19 June 2007

Billing Road Cemetery

JD & I went for an evening walk around the block last night (yes, we are turning in to my parents!!) and walked past Billing Road Cemetery. We never walked through the gates but this seemed the perfect summer evening to have a look. It is a strange place. More like a grass pitch with some graves scattered around than a 'proper' cemetery. There is no order to things, the graves all seem quite old.

I have no idea why this place is no longer in use. When looking at the Northamptonshire County website, it says the place is restricted, meaning not everyone can get a grave there. But why? What is the history of the place? Why is it not a proper cemetery with rows of graves? Why did burials stop there after a while? Most graves date from 1830 - 1930 with a few exceptions up to as recent as 1979. I assume these were family graves where people had the rights to be added to a family tomb.
Caroline Chisholm, the famous social reformer who fought for Aborigine's rights in Sydney, was buried there in 1877.

Some more well known people are buried there but I could not find any info as to the strange feel of the place. As we were leaving, I suddenly noticed something wonderfully philosophical. Almost all graves had trees growing from them. Like death sustaining life. The whole place did not have that 'creepy' feeling you normally get from an old burial ground. Instead it left me with a whole bunch of questions. In an era of shortage of burial space, why is Billing Road Cemetery not used to its full potential? Did people object? Did something happen?

18 June 2007

A weekend of cars, fights & strawberries

This weekend was a strange combination of good and bad. Good was that JD & I went to the Peugeot dealer in Northampton and complained about the rubbish service they gave us recently, charging us 3 times for fixing the same problem and not fixing it at all. In the end it was fixed by the Peugeot dealer in Leamington Spa for £250 when the Northampton guys had told us it would cost £900! So we complained and we then got £150 back for a useless 'wiring adjustment' they did two weeks ago! Complaining helps!

Then it started to absolutely chuck it down with rain whilst JD & I were cycling around town. Trying to avoid a large puddle (and I mean LARGE), we veered out into the middle of the road. Some sad man with a small penis in a golden Jaguar (M55 ***, pelt his car with rocks when you see him!) then decided we were taking too long and drove past us on the INSIDE, through the puddle and splashed us completely. We were soaking wet and yelled after the man but of course he thought it was all rather funny. In Holland, that will get you a fine if the police catches you splash cyclists and pedestrians on purpose. The rest of our Saturday was spent on plotting revenge on the sad creature. Perhaps phoning the police and asking them to give the man a call and warn him not to do it again or something. But mostly we were just so frustrated because we were not doing anything wrong and he was clearly doing it on purpose.

On Sunday, we decided to go strawberry picking in a field near by. Rows and rows of lovely strawberries were going to waste because there are not enough people willing to pick them. We filled up two large punnets, had a piece of cake to support World Challenge Mongolia (What the F**k?) and set off for home again.
As I was steering my car along the narrow lanes of the tiny village we were driving through, I caught a flash of a golden Jaguar coming towards us. M55 *** said the license plate! The same small-penised man who splashed us the day before! I quickly gave him the finger, to make me feel better. But men with a small penis don't like getting the finger so he stopped. So did I. I got out of the car. So did he. Like a chicken squaring up for a fight, he got out of the car, stuck his chest out to make him look bigger (because frankly, he was rather small and stocky) and said: "What did you do that for!!" I took a deep breath, told myself to remain calm and with a voice shaking with anger I said: "That is for splashing us yesterday with your fucking car. Yes, that was us. I remember your license plates. you had no fucking need to do that." He looked stunned for a second and then said: "Well you weren't doing a very good job of going through the puddle (Well no. I was actually trying to avoid going through the puddle. Red.) but I did not do it on purpose." Not on purpose? UNDERtaking a cyclist on a corner whilst splashing through a puddle?

I had so told myself to be calm but he started to be extremely patronising and in the end, I couldn't help it and called him a small, sad, fucking wanker. He called me a slag and we both got back in our cars and drove off.

I was pleased I had the chance to speak my mind to the bastard but annoyed with myself for stooping so low as to start swearing at him.

In the end, the whole thing was rather bizarre really. I am sure I will never see that man again but to see him twice in 2 days...

Oh, and the strawberries were just wonderful. If you have the chance, you should go out and pick your own. So much better than the red bullets you buy in the supermarket.

UPDATE: Went to the police to report Small Penis Man as it is a crime to undertake and splash people on purpose (Driving without due care & attention:-) Policeman said he would contact him and give him a warning. HaHaHa!!! That will teach you you SUCKER. Do not mess with The Clog!!!

07 June 2007

To Holland & back

JD & I are now proud aunties of Federika Anna Affinito. We call her 'Bob' because Federika sounds like Federer, Roger Federer and Bob is short for Roger. Along that line, we could actually call her Kate. In Blakcaddder II, a girl named Kate pretends to be a boy when she starts working for Lord Blackadder. However, when Blackadder points out that 'Kate' is a girl's name, she quickly claims it is short for 'Bob'.
My sister gave birth to her last week and JD & I went to say hello to the new-born. Of course I came down with a full-blown cold 2 days before so I have only held Federika (aka Bob ) for a little while as I did not want to infect her with any nastiness.
Bob is very sweet and I am extremely proud of my sister as it has not been easy to get pregnant and the birth-thing wasn't pleasant either. I know that she will do a great job, even if it is hard sometimes!

Go Sis!!

The trip was not all great unfortunately. Most frustratingly it was marred by yet more Windows Vista-trouble! Sister bought a new laptop and I could not get the wireless networking on it set up. Vista would spot the network but even when I turned all protection on it off, it said it could not connect because there was no response from the router! AAARRGHHH!

Then the car, which is in the garage for repairs to the fuel lines (don't even start me off on that story!!!) was NOT going to be ready for us to pick up from the dealer on our way home on Wednesday. So we had to get home by train from Coventry Airport.

The trip home started with a massive traffic jam, leaving us only minutes to check in at the airport. Then, whilst in Departure, a mini van full off engineers turned up at the plane and walked around, stroking their beards in a pensive fashion before pulling out their screwdrivers. After 45 minutes, we were good to go. We only just managed to get the train in Coventry but fell asleep and instead of getting off at Northampton, we woke up only to get off in Milton Keynes!! Luckily there was one more train at 00.20 back to Northampton so in the end, we got home at 1am. Not too bad but we were so tired!!!!