Monday, April 26, 2004


It was my Nan's 84th birthday on Saturday and, since my parents had a lunchtime do not far from here, we agreed to entertain her for the afternoon. Well, I say we but as L went into work to do some overtime, the entertaining was left largely to me. Still, her not being there meant I could do salmon for lunch, which is something she doesn't eat so I was happy.

Had the Olympics included a talking event, my Nan could have been a gold medallist many times over, so it was a nice surprise to find myself more than getting the odd word in edgewise. We chatted about the house (it was the first time she'd seen it) and our plans for it and the garden and we talked about how she's finding life in her new-ish flat and all sorts of other things and the time passed very pleasantly. There's only so much you can take of my Nan, however and it was just starting to become hard work when she happened to mention that she'd been watching a lot of the snooker last week. I had the television on in a flash and soon the conversation revolved solely around the green baize (the two weeks when the World Championship is on are among my favourite of the whole year, TV-wise)

L and my parents were back around 4 o'clock and the onus of entertainment could finally be shared around. They stayed for tea before taking Nan back home. All in all it was a very nice day.

Yesterday L and I decided to go out for lunch and took ourselves off for a stroll into the country. From our house it's barely two minute's walk to a footpath that skirts round open fields. It's only a few hundred yards long and ends at a lane that leads past some very expensive converted farmhouses down to the Grand Union canal. Where the lane crosses the canal we found a beautiful pub with a couple of dozen outside tables looking over the water. And it's just about ten minutes walk from here! Unfortunately, we didn't have a large amount of cash with us and they had some problem which meant we couldn't pay by card so we walked on, into Bourne End (to the west of Hemel) to another pub. After we'd eaten we walked back along the canal in the sunshine and laboured up the hill before collapsing in front of the TV. Very enjoyable indeed. I think we may well find ourselves walking out that way quite a lot in the months to come.

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