June 2011


My father died peacefully and with dignity yesterday at 15.30 at East Surrey Hospital. He recognized me and Basil in the morning, and told the nurse how proud he was of us. I held his hand as he slipped away, not making a fuss to the very end.

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I am alone in my own house, with no place I think I should go or person I reckon I should see. After Hugh left this morning I have done pottering , potting and housekeeping.
Went to the ASDA that was Nettos. It seems much better than the nightmare that is Crawley ASDA, bigger with much more variety than Nettos. and the cheapest bread is also cheaper than Lidl. Trouble is that most cheap stuff has to be hunted down. If you do not you, or rather I, will pay close to double. Fruit and veg especially was dear. I did, however, get diet cream soda (Emmmm!) and cheap Duvel Belgium beer.
Made brawn form a pig shank that had already me and Bev a good plate of meat.
I saw the horticulture tutor on Friday. She said she was impressed with me and that she had plans for me. She has not told me what they are yet..
Saw the <a href=”http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html”>International Space Station</a> on Thursday night. Tonight I sat down on my front step and saw a white moth fly around next-door’s garden twice, on the same pattern, like a pipistrelle bat. Less than a minute later I saw a pipistrelle flying a pattern.

Brother Basil is at our parent’s, which is good, seeing ma has had a serious chest infection for a week. Dad got it a few days ago and was so bad Basil pressed his emergency button. He probably is not seriously ill but with all his other health issues, including not announcing what he is feeling unless in a panic, hospital is probably for the best.

Trouble is that Basil then had to go to bed himself. He thinks it is sunstroke.

I am a good traveller.

Hugh, mate from Thomas Bennett Comprehensive days, stayed with me last night. He had driven up from Bristol after finishing work (he is a clinical psychologist) inorder to attend a conference in Ilkley tomorrow.

I took him for a curry at the Karachi. He was paying so we both had the Rick Stein meat special, which was the most expensive at £7, including salad and 3 chapattis.

Then we walked up to the Sparrow Bier Cafe, which was full of young, good looking people; at least until we arrived, with Joe and Keith came in. It was really good to see it busy, but the youth were talking very loudly, as is normal, and I would not go on my own on a busy night.

I have a twitter account buy never tweet now. I have no web access when out, or rather: I have to pay to access the web on my mobile, so obviously do not, and sitting inside tweeting when I could be blogging seems a waste.
Now, however, I have finally created a feed for twitter from my blog, so at least the titles should tweet, with a link to here.

I have started a short community horticulture course, an actual good thing to come out of the New Deal/Restart thing I have been forced on. It is in a garden created by an upper school, and is designed for absolute beginners. I should be able to pass easily, but it will be a qualification and it is real gardening.

I spent most of the time explaining things to others and showing them how to do stuff. There are some with a lot of gardening experience, but most have little to none, and I do enjoy teaching. The fact that all but one wanted to be there, and some even paid, means the group is motivated; a nice mix in fact, especially as the lad acting the twat got sent home at lunchtime.

The tutor is good, though she suffers from HESS (Headmistress Exaggerated Story Syndrome) and is also a propagandist for organic gardening. This results in her saying some stuff that is just wrong. On the other hand she did get us all working well.

One of my jobs was to plant out lettuces and peppers, and put the smaller ones, and ones that could not be fitted on the bed, on the compost heap. I actually potted all of the left over lettuces on in spare pots so people could take one home, and also encouraged them to help themselves to peppers (which were in degradable pots).

After finishing I rushed home, had a bath and went to Ilkley to see Bev dance. She has spent many hours making a new costume, and I am proud to say I gave her a good goose: Bev after I gave her a good goose

Talking of pandas, me and Bev watched Kung Fu Panda a few days ago. We both enjoyed it, but Bev kept shouting: That’s you! That’s you that is! when the panda was on! It’s not as if I even do kung fu.

There have been swifts flying over Bev’s garden for the last few days catching insects around the trees. A wonderfully shaped bird stocking up for leaving the country. It is the eve of the longest day. I might have gone out to watch the sunset but the sky went dark an hour before, and it has rained since.

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