Monday, August 01, 2016

The Final Countdown

Last week we went into Chesterfield and handed in The Builder's Time Bank volunteer's ID card, then we went to the bank to close an account that we aren't going to need in the future.

Then we met Tabitha, Cally and Flynn in the park, almost certainly for the last time.

Then we all went and met Gareth and had our last lunch in the new Burger bar.  We accidentally had our last lunch in The Rutland some time ago - and didn't notice.  It's surprising how often you do have a Last Occasion and don't notice!

Flynn has learnt very quickly how to feed himself

Cally had jelly for her dessert.  So did Tabitha and I :-)

On Thursday I went to my, almost certainly not last, session in the Pot Luck Pantry.  We had loads of Tramlines leftovers to use up, which was just as well because the cafe looked as though it had been trashed.  We used the time we would normally use prepping food to sort out and put away all the Tramlines stuff and restore some order to the cafe so we could open for lunch!  On Friday we went to the Food Bank, also probably not for the last time.

Sunday was our Leaving Tupton lunch.  We had about 30 people coming. So on Saturday,  Tabitha, Gareth, Cally and Flynn came for their last sleepover at "Gamma's House".  They have said that they will keep an eye on the house until we sell it, but it will be empty. Unless they feel like camping, they won't be sleeping over.  All of us (except The Builder who stayed behind to dig the potatoes for Sunday) went on our last walk around the wetlands (well, it will be my last one unless I squeeze a stroll in over the next two weeks!).

Sunday was party day.  I suddenly realised that I had 30 people coming for lunch, lots of different, barbecue-style food to cook and potentially not enough cooking space (no barbecue, just the oven and various frying pans).  Freyja helpfully pointed out that I could do with a warming oven to keep the already cooked things in. I had already decided that I needed, for yesterday only, a second oven and a second fridge.  However, it seemed slightly extravagant to go out and buy these things just for one day, especially since I would need to get rid of them again almost immediately.  So we managed without.  Just! Lots of people came; some family, some former work colleagues, some friends. The sun shone and people spread out into the garden.  I think people had enough to eat. They seemed to have a good time. They all seemed happy enough when they went away.

Following on from our jelly adventures on Wednesday, I had made a jelly to go with desert.  Tabitha had the brainwave of pouring chocolate sprinkles on it.  It was brilliant. The sprinkles got mixed in with the orange jelly when we scooped it out into bowls.  It was just like having a chocolate orange!  And I have learned in the Pot Luck Pantry that it is a good thing to provide a dressing for a fruit salad, as you would for a green salad.  I had a load of enormous oranges in the freezer which I had been intending to use for orange juice (once they had defrosted, of course!). Instead I used them for an orange and spice syrup.  It was very nice.  And even nicer when used with the banana cake I had made with a load of black bananas I had also been storing in the freezer against the day when a banana cake would be required.  I was quite pleased with my desserts.

So now we are on the final countdown to our departure.  This time next week I am expecting there to be removal people in the house to take away everything that is going to Australia.  There is a lot to do this week, plus there are fun things to do and, of course, the Pantry and the Food Bank.  And the kitchen and dining room look, for some reason, like a disaster has hit them.  I suppose I should go and wash a few dishes!

Oh.  And Flynn might not be able to crawl properly yet, but he covers quite a lot of ground just using wriggle power!

I think I will chew this beautiful blue shoe lace

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