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As Time Goes By: Friday The 13th

Friday the 13th turned out to be an unlucky day for Eileen Perrin.

They always said Friday 13th was bad luck, and as luck would have it that was the date in January 2006 that I was taken to hospital for an appendectomy. It was a miserable wait from mid morning to 10.30 pm before I was taken down to theatre, and returned at last to the ward at 1.30 am. Allowed home on Monday 16th Les and our daughter Cathy and her daughter Liz came to fetch me by car in late afternoon, when it was already dark.

As I sat in the dining room, Cathy came in from the kitchen and asked Les if he knew he had left the back door open. Going upstairs they found that our bedroom had been ransacked and my rings, brooches and pearls taken. Then we realised that my purse had also been taken so phoned the bank to cancel the cards. We rang the police and they came to inspect and to interview us.

The burglar had climbed on to our extension roof by climbing up on our neighbour’s wheelie bin on to the roof of next door’s garage. Then getting across and up on to our extension roof, had reached up to the top back window and taken it out completely to get in.

Following this night we had a man come to fit a new back window in the upstairs extension bedroom and another company fitted us with a burglar alarm, and a locksmith put in new locks on the front room window downstairs where the burglar had forced his way out.

In Spring we went to Suffolk and stayed in the Angel Inn – an old coaching inn - in Halesworth in Suffolk. Then went on to stay in a Southwold hotel.

The council had fitted hand rails up our stairs, and given us a step stool for getting in and out of the bath. These things were much appreciated and helped me a great deal.

They had offered us loft insulation with foam cladding, so at the end of April Cathy had come with her son Rowland and cleared out our attic. The insulation improved our heating.
At the end of July we went to Bembridge on the Isle of Wight for a week, having stayed for a night en route in the Grange Hall hotel in Alton.

On December 2nd. Cathy and Liz went to Sri Lanka to help in a turtle sanctuary at Galle, which had been damaged in the tsunami in December 2004.

In February 2007 our neighbours the Subras decided to build an extension on the side of their house, so we agreed that the partly glazed wall of our outhouse next to them could come down and be replaced with a solid brick one. This was quickly and perfectly done by an Irishman.

For the next few weeks trenches were dug in their garden to re route water pipes. The hard-working workmen were Polish.
On March 9th our burglar James Beale went to court, but I did not have to be a witness.

Les and I had joined an Oral History group run by a member of the Harrow U3A in Kenton.

We had been attending a Lip Reading class in Pinner for the past three years run by Harrow Education committee, held in a building at the end of Pinner Memorial park. Su Reeve was a very competent teacher, and we had some interesting subjects to practise our lip reading on.

In mid June 2007 Cathy drove us to Portsmouth for the ferry over to the Isle of Wight, where we spent a week at Bembridge. Her daughter Liz also came with us. Places we visited were Carisbrooke castle, Alum Bay and the Needles, Sandown and Shanklin and Newport Quay Art Gallery.
In September Les and I went to Wells-Next-The-Sea for a week’s holiday, staying in the Royal Hotel at the back of the town overlooking the village green.

At the end of October Val and Anne Marie went to Australia for three weeks, driving for hundreds of miles.

At some time in the Spring of 2008 we took on a fortnightly gardener as it was all getting too much for us, being well into our eighties and with Les having arthritic shoulders and me being so unsteady. We still did our shopping as fortunately Les could still drive.


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