The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Long Time No Write

It was the Jim Clark International Rally on 7/8th July - the only UK rally that still is run on public roads. We had 4 legs going past our house - 2 on the Friday evening from right to left, and then 2 on the Saturday morning going left to right. Paul's mum and dad, my cousin Colin, his wife Maureen and their son Robert all came to stay and watch. Colin wanted to cut down one of my buddleias to get a better view but we managed to restrain him. Robert departed on the Saturday evening, Colin and Maureen on the Monday morning, and Paul's mum and dad stayed until Tuesday morning. I gave up my invitation to play in the UK Scrabble Masters that took place this weekend.

On Tuesday evening Paul and I were taken to The Red Lion pub in Reston by our neighbours Anne and Neil, where we had an excellent meal. I had the lamb and the portion was so large I could only manage half of it. This is the first time I have ever asked for a doggy-bag, but I think it was much appreciated by Jen and Poncho the next day.

On the Wednesday Paul departed down south to watch the first day of the test match at Lords. On the Friday he and his brother Alex flew out to Chicago to play in a bridge congress.

Maureen came back down on the Saturday as I had seen that there was an open air performance of A Midsummer Nights Dream at Paxton house on the Sunday, which we duly went to. It was very enjoyable other than we all seemed to be attacked by extremely tiny black fly things that made us itch (harvest flies???). We were all scratching away at varying intervals. They now seem to be everywhere. I actually had one inside my laptop screen yesterday - who needs cyber-pets?

I took Maureen back to the station on the Monday and settled into my own routine for a week until Pauls return. I have determined that I do not need to get up until 8 a.m. for the dogs. I also have taken the opportunity to start a diet. I have put on about half a stone since moving up here, and am determined now to lose it again. With the heat wave we are all going through at the moment I haven't felt like eating much so it has been very easy so far - lost just over 3 pounds.

On Saturday there was a bit of a disaster with the dogs. I had just gone upstairs when there was a bit of a barney between them with growls and barks. I came rushing back down and they both ran into the lounge and lay down on their beds. I thought nothing more of it until the 4pm walk when I noticed blood on Jen's right cheek. I rushed them back home and cleaned it up - it looks as if Poncho had bitten her. The last few weeks we have been plagued with flies on our walks, so I have been trying to cover her wound when we go out by folding up some tissue paper and fixing it inside her muzzle. Unfortunately, in this heat, she loves to lie down and roll around whenever we get to some shady long grass and this keeps re-opening the wound. Today there have been less flies so we have kept her muzzle off in the hope that it will scab up properly.

Paul returned home on Monday evening, after waiting at Kings Cross station for several hours when they would not let him change his ticket to get an earlier train. Other than he is still recovering from jet-lag we are now back to our normal routine.

I have done very little other than watering the pots. I really need to get back out there as the weeds are coming back, especially at the cow-shed end of the bank. Now Paul is home I can try to get a couple of hours in in the evenings when it has cooled down a bit. I have been picking my wild strawberries and having them on my cereal. Also my red and black currants appear to be ripening up. Have been looking for recipes that I can use them in...

I have heard from my friend Radhika that they are planning the next international tournament in Bangalore on 12-14 January next year. I have had a quick look at flights and it appears you can now fly direct from Heathrow at a very reasonable price - happy bunny.
August is a busy month - Nottingham Nomads 5/6, Scottish Round Robin 12/13 and British Matchplay Scrabble Championship 26/27/28. On the free weekend going to a second cousin's wedding in Glasgow.


Anonymous said...

Your are Nice. And so is your site! Maybe you need some more pictures. Will return in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Interesting site. Useful information. Bookmarked.

Anonymous said...

will try that recipe, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Helen, have seen your name all over the Scrabble sites since I took a more active interest. You are an amazing player and I hope to meet you in the future (though not over a board). I mainly chose to comment as you listed as one of your music 'likes' Queen. I am their biggest fan ever and probably need say no more than, my youngest son is called John Freddie Brian Roger Nicol. As said looking forward to meeting you and lots of other guys from the site soon.

Colin Nicol.

PS I don't have time to read your Masters report right now, but will 'bookmark' your page and do so tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Hi again, Helen. I have just read through your report from the BMSC and found it very interesting. I must say you were very unlucky not to take the title, just a better pick up here and there in the KOTH game.
I am concerned that you and your opponents played an awful lot of words that I would have to challenge!!. I know I am not and never will be at a standard commensurate with your own but, I do worry that when I start playing at club and competitive level that I may be challenging rather a lot, which I imagine wont go down very well with my opponents.

Colin Nicol.

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