Week 106

26th December, 2010 

Up in time to have tea & toast for breakfast and then watch the Test Match highlights at 10.00 am. What joy! I loved every minute of it. A good score now will clinch the Ashes. Ruth must be as happy as I am. The Sunday Telegraph had been delivered free to Pauline’s Kindle when we woke at 7.30 am. After that, the day seemed to fly by. I watched a couple of football matches but was more delighted that Man. U. won and (for Ruth) that Bolton won again. Who would believe a table like this:

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27th December, 2010 

Up in time to have tea & toast for breakfast and then watch the Test Match highlights at 10.00 am. What joy! I loved every minute of it. Days are becoming a bit samey. Arsenal v Chelsea tonight. I suppose a Draw would have been preferable but it was so enjoyable to see Chelsea ground down that I couldn’t deny Arsenal their victory.

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I am staying with Phyllis & Colin tonight without Sky Tv so I’m listening to the Test Match on 5_Live over the internet. Is there anything better than trouncing the Aussies in the Ashes?

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28th December, 2010 

Woke up at 6.00 am and luxuriated in Radio 4. Up late at 8.30 am and had porridge while reading the newspaper delivered to Pauline’s Kindle. Later we drove out to New Malden and Cobham and found just the sofas we wanted for our new apartment. We also found a huge Sainsburys and bought a couple of bottles of champagne to celebrate our anniversary on Thursday. I’ll watch Birmingham – Man. U. tonight and possibly stay up to see England clinch the Ashes.

29th December, 2010 

Had a nice email from Catherine today:

Hi John,
I sent an email before Xmas to wish you and Pauline a healthy and peaceful Xmas wherever you are spending it but not sure if you received it-I’m sure it will have been a different one as the first without Pauline’s mum.  We have been finding it different too as Laurie’s dad died last year on 23rd Dec.and he was usually celebrating part of it with us.  I am still writing my dissertation and finding it hard to motivate myself as it is the last part of my course and I just want to get it finished now. Any way hope you are both well Have a good start to the new year.
Best Wishes Cathy x

Later we went for a drive around Cobham near the Chelsea training ground and surrounded by wonderful Italian and French restaurants. A lovely, simple French restaurant – Brasserie Gerard – a swish, Italian restaurant – La Capanna – and Carluccio’s.

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30th December, 2010 

Pauline & I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary. Saturday, December 30th, 1978 was thick with snow and made travelling difficult for everyone. Pauline looked so beautiful. Shame about the groom. Mike and Liz look nice together in the background.

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Today we celebrated by cooking a leg of lamb for everyone and drinking a glass of wine. It was nice and simple. On a day when the news is all about longevity, I hope Pauline and I have another thirty years together.

31st December, 2010 

Up early this morning and, after breakfast, we set off for West Byfleet station. A 35 min train took us to Waterloo. We walked around Covent Garden, had a cup of coffee in an outside cafe while watching juggling unicyclists. They drew a huge crowd. We walked past the Opera House where a beautiful recital was being given in the outside cafe. I would have liked to have stayed but I was hurried on to a Japanese restaurant called Wagamama’s.  As you will see from the photo, it looks like a school canteen. Pauline & I had a beautiful bowl of fresh noodles with prawns, chicken and fresh ginger. Then we went on to the Dominion Theatre to watch the ‘Queen’-based musical written by Ben Elton. Although it was the only performance of the day, there were some empty seats. Although it was written by Ben Elton, there was very little script or plot. Although I know of Queen, I only knew two or three songs. Everything was sung and played at double/painful volume. A lot of the singing was distinctly average. Having said all that, the show got a noisy, standing ovation from the audience so, who am I to judge?

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We then took a taxi back to TGIFridays in Covent Garden I think largely to please the little lads. It was absolutely packed and very noisy. Pauline and I had a wonderful rib eye steak with nice, fresh vegetables. Really, we were still full from the previous meal but we fitted in with the others.

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We took a taxi back to Waterloo and a train back to West Byfleet. I was shattered when we got back. I haven’t drunk anything at this point because we will be driving back to Yorkshire early tomorrow morning. I will have a glass of champagne around midnight and then off to bed.

1st January, 2011 

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Pauline & I got up at 7.00 am as usual. The rest of the house – 6 adults and 3 children – were still asleep. We didn’t pause for breakfast today but packed the car and hit the M25. What a wonderful morning. Just me and Pauline in the car. The M25 was deserted. We drove with joy in our hearts. We have spent the last two years almost entirely on our own and being thrown into the hurley burly of family life was a little too much for us. Pauline’s family – sister Phyllis and husband, Colin, Niece, Mandy and husband, Kieron plus three little monsters – are all delightful people who invite us wholeheartedly into the homes and their lives but we feel smothered with their love and need to strike out alone and for ourselves.

We got back to Huddersfield in record time and suddenly breathed a sigh of approval even for our shoe-box flat. Lots of post to follow up. Lovely card from Jane BG and one from Jonathan Kelly. Phone call from Dave Beasley. Apptitude test from Ruth. I look forward to writing to them all. I love writing. Ruth, being a Grandma and never having been a teacher, still loves children and the family milieu.

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