I have come back from my holiday with so many photos that it has taken me all day to sort them into some kind of order. To write about them in one go would make for a very long post so I have decided to do three posts today and this is the first one about my visits to various members of the family. I went to UK alone as Chris opted to stay home and look after our animals. It is very expensive, and unsettling for them if we leave them for too long, so he decided to stay home with them for the first week, and then he flew out to Denmark and met me there for a week with our son Tom.
This visit was confined to the Midlands where four of our five sons are living. Hopefully I will get over again in the Autumn to visit my sisters down along the South coast. I guess this post is aimed mainly at my wider family, who like to hear how we are all getting on, but is open for everyone who wants to, to have a read.
As usual I stayed with our youngest son Ben in Birmingham. He has a spare room so he can easily put me up, and it is a good central point to visit the others from.
Of course I had to visit my home town of Oswestry to met the latest addition to the family, my great-grandson Alfie, born at the end of December. In every photo of him that I have seen, he has been smiling, and that is just how he was on my visit too. He wasn´t in the least phased by a strange face or voice, and happily came to me for a cuddle. Isn´t he gorgeous?
His brother Isaac was also happy to play and now chatters away all day. He did sit on my lap for a photo, but was more keen to play with his new kitten Berlioz (the name of one of the Aristocats if you are wondering!). Berlioz wasn´t really up for a photo session either.
One of my tasks this holiday was to collect individual family photos for a craft project which I am sure you will get to see one day, so here is the one I took of this lovely little family.
Emma was my first grandchild and I minded her full time until she was around eight, so she is very special to me, and is one of only two girls in our family!
Later that day, my son Michael, arrived with his two little boys, and then Emma´s brother Mikey dropped by on his way home form work, so I was able to get this picture of Mike with all his children.
And finally Emma´s husband John took the "four generations" update.
Straight across the road from their house, there is a nice, safe play area and the boys took Isaac over to run off some energy. It was nice to see them all playing so well together.
Later that evening I went back to Mike´s house and was able to take one of Mike with his wife Pippa and their two boys, Ollie and Finlay.
The next day, Ben and I drove up to Jonathan´s house in Manchester. ( have written about this in another post which you can see HERE).
Then it was on to Wolverhampton for the gathering of the Perry Tribe. We always try to get together when I am over, and our usual venue is the Vicarage in Pendeford, home to our oldest son Jim and his family. The weather was kind to us and we spent all day in the garden. It was the first time that our middle son Tom was missing as he now lives in Denmark, and I was moving on to visit him for the second week of my holiday. Also Emma and her little ones couldn´t come as John was away for the weekend, and Ben´s partner Dave had commitments elsewhere, but the rest of the role call showed ´all present and correct´.
Family get-togethers are always noisy affairs, but the children are growing up, and I found the biggest changes in Jim´s youngest two, now both in their mid-teens and finding their own identities.
Hannah is camera shy and I didn´t have much success taking a photo of her, but these were my best attempts.
Her younger brother Amias is so like her, and too has his own style. He is artistic and I was impressed with the work he showed me from his GCSE course work.
Their older brother Marcus is twenty now, which just doesn´t seem possible. Here he is with his girlfriend Ellie. They are hoping to come and visit me in October. They had all teased Ellie and told her I was a bit of a dragon, so she wasn´t sure she would come, but now she has met me, she said she will!
Marcus´s cousin Mikey (Emma´s brother) is just six weeks older than him, so he will be twenty-one at Christmas. He is so photogenic and I always get a good photo of him.
He also has a lovely girlfriend and they came over here last summer. She was with him but somehow I missed her out of the photos, but I think she is in the big group one.
Jonathan likes the family parties too and he and Ella always enjoy themselves. He is the only one in the family who can grow so much ´face-fur´!
Mike´s two little lads were so good all day. They look like they are hatching mischief, but for once, I don´t think they were.
At one point Mike decided to dip Oliver´s head into the icebucket where the beers were cooling, but he got his come-uppence when they tipped it over him. It´s a good thing the sun was shining.
Someon dug out an old swing-ball set and Ben and Amias tried it out, but they were a bit too heavy-handed and kept tipping it over.
Hannah has a very soft spot for her Uncle Ben, and she is nearly always found nearby. He manages to get her talking and it is nice to see her relaxing in his company.
As the sun set, Amias took on the job of lighting the fire pit, and he soon had a nice little blaze which we all sat around.
As the flames died down it was time to toast some marshmallows.
Hannah had a small guitar that Ben had promised to tune for her, so he tuned it up and sang us some songs.
Everyone was staying over for the night, so Mike and his boys were sleeping in a tent in the garden. It was a new one and proved harder to put up than his big one, but Jim gave him a hand, and they managed in the end. Why they waited until it was almost dark I have no idea!
It was a perfect day. The fact that we only manage it about once a year makes it all that more special. so here is the Tribe. (I shall have to add in the heads of Dad and Tom, so I can use this again when I want a family picture).
And I can´t leave a post about the family without one picture of Tom. Here he is in his new flat in Denmark. I will posting more about him later.