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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

nottingham uni, and the fate of a rat

Heading over to the real home of Robin Hood tomorrow with my biggest boy for an in depth look at Nottingham Uni's Maths Department, and meet and greet with the tutors. He hasn't been to see this campus before, and they have made a good offer, so its a real possibility (with the right Maths A level result...) Perhaps stopping at Mansfield to look at a car ready for youngest boy's 17th birthday which will be here quite soon. Cars, I regret to say, seem to be a vital accoutrement to life out here in the sticks, we have no buses within 2 miles, no trains (same distance to tiny village station), so, apart from the old bicycle, its the car or the legs. I always promised them that if they didn't have a motorcycle or scooter a car would be given, though they were always welcome to buy their own two wheeled motor transport, but it would mean that there would be no car provision. This seems to have been effective. I am mortally afraid of motorcycles, one young man we know lost his leg in a bike collision through no fault of his own, and one young family man paralysed from the shoulders down, same situation, no fault of his own. Whilst cars are dangerous, I have always been afraid for the safety of motorbike riders on Lincolnshire roads.

Just brought the horse into his barn for the night, and whilst my back was turned the little black dog has caught and killed, and brought to me for praise, the biggest and fattest rat I have ever seen! Thankfully completely killed (she favours the back of neck bite for preference) and now buried by same little dog under the garden fence. She is now running around in the dark outside like a mad thing, hoping for another victim. She has a bloodlust... I thought she was getting too old for this.

Monday, 23 February 2009

somerset, wiltshire and phoney white horse

Somerset one track lanes, which were even scarier than Lincolnshire one track roads
The glorious bathroom, down the path, at Robin Hood's Hut, Goathurst, Somerset

The umbrello at the front of the hut, built just as a place to enjoy the view

First view of our Hut, at the edge of a dense forest, and as isolated as it appears

The handsome & historic village of Dunster, also possessing a magnificent castle & pack pony bridge among other charms

The Bakelite Museum - thought I was back at the Salt Mines, though they really don't make them like this any more, more's the pity

More luxury units at the Bakelite Museum. The Museum owner buys and renovates these marvellous old vans. If he had been in I honestly think I would have tried to buy the grey caravan, it was so lovely, but luckily he was giving a Bakelite lecture at a University somewhere! He also makes 'The Pod' lightweight touring caravan, another one for my shopping list.

The phoney white horse - once cut from the turf, but now permanently covered and drained
Stonehenge (of course) which was not as touristy as I expected, and certainly awed me.

The best until last - The village of Avebury, I need to go back here for at least two days and explore all the mysteries of barrows, mounds, ditches and of course stones. Absolutely fantastic, mystical, unexplainable, and a tribute to the achievements of man armed with an antler horn pick and shovel. I loved it.

Back from my holidays, and ready to roll at the salt mines! Had a gorgeous time touring Somerset & Wiltshire. Absolutely breathtaking neolithic stuff, long barrows, standing stones, ditched enclosures etc which make me feel all funny inside... The white horse we stopped to inspect at very close quarters turned out to have an added storm drain at the low point of the belly, and a white cement screed all over as a permanent surface. What a con. As it is supposed to be cut from the living turf into the white chalk beneath, this seems to be an easy way to maintain it. There were even stop taps around the thing for washing the concrete down I presume. Not quite what was envisaged. The cement shuttering was visible from some distance away, and was the reason we stopped for close inspection - it all looked a bit funny, We stayed in a Landmark Trust property known as Robin Hood's Hut, in complete and glorious isolation in the middle of a forest, one mile down a mud track through a padlocked 5 bar gate. Really spooky at night). A tiny bit nerve racking going outside to the toilet in the middle of the night (really, the smallest room was in a shed down the path) but as there was underfloor heating and a fabulous view from the window it made the detached bathroom a benefit rather than a problem).
Visited Longleat, walking tour of Bath, the Bakelite Museum at Williton, the beautiful village of Dunster, the staggering area that is Avebury, and of course those other standing stones no-one has heard of. It was a busy few days, topped off by dinner with Mr B of the BlackLOG. Sadly Mrs B's nose pressed to the grindstone and she trapped in the big city earning an honest penny. She was much missed. Fantastic dinner and a really nice Pub, (thanks again Mr B) and the final leg of homeward journey completed just after midnight. Glad to be back in own bed (always more comfy after a holiday), and now waiting for my own first visitors at the Salt Mines. My boys actually tidied up ready for parental return, and proved to have cared for the horse, dog, cats, chickens et al very well indeed. The youth of today, always providing surprises! Some photos added, in no particular order, enjoy...

Friday, 13 February 2009

Skiers depart without my boy

So, skiers departed safely from school this morning without my little boy...he seems relieved more than anything. A bit more spring in his step today, and I think he has turned a recovery corner. Blood results today show a little improvement, and GP suggests re=rest in 2 weeks. Other boy's throat very sore, so I think this house is a hot-bed of bugs just now. Hoping that we get our own tiny holiday in Bath next week, fingers crossed if no other problems arise. Sis just told me I am booked on a food hygiene course on 23rd Feb, then taking big boy to Nottingham Uni on the 25th. I'll tell you what, its non-stop! Farrier came today, but because I can't ride during all the ice and snow has only put a new pair of shoes on Yella horse's front feet, back feet are NAKED! This is a small economy, and gives the hooves a chance to grow down a bit with no nail holes, sort of a rest for the feet. Skipper tip-toeing along in shock without iron foot protection. He'll toughen up! Don't know how my two boys will manage without a cook, cleaner, nagger and general skivvy next week, and not looking forward to seeing the results on return, but will try to photograph so you can share the pain. As they have to muck out the horse, feed him, feed and walk the dog, feed the cats, feed the goldfish, answer the phone etc etc they will be giving something back even if they don't vacuum the I am grateful.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

GP recall

Son's Glandular fever test negative, he has been recalled to discuss. Will keep you posted. Turned down skiing for sure today, he's not well enough to go, and he would be a complete liability to other skiers, needing to rest all the time. Some more party photos to entertain you...

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

18th with glands

My two lovely boys on Saturday night at the 18th party, and below a group of young farmers enjoying a pint at the party! It all went very well indeed, no youth disgraced themselves, and no old people did so either...well not much anyway. Youngest son looks likely to have glandular fever results come today from blood test and I regret to say that the eldest son looks likely to be going down with the same, or something like. About 15 young people slept all over the house on Saturday after the party and consumed bacon butties on Sunday morning. It was a lovely, lovely occasion and I'm so glad we made the effort.

Friday, 6 February 2009

buggy boy

As well as a brother experiencing some health challenges my 6ft2inch baby boy has been a bit under the weather recently. Nothing too specific, enlarged neck glands, tired, off-colour, and after several Dr visits yesterday a fresh GP diagnosed glandular fever. This is a bit disappointing as the boy is supposed to be going skiing with his school next week, and also helping with his brother's 18th tomorrow. He is currently laying on the sofa. My brother staying safe out of the way until a blood test next week for conclusive diagnosis of 'kissing disease'. Interestingly GP advice is to allow sickly boy to go about his normal business, as he feels able to do, mix freely at school and socially, and go skiing if he feels up to it. This seems a tad on the selfish side to me, but GP asserts we are almost all immune and perfectly safe...I now think that my big boy (who is about to celebrate his 18th) may have also had the same virus and just made a recovery, but with much milder symptoms, as he has also had inflamed glands and a sore throat. Will be very interested to see the results of the blood test anyway.

We have had some snow, its disappeared, and now just wet and muddy. No change there then.