Friday 30 April 2010

More aggravation

My computer is still dead, and Mas spent most of the day trying to sort it out and making various two hour long conversations with different IT people. I did gardening as I could not stand listening to it all; if left to my own devices I would have thrown my computer out and gone back to writing with ink and quill.

In the evening we were so fed up we watched an old episode of Jeeves and Wooster to relax, but I still had a poor nights sleep.

Friday was a ditto of Thursday, except that we went swimming in the afternoon, and in the evening watched a Pie in the Sky and the Mentalist, which seems increasingly stupid to me.

At a later date I found Joan had sent me this picture of spring flowers in her garden.

Wednesday 28 April 2010

A very tasty treat.

Yesterday the weather was nice enough for us to go into the garden and have tea on our swing for the first time this year. While we were doing this Salty unexpectedly jumped onto the canopy which made Mas jump violently and throw most of the tea over the garden which made me laugh a lot. Mas could startle for the Olympics!

Later I planted out the geraniums into our window boxes, watering them in afterwards.

This morning we found a small dead mouse in the hall which we disposed of before breakfast.

Later we travelled down to Leicester Square, and then walked to the National Portrait Gallery. We were going to have lunch at the restaurant there; this was a present from Romy and Toby which we had been looking forward to. We had several drinks and a three course meal with another bottle of wine while looking out of the window at this London view.

The restaurant was full, but we took our time and really enjoyed the meal. We were so full that on the way home we both fell asleep on the tube. It is a good thing that our stop is at the end of the line!

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Bad health and setbacks overcome by laughter

Jana is flying home today. Mas is still feeling ill although his eyes are much better. I did more on my Deaths Head Moth picture. I heard from Pete and Toby, and a couple of friends called. In the evening we watched another episode of Wallender.

Sunday was a horrible day as we had problems with AOL all day, and the computers seem to have a problem too. The cat bought in another mouse.

Mas has started coughing badly again, and he gets so breathless that he passes out. As the doctors are not open today we went to the drop in centre at Edgware hospital. After waiting for a couple of hours Mas saw the doctor who thought he should have an x-ray. Once this was done we went off home again, and Mas took it easy until bedtime.

On Monday morning Mas was feeling better, and the weather is cooler again. AOL is still not working properly, and our computers are useless. To cheer ourselves up we had lunch at the Man in the Moon and then collected some groceries.

In the afternoon I painted a bit more of Pete's picture. In the evening we watched The Burbs which is funny, and one of our favourite standbys to cheer ourselves up.

Friday 23 April 2010

A long days holiday

As arranged Jana arrived shortly after breakfast, and we set off for a walk, leaving Mas happily to his own devices until we got back again.
We walked across fields until we came out near the Elstree golf club; we were hailed by one of the golfers who said we had bought him luck as he had just played a very good shot. As we passed the golf club we decided to see if we could have a coffee, even if we were not members. We had a really nice coffee which was surprisingly inexpensive. We sat outside, in a friendly atmosphere where a group of golfers were joking with each other.

Once we left we crossed the road and walked a familiar way over the fields
and passed lots of horses. All the hedges were topped by blackthorn bushes in flower.

We passed a large home, close to the sheep below, which had its own helicopter parked in the garden. Its body was covered in protective clothing. We speculated on who would need their own personal helicopter. I suggested it may belong to a heavy duty criminal who may need a quick getaway, but as Jana said it would take at least half an hour to get the 'copter's jacket off, so we discarded that theory.
We walked through woods heavy with the scents of spring, and then across fields again. Eventually we came out near Aldenham School, and walked to Letchmore Heath.

Jana treated us to lunch at The Three Horseshoes, and we sat outside in the sunshine where groups of people were enjoying themselves and celebrating St. George's Day. Jana was also playing with the landlady's dog. As we left, after we had eaten, we looked at our favourite houses there before setting off across the fields again. We walked until we came to Elstree Aerodrome. As we skirted around the airfield a small plane, with circles on its wings, took off behind us, and then did a loop the loop in salute before flying off into the distance.

click to enlarge as usual

We also came across a beautiful dead fox at the perimeter. Continuing across fields we came across the reservoir where we admired the beautiful birds for a while; people were sitting around enjoying the sunshine. Walking further we walked to (the Winnie) the Poo field only to discover that the North Pole had been stolen!
We found that we were running out of time, but nevertheless we took the long way home as we were enjoying the walk so much. At Elstree Village we caught the bus for a couple of stops before hurrying home. We were late, and Oktay had been waiting with Mas for our return as Monika had a last evening planned for Jana. It had been along day filled with sunshine, I felt as if I had been on holiday, and I was sad to see Jana leave.

Thursday 22 April 2010

Treading water, and a surprise out of the blue

I walked to Edgware, meeting Myk briefly, and a friend I had not seen since we did our 'alternative' classes together. Mason's cough is bad again, so we have made an appointment for him to see the doctor.

I did some gardening, and re potted the parsley , and saw a rather moth eaten fox twice in the garden next door ,before trying to catch up on phone calls and emails. Romy invited us to go on holiday with her, Toby, Joan and Dick!

I took Mason's temperature which was 106 which gave me a terrible shock, luckily I had another thermometer and was relieved that his temperature was almost normal. I drove him off to the doctor and he was given antibiotics and antibiotic eye drops for his eye infection.

Today Mason's eyes are much better, but his cough is still troublesome. I did some painting; the Deaths Head Moth for Peter, while Mas was trying to take things a bit easy.

Sunday 18 April 2010

Busy time with friends

We went to St. Albans and had lunch at Sazios with Tania and Robert. Robert is still having computer problems which is stressful. The weather is now warm and sunny, and we got our fruit and vegetables before driving home. There are still no planes flying.

We took the opportunity while Jana is still grounded over here to have her, Monika, Oktay and the boys to come over tomorrow for a visit.

We watched an episode of Wallander in the evening.

On Sunday our friends arrived as expected, and we had a really nice time with them all. The boys were being very sweet, and Milan was making jokes, the weather was nice enough fotr the boys to go into the garden. Mas made a nice meal which we enjoyed, but they had to leave before too long as Milan is back to school tomorrow, and Monika is studying too.

Friday 16 April 2010

Natural disasters and IT problems

Yesterday morning I had to go off to the Royal Free Hospital to have another blood test and routine CT scan, and on the way home collected some shopping.

There had been a volcanic eruption in Iceland, and because of the clouds of ash that had been discharged all the planes had been grounded temporarily so the skies seemed very empty. There was also an earthquake in China with 760 deaths reported so far.

Robert called and said to Mas that his computer had blown up, and he was urgently trying to sort out the problems.

We woke up listening to Salty going nuts rushing up and down the stairs letting out yips as he went, but he was simply playing, it had sounded as if the Pied Piper and all his friends had been passing through.

Today Mas and I tried to catch up with our usual things, and I walked off to the library and got out some books and music. The street trees are all in blossom now which always looks so optimistic. The weather has turned warm at last.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

A sociable day to remember

After Pete, Mas and I had a light breakfast and chats Jana arrived. Jana had not met Pete before, but said afterwards that she felt as if she knew him already as I have talked about him so much. Sadly Pete had to go off to Brighton so could not spend more time with us.

Leaving Mas to work on his computer Jana and I headed off into the countryside where we walked over fields from Alum Lane and through woods; the weather was grey and cold which was a shame. We neared The Waggon and Horses pub in Elstree (built in 1471), and decided to have a coffee there. We found that the pub was not open because the decorators were working in the back, but the barman kindly said that he would make us a coffee, so we sat and chatted, and there was a lot to talk about as we had not seen each other for a year; it was hard to believe that Jana had returned home to live in the Czech Republic four years ago!

We sat near this fireplace which had a lit fire in the grate.

Before long we headed off home because Oktay was coming to pick us all up around 1.30pm, to take us off to his home in Cheshunt.

As arranged Oktay called in for us and we drove off to Cheshunt; it was lovely to see Monika and the children, Milan and Talu who were both looking well and happy despite having recently been under the weather. Monika and Oktay are having a new garden made, and although there is still more work to be done it is already looking very interesting.

Monika made a huge and interesting dinner with many courses which we ate in a leisurely way, talking and drinking. Monika had taken a course in making cake decorations, and she made this cake and the decorations too.

Jana and I played with the children upstairs for a while, me playing noughts and crosses with Milan who was cheating, when I mentioned this he agreed and said he always cheated! Jana took him aside and had a quiet word with him about this, while I played with Talu. Milan then demonstrated how he can turn cartwheels!

When we went down later we had a glass of Slivovitz and more chat and snacks until it was time to go home again. It was sad parting from everyone and saying goodbye to Jana who will be off to Spain, and taking a weeks lessons while she is there.

Once home again Toby called and had a quick chat. A very nice but tiring day!

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Routine days then a visit from Pete

We spent all week doing our routine things, interspersed with gardening, cleaning the stonework and garden furniture, and Mas fixed the canopy over the garden swing which had broken with the weight of snow in the winter. For a break we had lunch one day at the Man in the Moon.

On Tuesday Jana phoned and said she could go for a walk tomorrow, and she would arrive around 9.00am. Mas and I took some videos over to Margaret's and John's and had chats with them. Pete came round in the early evening, and we sat around chatting about his concert, and looking at the score; Pete unreasonably refused to drink some beer which we had discovered at the back of the cupboard that was less than ten years past its' use by date! Mas made a lovely turkey dinner which we drank with some wine. It was a nice evening.

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Entertaining and a sad event

This morning I tidied the house, and we thought about the meal that we would have when Barry, Wynford and Rupa came for dinner tonight. Mas was feeling somewhat depressed about what he had been working on as there are problems. Both Joan and Pete liked the illustration I had done of Grimsby the dog for Pete's book.

Barry, Wynford and Rupa arrived (from next door) at 8.00pm as arranged, and we sat about talking until dinner was ready. Mason had made a scrumptious meal which everyone enjoyed in a leisurely fashion. After desserts and coffee we talked some more, and we went back into the sitting room until they left to go home. It had been a nice evening.

Today we had the very sad news that a young relative had died, and had various communications which set Mas back a bit. For a change it was warm and sunny, and I saw the first bumble bee, ladybird and hover fly of the year which is always cheering.

I spent most of the day painting as I am trying to finish these pictures for Pete in a reasonable time.

Sunday 4 April 2010

Mostly a working week, interrupted by the TV

I went off for a walk this morning, and spent time in the afternoon trying to do illustrations for Pete's Skelly book. Mas went off for an appointment with a business associate, then afterwards off to the doctors at the end of the day, and we had a late dinner.

Friday, and I walked for an hour on this grey and dreary day. For a break we watched an old Diagnosis Murder, and I sent off a few e mails, and listened to a lot of religious classical music. Later, during the night it rained really heavily, and Salty spent an hour frenziedly rushing up and down the stairs during the night and occasionally yelping loudly, sooo restful!

On Saturday, we went as usual to St. Albans, and met Tania and Robert in Sazios and had a long and cheerful lunch before shopping and driving home again. Driving is quite hazardous at the moment as there are such large and deep potholes in the road surface after the icy weather.

Both Mas and I felt really tired in the evening, but watched another excellent, understated, episode of Wallendar . Luckily Salty did not put in an appearance all night, so we felt quite rested when we got up on Sunday morning.

Today was warm and sunny, so we did a lot of gardening. I did some drawing while listening to an old Hancock's Half Hour on the radio; the famous one about the Blood Donor. In the evening we had a bit of a TV fest, watching Monk, Foyle's War and A Touch of Frost, then we went off to bed before the men in white coats came to take us away!