In the post yesterday arrived a letter. It was very official looking and bore the badge of Winchester Shop Mobility..........and it contained a very official looking warning! For everyone's enjoyment, I am posting the complete contents of it here.
Dear Mr Rouse
It is with some regret that we have to inform you that we have been contacted by Hampshire Constabulary, regarding your conduct when in charge of one of our Shopmobility vehicles. It seems that you behaved with blatant disregard for the safety and comfort of other pavement users, and subsequent checks to the vehicle reveal not only that it was driven at excessive speed, but that the emergency brakes were applied on more than one occasion. It would also appear from the pattern of wear on the rear tyres that the driver attempted a "wheelie".
Having perused the police report, I am sorry to have to repeat some of the damning comments made by innocent bystanders. Typically, these include:
"He was driving like a chimp on speed."
"You'd have thought he was driving a tank, not a scooter".
"It was being driven by some kind of boy-racer".
"And he was laughing like a hyena".
Regardless of the comparisons drawn in the above statements, we simply cannot tolerate anyone monkeying around on one of our vehicles, be he man or ape.
I am sure you are aware that the Shopmobility service is aimed at a genteel and careful clientele. In view of your conduct and the first comment above, should you wish to avail yourself of our services in the future, we will require you to undergo screening for drugs and alcohol, and any vehicle we see fit to provide will be fitted with a speed limiting system.
Finally I should add that although we have been contacted by the press, we have so far been able to conceal your identity. Any repeat of your dangerous dogem antics will mean you anonymity will be prejudiced.
Head of Department.
I have my suspicions as to who may have sent it but can I thank whoever it was for giving us all the biggest laugh in years! Thank you!
Yesterday was my birthday. Yes, I know that when you reach a certain age, it is probably best to ignore these things but Dick was determined that my birthday wouldn't be ignored so had set up a lunch for close friends and family and everything was done by the boys and the guests. It was a lovely lunch and great to see so many dear friends on that day.
We had started fairly early with present un-wrapping. For once in my life I didn't have a clue what was being planned so it was a lovely surprise when first thing I opened a beautiful jeweller's box containing a necklace. It is designed by Jeremy Heber who also designed some earrings which I have and a ring. I had often wanted to have a necklace too but being as large as I was, wondered if the delicate design would be lost upon me. However, with the new slim-line me, Dick bought me the necklace and I was thrilled to bits. Totally unexpected but lovely.
We went to church and it was a lovely service. We left very promptly and all our friends were waiting for us at home. After a quick drink (of water, in my case!) I was led, with eyes tightly closed, into the dining room and there was a very large box on the table. Not just one box either but two! I started to open it and then I realised that it was a new Sewing Machine! Not just any sewing machine either but a Bernina Aurora 440 Quilter's Edition How lucky am I??? I saw this machine at the Festival of Quilts last summer and decided then that a win on the Premium Bonds might allow me to have one but rather in the same way that a car enthusiast might long for a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud! Dick had organised it for me and was so thrilled that I was over the moon about it. Now begins the long process of learning how to use it and make the most of it.
As you can see it is a machine with lots of buttons, computer memory, and also magical feature that allows you to sew without using a foot control and where the speed is governed by the speed at which you push the material through the machine! I think it might take a bit of practice.
What was in the second box?? A HUGE additional quilting table to add to the machine to enable the weight of a large quilt to be supported while you work. Sigh! I just can't believe how kind and generous my dear husband has been.
I expect you will be looking out for some works of art.........suppose I had better get moving then!
As I mentioned previously, my new improved shape has really given me a new lease of life and this evening was when photographs were taken at Slimming Group to compare with the ones which were taken on our first evening there. I am posting these as much as to remind myself never to allow myself to return to those days. I am delighted with what I have achieved but hope to lose another stone before calling it a day.
I can only apologise for the quality of the photos. They are scanned from the copies I was given.
I'm not sure I need to say anything more!
Dick wanted to go to town but being a bit incapacitated at the moment, getting around is difficult. So he decided that he would have a go at using the Shopmobility electric scooters which you can hire for the princely sum of £4.50 per day. I knew there would be trouble! The flesh may be weak but the spirit is strong and once he felt the sense of independence and speed (in comparison to walking!) he was off! Tom was with him - I decided to leave them to it (the possible trail of devastation was a deciding factor!) and as soon as he set off for the lift, it was apparent that if he could have done a wheelie on it he would have!
A buggie or two were nearly taken out and he had cause to test the emergency brakes on more than one occasion. (Actually the look on Alison's face as he went flying into Loot at top speed was a sight to behold!) As someone remarked, "You can just imagine the music "The boys are back in town" blaring out as he went. Mind you seeing Tom trying to keep up with him put someone else in mind of the Benny Hill theme tune.
The upshot of it was that Dick really enjoyed himself. He had a huge amount of freedom which he can't normally have, visited all the places he wanted to go to and generally had a blast. Of course after an hour he had had enough but he will be back to visit again I think. (I might just wear running shoes I think!)
Those of you who know me, either in real-life or over a period of time of reading this blog, will know that a period of silence often means that something isn't quite right. This week has been one of those times. Over the past week we have had to face the fact that dealing with stairs is becoming more demanding than is good for Dick and so we have had to work out how overcome this challenge.
After several different approaches, we have finally settled on having a bed put in the dining room so that Dick can rest and sleep in there without having to deal with the long hike up the stairs. Of course we have to fit in delivery around lots of other commitments - my birthday lunch on Sunday is something that Dick has organised and he is determined that the small inconvenience of becoming totally breathless when going upstairs, won't stand in the way of him having friends and family around!! The bed will have to wait until Monday. Thanks to some lovely friends, they will take the dining room table and chairs to their stables and store it for us. Until then Dick has a lunch to organise!
It hasn't been an easy few days but now we have accepted that this is what is going to happen, we are happier and more settled. Together with our "visitor-free" day each week, it should make Dick's life a little easier. (The visitor-free day is so that we can have long lie-ins and even a PJ day if necessary! No visitors............not even nurses (unless of course it is essential!) But don't let that put you off! There are 6 other days in the week and Dick still loves visitors.
I just wanted to post a very big thank you to all of you who have sponsored me for the Race for Life on 13th July 2008. Yesterday, thanks to the generous donations of Lymington Freemasons, I smashed my target of £500 and have re-set the target to £750. Both my mum and I are doing the race and it is on Southampton Common at 11 am.
The money which is raised goes to Cancer Research UK. As mesothelioma has no cure, this is one of the cancers which is being worked upon by Cancer Research - indeed our wonderful oncologist Professor Ottensmeier's post is entirely funded by Cancer Research Uk so as a family we owe them a huge debt of gratitude for what Professor Ottensmeier has done for us.
Some of you may not know that the number of Mesothelioma cases (cancer caused by asbestos) at present is only the tip of the iceberg. At present there are about 1,800 deaths from Meothelioma each year but this is expected to peak at somewhere around 2,500 deaths by 2015. This is because it takes 20-40 years to present after exposure to asbestos. In fact 33% more people die from Mesothelioma than from Cervical Cancer.
So as you can see, supporting this cause is vital. We need to find a cure or at least some effective form of treatment. PLEASE, PLEASE consider sponsoring someone who is running in the Race for Life. (I'm always very happy to receive donations and thank each and everyone of you have donated until now!) My donations button is on the left side of the page. Just click on it and you can donate on line. If you prefer not to do that, then please e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org (not my usual e-mail address) and I will send details so you can send a cheque.
Thank you for your help and support.