Pauls 2013 Diary – October/November/December

Sept Diary

This is ‘Pauls Diary 2013’ simply entitled in my name as it’s ‘my’ diary. I have done this so if my wife doesn’t agree with the content then I can remind her that it’s mine and not hers. For earlier entries/lies and other nonsense cobbled together written since April 2012 they are now on separate pages.

As with all previous entries – some of the following may be made up, exaggerated or simply lies! As I do that just to keep you on your toes and to make fun of other people at their expense. I can’t promise to update this everyday as to be honest, as not all days are necessarily interesting.

31 December – The end of a fabulous year which allowed us to experience so many things. We finished our 18 month tour of Europe and we got to Croatia – meeting some great new friends there. We got to see fabulous car museums through Austria and Germany. We came home to England a couple of weeks early to welcome our grandson, Finn, into the world. He is with us now, tonignt and we enjoyed yet another evening of spoiling him – as grandparents it is our job. I have returned to work for the moment which will fund some future travel so all is well. I even found time to buy another nice classic car – a Ferrari 355 Spider just to keep the garage well stocked. You can see that on our other blog So, at that, all that is left is for me to wish you a Happy New Year as it rapidly approaches.

22 December – It is a little over a year since I was told that I would soon to become a Grandad. It is a role I am more than happy to take on. Finn is about 5 months old at present and somewhat predictably we love him to bits. I loved the moment earlier today when a lady ‘checked us out’ as we passed by her at the bus stop and she looked at me and then looked at Alison and then looked back at Finn and presumably decided that we were the Grand parents and not his ‘Mum and Dad’. It would be an easy mistake to make 😉

15 December – I have been away but alas I took the train and stayed at a work colleagues place so it doesn’t really count as ‘travelling’. I went up to Edinburgh for the ‘cooncils’ Christmas do. I only worked there for two months this year but I still got an invite and had a lovely time with all my old work mates. I sat on a bench wondering if I might accidentally bump into anyone I know despite being 225 miles away from home and then bumped into someone I knew. Spooky, and she had her baby just about the time that Kirsty had Finn so we had some ‘baby things’ to discuss. It is truly a small world. I am off to work tomorrow for the first full week of work in a good while – wish me luck!

11 December – It would be remiss of me to not write a diary tonight. It is special on three (at least) levels. 30 years ago today our daughter, Kirsty, was born. None of it was easy with high blood pressure (Alisons that is) and other ‘pregnant stuff’ causing a few problems. Her arrival was a blessing and a delight. The happiness that children bring you is un-describable no matter how rich your vocabulary or experience. Our children, completed with Chris a few years later, have brought us nothing but joy (PS – Chris – when you are 30 I’ll “big you up” too). Only last year on this very day Kirsty announced that she was pregnant with Finn, our first Grandchild. And tonight – one year on. We are looking after him whilst they abandon him enjoy a short break. Every day with my new smallest ever ‘pal’ is great. And thirty years after her arrival as Kirsty celebrates her birthday in Paris we can reflect on the past 30 years. Every one of them fantastic – as I hope her and Nicks will be. Off for a sneaky peep in the cot again. 😉

9 December – Well, that was careless, I have managed to end up with a job! I start tomorrow too. No, its not a stint as Santa at John Lewis (been there, done that) and McDonalds aren’t recruiting so you can wind that in! I head to Knowsley tomorrow to work on their Street Lighting work. It’s my usual line of work and very similar to that which I carried out in Edinburgh earlier this year so hopefully I won’t be too rusty. It is a bit of a shock though as wearing shoes and a suit are a bit alien (it was very casual at Edinburgh) and a 33 mile commute seems a distant memory. Anyway I need to get off to bed as an early night is required and I’m not used to getting up at “dumb o’clock” 🙂

1 December – before I go on to tell you about another weekend away we have a peculiar matter to deal with. There is a bloke who keeps waving at us – like he knows us. First time was a couple of weeks ago and this chap gave a friendly wave in our direction so I automatically waved back. I them said to Alison “who the feck is that?” The reply was a cold “dunno” a few days later (last weekend in fact as we were heading towards Lymm in ‘the red car’ he waved again and I stupidly waved back and commented “there’s that bloke again”. Maybe he’s a classic car enthusiast who just cant help himself? We have had two nights out at Chatsworth again and a wander around Bakewell Christmas Market. A few drinks were involved along the way and everyone had a good time. I don’t reckon the motorhome will get used between now and Christmas (other than a couple of guests staying in it like a ‘spare room’) so it has had a good clean and all the black runny dribbles polished off it. ‘She’ has been looking at fake Christmas trees – I’ll look at fake gifts as revenge….

23 November – we don’t have many ‘things’ to do and many of them are simple tasks like shopping and we seem to be able to screw that up most recently. Nothing serious but we will go out with the intention of getting a key cut – remembering the key but forgetting to go into the shop that cuts keys, remembering to pop into a shop with some lamps that I got for the owner but having left the lamps at home and walking right past Morrisons, intending to buy meat yet forgetting to even go in. I blame the shops to be honest – they have made it too easy to shop and as a result you don’t have to think about it much so you wander out of the house with no real thought for what you might need to pick up when you go out. You don’t need money, you don’t even need to interact with another human if you use the ‘self service’ (work of the devil if you ask me) till. Bar codes and labels mean you don’t even have to think about what you are buying. A prime example reared its ugly head to day. A pumpkin labelled ‘culinary pumpkin’ – as if there was some other purpose for the bright yellow marrow. ‘Culinary’ as opposed to one you would use solely for bowling? ‘Culinary’ as in one you would hollow out and use as a cycling helmet? Can you make a car out of a pumpkin…? I rest my case 🙂

21 November – a slightly sombre day as it is the anniversary of my fathers untimely and early death. I took my Mum to the crematorium to view the book of remembrance highlighting his departure 13 years ago. So, that is that and now onto something else. I have been out in my ‘new’ car* on a surprising number of occasions thanks to the recent half decent weather and whilst it might well be put away for the winter I do look forward to next summer when I can take it on some proper ‘top down’ days out. Nonetheless the recent short trips out with the heater on have been very enjoyable. Life is too short. See first sentence. 😉

*see my sister blog site for more ‘stupid Italian sports car’ info

15 November – A very enjoyable ‘lads day out’ with a trip to the NEC for their Classic Car Show. Many of my friends share the view that I am quite lucky, often being able to benefit where other might not. Some say I am a ‘jammy so and so’ and today was no exception. Not only were were presented with complimentary VIP tickets for the show negating the need to shell out £25 each for entry but the extended generosity of Meguires (car polish products etc) provided us with a ticket enabling us to enjoy a pint at the bar ‘gratis’ also. If this were not enough I got a phone call just before we were about to leave to say I had won a ‘raffle’ thanks to providing my contact details to Richardson Hoskins (classic car insurance people). I was presented with a tote bag crammed full of car cleaning goodies worth £75. I hadn’t even been that keen on filling out the slip as I rarely win anything. To cap it all off I found 20 pence on the floor on the way out. A day of great fortune to say the least. So once again thank you Mike, Wayne, Maguires, RH Insurance and Auto Glym 🙂

12 November – I have spent the day pushing my Grandson around the village whilst Mum and Nana pop into various shops. One of the problems with a large pushchair is the amount of stuff you can load in it. Im going to get rid of the car as clearly an iCandy base takes far more on thanany car I have ever owned. The usually baby stuff, three days shopping, Cds, a bouncer, a box of Christmas Crackers and Motorhome double step (yep!) found their way home. Alas a whole chicken and various salad items didn’t as Alison paid for them and then forgot them. Luckily we remembered the ‘chicken sized’ baby that we went into the shop with. I collected our ‘tea’ later much to the amusement of the cashier.

11 November – A very enjoyable weekend in Wales despite the damp weather and local floodings! As if it wasn’t wet enough we all went swimming which was delightful. At just 16 weeks little Finn really enjoys the splashing about and that was just the drive to the baths. Nick had a ‘close encounter’ with a Welshmans penis (its a long story but I do wish people would maintain a little decorum in the changing rooms – its not meant to be a contact sport! On the way back to Poynton (Kirsty has come back up with us until weekend) we played a ‘game’ suggested by Kirsty that involves each person naming a band/group/singer who name starts with the last letter of the last suggestion – so I say ‘Deacon Blue’, Kirsty says ‘Elton John’, and Alison chirps up with one she clearly made up – ‘Nothing but the Boy’ (when she meant Everything but the Girl). This hilarity went on for miles and miles with countless new group names dreamt up by Alison and a few further daft ones from myself. The four hours flew by!

9 November – its deja vue time! Its exactly one year ago today that we turned up at Kirsty and Nicks place returning from our first leg of our travels. Like last year, its wet, like last year its cold. Unlike last year we now have a grandson and tomorrow we are going swimming with him. He isnt driving us there in his car or anything half as daft. I imagine we’ll take him in our car 😉 We love our visits to see Finn and his Mum and Dad. I can hear him now snuffling and squeaking in the next room. I wont be complaining about the noise.

3 November – We survived then and strangely today is as if you wound the clock back three weeks with the sun out and making for a very pleasant day. A day for strolling around Chatsworth nodding at Lord and Lady Muck, leaving them wondering who the hell ‘that chap’ was. We got telly tonight so was subjected to a little bit of the usual mundane lowest common denominator stuff but found it ironic later that we sat and watched ‘Downton’ whilst camping in the grounds of a real stately home. Ooh how we larfed!

2 November – well another night out in the motorhome and what a bloody windy one it is! We are in the middle of nowhere and the van is literally rocking in the wind. We braved a trip to the pub but are tucked up wondering if we will ever see the end of the rain. We found a cracking boozer and were the only customers all afternoon so we chatted to the lass behind the bar at great length – mostly about caravans and motorhomes. Our return found us ‘actually’ having to speak to each other with ‘real words’ and stuff as there isn’t any internet in that part of Derbyshire – its a bit like France. No telly, no net – bah! Its nice to switch off the ‘media’ every now and then – I recommend it.

8 October – I may have mentioned this (a thousand times) already – we have our wee grandson with us who continues to be a delight. He also reminds us just how demanding children, especially babies, can be ( but that just might be us getting old!) I’m infinitely proud of my daughter’s ability to cope with a role that after all has been thrust at her and Nick. I am equally proud of my wife’s ability to settle back into thr role of looking after him too – after all it’s been a while! To quote her the other day (on facebook) “A year ago a day like today would have only been in my wildest dreams – feeling blessed”. We are indeed.

2 October – well we aren’t travelling at the moment but I did get a brew on a narrow boat earlier today and that’s the kind of thing you do whilst on holiday so I thought I’d write a diary entry. A fellow car nut – Steve – and his wife live on a narrow boat currently moored at Higher Poynton. He and I chated for a couple of hours on all things ‘automobile’ and whilst he doesn’t currently own a car he has one arriving from the states very soon. He likes (as I do) American trucks and vans and that’s how we met. I was admiring his late fifties pick up a few months back and we got to know each other. As its such a small world it turns out that we have lots of VW and other car friends in common that we have met over the last 25 years yet never bumped into each other before. Steve has been following our travels so if you are reading this Steve – thanks for the brew earlier 😉


4 Responses to Pauls 2013 Diary – October/November/December

  1. Amanda Leis says:

    We are from Sydney and planning a similar European motorhome trip for next year. We are absolutely loving your site and it has certainly helped in planning our route. Just a quick question – Do you need a CCI card and have you found it useful?
    Thanks so much,

    • Certainly not needed. We have one and used it once in 400 days! It is said that you can leave it as ID rather than a passport but we didn’t find that to be the case. Enjoy your trip. Get in touch if you require any further help. We are at home in Cheshire currently.

  2. Amanda says:

    Great, thank you. Your page on the Aires has been really helpful.

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