Category Archives: Family

A Fine Day Out (More-or-Less)

Very nice outing to Trentham Gardens with Rosemary & Mervyn, in somewhat belated celebration of their Ruby Wedding.

Italian Gardens at Trentham

The forecasters earlier in the week had promised all sorts of unpleasantness, including thunderstorms, but happily they were wrong again: it wasn’t exactly summer  weather as we might wish it to be, but the sun peeped through briefly and when we did eventually get a shower it was mercifully short-lived.

Really good lunch at David’s Brasserie, marred only by a rather long delay before pudding arrived — serves us right for having a third course that we really didn’t need (though it was good when it came)!

Alone Once More

So the Christmas  festivities are behind us once again …

It was nice to have family visiting over the holiday, as usual: Mother-in-Law for a few days over the weekend, The Daughter and The Boys on Boxing Day and overnight, and Rosemary and Mervyn the following day.

Traveled up to Garstang on Friday 23rd to collect Mother-in-Law and pick up the pre-ordered food items from E H Booths. Driving conditions were pretty foul both ways, but the volume of traffic was not great, so we managed good journey times; lucky escape coming back, when the traffic came to a dead stop just at J16 of the M6 — we just made it off on to the A556.

Saturday was a quiet day, making final preparations and drawing up my catering plan for the big day.

Christmas Day went to church at St Luke’s for the 9 o’clock service (bit thin on the ground, congregation-wise); then home to implement my master plan for roast goose with usual accompaniments, followed by Xmas Pud. It all went off remarkably well, if I do says so myself.

Boxing Day we were up in good time to await the arrival of Anna and Matt with The Boys: predictably they had a slightly delayed start, but were with us my 12:30. A buffet lunch was followed by present-opening and general mayhem, as might be expected. After tea/evening meal of salmon with asparagus and new potatoes, and once the kids were settled, Anna and Matt went off to the pub with Lucy and Paul.

Tuesday, R&M were here in time for coffee, while The Ricketts went across the road for an hour or two. Buffet lunch and Prezzies again; then Anna and co departed. Haunch of mutton for our evening meal was a success, followed by a couple of puds provided by R&M, accompanied by a very good pudding wine.

Mother-in law was up betimes on Wednesday and ready for the off as soon as breakfast was done. Waved them off about 10.00 and spent the rest of the day putting the house back to normal.

As I said, it’s lovely to have family at Christmas time … It’s also nice when there’s just the two of us again. 🙂

Next week, Chris and Phyl — but that’s another story!

Joseph and the Aliens

To Pen-y-ffordd last Monday, to watch the Nativity play at our grandson’s school.

It was a slightly unconventional production, involving not only the usual participants – Mary and Joseph, shepherds, angels, wise men and a star – but also a new element: aliens !

Here is not the place to go into details about how the aliens were involved in this particular production; but I was interested by the reaction when I posted about this on facebook: nobody expressed surprised. I guess we have all come to assume that school nativity plays will “adapt” the original story to accommodate their own situation — mainly I suppose, on account of the number and range of participants that have to be accommodated.

A couple of people actually seemed keen to validate this particular adaptation. One reminded me that Chris de Burgh has been here already (see youtube). The other pointed out that the mystery of that wandering star might be best accounted for by alien involvement

So here’s my deep thought for today –
The annual juggling act of finding (or manufacturing) a part for every child in the Nativity Play is perhaps a reminder that even the oddest or apparently insignificant of us can have a contribution to make to the rich tapestry that is human life.
Poetic or what?!

On a lighter note, I am also reminded of this thought from Milton Jones:
Sometimes I feel like Joseph at the inn in Bethlehem holding a crib of straw and saying “No – I asked to see the manager!”

Good Things Are Worth Waiting For

Finally he has arrived …

Having seemed for a while reluctant to enter the world (and who could blame him!), Number Three Grandson was finally delivered around teatime on Monday (13 June), and is now safely installed at home.

Oliver James, to be known as “Ollie”, was supposedly due on the first of the month, but proved to be in no great hurry.

Anna was finally called into hospital for 4:00pm last Sunday, with the promise of having the birth induced at that point. However, Ollie was not to be rushed, it seemed, and two lots of medication failed to dislodge him! So we were still waiting on Monday afternoon. At this point, the department was apparently somewhat overloaded with incoming mothers, with the result Anna and Matt were largely ignored until the birth was almost fait accomplis — rather a stressful experience, and one the NHS should not have allowed to happen!

Still, all’s well that ends well, I suppose, and thankfully mother and babe seem healthy enough, though the former is pretty tired.

And for those who have to have the statistics, the weight was 8lb 7.5oz.