Monday, 4 August 2014

To Surrey, back to Kent and then White City

On Thursday on her way to Winchester, Lesley dropped me off at Leatherhead to stay overnight with my mum's sister Molly. We went for lunch in Dorking and then visited mum's other sister Joyce who is nearly 94. They are the last of a family of 8 siblings, and each reminds me of mum in different ways. It is always lovely to see them, they are such fun. Lesley picked me up again on Friday morning and there was a bit of a photo shoot prior to our leaving.

At Molly's in Leatherhead - Lesley is justifying why she is giving me a hard time. You can see by the look on her face and her body language that she is sure she is right!

Molly is 86 and wonderful.

On Saturday we had a very productive day - we went to meet the kitchen designer at Wickes and got the quotes - not as scary as I thought the prices for the options would be. In the afternoon we had the guys for the conservatory place come around. They measured, spraypainted on the ground, advised and said they would take care of sorting all the work required - conservatory, getting the garden landscaped and terraced, fencing, a new window high up in her lounge to compensate for the sliding doors no longer opening directly outside, a power point outside and a tap if she wants it. Amazing service. It will be lovely for Lesley to have this work done. She has lived here about 30 years, since the house was new, but she has commuted to London every working day since then (4 hours return journey) and was either away with friends in the weekend or out and about. So no time to do the stuff that now is being arranged. The place will be transformed and she will enjoy being retired in lovely surroundings.
So on Sunday Lesley got stuck in and did a sterling job chopping down shrubs between Julie and John's place and hers. Her hard work inspired John and he finished the job off with Lesley's amazing loppers. Then followed an impromptu late lunch which morphed into dessert then dinner**. It was just lovely - cheeses, crackers, popadoms (we ran out of crackers ...), peppers, avocado,  fruit salad and icecream, followed by a lovely chicken and vegetable curry. A very NZ-style neighbourly gathering. ** As Garfield says 'Life is uncertain, eat dessert first'.

Lesley's and Julie and John's back gardens after the shrubs on the right hand side of Lesley's section had been removed. Can you see the white line across the garden at the closest end of the fencing? That is where the conservatory will finish. Part way up the slope is where the patio will end. The access path on the left will be cleared of brambles and Lesley's new fence will be put in place there and along the back of her section. I am looking forward to seeing it completed - SOON!

Shrubs chopped almost to ground level, chicken wire fence removed. The remainder will be dug out and removed and the fencing will extend the whole way. I do think a stile over it there would be good to allow easy access between properties - a little shelf on top would be good for balancing the wine bottles and cheese platters.

The pile of chopped off branches stretches back about 12 feet.
Yesterday before putting me on the train, Lesley, Julie and I went out for lunch in Maidstone. Lovely venue, lovely wine, food not good. The ambience was not improved by a neighbouring table having two small dogs that kept barking at each other. There's all sorts of things that seem strange to me about dogs (apart from guide dogs) being in restaurants.
After lunch we went for a short walk along the moorings and the boats are quite amazing - almost none of them would fit on the canals so it was lovely to see them in their setting. Question: what is the structure on the side of the these boats for? The piece that looks like a wing? Is it decorative or of use? Any ideas/information? (Lesley's dad said it is a keel that is lowered when in deeper water - now why didn't I think of that?)
Julie and Lesley are only in this photo to provide size perspective ...
I thought this was lovely - esp the questions they answer at the bottom. It refers to the boat in the picture above.

The winch for the anchor intrigued me - none of this just heaving it over the side!

This one is called Defiance - strange then that Lesley and Julie are walking alongside it as I took the photo - was that meant?
 On the way to Gillingham Station, we encountered the driver in the black estate car who realised (10 yards after it) he had missed the exit he really wanted. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! Not sure how the vehicles behind him managed to stop in time. I am planning on sending a blown up version to the Police - not sure if there is a facility for the public reporting idiocy, but will give it a go.
The black estate car had just decided that he had missed the exit on the roundabout, screeched to a halt and turned back and off. Two vehicles following managed to stop - not sure how!

I am now in White City staying with Barry and Pauline. Barry is making Pauline's brekkie prior to her heading off to work.

David is in the air on his way to Singapore. This time tomorrow, he'll be here! Yay!!!


Lesley Bateman said...

That is because I was right, not that I can now remember what it was I was being right about. Clear blue sky here and first lot of washing on. For some reason it is very quiet here x

Marilyn McDonald said...

I don't remember what you were being right about either - clearly nothing of any import then...
For 'quiet' read 'boring'! Not quiet here in White City - little ones in creche on ground floor and a building site next to that. It will be lovely to be back on the boat come Thursday. Mx

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