Our Times in Leicestershire
Shepshed Edition December 02
Smokey the Hamster
In February we had a new addition to the family – Smokey the hamster. Otherwise known as Smokey Bacon Crisp, much to Ceri’s annoyance. Mind you after a few months even Ceri started to call it Smokey Bacon.
We got a digital camera at the end of
February. This has revolutionised photo
taking. So far I have taken over 4000
photos. As film cost nothing and you get
instant results you can afford to take many shots and then only keep the
best. The largest subject has been the
Ceri Walks the streets of Nottingham
Ceri and I went on the Tandem Club’s
After Ceri’s walk around the streets of Hyson Green we went to a friend’s 50th birthday barn dance in Loughborough with our neighbour. When we woke up in the morning we looked out and there was a trial of oil leading from under our car and down the road. Investigations revealed that the oil was gearbox oil and there was a hole in the gearbox. Apart from that the car has been well behaved.
We went to Blaxhall again this year for Mayday
weekend. This time I took Friday of work
and we visited the
Graves on route. The weather as
usual for the weekend was mixed with some cold winds and pleasant
sunshine. Saturday we went to Bawdsey
Ferry and on the Sunday Ceri and I went to the new Sutton Hoo exhibition. As usual Ceri and I went to
At the end of May we went to Centre Parcs in
Ceri Returns to
Ceri went back to
Ceri Joins up
End of June we went to Market Bosworth visitor centre checking up on details for our family camping weekend. Whilst there they had a War of the Roses Living History Camp. When volunteers were requested Ceri was a bit slow in taking a step back so she then had to go on parade and learn her drill.
Family Tandem Weekend
We held our 3rd Family Tandem Camping Weekend event at the start of July. Weather this time apart from lunch time Friday was the best yet. We had 37 families from all over who all enjoyed themselves.
We had a long weekend at the start of the skool holidays at Black Rock Sands near Porthmadog. We had mixed weather and left the bikes behind, spending the time riding on the Festiniog and Welsh Highland Railways and visiting various castles.
Quorn Cycle camping
This year we only got to Quorn once. It was the only time Ann came out for any distance by bike this year. Ceri rode her new half bike which we had recently obtained for her. Ceri had to reduce the amount of luggage she took as her bike fell over at first. We were met at the campsite by another local family who we had first met at our camping weekend earlier in the month. They too cycled camped and were very impressed by the gem of the site we use at Quorn.
For our main holiday this year Ceri and I went on a tandem tour of the Netherlands. We took the ferry to Hoek van Holland and the train to Enschede. From Enschede we cycled up to the German border near Nordhorn and then headed back via Amersfoort and Gouda. In all we did 709Km. Ceri chose the basic route, based upon the Dutch Camping and Caravanning Club (NTKC) sites. We used NTKC sites at €3 per night for both of us, except for 2 nights at a posh campsite we had used in 99 at Kootwijk which had 2 swimming pools. We had 3 days off, taking train trips as rest days to Groningen from Amersfoort, and Amsterdam and Zuider Zee museum at Enkhuizen, from Den Haag.
Ceri misses her dad in Amsterdam
Whilst in the Netherlands we took the train to Amsterdam. Being August it was hot, humid and crowded and as a consequence, Ceri did not want to stay too long. We headed back to the station, and Ceri looked up the departure board for a train back to Den Haag, when she spied something I was interested in. So Ceri said “Daddy you pop up and take a photo of the new ICE train to Kőln, whilst I have a look around the shops and meet you back here.” I did as I was told, but got carried away and forgot the time; the next thing I heard was over the PA was “Will Stephen Dee, father of Ceri-Siān Dee please go to the ticket office where your daughter is waiting for you”.
Ceri does hand washing
As we were cycle camping we had to wash clothes as we went. Whilst at the
Ceri Completes 10K
Whilst in the Netherlands Ceri completed a major Km stone in her cycling career. She completed 10 000 Km pushing me on a tandem. The problem is she now wants to ride half bike rather then tandem.
With a change of role at work this year, I got a trip to France and Eire, and in January I am going to St Paul for a week or so. Based upon comments from our Canadian cousins in Winnipeg about how cold it gets, I’ve asked if I would get a special “long john” allowance.
Ceri has continued with wall climbing following a long summer break. She enjoys it even more now that the tutor for the course is now her form teacher.
Ceri is now in year 8 and is doing very well. She surprised herself when she got an A for PE this term as she hates PE. She was involved with the school magazine until the of last summer term. Although in true editorial fashion, the most recent Christmas edition contains some of her efforts.
Ceri is still very active musically with the piano and flute. She has lessons for both and also is continuing with the Shepshed Community Band. Ceri took her first flute grade this year, getting a pass at grade 3. She has just brought a harmonica so will be able to follow in Uncle Len’s footsteps.
Ceri Waits a bit longer
Ceri has been looking forward to that modern fashion accessory:- the brace for years. Her treatment under the consultant orthodontist started this month. However as her teeth are moderately overcrowded her treatment is starting with a head brace, which is worn at night only. She will not get the fashion accessory until sometime next year.
Ann has not been very well this year. At the end of last year she caught flu and as a result of that she lost coordination between her eyes and ears which made her loose balance. She has been off work all year and has been undergoing physiotherapy which has just finished. Hopefully next year will be a better year for Ann. As a consequence we have had a quiet year. Ann has felt very frustrated in being limited in what she can do. She has relinquished day to day running of Brownies, but she still does the organising.
Romway Close Bakery
The Romway Close bakery has progressed with my making my own dough from scratch. I was inspired watching Jamie Oliver and his students and somebody at work who also makes their own bread. Ann has also got adventurous, she still uses the breadmaker to make dough, but she is the making loaves shaped by hand. We have found Ceri loves the bread made that way.
We have just gone over to broadband with NTL. Our email address does not change. A big benefit is the ability to listen to radio programmes such as the Archers a week after their original broadcast. This is very important with the Archers at the moment as I don’t want to miss the time when Jennifer finds about Brian and his lovechild. Ceri loves Broadband as she can play decent games on the internet, no waiting ages for them to load.
Progress was made on painting the garage. I finished painting the rear garage door which I started by stripping part of the paint 2 years ago. I got carried away and completed the rear and the side of garage and part of the front. Perhaps next year I will finish off the garage.
Photo from the past
Philip found the Stanley Tech Old Boys web site and forwarded me the details. Apparently Philip and I were at Stanley at the same time as Captain Sensible from the Dammed. On the Dammed web site there is a link to a full school photo from our first year. See our web site for details.
Via an enews group on trams of Europe I made contact with a Hungarian who is tram mad. I scanned some slides I took in 1982 when I went to Budapest. Some of these photos has been published on his web site on the Trams of Hungary. I also had an “April Fool” feature (the one on Capacity Enhancements) and a news item published on the unofficial Croydon Tramlink web site.
Ceri achieved the great stature of being taller then Ann at the start of the year. She keeps on growing.
Some Quotes from Ceri
Daddy is tram mad.
He won’t stop taking fotos.HELP!!!
Hopefully Mummy will catch a cold which will wash the vertigo out of her system.
Page updated 15h January 2003