Sunday, 25 July 2010

Bumble Bees and Crows.

Hurray! End of term! Time to rest up after weeks of hard work. The kids are especially tired and have spent the first couple of days winging about everything. I was astonished to have heard the first "I'm bored" of the holidays already!

So I took Mr I'm Bored off to walk the dog down by the river. The bumble bees were busy checking out the thistles.
There were lots of red-tailed and white-tailed bumble bees and I got a couple of nice photos of a gatekeeper butterfly.We went off shopping and I got a phone-call from Robin, something along the lines of:

"I'm off sailing for a week. Would you like to look after my crow?"


"With a broken wing, in my shed"


"He's quite happy, but it is unfair to take him on the boat and the neighbour who's feeding the cats hates birds, and the RSPCA wants to knock it on the head."

"It's wild?"

"Pecky, yes."

"Can it live at my place instead of your shed?"

"No problem, it's in a cat-carrier. He's called Eric."

So I have a crow, with a broken wing, living in a cat-basket, in my bathroom.

As you do.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Jo's 40th

Aren't I a lucky bunny? More parties to go to! We met Jo and her husband Rabbah at NCT antenatal classes when we were both expecting for the first time. They now have three boys to their name. Mel thinks it is great to spend time with a gang of boys, as he is somewhat outnumbered at home.

We drove up to the community hall, where Jo had put on a fantastic spread. It was lovely to see everyone again. There was a bouncy castle in the garden for the kids, which they instantly gravitated towards.
We tied the dog up outside with the kids, which worked for a while.


We did a lot of mingling, eating, making friends and chatting, followed by most of the washing-up while Jo wasn't looking. There was cake and singing. Jo's dad hobbled round on his walking stick, looking the spitting image of Jo, just 20 years older. The kids ran in and out. Pal got bored and chewed through his lead, in about three minutes flat, so he had to go and sit in the car. This is why we need to buy chain-link leads, and not rope-based or leather ones. He's got very sharp teeth.

There were a lot of kids there, and at some point they must have decided to get silly. Kids do that. Mel announced that someone had thrown his shoe into the bushes. Nick searched in vain for it, even going out onto the road outside. Eventually, he mentioned it had been thrown into the tall trees making up the hedge.... from the top of the bouncy castle slide. Looking up... there, stuck in the trees a good 20 feet up, was Mel's shoe.

They say necessity is the mother of invention. Well, we cobbled together a shoe-retrieval-device made from parcel-tape, two skylight-hooks, a walking pole and Jo's dad's walking stick.

Being creative with parcel tape.

We used a golfing umbrella as a shoe catcher to stop said shoe falling into the undergrowth and disappearing into the ditch below. Finally, we balanced 6'4" Nick on a box and made him stretch to poke the footwear out of the tree.

The Mark II worked well.

The Mark II (with an extra skylight-hook attached) worked perfectly, and the shoe plopped neatly into the up-turned umbrella. How cool are we?

Catching the shoe.

We celebrated with all the adults having a go on the bouncy castle.

Jo on the slide.

Nick managed to split his trousers, but fortunately they were loose ones and no-one noticed. He does have a hole the size of the USA in them, and I suspect they are beyond repair.

And a good time was had by all!

Nick on the slide.

Monday, 5 July 2010

David's Sixty-And-A-Half-th

David (in the blue shirt above), from the bowling club, invited Mum and me to his birthday party. He actually turned 60 in January, but decided he wanted a garden party, and so he decided to wait until July.
His garden is beautiful. He must spend so much energy on it.

There were about 90 people there. Dave provided food in the form of a hog-roast and entertainment in the form of two stand-up comedians called Allan and Glyn. The comedy duo were from the Black Country and they were very funny.We had a lovely evening, despite getting a little chilled towards the end - everyone ended up wrapped in picnic blankets from the car!We headed off home at about eleven, but the evening was to take a more dramatic turn when one of the other bowling club members, Tom, fell over in the car-park at midnight.

Tom's sons-in-law put him back on his feet, but Tom collapsed again (and not just because of the whisky). No, Tom had broken his hip. Tom was refusing to go to hospital, so the sons-in-law hatched a plan and informed Tom that they were going to town to buy some chips. Tom didn't cotton on until they pulled up outside the hospital.

I understand he is now mending well and flirting with the nurses!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Furry Face Friday.

Nick takes 'Dress Down Friday' to new, hairy dimensions.

Let's face it: the plan to 'shave on the train' was never all that likely to succeed.
Good thing the rugged look is in.

Uncle Pat

Nick's uncle Pat passed away last Monday. Although Nick hasn't seen much of him in recent years, he was still sad to see him go. Pat was a good footballer in his youth, and reasonably well known. There were a couple of write-ups in the footballing news: Leyton Orient and Tottenham Hotspurs.

Reproduced below:

Leyton Orient:

Pat Welton

Posted on: Thu 01 Jul 2010

THE CLUB were saddened to learn of the death of former O's goalkeeper Pat Welton, who passed away on June 28, aged 82.

Welton played 281 games for the club between 1949 and 1958 and is known as one of Orient's finest goalkeepers of the post-war era.

Born in Eltham on May 3 1928, Pat started off with Chiselhurst FC before joining the O's in May 1949 as an amateur.

He was a PE teacher at a school in Highbury before turning pr

ofessional with the O's later that season.

Welton took over as the club's regular keeper in March 1950 and he remained the number one for the next six seasons, then sharing the green jersey with Dave Groombridge and Frank George between 1956 and 1958.

He was a member of the team that won the Third Division South championship in May 1956.

After leaving Brisbane Road in 1958, Welton went on to play for Queens Park Rangers before managing St Albans City and Walthamstow Avenue.

He then held a coaching position with the England youth side

and was assistant manager at Tottenham Hotspur before taking his skills overseas.

The club sends its deepest condolences to Pat's family and friends.

Tottenham Hotspurs:

Pat Welton

02 July 2010

We were saddened to hear that our former coach and assistant manager, Pat Welton, passed away on Monday. He was 82.

Pat coached successfully at Youth level for both England and Spurs and then stepped up to assist Keith Burkinshaw when he took over as manager in July, 1976.

After an impressive playing career as a goalkeeper, mainly with Orient and later Queens Park Rangers, Pat subsequently managed in non-league football with St Albans and Walthamstow Avenue.

As a player he was a member of the Orient team that won the Third Division (South) Championship in 1956.

However, his strength was in youth development and, as international manager, he led England to victory in the UEFA Championship at that level in 1963.

He continued that success when he became our first full-time youth manager in August, 1969, coaching our side to two FA Youth Cup triumphs in the early 1970s.

Moving up to the first team, he served the Club for four years - including our promotion back to the First Division in 1978. He later worked with Burkinshaw in Bahrain.

Pat will always be remembered at White Hart Lane not just for his professional ability but also as an extremely likeable personality. We extend our condolences to his family and friend at this sad time.