Wednesday, 29 February 2012

February's nattering

Before I launch into February, which promises to be about three sentences long, I've just remembered I forgot to tell you about the robbery!  While Ken and I were in the UK it seems that someone (a couple of youths?) broke into all our garages and stole various things. Phil and Sue told us about it when we got home.  We had a cursory check and all seemed to be OK.

We then saw a slew of (plain clothes) detectives and police rummaging around and taking prints and generally spending a great deal of time and energy searching for clues - photos in the bushes etc.  We were mightily impressed and were quick to compare the service to the level of interest our police show in a petty domestic robberies.  Joke on us!  Their interest was because one of our neighbours had his gun stolen!  Another had his magazine nicked.  Being British we had a brief flash of Playboy or a car magazine before the penny dropped - he, of course, meant ammunition.  It is a whole other world here. Since which we also learned there is at least one other neighbour in the eight of us who has a gun - so that's three that we know of. Moral of that story - don't argue with Americans.

Meanwhile Ken figured out what was wrong with the doors - they were all badly fitted.  The tongue of the lock wasn't going all the way across which allows the locking mechanism to drop in place.  The hole hadn't been cut deep enough to allow this, so it was easy to slip in a screwdriver and push it back. Hey presto - one open door.   They then helped themselves to all and sundry from the cars which most people don't lock when they put them in a garage.

We were crowing about how we were fine... always lock the car and never leave anything in it of value even in the garage.  Really we are too perfect to live!

A few days later, planning our Orlando trip, Ken couldn't find the GPS.  Yes, you guessed it.... not only had it been left in the car before we went away but the car battery was on charge and the car was therefore unlocked.  Talk about rubbish timing.

It gets worse, the American car insurance doesn't cover theft from cars... the car has to be stolen then it covers contents!  The American house insurance doesn't cover stuff in garages and cars.  The UK travel insurance didn't cover it because we weren't here!!!!  No wonder people don't buy insurance.

Any way all that happened way back at the beginning of January and this is a February natter.

Well, actually there's nothing to tell you and no pictures to show you....

In preparation for Lucy's visit, we've spent a lot of time mentally returning to the mid seventies and trying to remember what tiny tots need .  We did really well and bought a (nearly) brand new cot, priced at $25 so I bid him down to $20 and bump a up seat for the dining chair priced at $15 and yes, you guessed it I got it for $10.  This was less than the hire cost.  I've also bought masses of bargain price clothes and other bits and bobs.  Indeed the hard part is not to buy stuff.

We did a lot of Library lectures and concerts, nothing too much stands out except someone who played a resonator guitar wonderfully and a good lecture on Bach's (two and a half hour) Mass. Funny and informative.  In comparison we did a lecture on Alzheimers that was totally forgettable (!)  Why, oh why, do some  lecturers produce 15 slides and then proceed to read them - adding nothing and doing it inaudibly????  In fact he hadn't even produced the slides himself they were taken from the Alzheimers website.  We actually did the Bach lecture and this one on the same day - gluttons for punishment.

In the middle of the month Ken went on his first of five sailing lessons while I stayed home and fried weevils and baked ships biscuits.  He is loving it and I can see us sailing our catamaran round the world as our next adventure, with two pairs of knickers and one saucepan for survival.

A couple of days later we succumbed to the unforgivable sin and went to an English food shop and bought English stuff.  Hate ex-pat pandering.  Hate it even more after spending an arm and a leg on awful stuff.  We paid £4.42 for a packet of, actually so bad they went down Oscar (the waste disposal), sausages.  £7.58 for two tiny equally nauseating pork pies; their only virtue which helps overcome the bright pink nasty gluey paste like substance in them is they are so salty we were too busy complaining about that to notice much else.  Get ready for this one... Weetabix cost £5.36.  They are great, though they are being rationed.  Pataks sauce, tin of custard, HP baked beans, tin of Golden syrup (deep joy - I made a syrup sponge pudding and then a treacle tart) and a packet of McVities digestive cost us another £12!  Perhaps if I didn't fantasise over pictures of Tesco Finest every time I get a missive from them I would do better.  They are my on-line food porn - the, unobtainable for me,  fantasy ideal of food.

Oh - looking through my diary I just spotted another library offering - a guy with guitar purporting to sing music from the 50's and 60's.  His earliest was 1926 and he just about scraped into the late 40's.  Worse than that the audience were asked to 'sing-along' - and they did!  I had this awful sensation of being in an old people's home thinking this was fun.  Actually I didn't think it was fun, I looked around me and saw my (not too distant) future.  Not good for an already depressed person.  

The next night our night out was a fun evening with an Irish singing group of four, interspersed with a pipe band and air step (Irish) dancers.  That was certainly more lively and even Ken sang along with Black Velvet Band.  Good craic.

.... and, as if like magic, it was the 29th.  I never proposed to a soul to get a free silk dress; and then it was March.