2nd February, 2014
The lovely days keep coming. Sunny and mild today. We should be outside walking but, instead, are reading the Sunday papers – electronically. I’ve just received and email from Jean, our neighbour when we lived in Yorkshire. We are arranging to meet in March which will be nice. Got a couple of football matches to watch as well. Lunch today was celery sticks with humus. Can you believe it?
I am distraught, today, with the news that the apostrophe is being dropped by most Local Authorities in their signage, etc. The reason is that they don’t have enough staff who know how to use it. What have these teacher’s been doing?
3rd February, 2014
Made that trip to WheelWizard in Cobham this morning. My alloy wheel repair will cost about £120.00 next week and take a day and a half. It’s better than £500.00 for a new one.
Watched a fantastic match tonight in which Chelsea beat Man. City by playing them off the park. Early night because we have to be up at 5.00 am and out at 6.00 am to avoid rush hour traffic on the M25 as we head for the M1 and up to Lancashire.
4th February, 2014
Long but wonderful day today. We went to a funeral. Up at 5.00 am and out by 6.00 am. We drove on to the M25 where the ‘rush hour’ was already well under way and then on to the M1 which, miraculously, had no holdups. We did the 220 miles from Surrey to Lancashire in under 4 hours. The night before had been wild and wet and the night following was predicted to be the same. Our trip neatly slotted between the two with dry and fine weather.
The first thing we noticed as we got out of the car in Waterhead was how freezing cold it was. We called in at Haynes’ bread shop to buy Colin some ‘oven bottom muffins’ and then on to the Tesco Superstore to buy him a dozen Hollands meat pies. You can take the boy out of Lancashire but you can’t take Lancashire out of the boy. Colin may have emigrated to Surrey but his tastebuds are still in the North.
We then moved on to the main event of the day and drove to Hollinwood Crematorium for John Woolley’s funeral.
It was like, as one person observed, a school reunion. The old school was demolished in the summer while we were away and it, obviously, left a huge feeling of void which this cremation, ironically, filled. John Gillespie at 88, John Fidler at 77, Liz Hardy, Pat & Derek Wild, Mike & Doreen Elwell, Norma Taylor, Lesley Scoble, Val Winkle, Dave Joynes, Lindsay Heneghan, Dave Spencer, Trevor (Sniffer) Parry, Jim Rothwell, Vince Kenny, Jean Lowe, Mary Decelis, Andy Clough, Nelli Wood, Julie Rogers, Pete & Kate Holford, Pat Baxter, Pauline Pichon, Margaret Taylor, Little Viv., John & Carol Bewick, Helen Crowther, Eugene Kirwan, Sarah Bristow, Hilary Nelson, Michael Charlesworth plus us made about 35 ex-staff present so at least a third of the staff. It was stimulating to see them all again.
Afterwards, we drove another 4 hours back to Surrey and I collapsed with a glass of red wine. I had eaten just two bananas all day.
5th February, 2014
Went to bed at midnight as usual last night but the trip had taken its toll on us and we got up almost an hour late this morning. It is 10C/51F but rather grey today.
It is beginning to look like I will have to have a pacemaker/heart-monitor fitted and I read today that the procedure is becoming much easier. The latest innovation means that a small device, the size of two matchsticks can be injected into the chest muscle in the Doctor’s surgery in a matter of minutes. rather than the much larger monitor placed into a cavity prepared by operation.
6th February, 2014
Our one commitment today was top appear before the ophthalmologist at Woking Community Hospital for my Annual Diabetic Eye Test. Pauline has to accompany me because the drops I have to have mean I can’t drive home. The service is fantastic. I arrived at 11.20 am. Within five minutes, I’m called in for the drops to be administered. Twenty minutes later, I have half a dozen photographs taken of my eyeballs and we are off home. On so many occasions we are reminded how wonderful the NHS is whatever common parlance says.
7th February, 2014
Very mild day that reached 13C/56F in the sunshine. It felt like Spring. Workmen appeared on site to install electric car charging points. Nobody who lives here drives an electric car but this condition of the development was put in place by Woking Borough Council.
8th February, 2014
At my advanced age of (nearly) 63, it is no surprise to learn that most of my contemporaries are retired. Certainly, most of those who I met at my Teacher Training College in the late ’60s and early ’70s seem to have hung up their chalk. After all, what was the TPS created for if it isn’t to keep us in the manner to which we have become accustomed?
Some of those retirees are to be found on social media and one this morning reminded me of my first teaching practice in a Northallerton school which didn’t want a long haired, tieless boy wonder in their classrooms. I was reasonably happy to put on a tie for a few hours but not to get my haircut. Bob Barker-Whyatt came up with the answer with a wig he found in the Props Basket. It had seen better days. It was slightly ginger and thinning rapidly for a twenty year old’s head but it did the trick. On my last day there, I took my wig off and all the kids stood up and applauded. What I hadn’t realised was they all knew it was a wig from day one but refrained from commenting. Happy days!