Week 303

12th October, 2014

On Tuesday, we are going to visit a long lost, distant relative of Pauline’s family who I found researching the same material on a website. I contacted them only to be invited over for coffee at their home in East Molsey near Hampton Court Palace. It’s only about 13 miles away from us and will be an interesting visit. Pauline has been trawling through her huge archive of family photos and selecting out ones to take with us.

Not to be left out, I’ve been going through my store and came across this one which I’d forgotten. This was taken some time in 1952.


My brother, Bob is on the left and I’m on the right. There is only 9 months between us. I’ve know idea where our pram was parked. I don’t recognise it at all.

13th October, 2014

A day of heavy rain. We have been working on projects in the house. Pauline’s phone has been going non-stop with calls from Developers and Estate Agents trying to interest her in their latest wares.

While Skiathan Man was making and cooking sausage, I was making tomato, garlic and basil sauce and cooking pieces of Ling fish in it.


Like his SWMBO, we are not keen on spicy and prefer the more traditional Mediterranean flavours of olive oil, tomato and garlic.

14th October, 2014

We drove over to East Molsey near Hampton Court Palace this morning to meet two of Pauline’s relatives who we weren’t even aware existed until a couple of weeks ago.


I contacted them via an ancestry research site. Patrick & Beth proved to be lovely, welcoming people.


Patrick is a High Court Judge and Beth is a Barrister and professional Opera Singer. They have children away at public school. They gave Pauline & Phyllis cake and coffee and we exchanged information and photographs.

15th October, 2014

My Dad was born on 15th October, 1915 which would have made him 99 today. Instead, he died at the cruel age of 49. This is him aged 9 months pictured in July 1916 during the white heat of World War One when his father was away in the Royal Navy Air Service.


It may even have been taken for his father to take away as a keepsake to get him through the war. This is him in 1963, the year before he died.


I was so saddened talking to my sister, Ruth, last night. I had intended visiting her but can’t this time. More upsetting were the ‘network’ of distant relationships we all seem to have adopted. I woke at 3.00 am thinking about it. I know I am as much to blame as any and it looks as if it is irretrievable which is really regrettable.

Tomorrow morning early – 6.00 am to beat the rush hour on the M25 – we are setting off for Yorkshire. First stop will be the Honda garage to have our car serviced. We are staying for three nights and driving home via Mum & Dad’s grave in Repton on Sunday morning.

16th October, 2014

Up at 5.00 am and on the road by 6.00 am driving to Yorkshire. We were there by 9.45 am despite two lots of M1 roadworks slowing us down. We drove straight to Hepworth Honda, our Dealership of 30 years, to have the car serviced and to chat to our friend, Chris Woods, who has sold us twenty new cars over the years. We sat around with our iPad newspapers while the work was done.

Just after 11.00 am, we revisited some Huddersfield sights and then drove to our hotel – the Holiday Inn at Brighouse – to check in. We had booked a Suite which cost little more than an Executive Room and it is perfect for our needs. We have a bedroom with a TV,  a lounge with a dining table, fridge, TV, settee and armchairs, Bathroom with bath and shower. The gardens are beautiful and rabbits run round the lawns.

17th October,2014

Woken up early to a beautiful, sunny morning. Blue sky and Autumnal sun; don’t have to go to work; time to enjoy the moment. This morning, after a leisurely breakfast of orange juice and tea, we are driving over to Oldham to visit my old colleague and friend, Brian and his wife, Val.

We drove back to Huddersfield and prepared to meet friends – Viv, Margaret & Tony – for Dinner. We had chosen to go to a restaurant near our old house. Erics was called something else when we last went there. So many restaurants have struggled during the recession. We met at 7.00 pm and it was lovely to meet up again. It is nice to meet good, honest friends. The restaurant was packed and noisy but the food was brilliant. I had sea bass fillet with scallop for my starter. Chicken and pancetta filled me up and I didn’t need a sweet although some of our group had one. Pauline had confit duck followed by cheesecake. It was a good evening.

18th October, 2014

Up a bit later this morning – 7.15 am – after our activities yesterday. Our normal days are spent quietly together and yesterday was spent in hours of talking in social situations. It was very draining. Goodness knows how I would feel going back to teaching now. This morning we are going in to town so Pauline can do some shopping and then over to Oldham to the crematorium to remember her Mum’s death 4 years ago today.

For the second half of October, it is incredibly warm. We’ve come away to Northern England and I’ve only brought short sleeved shirts. I was out in one until late last night and wearing one to go out this morning. If this is Global Warming, let me have more of it! We went to Oldham to say ‘Hello’ to Pauline’s Mum. And then – from the sublime to the ridiculous – we visited Tesco to buy up all its Holland’s pies for homesick Colin. We do it every time we come up. We went on to buy a couple of suitcases for our November trip to Greece. When you’re not driving, you need suitable luggage.

Now, back at our hotel, we are sitting in glorious sunshine, surrounded by wonderful grounds of trees and bushes on fire with Autumnal colours. It is a lovely place to relax and read the newspaper.


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