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Summer is coming

We had a lovely day yesterday.  (SO lovely I didn't do my blog until today!)

As part of his uni course, Tom has to pursue his diving further and yesterday we took him down to Portland to do two diving courses.  It was a sunny day and we made it down to the dive centre in an hour and three-quarters.  Dick was able to catch up with friends and colleagues.  The water in the sea was so clear that it was difficult to believe that it was the UK.  After we dropped his things off at the B&B, Tom settled down to work and we left him to get on with it.

We drove down to the Bill and took Monty for a walk.  Dick really enjoyed being able to walk in the sun and we sat in front of a seaside cafe eating cake and drinking coffee and just enjoying the day.dick and monty.jpg  I even enjoyed taking some photos which will no doubt find their way onto a layout in the near future. (I have to add that Dick's jumper has created some interesting effects on the photo!)

Funny how the simplest of pleasure can be so rich.  We spent time just chatting, popped into a pub for a cider and then came home.  We tried to go out for a pub meal in the evening.  I don't mean a sit-down type meal but rather an old fashioned bar meal.  We tried a total of 4 places before we eventually settled on a fish and chip shop and ate them at home before watching a DVD on the Alien.

The alien has impressed even my father who has now bought his own version (albeit a little smaller) for their sitting room. 

Tom rang in the evening.  He had not had a good day in the pool.  Dry suits are notoriously difficult to get used to and after two years of no diving, he had floundered around feeling hot and uncomfortable.  Tom does a good line in moaning when he tried and he was in top form!!  No doubt he will have had a good night's sleep and be ready for his diving in the sea.

We are off for a family get-together at Dick's brother's house.  Let's hope it remains a bright and sunny day.


End of the era

Having spent years giving us palpitations about unfinished work (especially coursework) Ben completed his work on time and in a way which made us very proud of him.  He went up to London to hand in his final essays and that was that!  I am hoping that all things being equal that he will graduate this summer and that we shall be able to attend his graduation ceremony in September.

Tom has spent the day preparing for his Nitrox course and Dry Suit course which he is doing tomorrow at Fathom and Blues Diving School in Portland.  Dick has enjoyed helping him through the knowledge and between them they seem to have assembled enough kit to send a small navy of divers out to sea!  We are leaving early tomorrow to try and beat the Bank Holiday traffic and get Tom to Portland by 10 am.  Then we shall gently meander home, stopping for a pub lunch if necessary.

We had a lovely evening with our friends Sue and Dave who came to see what The Alien was like and we spent the evening watching a DVD called Deep Blue  - a documentary about the world underwater.  The plasma screen made it totally fabulous and we all enjoyed it very much.

Dick had a visitor today who rode on his bike from Cowplain to Colden Common!  Tony Newing is training for a bike ride from Lands End to John O'Groates to raise money for charity and we provided a 60 km round trip for him.  I am in awe.  He is also a semi-retired chap so is keeping incredibly fit.  Well done to him! A lovely bottle of whisky arrived from a distillery in Scotland and our friend Jim Knox is responsible.  Dick was very touched and I notice that the seal is already broken and a snifter taken.  Many thanks to you both for making his day.


Highs and lows of everyday life.

Our Silver Wedding Anniversary is next Tuesday.  Tomorrow we had planned to fly to South Africa to spend 2 1/2 weeks there.  Instead Dick is having his stitches removed and we might just get a DVD for the Alien (my pet name for the plasma screen!).  Not surprisingly we feel a bit low today.  For the first time we have been without visitors - not a complaint, we have more than been fantastically supported - but more a realisation that we have to try and pick up the threads of our lives and try to move forward.

My lovely brother Ian and his family sent Dick and I a present for our WA.  It is a lunch on a boat on the Thames cruising the river while listening to a jazz band.  How fantastic is that!  We shall have a lovely time and just think of the layouts!  I am loathe  to book a date until we hear when Dick's chemotherapy will be as we want to be able to enjoy it as best we can without the associated grimness of dealing with that.

Ben has been working his butt off to complete his final essay for university.  It has to be handed in tomorrow and he has been burning the midnight oil to get it done and then he has done it!  Finished his education and is now standing on the threshold of the rest of his life.  He doesn't know what he wants to do and we don't much mind what he does.  I expect he will take a break for a few weeks and then just get a job, while waiting to see if the muse hits him and it becomes clear what he really wants to do.

Tom is starting his Divemaster course on Saturday - following in the old man's footsteps.  Lots more talk of nitrox and dry suits.  He has to get the knowledge under his belt before he can do the courses so both boys are having to study and both have a tendency to leave it to the last minute!  Hugely stressful for Dick and I but they seem to take it in their stride.


The Alien has landed

Well it has arrived!  I had quite worked myself into a tizzy about the darned thing so that when it eventually arrived, the screen was nowhere near as bad as I had thought.  It is huge but I don't find it as appalling as I thought it would and the picture is fantastic so it more than has its benefits.

Dick has been busy today receiving friends and family and it has been great to see them. I have become a dab hand at providing cups of tea, whisky and whatever else is required although I must apologise to my visitors today for the lack of biscuits!  I'll try and do better tomorrow.

The lawn has been mowed thanks to our lovely next-door neighbour and I am hoping to get some gardening done in the not too distant future.  Summer must be on its way


Scrapping with friends

The purpose of this blog before Dick's illness overtook us, was to talk about scrapping and what I am working on.  This evening was the crop at Littleton and it was great to spend time with girlfriends chatting about scrapbooking, working together and developing our layouts.  I didn't find my mojo at all and spent most of the time enjoying watching the others creating beautiful work.  Sarah used some of the beautiful Sassafrass lass  papers to create a very original and innovative layout about Mother's Advice.

I also returned to work with VRH today and went to Bournemouth to visit a school there.  I found a great place to have my car hand-washed and cleaned inside as well as out and really enjoyed the experience.

Dick had visits from various friends and even managed a walk around Winchester.  He is doing very well and we are working hard to try to get life back onto an even keel. (Hence the normal wittering about Scrapbooking and the daily round.)

Tomorrow the plasma screen arrives!  We are also expecting family and friends at some time in the afternoon.  I'm sure between all of us we shall get the sitting room re-organised.