Saturday, 27 November 2010

Me doing a David Attenborough

Please excuse my whiny voice - I sound a bit like Attenborough, about to bore you to tears.

video

Week 47

How time flies when you don't work.

Robin's funeral went off without a hitch on Monday morning. DH and Scott were pall bearers and we all had to laugh as DH and Scott are so tall and Robins son and partner so short DH nearly knocked the wreath off the top of the coffin on entry into the chapel. My poor Mum sobbed all the way through, thank God I was there to comfort her. Robin's son had flown out from SA to be there and it has been an awful week for my Mum as he has spent most of the week since the funeral 'cleaning her out'. All of Robin's personal possessions were left to him so he is selling them to second hand shops etc. before he goes back to SA today (Sat). He has even taken the paintings off the walls and been through all the nick knacks in the display cabinet to check which pieces he could get a quick buck for.

Wednesday my brother (he has just moved here from SA) asked me to drive him to an interview our side of London. I of course agreed and off I went at 8.30am. I got back at 7.30pm from a 128 km journey!!!! We got stuck on the notorious M25 on the way home. We were sitting in my car surrounded by trucks and cars for HOURS for periods of up to half an hour without moving an inch. All I can say is that I was so glad I hadn't had much to drink.

We are going out tonight to our American friends for a Thanksgiving dinner. Should be interesting pumpkin pie and all that.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Flamingos

Isn't that just amazing? Nature getting all creative!

Last week - 46

  • Well the first night in the hotel was dreadful note to self: Never stay in a hotel that is frequented by business men (that pay their own bills) and when asked what they think of the hotel they reply - 'its fine'. Men are just so not discerning about these things. Lumpy mattress - ' didn't notice!!!' Must have been pissed!
  • Got lost on my way to the head office on Monday morning, my Tom Tom was telling me to turn into houses that had seen a couple of changes in centuries. Final got there late, I hate being late especially for something like this. Spent 4 days of training on animal nutrition and hey presto - I can't believe there was so much to learn.
  • The company took us out for a slap up meal on the Tuesday night, had a absolutely ball - I am beginning to feel human again.
  • Driving home on Thursday night made me realise how blessed we are to live in Suffolk, it is such a beautiful part of the UK. I reckon that this sleepy, peaceful way of life has made our transition just so much easier. The area we live in is officially entitled 'an area of outstanding natural beauty' - it certainly is.
  • I went out 'canvassing' with DH on Friday and it was no- where near as difficult as I thought it would be, I didn't do too well though but it didn't put me off.
  • Scott has got himself a job as a waiter at the very posh hotel in village. He believed he would get a job in the village and he did - I have to hand it to him, jobs for teens are hard to come by and one paying tips as well as the minimum wage even more sought after. He walked in with his CV and asked to see the owner and a couple of calls later he pulled it off.
  • Scott was also invited by a friends family to watch rugby at Twickenham on Saturday, he is really settling in well and even bought himself an England scarf but said he would be very torn when England play South Africa, I think we will find him in the SA camp.
  • Erin and I went shopping for clothes for her at Primark (bit like Mr. Price) on Sunday, she got loads of stuff including a gorgeous pair of sexy lace up ankle boots. She wore them straight away but really struggled with the amount of attention she seemed to attract, she is so used to walking around in jodphurs and flat horsey boots. She sure scrubs up well and given time I am sure she will get used to it.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Our Christmas 2010 TV advert - John Lewis

I just love this ad - this is Christmas for me!
Please let me know how I should have inserted this so that it looks the way its supposed to look on my blog!!

Our Christmas 2010 TV advert - John Lewis

Busy Week

  • Friday I ran around most of the day with funeral arrangements. I started off at the hospital, stopped in at the ward to collect Robin's personal items, the nurse gave me a bag and I took the long trek back to my car. My bloody knee is killing me at the moment so everything I do is a bit of a drag. Got to my car put the bag in the boot and had a 'blink moment' that I should check the contents. Lots of very neatly folded nighties, an old radio and lots of ladies toiletries - not Robin's stuff! Put more money in the parking meter and took the trek back to the ward again. Had a laugh (love that Brit expression) with the staff that the bag couldn't possibly belong to Robin unless there was a side to him I didn't know about.
  • Drove around to the other side of the hospital to the 'registration office' for the bereaved. Signed for and received all the official documents and then headed off to Ipswich to my appointment with the 'Registrar of Deaths'. Got there early so I couldn't resist taking a walk down to the shops - bloody knee was killing me by the time I got back to the registrar (Kirsty - HELP). Spent a hour getting all that done, took a little longer than necessary as the registrar was ex South African so we had a good natter.
  • I am - for purposes of the records Robins step-daughter LOL I hope that applies to the will!
  • Then took the walk over to the Undertakers to give them their official documentation and to go over the final cremation date and time. I decided to have his ashes divided amongst two containers so that his son can take some back to SA.
  • Head over to the other side of Ipswich to drop off a death cert with the Attorneys (Solicitors here darhling).
  • Today I have driven up to Preston near Manchester (where I was born) to attend the training course for DH's business. I swear when I checked in I could have been checking in at Fawlty Towers - if I have the guts I may take a pic or two - so funny.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Undertakers

My Mum is one of the most disorganised people I have ever known so it went without saying that I would organise the funeral. It went like this..
  • On Sunday night I informed my Mum that we had a meeting with the undertakers on Monday at her house. Shock and disbelief that I had organised it so quickly? My Mum couldn't believe that these people are on call 24 hrs a day. My Mum is the type of person that if she needs an appointment for something she goes to the relevant place and books it.
  • A very nice lady/girl came to see us - she had no make-up on and I swear she looked about 16 but she knew her stuff.
  • Within minutes my Mum had asked a stupid question ie. 'Oh I wont be able to go and register his death - what if there is no parking outside.' I reminded her that I was doing the organising and that she would be doing nothing!
  • I chose a dark wood coffin - my Mum looked at it and wailed noooo he wanted a basket/woven one. Sorted that, supposedly more eco friendly and of course came with the eco friendly price tag of 500 pounds, btw he is being cremated.
  • We then got to what he would wear. I set her off when she started waffling on about how non of his clothes fitted him anymore by saying 'not to worry Mum they will pin all the excess cloth to the back' (she is having an open coffin at the service because his son who flies out tonight from SA didn't get to see him).
  • Scott thinks the open coffin is a really cool idea because he has never seen a dead person!
  • We chose a spray for the coffin - took forever because my Mum couldn't choose the colour of the flowers.
  • The poor undertaker made a 'he had a good life then' type comment due to him being 80 and that set my Mum off again because she didn't think 80 was a good innings?
  • This is my Mums 3rd partner to die so we got to hear the interesting differences between these nearly 3 ceremonies. Her first husband was a Iranian Muslim and died 6 months after they married of typhoid.
  • Special requests - Robin wanted a stake driven through his heart to ensure that he is dead! There were no takers on that one.

I called the attorneys handling his estate (considerable) yesterday to inform them and ask them to arrange the reading of the will before Robin's son goes back to SA - he told me I have been watching too many Hollywood movies and that there was no such thing, each person would be informed individually.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Robin

Poor old Robin finally lost his battle with Parkinson's amongst other things on Sunday morning. I am sure going to miss him and my poor Mum has just lost her partner of 21 years and her friend for 30 odd. They worked together for years before getting together.
I am organising the funeral - something I have never had to do, I am meeting with the undertakers this afternoon. I also have to collect Robins son from Heathrow airport tomorrow - what have I let myself in for?
Quick question - my dim witted nephew (I am furious) put RIP Robin on his facebook status with 20 minutes of him passing away!! We had a couple of annoyed callers. I made a comment on his status very politely saying that some things do not need to be announced on fb! I see he has deleted me as a 'friend'. Who's right here?


Thursday, 4 November 2010

Persian Carpets

I have had my Persians for years and years - I love them but I am really sick of them! What should I do? Storing them is a problem, I have lost 2 in the past by putting them at the top of the cupboard with a couple of moth balls when I went back 2 years later the carpets had all but disappeared. I have 2 problems with my collection at the moment firstly they are really too big for our little house and the house is carpeted so they are sitting on top of carpet which is not ideal and secondly, I am so wanting a new fresher look in the place. I have lifted them this morning and now I am wondering what to do, I am only sentimental about one of them which has been in DH's family since he can remember but the others I bought myself so no big deal other than we are so used to seeing them lying around.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Last Weekend

It seems that Halloween is HUGE here so we got into the swing of things and Erin spent ages carving pumpkins. I bought a massive one (it took 3 people to lift it into my boot) from the farmer across the road from work before I left, and after Erin had carved it on Friday night Scott and I rolled it to the front door and dropped it the few cms to the step - it broke! Sh.... she is so sweet natured though and was laughing in seconds and just carved a whole lot of little ones.



The clocks fell back a hour on Sunday too so of course it was dark before I knew it and I almost missed the festivities back home as I had taken Mum up to the hospital to see Robin. He is not looking very good and in fact didn't even wake up whilst we were there, my Mum was very teary too when she saw him - I think it is sinking in. Fun and games in the hospital ward too, the guy across the way decided to have a poo, lovely stuff, trust me it's really difficult to behave normally when all that is going on. Another old duck had an Alzheimer's rage with one of the sisters too - it was very amusing and very sad. I noticed we were the only visitors too - wonder why?



We had people around for dinner again on Saturday so our social life is picking up. They are the people that Erin rides with ie. they own the horses. Very interesting couple he is one of the original top guns in the American Air Force and has just stepped down into his first office job. She is a 'bat' specialist and is licensed to do 'bat' inspections, she invited me along to one this week. I wouldn't say I like bats but they don't scare me and after hearing her talk about them, they are certainly fascinating creatures - a bat can consume 5000 mosquitoes a day, now that is a cure for malaria.