Week 217

10th February, 2013

As regular readers will have noticed, I’ve been dabbling in a bit of family tree research along with my much older cousin, David. I get very easily distracted and often follow quite aimless connections. For example, I was told recently that one member of the family, my Great Grandfather Edwin Thomas Sanders, who had lived in the Repton Mill, moved to a large split property call Gordan Villas. Below is a picture of Gordan Villas today.

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It really looks very little different to what I remember fifty years ago. Two girls who were in my class at the local school lived in the property – Elizabeth McDonald on the left and Patricia Adams on the right. ‘Tricia Adams was my first girlfriend at the ripe old age of ten. I bought her a small, pink plastic case of hair grips as an enticement. She was sent over later, I suspect by her Mother, to give me a box of sweets. I know who got the best deal! Elizabeth’s mother was Dorothy McDonald née Adams. She had been born in Gordan Villas in August of 1922. She had an older brother, Reginald, who was the father of Patricia. He and his wife (who I think was called Stella) were rather trendy. They had a brand new open top Triumph Herald with white wall tyres and they parked it on the pavement outside their part of the building.

The Adams family was related to many of the older village families; Dorothy’s great, great grandfather was the Rev’d John Pattinson, vicar of Repton from 1804 to 1843, and her grandmother, Stella Pattinson, owned the post office. This is her around 1900.

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The Pattinson family owned the Post Office for a hundred years until 1953. What I have established is that the Adams family occupied Gordan Villas at least from 1922. We lived at 81 High Street aka Ingle Nook. The space where the land was purchasef for the house and the building firm was still enclosed and used for Council storage just after 1900 as this photograph shows. The land is immediately after the white walled house.

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Mum eventually sold the house in 1976 for the princely sum of £31,000.00 and the newspaper advertisement, in 1976, referred to the building of the house being in 1933 by Sanders & Son.

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11th February, 2013

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Skiathan Man has got his tea bags exactly two weeks after we posted them. The parcel took two days to get to Athens and then twelve to get to the island because of a strike. Skiathos is bathed in sun today. We have woken up to light snow. It didn’t stop us going for our swim. Today we start our seventh week without alcohol. I haven’t done that since 1969.

12th February, 2013

It was a cold night and this morning has broken grey and 1C/34F. The horsemeat scandal gallops on. This morning, Tesco have announced that their Bolgnese sauce was up to 100% horsemeat and nobody had noticed. Pauline has always ensured that we shun any ready-made meal on the grounds that, if we saw what it was made of – mechanically recovered meat and ground up bonemeal and cartilage – we would certainly never touch it. She has been completely vindicated. Last night we ate a starter of homemade Waldorf Salad followed by homemade stuffed tomatoes in which the tomato stuffing was just minced beef and herbs. The beef was minced by Pauline from beef steak bought at the butchers. We scoffed our meal with a self-satisfied smile as the news came in.

Instead of swimming, today we went in to the running machine room. About thirty or forty running machines lined the walls. Each one has a television screen set into the front with multiple Sky Channels or one could choose to plug in an iPod or listen to the radio. At the same time one could monitor one’s speed, distance, incline, duration and heart beat. If one entered one’s height and weight prior to starting, the machine calculated and continually announced how many calories one was burning off. By the time I had understood all the displays and the settings, I was exhausted.

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13th February, 2013

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No pancakes for us yesterday. We are starting our seventh week without carbohydrates. I hate to say it but it has almost become a way of life now. I do miss a glass/bottle of wine but not as much as I thought I would. I have a series of half yearly diabetic checks coming up over the next few weeks and it will be interesting to see what changes are reported. Tomorrow it will be eye check. Next week is blood test. Two weeks later will be full check. What it is to be a ‘demic!

14th February, 2013

My Love & I went to the eye clinic this morning. She drove. I had to have drops in my eyes in readiness for my annual diabetic eye check up. Very romantic it was too. After an hour, she led me by the hand out into the sunshine which immediately burned into my widely dilated pupils as I shuffled across the carpark. It was six hours before I could read my newspaper on the iPad and, when I did, I found it had been delivered in a different and more difficult to read format.

Fifty years ago today, Harold Wilson became Leader of the Labour Party. He matched the ‘never had it so good’ complacency of Macmillan with a desire to embrace the ‘white heat’ of techological advancement. I was in Grammar School with the whole of my life before me. White hot technolgy excited me. I wanted some of that and became a Labour supporter from then. My parents were Conservative voters. They read The Telegraph. They were socially established and in business. It was understandable. It was written that I should go in a different direction and I did. I went to Huddersfield and there I found Harold – outside the station.

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15th February, 2013

It is now completely established – There is something wrong with me. Today took receipt of a ‘sports’ watch. What am I doing? Well, I need to time my swimming exercise period and my own, thirty three year old watch isn’t waterproof. I love it because Pauline bought it for me after our car accident but it won’t do the job in the pool or the sea. The thing about watches nowadays is that, if you are not looking for investment or prestige, it is impossible to pay any money for them. My new, waterproof, sports watch with backlight, alarm, stopwatch, day/date/time display is a black, digital Casio from The Watch Shop and cost £15.60 including postage. I ordered it yesterday evening and it arrived this morning. How do they do it for that money? It better not turn out to be horsemeat.

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I bought a bag of mussels in Tesco yesterday and just checked with the Fishmonger – “They don’t contain horsemeat do they?” He looked genuinely hurt. “We’re not allowed to sell it anymore”, he said with a mournful fall in his voice. I felt quite sorry for him.

After Cousin David totally destroyed my retirement this week by completing the research on the Sanders Family History in a few days – something which I was going to spin out over a few years. Now, instead of comfortably pretending I am researching on my computer, I have to go swimming wearing a ‘stopwatch’!

16th February, 2013

It’s not east constructing meals without carbohydrate. It means we eat a lot of salad. Unfortunately, I take warfarin which is negated by too much green leaf. Breakfast is two, freshly squeezed oranges followed by a huge cup of Yorkshire tea. Mid morning is a cup of freshly brewed Americano coffee. Lunch is homemade soup or fish and a small amount of salad. The fish is most often smoked salmon but smoked mackerel is also a favourite. The salad is pea shoots and rocket or endive with a bit of crumbled blue cheese. Evening meal – if we feel like it at all – is meat/fish and a single vegetable. Tonight Dinner will be Fillet of Lamb  slow cooked with onions and mushrooms and served with cauliflower.

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Since 1980, we have taken delivery of 24 new Honda cars. Since 1999, we’ve had 8 CRVs in three different models. Driving to Greece each year, this has been an ideal car for the journey and the island terrain. We took delivery of our latest CRV at the beginning of November and today, Honda contacted us to ask if we would be prepared to attend a ‘review’ of the latest model at their offices in Slough. The car is made just down the road in Swindon. It might be nice to have some personal input to our next model.

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This evening live football is Oldham Athletic v Everton in the Cup. Having taught in Oldham for nearly forty years makes this a must watch. Actually, we will be constantly scanning the crowd for faces of ex-pupils and colleagues. Tomorrow, live football is Huddersfield v Wigan also in the cup. It will again be a must watch – scanning the crowd for ex-neighbours and friends.

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