Saturday, February 20, 2010

The gathering of the clan

Hello again. I really intended to write one more blog before my trip to England, but the time flew by and it didn't get done. I had a photo ready of Chris sitting on the back porch wearing his shorts, and bare-chested, just to show that summer is on the way. However, it was a short lived spell of sun and unfortunately when Jean arrived, she didn't have particularly good weather for her week. It was warmer than England, but we didn't see much sunshine. Still we had a nice quiet week, with time to do some craft together, visit my sewing group, and walk around the village. On the last day we spent all morning browsing Garrucha market, but when we emerged from the narrow streets lined with stalls, we found the sun had gone and the afternoon turned chilly. We had a good flight home together on Saturday and I spent last week at her house.
We had a lovely lunch at Dorothy's on Sunday and on Monday we had 'The gathering of the clan'. We all met up at Eve's house in Weymouth, where she had a lovely dinner ready for us. It is a year since I saw everyone and there were some changes. Some folk looked a bit less robust and others looked much better than they did last time. It was a shame that two of the men were missing - Chris at home in Spain looking after our animals, and Elmer in his nursing home - but their ears should have been burning as we talked about them both, so absent but not forgotten. I have a couple of very nice group photos which I will post on here and e-mail to you individually as soon as I get home and can use my own computer again. The following day we visited Elmer and I was pleased that he instantly knew who I was, and asked after Chris, and our life in Spain. I was able to show him Jonathan's photo in the magazine, as he has been a good Godfather to him and continues to remember him. On Thursday Jean and I did some shopping up at Castle point which was treat for me as such places don't exist in our area of Spain. I was able to get a few little things that I can't buy out there, but I had to be a bit careful as ryanair are not generous with their baggage allowance, and I was right on my limit coming out here. I did bring a few things to leave here, but it still won't give me space/weight allowance to take an aweful lot back.
I came up to Wolverhampton on Friday to spend the weekend with Jim and Jo. Ben had managed to get me a good deal on a first class train ticket, so I had a comfortable seat with free hot and cold drinks every half hour plus newspapers if I wanted one. I enjoyed the scenery. We pased a wood where every tree was festooned with balls of mistltoe, and another where, although the trees were bare, they had hidden their identitiy under a thick coat of ivy that covered right up their trunks to the tips of their branches, so they appeared to be lush and green and in full leaf. Everywhere looked very green but it was also waterlogged. There were a lot of ponies through the new forest and some kind of hawk landed on the fence and stared at me with his baleful, yellow eyes. Around Leamington Spa we found quite a lot of snow covering the ground, with some disconsolate sheep nibbling at the little tufts of grass that had managed to push through to the surface. It took me by surprise. We were comfortably warm on the train and I had forgotten just how cold it still was outside. I saw some children having fun with their sledges and then we came to an area of open farmland as far as you could see. It was all under snow and the rays of late afternoon sun broke through the clouds to reflect off it. It was so lovely! It was dark when we got to Wolverhampton, but the 'first class' stewards lifted my case and bag off for me and Jo was there with the children to meet me. So now I am having a lovely time with the family. Tom and Jessie are coming over this afternoon and we are are all going to see the church pantomime this evening. All the family are in it except Amias who isn't quite old enough yet. He has stayed home with me this afternoon while the others do the matinee. I'll go to the church service tomorrow morning. Jim thinks they may be a bit depleted as most of them are in the pantomime which has done four sell-out performances, so they are all a bit tired. Ben is picking me up tomorrow evening to take me to his house in Birmingham for a couple of days. I am looking forward to his birthday on Monday when I will give him his scrapbook I have been making on and off for the past three years! Then we will both go to Oswestry for my last few days. I'll need a rest when I get home!!
I can't add any photos this time, but I'll get a few ready for my next blog from Spain.

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