Our jolly barge trip on Kennet & Avon with Annie and others

the sorry remains of Rita's letter !

A good day

Annabel brought her two lovely grand daughters over ~ Isabel and Jasmin ~ both looking quite grown up and very handsome ~ they brought me a box of Halloween goodies ~ cakes and things which I have already sampled ~ so kind ~ and Di came with super biscuits ~ I am so spoiled by my friends ~ I'm so glad she has come back to Whitby from Scarborough ~ we have a lot of catching up to do ~ it must be four years or more since we were in touch, when John was still with me, I think !   Just surfacing from my flop and Barbara popped round for a chat ~ you can see I am anything but lonely !   Have an appointment for hearing aid at Whitby Hospital on 20th November ~ it would be great to hear what people are telling me without too much struggle ~ Barbara is the only one I have no problem with ~ she speaks loud and clear ~ not shouting, I don't mean shouting, but thoroughly audibly ~ I'm only using that word as the appointment is for Audiology Clinic ! 

Wednesday afternoon ~ a letter from Rita with one of those apologies from Sorting Office as it was torn to bits as if chewed by a dog ~ it was to tell me of their recent move with new address and phone number but neither legible !   I've tried to get her on her old number and left a message ~ I attach picture of remains of the letter.   I thought to write care of their old address but find my list of contacts was lost  recently with all other letters and documents when the computer crashed ~ Kate said wisely I should always make a back-up memory stick ~ too late now !   As usual, in searching for Rita's old adress rummaging through bundles of letters has taken up the whole afternoon ~ we have been friends since our Primary School days ~ her family lived a few doors along from us in St Martin's Road, Bristol ~ we both went to Merrywood Grammar School and cycled there together ~ with Rachel Hulbert we established the Hawks which flourished for years with our HQ in the loft above the tables of Brislington Vicarage ~ the onle access by rope ladder which Rachel's cousin Eric made for us ~ Rachel's father was the Vicar of Brislington ~ we had sleep-overs in hammocks hung from the beams in the stable loft, and went camping down in Somerset in Rachel's Aunt Becky's farm, and one year went to Sussex, to camp around the dry dew pond above Furlongs, Peggy's cottage above Glynde ~ then we all reached 15 and the Hawks somehow fizzled out and more serious things took over our lives ~ O Levels and boys !   Rita and Brian live in Wales and a couple of times in recent years have driven up to Whitby ~ Rachel died in her early sixties though I am still in touch with her John ~ they were both GPS in Wells, Somerset ~ ah me ~ a lifetime ago ~ yes, all of seventy years !  We were great cyclists and must have pedalled most of the highways and bywaysbetween Bristol, Bath and Wells ~ thinking back I realise how much freedom I was given in spite of the five younger siblings at home ~ cycling and, with the Jubilee Baths right behind our house, swimming.  P was telling one of the family about the Hawks ~~ "How old were you, Mum ?"  Well from say twelve to soxteen probably ~ at which they rolled their eyes in disbelief !   That old and still busy in our eyrie !    I've sorted out a lot more things for the Heart Shop ~ in the morning I must phone and ask for them to be collected.   Mary is making cauliflower cheese for them tonight and says she'll bring a helping down for me, bless her.   Good long email from RTWP ~ in Barcelona  they are in the thick of demonstrations about their independence from Spain.   Kate and Alan are taking Doug round to sus out possible universities he might choose to apply to for this time next year ~ Newcastle, York, Manchester, Liverpool and Durham so far ~ Doug is thinking of doing Psychology !  The printer will only print in very small type and I can't remember how to change setting ~ I am definitely losing it, folks !

Later : message from Johnny ~ he'll be here tomorrow for a few days so that's good ~ since Bev left, the yard is very quiet    Friday ~ in fact Johnny brought fish and chips and wine and we has a very happy evening, and earlier Christopher had come in for a chat, telling me of his recent narrow boat trip on the canals with his two sons, aged 58 and 60, and how surprised they were to see how their 90 year old Dad handled the boat ~ canal boats have been one of his passions and he and Annie have had regular canal holidays through their entire marriage.   With a couple of others, I had a few days on a narrow boat up and down the Kennet & Avon, I think it was ~ great fun and I've even found a photo  ~  the other one is of my right hand with  middle finger locked in this awkward position ~ occasionally it flips back in place which can cause me to drop things or spill them or if it happens on the stairs means the finger pings against the stone wall ~ youch !  Having rummaged through old letters I found Rita's old adress and Margaret has kindly taken letter to the post.with PLEASE FORWARD writ large ~ she'll really think I'm going gaga ~  her letter mauled to death by the PO !   The letter giving her new address and phone number ! Georgie coming over tomorrow ~ bless you, Bill.   Serious unrest, possibly riots in Catalonia as they press for independence ~ this is the lead story on every News bulletin ~from what he tells me, Richard and Imma are a few miles out of Barcelona and well out of trouble.  It's GOTH WEEK here and although I'm housebound, everyone tells me the town is seething and many people already dressed up in scarey costumes as ghoulies and vampires !

Sunday : Georgie came over and we had a happy couple of hours ~ neither of us can cope with much more than that ~ both needing to flop ~ with Bill driving, she sleeps most of the way home and I crashed out on the sofa but so good to see her.   Johnny came to suggest he and his girls come round with a bottle of wine later which they did and we had a rather noisy and boozy time ~ I always throw him out at 9pm and off they went back to number 3 to play card games !   at first I thought they meant BOARD games like monopoly but no, grown up card games.   Such a friendly evening ~ I hope he will take this bloody old wheel chair home with him today ~ he and Darrell meant well, bringing it, but it weighs a ton and stands there under the stairs ~ amonstrosity ~ they threatened to take me out in it this morning as a farewell treat but thank Gawd it's raining ~ they were indeed dressed up as Goths and Johnny looked particularly terrifying !

Another of Mary's delicious cauliflower cheese bakes

Sainsbuy's enormous crisp lettuce