22nd June

Another French student arrived today but this one is older (19) and on his own – he’s also staying for a month and we’ll get more dosh out of this stay than the usual short stay students which is cool! He arrived at about 11 and seems ok – he has very good English and is going to be working at a local automotive plant. We weren’t sure if we could do the whole month at first because of the move but it looks like that won’t be a problem at the moment!

So after he’d arrived we went to the dump to get rid of the rubbish in the back of the car and then on to Argos where we picked up a new tent, which was on special offer, as we need one for the VW festival at the end of the month. Then after filling the car with petrol we headed to Tesco to buy food as I’m away most of this week.

After lunch we headed off to the garage again and put more rubbish in the car and took it to the dump. We then returned to the garage and spent another hour and a half or so sorting more stuff out – we then ended up with yet another car full of rubbish which I’ll take to the dump in the morning.

A lot of what was being chucked out today were old cassettes. This is the second time I’ve chucked a load away so I must have had a huge amount to start off with as there was a black sack, a carrier bag plus at least 6 cassette storage cases full of the things. I kept about 100 for various reasons – some for sentimental reasons, some because they were pre-recorded cassettes and some because I would like to transfer the contents onto CD or mp3 at some point.

Yesterday the vast majority of stuff that got chucked out was ¬†old VHS tapes. It’s weird that both of these technologies didn’t exist when I was born but both are now not only obsolete but the things that replaced them (CDr/DVD) are also now almost obsolete!

Sarah had decided that we should cook Shepherd’s Pie for dinner even though it wasn’t really the weather for it! She just fancied it! So I opened the bottle of wine that the last students brought us and we had a nice dinner.

I phoned my Step-mum and had a moan about not hearing from the Solicitor. I explained that I had threatened to have a go if I didn’t hear from them by tomorrow at 10 and she said she thought it was a good idea as this whole thing has been going on for too long. The conversation must have made people’s ears burn because as soon as I got off the phone an e-mail arrived.

I was looking through the figures that were listed on the form as “probate value” when I decided to see what the Santander shares were in relation to the original value. When I dug out the IHT form I discovered it was exactly the same. So I checked the rest and they were exactly the same too. I was so annoyed as this meant one of two things was going on here.

Firstly the solicitor in her usual bought of laziness/slackness has decided to cheat by using the old figures instead of the new figures which means that I am no closer to knowing the current value of the various ISAs etc. Or secondly there has been no interest applied to any of the accounts over the past 31/2 years which means we have lost a substantial sum of money because of the delays in processing the forms. Either way I’m once again not impressed by this solicitor.

 

21st June

I’d said earlier in the week that if my expenses were paid into my account on Thursday I’d get my hair cut today! Naturally when I need them most they don’t get paid in time but thankfully they did appear yesterday so me and Ben went for a haircut after Sarah had had her eyebrows done.

While I was waiting for Sarah I decided to go to the library to pick up some recycling bags – given that this would only take a couple of minutes I stuck my car into the car park without paying. As I walked away I suddenly remembered I’d left my wallet on the front seat so I went back to get it. As I turned round I noticed a traffic warden heading towards me – I’d looked around when I parked and there were none in sight but here was one now – I can only surmise that she’d been hiding waiting for someone to pounce on.

So I made a big play of looking for a ticket machine and then cursing that I didn’t have the correct money and driving off. I drove round but couldn’t find anywhere else to park as it’s all restricted round there – typical of Medway who also charge for you to park in the car park while you go in and get your parking permit renewed! Anyway I was just giving up and heading back to pick Sarah up when I spotted the traffic warden walking along the road outside the library so I drove back to the car park and parked in exactly the same space!

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In the afternoon we headed up to the garage we rent to try and start the process of sorting out the stuff we want to take with us when we move. We rented the garage as a short term measure when we moved into our current house over 7 years ago! It’s contents have ebbed and flowed over the years but given that it’ll soon be 275 miles from the house we thought we best concentrate on the flowing of stuff from the garage to the dump!

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There’s all sorts in there – most of my books, more of my records plus the camping stuff and a few computers! So after a couple of hours of sorting I’ve got a car full of stuff to go to the dump and a further box of books that I no longer want. Unfortunately the dump is shut by the time we finish so it’s going to have to stay in the car until I can take it in the morning.

Luckily it turns out that although I’m still giving Lissi a lift to her party tonight I’m no longer giving here friends a lift! The party turns out to be a 5 mile drive away in Upchruch in this posh looking place called the Barnyard. So by the time I’ve driven her there and home again and repeated the process at Midnight then I’m almost out of petrol! Hopefully I’ve got enough to get to the dump and the cashpoint in the morning before I run out!

20th June

I had to get up ridiculously early again this morning to take the students to the drop off point. I just threw my clothes on and had a shower when I got back. I’d also had the sense to do most of the packed lunches last night and to half lay the breakfast table. So what could have been quite stressful wasn’t.

I’ve started to get very annoyed again with the probate solicitor! I still haven’t had any update on how collecting in the money from my dad’s estate is going. Garry was supposed to speak toher last weekend and then he promised that she’d get an update to us by end of play Wednesday which of course never arrived. So today I sent him a stroppy text saying that I’m annoyed and if I haven’t had an update from her by 10 am on Monday I will contact her myself and tell her what I think – even if she is his wife’s sister!

Lissi was a t work tonight so Sarah and I just had a quiet evening in with a kebab! We ended up crashing out as we were so tired and neither of us heard Lissi come back in.

19th June

The students were actually back early tonight! I think they’d been told that being late wouldn’t be very popular especially as the England game kicks off at 8pm and they have to be back down at the coach at 7:15 in the morning!

Ah the England game – their reasonable performance against Italy on Sunday seems to have been a one off as they play like a big pile of crap again tonight. Kick and rush is back, there’s nothing on the wing like the last game and balls are just randomly lobbed into the area or shot wildly in th general direction of the goal so it’s no surprise that Uruguay go 1-0 up before half time!

England are no better in the second half so it comes as a complete shock when Rooney manages to get a toe to a cross and pop the ball in the net to equalise! In the following minutes it actually looks like they might get a second to save themselves but sadly it’s not to be and within a few minutes Gerrard has made a cock up which allows Suarez to put another goal firmly in the back of England’s net – his second of the game. England never look like a team that can score two goals in 10 minutes and so they lose their second match. They’re all but on that plane back home – unless they can beat Costa Rica and Italy win both their remaining matches – not very likely!

18th June

So last night after having dashed back from London to pick up the students I find myself sitting in the car park at Morrisons for almost three quarters of an hour waiting for them. Tonight, just as I pass my usual turn off, Sarah phones me to say they’re going to be 45 minutes late again. This is annoying as by the time I get back to the house it’ll be time to head out again and I’ll use extra petrol doing so. I definitely spoke too soon on Monday!

17th June

In a sort of deja vu way I’m on exactly the same train this Tuesday as I was last Tuesday namely the 5:45 to Cannon Street. Ironically it will get me there about 30 minutes early as the one that would get me there at the right time actually left 5 minutes after this one! I’m at the same venue too the Honorable Artillery Company in the city.

Sarah sent me a text while I was on the train to tell me that the two students had obviously forgot about the time difference and had come downstairs about 5 minutes after I left and she’d had to send them back to bed! So maybe I was wrong about the week not being too bad!

The job itself is good though as it turns out to be an award ceremony by the PDSA for Police horse and dogs that were involved in the riots in London a couple of years ago. There is a small stage set up outside for the presentations to the horses and another set inside for the presentation to the dogs. I end up vision mixing to an audience of zero as the idea was that people could watch the outside presentation on the big screen but as it stands the weather is so nice everyone is outside watching!

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16th June

Two new French students arrived tonight – gave us a bottle of wine and some sort of cake thing wrapped in tinfoil. They’re two 16 year old girls who seem to understand English ok so the week shouldn’t be too painful!

15th June

When Sarah asked Ben a while ago what he wanted to do for his birthday he said “Pirate Party” so that’s what we did today. We had Sarah’s sister coming to visit us (she’s over from Australia) with her 4 kids so we were all getting dressed up as pirates and going to the park for a treasure hunt and a picnic!

The worrying thing was that my entire costume was made up of things I found in my wardrobe! Sarah had bought a pirate treasure chest and filled it with goodies and Bex had written clues the kids had to follow to find it.

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Lissi had made Ben a cool Minion birthday cake which tasted as good as it looked!

14th June

Had to go shopping for stuff for Ben’s pirate treasure hunt today – we forgot how awful Tesco would be on a Saturday and it was made worse by all the drongos who were in there bulk buying alcohol for the England game! I do despair of this country where most people seem to be incapable of doing anything without tanking themselves up on beer – Christmas>Alcohol, Easter>Alcohol Bank Holiday>Alcohol World cup>Alcohol etc etc etc

Needless to say the drunks were out in full force tonight shouting and screaming down our street on the way home from the pub to watch the match – wonder if they even remembered the score the next morning! Our For Sale sign, which only got put back up yesterday, was once again punched or kicked down – that’s about the fifth time since it went up!

England got beat in the end 2:1 by Italy but just for once it didn’t feel too bad as the team actually seemed to play quite well (well compared to their usual dismal performances anyway!)