Team Triplet

Our Times in Leicestershire


Shepshed Edition                                                                                                                               December 01




In response to a request on the Tandem Club web site, we had Gaélle, stay with us since March until just before Christmas.  We have met Serge, her father many times at Tandem Club events both in the UK and abroad so he knew what sort of family he was letting his daughter in to!!!!  In fact we had first met Gaélle without realising it at Tandem 96.


Gaélle enrolled at Loughborough College on an English as a Foreign Language course and found employment at Charterhouse a large factory shop in Shepshed.  We were worried that a young lass from just outside Paris would find the nightlife of Shepshed too much.  Instead she threw herself in to the night life, and was often in bed before us!!!!.  The only thing she has not managed is saying “Ay up m’duck”.


St Malo

For our main holiday this year we went to St Malo in Bretange.  Our trip coincided with Bastille Day.  Ceri and I rode into the old town to see the fireworks and had a grandstand position right in front of the Old Town walls.  However Ceri was not impressed when due to a strong sea breeze the fireworks literally rained down upon us.


The weather we had was mixed with some heavy rain especially when we went to the far west, to Pointe de Penhir in Finistère.  The weather was just like that announced on the shipping forecast on the Home Service.  When we walked the cliff tops Ceri clung to me for her life.


Ceri Goes Green at the gills

The choice of St Malo was influenced by the proximity of Jersey as Ceri since a child has been fascinated by cows and she wanted to go to the home of the Jersey cow.  Ceri and I took a daytrip by fast ferry to St Helier from St Malo.  It was blowing a force 5 and with the small ferry it frightened Ceri a bit.  However we had a damp but very pleasant day on the Island.  On the ferry over Ceri looked at a brochure and decided we would go to two places, a gem stone place at St Quen Bay and Jersey Pottery at Gorey.  These places were on opposites sides of Jersey and almost as far from St Helier as possible.  We had taken the Tandem and managed to visit the two places plus others on route with out rushing too much.


Ceri has showers voluntarily!!

One advantage of having a chic Parisian stay with us is Gaélle has been a good influence on Ceri.  No longer do we have to drag Ceri kicking and screaming into the bathroom.


Ceri has taste for Cider!

Tandem 2001 was in the heart of cider country, Herefordshire this year.  We spent a week at Lucton School.  Ceri and I rode through the cider orchards whilst Ann stayed at camp with her feet up.  Ceri really enjoyed the cider tastings and visits to the various cider museums and shops.


Confessions made at Work

Early in the year a work colleague came into my office, shut the door and secretly confessed his passion for railways.  As a consequence of that confession I have now been on several “Jolly Boys” outings with him and another colleague from work.  The first trip was to visit the Croydon Tram system in June.  During this trip the second colleague made it known that he did not want people at work to know he was on this trip, so I now refer to him as Harry Lime.  For our most recent trip we followed up our Croydon trip by riding over the complete Manchester Tram system.


Ceri Prefers Skool Trips!

Ceri went on a school trip to an adventure camp at Osmington Bay in Dorset, Spring Bank Holiday week.  She really enjoyed it so much that she turned down a week away her Dad at the Tandem Club International Rally next year.  Again Ceri let the side down by getting a tidy bedroom award.


May Day sunbathing!

We went to the annual Blaxhall camping weekend at Mayday and introduced our friends Lynda, George and baby Helen to the delights of Suffolk.  As in the past the weather was very mixed, with extremes of temperature.  On the Sunday it was so cold we started riding in balaclavas and gloves.  However by lunch time we had settled down in a sunny spot with the girls sunbathing.


Car breaks down

On the way back from Blaxhall we blew a head gasket in the car, on the old A14 between Royston and Huntington.  We ended up on the Old A14 as I took a wrong turn where the A14 joins the M11.  Our friends made the same mistake and they took Ceri and Ann home whilst George and I waited for the RAC and were “recovered”, taken home with the car aboard a truck.


Gaélle shocked by Night Life

As we were without the car for 3 weeks awaiting its repair, we used the bus to go into Loughborough with Gaélle one Saturday night.  On the way she commented on local fashions as follows: “in Paris we would call her a bitch”, and whilst waiting for the last bus back she was given the full picture of nightlife for the young, laughing on the pavement (see Barry Mckenie films or ask Philip) and oral tonsillectomies.



Ceri is now in year 7.  She did her STATs in May and did well.  She suffered a bit at the start of term by the classes being mixed up a bit.  After that settled down, Ceri is really enjoying skool, so much so that she got really upset when I suggested taking time out of skool next year for a holiday.


Ceri has been involved with the Skool paper.  One perk is she got to see Harry Potter for free in the first week of showing in Loughborough.  As a fund raiser for the mag they had a disco and Ceri won the fancy dress as the Grim Reaper.  She won a box of chocolates as a prize and according to her quote in the skoolmag her dad eat all of them.



Ceri is still very active musically with the piano and flute.  She has lessons for both and also is continuing with the Shepshed Community Band.  Shepshed Community Band entered the Young Musician of the Year Competition.  They got to the Leicestershire regional final.


In addition whilst on holiday we got Ceri a Bombarde, a traditional Breton instrument.  This is a cross between a recorder, tin whistle, oboe and clarinet.  Ceri has struggled to blow a note on it, but hopefully she will manage soon, otherwise there will be Bombarde for sale advertised in this journal next year!


Model railroading

I have changed scales slightly and have now moved from 7mm O16.5 to On30, ie US O gauge, 30 inch gauge, running on HO track.  Ceri and I are looking to produce some modular layouts next year in that scale.  In addition Ceri and I have both been active with the Local Black Diamonds HO group.  I now produce their news letter.  At regional meets Ceri makes herself very useful selling raffle tickets, especially at the NMRA British region convention where with the help of two other friends they nearly trebled the expected income for the raffle!


Things wearing out

After putting off the job of outside maintenance for 8 years we finally replaced our windows and cladding with plastic.  It was a case of having to, the front bay window was more softwood than hard.  Our old PC kept crashing during the year so in October we bit the bullet and brought a new one.  In true Microsoft fashion we still get problems with the PC locking up despite having the latest software, or is it because of it!!!


Ceri goes to Sweden

Ceri went to the International Guide camp at Stanford Hall this year.  It was all off 8 miles from home!!!  They had Scouts and Guides from all over the world attending.  The camp was set up in sub camps, each named after a country, and Ceri was in Sweden.


With France, Guide Camp, Tandem 2001, Nannies and trips to Quorn, Ceri hardly saw her bed in the summer hols this year.


Centre Parcs

At the end of April we went to Centre Parcs in Sherwood Forest for a long weekend in order to assist our friend Paul who suffers from PKU on his holiday.  Good fun was had by all, despite the various injuries received on the water slide.


Quorn Cycle camping

With F&M and car break down in May we did not get as far a field as in past years.  However we made up for this by having numerous cycle camping trips to Quorn, either by ourselves or with friends.  Quorn is just under 10 miles.  It is only a small site, but is a superb location and has a friendly farmer and dogs.


Ceri Abseils with no fear

Ceri was introduced to wall climbing on her skool trip.  In the early summer we visited our friends in Oxford and they took us wall climbing there.  Ceri was very impressed and managed the climbs with ease, unlike her Mum and Dad who struggled to stretch their legs wide enough.  It must be the effect of old age.  Ceri enrolled on a wall climbing course at the local college in the autumn.  This has proved expensive as Ceri enjoyed it so much, apart from the abseiling after a climb.  She got frightened after one abseil and lost her confidence, so we had to bribe her with a harness if she abseiled without fear.  After 2 lessons she was doing it with no fear at all.

Romway Close Bakery

Early in the year we brought a bread maker.  It has proved very useful.  I no longer buy cobs for lunch etc, as I now make my own.  We use ours most of the time to make dough, but at present we haven’t found a recipe to make Sterling or Euros.  As a present from Gaélle’s family Ceri received a “starter pack” of Euros.  It should become a collector’s item in years to come if she can keep the bag sealed.


Ann’s Bit

Hi yes I’m still here, I’m the one that don’t do anything interesting.  I am now a Learning Support Assistance at Ceri’s school in addition to Lunchtime Support Assistance.(LSA - Lazy supp’).  In January I go on a course to further my job as classroom assistant.  I look after boys and girls who have a wide range of troubles.  I have good experience as I have two trouble makers at home.  As part of the Lunchtime role I work with 4 children who cannot mix with other children, we play games and have a room of our own.  That’s not a job, it is fun.  I am still Brown Owl and the pack is going from strength to strength.  I now have a full pack plus 5 other adult leaders.  Not bad, as when I took over I had 6 Brownies and 3 helpers.


Late News

We hope that you enjoyed our late newsletter.  Being busy with other things we did not get this ready in time to go out with Christmas cards.  By the number of comments about the lack of news letter, you all must miss the tales of our dull life up north, or are wondering if we are joining the great modern institution of S&D.


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