Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Now that’s got you wondering……..

Well, It was around 07:00 on a Tuesday morning, in the previous Millennium (mid 90’s). My wife was sitting in the living room getting ready for work, when there was a rather loud, urgent knocking at the front door. Door opened, policemen moved in demanding to know where I was: Outside are two police cars and a police van (where we were then living, near Chichester, was not an area where the police were generally needed so the event must have excited the neighbours somewhat). He’s not here, she said. He’s in Gloucester on a course, why do you want him anyway? she asked (I don’t know the exact words, I wasn’t there: I was on a course in Gloucester, nursing as it happened, a bit of a headache).

There had been an incident at Membury Services the previous day and the Thames Valley police were [very] keen to have a word with me about it.

Eventually, convinced that I was wasn’t in the house and that I was actually away on a course, and having confirmed that I did possess, and was driving, a Ford Granada Scorpio 4×4, they left. They did however leave strict instructions that I was to be contacted and told to telephone Newbury Police Station as early as convenient! So, within the space of 30 – 60 minutes what started out as a dawn raid with squad cars and vans reduced to a “can you please phone us when you can”!

The previous day, having packed my bag for a 5-day trip, I bid my wife farewell and set off to Gloucester. Having spent the weekend doing a little too much gardening my back was giving me grief so I elected to avoid taking one of the company pool cars and took my own car, which I had only recent bought. It was a nice shiny Ford Granada Scorpio for which I had traded in my shiny red Ford Sierra XR4 (both cars had a nice 2.8 V6 engine). The main difference, apart from all the sexy trim you get with a Scorpio, was that it was a four wheel  drive – Yummy.

My journey took me across to Winchester then up the A34 to Newbury (the by-pass didn’t exist then so getting through Newbury took some time) then on to the M4. Once on the Motorway I took a break at the Membury Services to make myself comfortable and get a drink so that I could ‘pop some painkillers’ before continuing my journey. Having purchased a coffee I decided to go and sit in the car, take the tablets and relax for 10-minutes – having elected not to take a pool car I hadn’t needed to go to the office first, so I was well ahead with my time.

4X4’s corner really well

The mighty V6 ‘roared’ into life after which, gears selected, we (the Scorpio and I) made our way from the parking lot and onto the road that would once more take me onto the M4. It was at this point I noticed that the road ahead was kind of bendy and twisty and was pleading with me to test the roadholding of my four wheel drive beast. So I floored it taking her up through the gear box at each red line and round the twists and turns before hitting the motorway at approximately 69.999999 miles per hour(!). This car was a good car. I had done well in choosing this car. This car and I were going to have such fun together.

Come back next week for Part 2…….

I know, where have I been? It’s been a long time since I promised to reveal all about how I fell in the river. Truth is, I’ve been distracted on other things.

My original intention was to give a blow by account of the jubilee weekend and the remainder of that week but on reflection, that might be just a little bit too boring. So, the short version is:

Monday arrived with a fairly bright start and knowing that we had the jubilee concert coming up in the evening this was to be the day when the garden was to be attacked. First up was the bed by the river, a spot both Debbie and I are growing to love as it develops.

The Raging Torrents

The Raging Torrents

anyway, there I was, tugging at some particularly truculent weed (a stinging nettle) when the next thing I know, rather than looking down at the ground, I’m looking across the bed, then I’m looking at the top of the gazebo then I’m looking at the treetops, as I fell / tumbled into the raging torrents of The Shalbourne Brook (see above).
Fortunately, Debbie was there to ‘save’ me from drowning. “Kevin, Kevin” she said, “grab my hand” she said, “you could have drowned’ she said as she pulled me out of the 18 inches of water and probably just as much mud.  Quickly, she makes me sit down on the patio and makes me take off my shoes and socks. Then she has the temerity to suggest I take off my trousers (while her Mum is standing there). I think not. I did roll up my trouser leg however to reveal some nasty bashes where my leg and had caught the edge of bank. As it happened, so did my side as well. Both were very painful. “Ouch” said I (loose translation), ‘That hurt” said I (loose translation). “I think I’ve probably chipped a bone and cracked a rib or two” said I. “Oh stop being a drama queen” said Debbie, “Man up and deal with it” said Debbie (may not have been her exact words: i’m just employing literary license ;-)).

Anyway, I get cleaned up and rested for the remainder of the day (had an early night), ‘manned up’ and got on with things. The trouble is, while the legs eased up, the pain in my side worsened and my breathing got quite bad until in the end I had to go and see the vet. She examined me and told me to start taking steroids and antibiotics and I should go for an x-ray to check for broken ribs (I tried telling her [the Vet] that I’d probably punctured my spleen but she was having none of that :-)).

Another 7-days on and I still have a pain my side but my breathing is easier but now my throat feels like there a dozen rose thorns stuck in it. But right now, I just don’t care, cos in 10 sleeps time, I’m sailing off into the sunset on P&O’s Oceana as part of their 175th Birthday Grand Event.

In the meantime, the weeds continue to grow :-(.