Mick, The Builder’s father, klopsed on Friday. In his chair. Kerplunk!
Gwen had to call a 999 ambulance. And they spent ages trying to revive him. And succeeded. And then he klopsed again! So they took him in their ambulance to the hospital – which fortunately is only about 5 minutes from where they live. I don’t know if there were sirens.
Gwen rang The Builder at about lunchtime. He rang me. I made arrangements to be covered, if need be, on the Saturday. But we were going down on Saturday evening anyway and Gwen said there was no pressing need to go earlier. So we hung fire and trundled down on Saturday evening as planned, staying in the Bridge Farm B&B where we usually stay.
We had a fair run down on Saturday evening, stopping at a motorway services with an M&S Simply Food, where we bought the makings of a picnic. We got to Bridge Farm at about 9, smuggled in our picnic, and passed a pleasant couple of hours eating chicken and salad and drinking wine. Then to bed, nice and early.
And even then we slept late! Norma brought us a tea tray at 7:30 – and I was pretty much asleep until she knocked on the door! Usually we are the first down to breakfast. On Sunday we were the last (she only has three bedrooms). It was still a lovely breakfast, even if it was a bit later!
We had decided to drop into Salisbury before doing anything else. However, Waitrose doesn’t open until 10 on a Sunday and we were much too early. So we went for a drive along a little road which runs through Coombe Bisset, Stratford Tony, Bishopstone, Alvediston and on to Berwick St John, where we stayed with Lindsey and Ian in the summer. Was a lovely drive. There were lots of birds, many sheep, some strange cows which looked a lot like saddleback pigs with curly, fluffy hair, and two pigs. Really enjoyed my Sunday morning drive! Then we headed to Waitrose, rushed in, rushed out to avoid a compulsory 2 minute silence at 11:00 (It was Remembrance Sunday *and* the 11/11. I don’t mind observing a two minute silence – but I won’t be told by a supermarket, no matter how up-market, that I *have* to). Then we went back to Bridge Farm to the shop, where we did observe the silence. Then we mooched on to Gwen and Mick’s place.
The intention had been that we would come down and take them out for Sunday lunch at the Yew Tree, which is a nice little pub in the next village along. The doubt had been that Gwen was off to the hospital last Wednesday for a cataract operation and she didn’t know how she would feel. Mick, of course, had avoided going out with us by collapsing. Gwen decided that lunch out was better than cooking it for herself, so we ambled off – only to find that the Yew Tree had just ONE table left that was unbooked. I grabbed it very hastily! We had wonderful roast beef. The Builder and Gwen had apple crumble. I had another glass of wine. Then, given that it was too early to go hospital visiting, we went back along the road from Coombe Bisset to Berwick St John to show the strange cows to Gwen. She didn’t know what they were either.
Driving back to Salisbury along the main road, we were buzzed by a buzzard!!!!! Huge great big enormous thing, flew down at an angle, missing the windscreen by millimetres. How it didn’t hit us is a mystery. I can tell you, though – I have no wish at all to be in a car with a smashed windscreen and a trapped, very pissed off buzzard!!!!!!! The grand total of birds of prey was 1 kestrel, hovering over a field, one sparrow hawk sitting regally on a fence post and one buzzard that was trying to dedd us. Oh, and a heron, stood autocratically in a small river. But that, of course, is not a bird of prey. Unless you are a fish!
We got to the hospital, got to the ward – and found that Mick had escaped! The ward was full of grey, sickly, little men, looking very poorly. Mick came back in a wheelchair. Did he look grey and sickly and poorly and little? Did he heck! He looked all sparkly and shiny and cheerful! A fraud he is. A fraud! I think he just fancied a bit of a holiday on the NHS surrounded by pretty nurses! It seems he had been hypoglycaemic. They did manage to fix that but nobody is entirely sure why he became hypo in the first place, and they can’t stabilise his blood sugar levels. They are still all over the place. But while he is in the hospital they can keep it more or less under control, which I suppose is why he looks quite perky. I think he is getting a bit fed up of being held captive though. And I’m sure Gwen is getting tired with all the hospital visiting. He didn't know what the striped cows were either, based on our description. But I do! Thanks to Google Images, I have discovered that they are Belted Galloways. (http://www.belties.com/ It was the black ones we saw)
And so home, via Barb’s for afternoon tea (tea and scones – very civilised on a Sunday afternoon!) and to drop a few things off. We had a good run home, given that we left Salisbury at 5pm on a Sunday afternoon. And found Marlo lying along the back of the armchair in the dining room, exactly where The Builder had left him on Saturday afternoon. The only evidence that we have that he had moved at all (and it is purely circumstantial) was the presence of a dead mouse on the kitchen floor, which had not been there when The Builder left!