Blue Lights

You can tell that Christmas is approaching. Forget the lights, just look at the traffic. Solihull has reached the point of gridlock. We live on quite a busy road and the queues in the morning and the evenings stretch past our house in one direction in the morning and in the other in the evening.

The emergency services have been busy here today with lots of blue lights to be seen. I do hope that people have not ruined their Christmas before it really starts and my respect for those people who answer these calls for help ratchets up another notch. I'm certain that I couldn't do it.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Back in the West Mids

We arrived back in Solihull to find a load of post and 5 messages on the answerphone. The post contained two letters from friends which they send out with their Christmas cards. which reminded me that I still have to write our Christmas cards. A job for this evening while Jini is at the theatre with her God-daughter.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


We went to Lincoln. It looked interesting, we shall have to go back when the Castle is open. Mind you, I'd recommend The Old Bakery Restaurant to anyone. Excellent lunch.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Underfloor heating

Our new house has underfloor heating on the ground floor. I can't get used to walking round in my socks and feeling the warmth coming up to my feet from the floor. A weird sensation, but one that I enjoy hugely. Every home should have it.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

I wonder....

If cars can be astonished or frightened, ours probably is tonight. It is spending its first night in a garage all alone, except for my Brompton folding bike!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

To Spalding and back

We've been to stay in our new house. The route there is now becoming familiar and the Land Rover seems to know her way there without too much input from me. We seem to have a problem with the heating which will get its second visit on Friday.

We are getting adept at packing stuff into and taking stuff out off the box trailer and the old Rover seems not to notice it is on the back once we have got going. A visit to IKEA is on the agenda tomorrow and then it is back to Spalding again for the weekend.