Eccles Road school and school house ~ the right hand third was our little house ~ on a trip to Norwich Kate went back recently ~ she thinks the house is no longer occupied

My baby's birthday

Yesterday was Kate's birthday ~ her 53rd !   I was so preoccupied with the Stone Age boats I forgot to mention it.   Both of them, Kate and Will, were born in the old School House in Norfolk ~ Eccles Road CofE Primary School ~ Howard had beenb given the headship a few months  before Will was born.   Small as it was, it was marvellous having our own house after seven or eight years in the West House flat in Buxton ~ no bathroom, mind, and the first few months a call of nature meant a trip across the (often) frozen playground to the line of privies by the far fence ~ we did at least have our own privvy !   Picture of Eccles school and house attached though if you are a regular reader you will have seen it before.

Oh ~ my BROWN JERSEY has arrived from Amazon ~ so pleased I finally found one !  But it is a wool mix and dreadfully scratchy ~ hope I can get used to it.

Friday evening 13th : They were right then ~ winter has arrived.  I woke soon after 5am COLd and putting electric blanket on, went down to make a cup of tea and lo-and-behold outside the window A WINTER WONDERLAND ~ snow lying several inches deep ~ glorious !   But by the time I got up properly (8.0am)  it had all gone leaving everything just wet  it has been jolly cold all day ~ high tides all down the East Coast and flood warnings  flooding here down on Pier Road ~ down south, Norfolk, Suffolk and beyond, people living near the sea are being evacuated from their homes.   Bev came in for a chat bringing her big bear in to meet Louis ~ they seemed to get on rather well ~ Twoquid and Louis !   Long chat with Barbara who has lost internet access and has to wait till Tuesday for an engineer to sort the problem out ~ meanwhile, no emailing so that's a pity ~ she had been down onto the East Pier and said the sea was so wild it was crashing higher than the rooves of the houses.

The river did flood once in my early days here, but although Church Street and Bridge Street were knee-deep and there was water at the bottom of the yard, I was high and dry ~ the cellars of numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 were all under water ~ fortunately they all had pumps installed which come on automatically at first hint of water.  Thank goodness I don't have a cellar.

I sent an order to Sainsbury's which will be delivered in the morning ~ what a blessing !   I'm trying to persuade old friends to use the system ~ they are a good deal older than me and both seriously frail.   But the delivery man told me they wont deliver any higher up Church Street ~ Clarks Yard is as far as they will go.   I've done one useful chore today ~ I brought both boxes of cards down from the attic ~ Christmas and Birthday cards and Mothering Sunday ~ and ruthlessly filled a blue dustbin bag with them for recycling ~ stupidly,I've been hoarding them for years ~ such charming pictures and such loving messages ~ I'm trying to clear out loads of stuff in the attic ~ unpublished work including two TV scripts ~ so much pointless effort ~ to make things easier for the family when I go.  Picked out a friendly card from Brother Bill and Suzie who were here at the end of October ~ she says now that she's got to know me, she's reading my blog and thoroughly enjoying it, so that's nice.  And I am very pleased to have got to know her for the first time, and caught up with Bill after 40-odd years !

They stayed at Johnny's cottage, number 3, which I I thought had been done up but apparently not as John and his brother Richard are working on it now fitting a new kitchen and bathroom ~ hope it was reasonably comfortable for Bill and Suzie ~ they did not complain ~ it will soon be as spankling new as David's cottage, number 4.

Later : 9.30pm ~ Jean and Parry came for tea ~ I hadn't seen them for ages ~ she brought me a bagful of Xmas presents, bless her, and a Country File calendar ~ lovely ~ I've never had one before.   I had one of those wacky red gnomes for her ~ I hope she enjoys him.   Good supper ~ plaice and spuds and curly kale ~ enough fish for tomorrow too ~ I poached it in the oven in a little milk ~ I must get a piece of fish with every order I think ~ smoked fish for kedgeree next time ~ I LOVE kedgeree ~ it probably sounds silly, buying firsh from Sainsbury's when there are fish shops all over Whitby (not fish and chips,WET FISH) but now I am yard bound I can't get to them ~ I might ask Barbara or Mary to bring me some ~ I don't like being a nuisance.

Watched the repeat of Orkney 2 and the boat was not brushed with glue made from cow bones, but with melted fat, to weather proof it ~ quite astonishing seeing these intrepid fellows and one girl setting off to cross the Pentland Firth in such a frail craft ~ "and they went to sea in a sieve . . . "  !   How resourceful those Stone Age people were ~ another episode on Monday night.   The brown jersey came, but I don't think I can wear it ~ a mix of wool and acrylic, it is so itchy I may have to send it back and keep looking for a cotton one.   By the way, after yesterday's bitter cold, today was quite mild.  It is Doug's 17th birthday ~ it sounded as if they all had had a happy day ~ he's a good lad and alongside school work (he's in the Lower Sixth) he has a job in a Chinese take-away down Heptonstall ~ and the night's he works they feed him !   Dan is at home still from Christmas doing some serious work as he has his finals this summer ~ I was afraid the house in York he shares with 5 others might be a bit of a squat but Kate says no, it is a large Edwardian house, warm and comfortable, and they look after it properly ~ if he does well in his exams he hopes to stay on and try for a master's, and in the same house.

Washed my hair with some new stuff ~ Neutragena T/Gel ~ it smells of coal tar and leaves my scalp feeling really clean.   At last Bev found an opportunity to give Mary the beautiful clematis we'd bought between us to thank her for all her kindnesses and particularly for the way she and Tom decorated the yard for Christmas ~ all those tiny twinkly blue lights,a cool 2,000 of them,  what a display, and other lights up on the high white wall of their house.

Antiques Road Show was a special Holocaust edition with heart rending stories together with tales of bravery and compassion.