Thursday, 4 January 2018

291 January to June 2017

10th February 2017: At 9:39 pm, sprog #3, Naomi , gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Charlotte Rebecca Gillan-Hall.

February 2017:
Our annual homage to the snow covered mountains of Europe. This time it was a trip to La Plagne in France.

Andy and Deb. The lovely people that drag us along with them.

Ray, Andy, Debbie and Karen.

It was snowing on our stagger back from the pub.

Apres Ski. The other 50% of the fun.

Silly woman trying to do a snow angel in 2 feet of snow.

 March 2017:
My big brother Bruce playing with his dogs at Thetford.

One night Juneau decided to bring this home. It is a pidgeons egg and as all our trees are now cut down, she must have jumped a 6' fence to get it home before pushing it through 3 cat flaps. She proceeded to play ball with it around the living room.
March 2017:
A visit to the Green King brewery, organised by our local pub. Green King make my favourite beer, Abbot, that I first got a collosal hangover from, not long after my 18th birthday in Cambridge.
Modern 'Mashtuns'

An older dtyle 'Mashtun'.

The hops that go into the beer.
The car on the right is 'Old Speckled Hen' that gave its name to another of my favourite beers. It is painted with dots, hence the 'speckled' part of the name.
A line up of some of the more poular beers.
Nuff said.
A quick boat trip on the broads bought one of these bueaties over for some food.

16th March 2017:  Charlotte's Christening.

Poor Charlie desperately trying to figure out what is going on.

The Christening

Rosie and Charlotte.
31st March 2015;
Spotted this in the sky, decided to take a piccy. It's not wonderful but it is Jupiter and its 4 moons. First time I have seen this.
12th May 2015:
Karen surprised my with a visit to see Brian Cox at the Birmingham Arena. It was seriously heady stuff and I loved it. One thing he said was "Who would believe that in Birmingham we could find 7000 nerds all looking up at me" or words to that effect. The auditorium was transfixed by him.

Rose and James popped over for a boat trip on the broads. Another pub crawl.

Rosie in full pose.

Get off my boat you uber cool dude.
May 2017: It's kitchen time:
Karen decided she wanted to buy the biggest, most expensive kitchen on planet earth - or it seems like that, this is the kitchen packed flat and occupying about 70% of the garage.

How much stuff ?

I spent absolutely ages prepping for the fitters to turn up and install the kitchen. Sockets, power supplies, plumbing connections, painiting, plastering etc.

Getting there. Slow but sure.
 After 10 days work, (the fitters that is) the kitchen was in. I then had to remove the island, tile the floor and walls, reinstate the island and all was done.

June 2015:
Isle of Man:
Debbie and Andy invited us over to the Isle of Man for the TT races. We rode there on the bike and it pissed down with rain all the way to Liverpool docks. Our gear is good but after several hours it gets in through the neck.

The racing was the usual completely insane, toe to toe, madness. We managed to get 'near' our TT hero, Guy Martin, who sadly has this year decided to give up TT racing.

Guy Marting telling the world that he was through with TT racing.
Whilst there we visited the Motor Museum at Jurby. there were vehicles of all descriptions there and this one caught my eye. It is effectionately called a 'Green Goddess'. A military fire engine. In 1977 the Fire Brigade in the UK decided to go on strike and being the good little sqaddies that we are, we manned them during the strike. I remember being posted to Oakham School, a girls shool for older youg ladies. It was pure hell.

The owner of the museum was a wheelchar bound gent that for some reason started chatting to us and when I mentioned that we used them previously he promptly got out of his wheel chair and gave us a private showing. He even took this photo for  us.

Photo taken by museum owner, Dennis Cunningham.
 Also in the museum were meny hundreds of bikes including these. The Yamaha below was my first real bike and cost me £499 in 1973. I totally loved it and it would top out at aroud 105 mph. A fast bike those days. Mine was red, my favourite colour.

A Yamaha RD350A
 However, the moped below was the first powered two wheeler I ever sat on. The whole family was on holiday in Cornwall in 1969, at the time of the first lunar landing. I was 13. Most days we rode past this little dirt track that had about 6 of these, stripped down, for play racing. My mum decided it would be a good idea for us all to pile on and take the place over for a couple of hours. It is one of my fondest memories of her. She was completely nuts, but in a good way.

A Raleigh Wisp.

After the IOM, it was time to do some work in the garden. We cleared all the large trees away to enlarge the garden. It gave us a lot more space at the bottom of the garden and allowed us to see out of the conservatory. We also stuck down some decking  near the summerhouse.

A lot more space at the bottom of the garden.
All the bushes around the conservatory are now gone.
 Putting the decking down allowed us to do this.

Champagne and sunshine. Almost the Bahamas.
Just a thought.

 That night one of the cats bought this in. It was only on closer inspection that we realised that it was a mouse caught up in a leaf.

Errrrr  ..   a leaf mouse.
 Andy and Deb popped over from the Isle of Man. We took them out for a booze cruise. This is Andy in his typical horizontal style.

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