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November 14, 2007 > Across The Pond

Across The Pond

Fall musings

Greetings dear readers from Frances in Newark England, sitting in a room in her home, emptied of furniture and cosy "nick nacks" due to the arrival and fitting of a new carpet. All should happy and pleasant at this time except there is a mark right in the middle of the new carpet. The fault couldn't, of course, be in the 60% of the room covered by sofa, table, chairs or cupboards. So nothing can be replaced until the manufacturers decide whether the carpet will have to be replaced and re-laid. Frustration. However, the local firm of carpet fitters couldn't have been more charming and co-operative. We are lucky in Newark to have several family-run businesses that have operated courteously and efficiently for generations.

The following morning my misery was compounded by the discovery that my dustbin (trash can) hadn't been collected and emptied; mainly because I'd forgotten to put it out for the fortnightly bin mind being full of carpets and marks and living in a room with no "nick nacks."

So as I sit here gazing rather forlornly at my nearly lovely new carpet (don't tell me I don't know how to enjoy life!), daughter Lucy is boarding a plane at London's Heathrow airport bound for business meetings in Hong Kong, and from there to Thailand. Can't wait to hear the stories and see the photos on her return. What wonderful opportunities there are for today's young people. My work-related trips generally involve travelling to somewhere in Newark.....England.

I did venture to Nottingham, England for my first Christmas Fair of the festive season, ostensibly to make a start on the Christmas gift shopping marathon; but I was sidelined by a very attractive top. "Don't say anything nice about it," I instructed friend Linda as I headed off to "just try it on." Linda was good and said nothing, then a passing shopper spoilt it by saying "That looks great, really unusual. You must have it". So I had to, didn't I? A percentage of all sales went to the worthy charity of the brilliant Red Cross, so it wasn't completely self indulgent....I told myself.

Number one son and wife have just returned from a great weekend celebrating a special birthday in Norfolk. Accompanied by a cluster of friends, they stayed in a centuries-old manor house complete with four poster beds, fabulous food and their very own butler to prepare breakfast and do general "butlery" things. As they lounged about languidly in evening dresses and tuxedos, enjoying the elegant house party atmosphere of yesteryear, their 6 year old, Georgia, and I were trudging through the woods of Rufford Park, following a Halloween Trail.

Giant spiders and witches' broomsticks in trees led us through the "enchanted forest" to the "dungeon" (ancient ice house) surrounded by clusters of bats and rows of grinning pumpkins, and the final magic circle. Georgia loudly recited a "spell" constructed from clues collected along the way, much to the amusement of those passing by. Then she proudly collected her sparkly sticker badge as proof of her completion of the trail; the only disappointment being the fact it was a green fairy as all the pink ones had gone. Anyone who understands little girls will not be surprised by that fact.

As the trees turn to the glorious Autumn (Fall) colours of gold, copper and red, I bid you all farewell for another month.


PS. Persons turned up on my doorstep last weekend, armed with chainsaw and plastic bags....not part of a scary Halloween stunt but offering to help prune my rather too profuse gold, copper and red trees. How great was that? How lucky am I with my neighbours here in Newark, England.

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