Friday, 23 June 2017

Birmingham – June 2017

Jackie put the lemon bag on Brians head while he had his hands in pastry
I know Brian wrote an entry solely on his visit to the Morgan factory, but that's not all that's happened in the last 10 days.

Thoroughly enjoyable curry with the Monday Club boys before a trip to Bury St Edmunds on Tuesday to catch up with Aunty Margaret and Ron, actually Mother's cousin, but always known as Aunty Margaret. We probably haven seen them since we started travelling so it was well past time. The trip over wasn't too bad, though the return was longer, particularly with no AC but we had a really enjoyable time. Good to catch up, reminisce at their wedding photos with me as one of the bridesmaids, some 40+ years ago, and eat a great lunch.

Aunty Margaret, Jackie, Ron and Pauline (Jackie's mum)
Steph with Ivy, Brians great-niece
On Thursday we finally met new greatniece Ivy, sister to Rory, offspring of Steph and Sam, Brian's niece. She wasn't on best form having not slept as required, but we did get some smiles and cuddles from her. Rory however was on top form, wanting to water the garden, which seemed to involve tipping quite a lot of water over himself, before taking me into the house to play with the toys in Grandma's toy chest.

Jackie attending to Rorys every need
Typical British worker scene, Rory watering, three people watching!
The weekend was spent mostly with Helen and Ian and a very hot Monty dog, so hot that when we went out for a walk (pub crawl) round Kings Heath he was left at home. Three pints later we returned to gin fizzes and a BBQ, to be followed by the G&T and Lemon tart with a G&T syrup that B had whipped up after our arrival. Sadly either the dog has learnt how to open doors or it wasn't shut properly, but either way, the only one to enjoy the tart, and then only the filling, was Monty! Ho hum, we probably didn't need it anyway, but the syrup did spruce up a hastily bought Co-op lemon sponge!

Ivy with Grandad Paul (Brian's brother-in-law)
Sunday we had a good catch up with Jo in the afternoon seeing wedding pics and all sorts, before meeting back with H&I, along with Manu and Crystal, also newly married and Pete and Hils, for a Sunday tea club with a difference. The difference being it wasn't Chinese! Instead it was a Dosai and Idly restaurant, dosai are Indian crepes then stuffed with a dry ish meat and potato curry, absolutely delicious. Idly are little dumplings, about which I can't comment. I really enjoyed the meal but did miss the Chinese!

BBQ at Ian and Helens
Apart from all that we've done loads more DIY, I've caught up with Alex, always a pleasure, we've had a regular Monday club meeting, been back to the garage and now have working AC in the car, Hurrah, fixed in the middle of the heatwave. We've been to the gym a couple of times and spent the day in Alvechurch doing all sorts of jobs as well as seeing Sarah and Mum.

Hunting for veg in Helen's greenhouse
Tomorrow we head down to Redmarley for a week with the four dogs and five cats (hopefully, though little Charlie cat has been very poorly so may still be in the vets). Amazingly the heatwave was the week just gone rather than the week we are with the dogs as it has been for the last couple of years, so all should be much better.

The G&T lemon tart after Monty had licked it clean, except for the pastry
She forgot to mention the new passport I applied for. Nowdays you can do it all online, including submitting your own digital photo. Unfortunately in Abi's house there are few blank walls to use as background. The only one is in the bathroom, but it's half tiled, so here I am standing on a stool to get above the tiles...

And here is Jackie standing on another stool to take the photo. Several attempts were made to stifle giggles in order to get the obligiatory straight faced photo

And while we're on standing photos, here is Jackie standing on a chair in the conservatory trying to swat a fly

Poor little Sooty's been on a diet and here Jackie is trying to put her in a mixing bowl balanced on top of the kitchen scales to see if she has lost any weight. It didn't go well!

Outside afterwards trying to get over the trauma

A squirrel came to see us and here it is chomping on a bit of pineapple...

 Apart from the squirrel we have had other animal events, we managed to scoop up a wagtail while driving, it looked most confused hopping over the windscreen wipers onto the bonnet! We then had the trauma of the maggoty rat that after I scooped it onto the compost heap, reappeared on the lawn. Hmm, just missed the binmen so bury it I guess, just about to go out to do so when two seagulls appeared, squabbled over it, and flew off with it! Problem solved!
Watched by Sooty

The lights Abi bought for the conservatory after Brian had installed them. They look pretty cool we think

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