Sunday 5th March 2017
It started by hammering down. There was going to be no working outside again today.
Pauline took Rita to church and I sorted the garage, getting the ladders ready for when it is safe to use them, and preparing everything for the pool.
Tonight we had a Lion’s social with John and Ann Whitehouse. There were only 13 of us there, but this was a fun-packed evening. I hadn’t wanted to go because my throat is worse and I felt I needed my bed, but I was glad we made the effort.
Monday 6th March 2017
This was my best day for months. I had a meeting at Support Staffordshire in the morning. I walked into Lichfield and the sun on my back was warm, though the wind in my face carried an edge.
The meeting was very encouraging, not only from the point of finding someone to eventually replace me at the Talking News, but possibly because I was given contacts who might help me find a home for the Gwent Talking News.
After lunch I did the pool properly, taking up the old netting, cleaning the filters, reducing the mind-your-own-business that was threatening to take over, and putting new netting in place.
Next I repaired the storm damage to our guttering. I didn’t even panic when the ladder slipped and crashed against the wall whilst I was on it! We also decimated a bush that had grown wild and dead inside, filling four sacks with cuttings in the process.
Tuesday 7th March 2017
I picked John Whitehouse up at 9am and we drove up to the Festival Park in Stoke on Trent for the annual Waterworld experience for special needs kids. This year there were 853, the most ever. This is a very special event.
Got back at 2.30pm and the tree men had been and had pruned back our three elder trees. That will give us extra sunshine in the back garden for most of this year.
Tonight was Barton under Needwood Lions. As ever, this was a lively and funfilled evening.
Wednesday 8th March 2017
With it getting lighter in the mornings, and even a bit warmer, there is more incentive to get started. I went down to the Sorting Office quite early and one of the sacks was heavier than I’ve ever had back. I should have checked it before I got home – it wasn’t for us.
Sue came to help Pauline and they were finished by mid day. I processed 4 new listeners and downloaded all the magazines.
I wrote to Gwent looking for a source for volunteers, and also to Support Staffordshire looking for my replacement.
I took everything to the office at 6.45pm. Peter was there and with two readers, so I happily came home for 7.15pm.
Thursday 9th March 2017
The main thing about today was that the sun was genuinely warm – if you were out of the wind. So pleasant.
I started early. Lisa came for our monthly work over. She cut my hair first and then I went for Rita. Then I recorded the Stevenage Talking News.
This afternoon was the Live at Home Scheme and running off and completing Gwent, Scotland and Stevenage.
I was back at the studio for 6.15pm. We had a full team and everything went well and I was home just after 9pm.
Friday 10th March 2017
We were ready surprisingly early. I took five sacks to the Sorting Office, filled the car, checked the tyres and bought food for tonight. Then we were on the road south.
Pauline drove the first half, under thick, dark grey clouds that never lifted. I took over at Oxford Services and we were down in Hove Actually by 1.45pm. Pauline loves to see the sea, so I took her down. Sea mist meant we could see the ocean, even from the beach.
We collected the boys from school and then Dan and Gary came home to announce that they had upgraded their Civil license to a full marriage licence, to celebrate their 10th anniversary.
Saturday 11th March 2017
Woke to see the sea mist rolling back in, but at least it wasn't cold. Gary took Reece off for a haircut and breakfast. Dan took Roan shopping and I went up the road for some cooking apples and dates. Couldn't get the apples and the dates were so good, they were over popular.
Rob, Sheri, Daisy and Harper were first to arrive. Helen, Dave, Jessica and Megan came mid afternoon, and then Debbie joined us. We had a meal and then all went up to the Portland Pub for Dan's birthday party.
This was a very convivial evening as more and more of Dan and Gary' s friends arrived. We were back by 11pm. The proper party goers were a few hours later.