Meeting the Family, London and Goodbyes.

After Dublin we had a day off!  All the activity caught up with us so we did absolutely nothing bar a supermarket shop on the Friday.   We had a busy day on the Saturday with a family party so my Auntie Doreen, cousin Linda and brother and sister in law came as well as Huw and co. Fortunately the weather was lovely so we could spend time in the garden. Mike and Carol brought some of their mediaeval gear for some dressing up fun



Emmy Watching Dumbo

We are lucky to be looking after our granddaughter Emmy one or two days a week. She loves watching the Walt Disney Film ‘ Dumbo ‘. She knows the story from beginning to end, and I love watching her facial expressions as she watches.

Good News

Just had a phone call from Huw. He’s been invited to apply for a 189 visa! This is a permanent residency visa. He has 2 months to get his application sorted. Gaz has suggested that these applications are processed quite quickly, so it looks like Mel, Huw, Mia and Emmy are gonna get to go to Australia later this year. Great news for the whole family.

A Quiet Few Weeks

Yes, we have no news!  It has been very quiet if a little dull as we have settled back into routine.  On Mondays and Fridays I take Dad to Bridgend to visit Mum, on Thursdays and alternate Wednesdays we have Emmy for the day.  In between we  dodge the showers to take the dogs out for a walk. The weather has defeated us a few times though we usually get out but we’re limiting ourselves to places with hard paths to avoid the mud.  Madoc has settled down.  He really is a creature of habit!  Unfortunately life changes, all the time, so we need advice on how to help him cope with it.

We’ve had a couple of highlights.  Vicky’s parents, Gloria & Alan, came over for a meal one evening. Ian did a rather hot Jamaican curry but they seemed to cope with it!  We also went out for an Indian meal with cousins, Chris & Mike.  Amazingly this was the first time the four of us have had an evening out together without other people. It was such a success another meal out is planned shortly. Finally we had a visit from Gill, my college friend, and Mike. It was so good to see them for the first time in a couple of years. They’ve both had major health problems so we hope this year is better for them.

of course I have to end with some videos. The first is of Emmy.  While Ian was practicing his harmonica last week she decided to dance. It was either Irish or tap dancing I think. At any rate it involved a lot of stamping!

second video is the dogs on our walk yesterday. It just shows how wet it has been this year. The pond they are swimming in is actually a big puddle that is normally a rather damp and muddy bit of woodland floor



Sunday 12th.

We’re gradually getting back into the swing of life with Gaz back in Australia. He and Vicky arrived safe and sound but exhausted in time to skype us on Saturday morning. It was so good to see his face again, even though we’d only been apart 36 hours or so. Vicky was stretched out on the bed fast asleep.
Friday morning had seen us sitting down at home with the Co-op probate lady. It turned out that Chris had ticked most all the boxes. She informed us that the Co-op would charge us £7000 to do the work for us. It really was a no brainer. We’re doing it ourselves.
On Saturday morning we met up with Chris and Mike at Kenfig, and walked to Sker beach. The weather was excellent, the sun low in the sky but warm. The dogs were in excellent form. Running chasing sniffing and generally enjoying themselves. We’d intended having lunch at the Prince of Wales, but it was full so we ended up back at Chris and Mike’s where we enjoyed a bowl of tomato and basil soup, before setting off back home.
The weather today was wet and overcast. After a short walk we headed off to The Lord Tonypandy for lunch with Huw, Mel, Chris, Tony and the girls. It was nice to meet up again!

Thursday 9th. Gaz and Vicky set off back to Australia.

The last few days have flown by. The wonderful memories of the wedding have somewhat hidden from me the fact that their departure for Australia wasn’t too far away. It’s been great having them around. In many ways it’s almost as though they were never away! However painful the goodbye is, they have their own wonderful life together in Australia, and it’s time to get back to it.
Last night we had a wonderful Chinese meal with them and Gloria and Alan, in the Dragon Inn in Whitchurch. The company was excellent, the food superb but the surroundings were very ordinary. I’d very happily eat there again.
Now we’re sat at home having a cuppa having dropped Gaz off at Vicky’s. They’re setting off quite early so they can get some food before being dropped at the airport. There’s no way of avoiding the miserable feelings we have at the moment. Fortunately on previous occasions we’ve managed to get back into our daily routine, and the pain of separating has gradually eased. Hopefully this pattern will be repeated.

Saturday 4th January. The Great Day at Miskin Manor. Gaz and Vicky’s Wedding.

Well finally the great day has arrived, and despite all that’s happened I’m really looking forward to it. More importantly Gaz and Vicky seem to be looking forward to it. Last night we had a meal in the Trattoria in Talbot Green. 8 of us sat down to eat. Chris & I, Huw and Mel, Margaret from London, Carol and Mike and of course Gaz. It was a lovely meal, and it was good to have a get together. It all came together very much at the last moment as until a couple of days ago we had nothing planned. I think Gaz was going to have a Nasigoren from Mrs Lee and settle down with the TV until we decided to go out for a meal.
Now as I’m just about to give Madoc and Nefyn their breakfast and with the first hint of daylight arriving outside I can’t help but reflect on the past 30 odd years as our children have grown up. It’s been a wonderful life together. Many highs and only a few lows. However now it seems entirely appropriate to be celebrating Gaz and Vicky’s marriage. As with Mel when she and Huw got married I really do think of this as gaining a daughter, rather than losing a son. It’s all very exciting.
Well it all went well. A great day. Vicky looked wonderful, Gaz was excellent and behaved in a very mature manner all day. Huw was an excellent best man, and fulfilled his duties wonderfully well. Gloria and Alan but I suspect mostly Gloria had done a wonderful job in organising the day. No detail had been overlooked. However the peeps dressing the chairs were late arriving, and I think Gloria was about to explode when they finally turned up. Also Gloria confided in me that she’d wanted the chairs at the top table dressed in blue rather than white. However I’m sure no one would have noticed the omission, and it certainly didn’t detract from the reception.
Of rather greater concern was Huw forgetting his black shoes, and Mel forgetting a bit of her outfit. Tony saved the day by driving down and dropping them off.
The actual service was really enjoyable. The promises made and exchanged were all important and relevant to married life, but we’re not wrapped up in any religious mumbo jumbo. It reminded me of Carol and Mike’s wedding in Wells, over 13 years ago. David was able to take up Mum’s place at the reception following the cancelation of his trip to New Zealand, and I know she’d have been delighted.
The speeches went well. Alan spoke movingly about Vicky and Gaz, and was obviously greatly affected by the whole thing. Both Gaz and Huw made excellent speeches and made me so proud to be their father!
The food was excellent, and I really enjoyed the roast beef. All in all a great wedding.
Chris and I had a lie down before the evening party and wandered back down to join everyone about 7pm. The party was excellent. The band played wonderfully well and Chris and I had several dances. A big surprise was that Gloria and Elvis Preselli had dated each other whilst they were in school together. Well just the one date really! Rob is now retired and is a visiting professor in Nurtingen where Sue and Bernt live! Quite a few coincidences. The pig roast was excellent. I crashed out about 11pm, but others pressed on. Huw finally called it a day at 2am, by which time he’d lost his phone. Fortunately someone handed it in to reception.
Breakfast was a low key affair very definitely the day after the night before. We gave our thanks and made our goodbyes and got away for home by late morning. By this time we’d done our good turn for the day and jump started Danni’s car, using jump leads from Margaret’s car. It was so good to have her along for the weekend, she is such a brave woman. It was also a nice touch of the hotel to transfer the deposit from Mum’s room to our account. Again I’m sure she’d have been delighted.
Back at home Mike and Carol joined us for the postponed Xmas present exchanges, and then we settled down for a rest before Chris picked up the dogs. They were so pleased to see us! Finally after a long day Gaz and I settled down for a Nasigoren from Mrs Lee, and then went to bed for an early night.

Monday 30th December

The funeral is tomorrow, and I’m worried how I’m gonna get through it. Even though I’m much better, I’m still not in control of my emotions, and tears keep on welling up. Chris has been awesome, helping out and doing all she can to help me through. She’s currently down in the bungalow tidying up ready for tomorrow.
We’re meeting at the bungalow and returning there as a mark of respect to mum and her ‘ palace ‘. I’m sure she’ll want everyone to see how well she looked after herself and her home even though she was 90! Afterwards I’m gonna close it up for a few days and concentrate on the wedding. There’ll be plenty enough time afterwards to start sorting it out.

Gaz and Vicky’s Stag and Hen Weekend

It’s Sunday morning and I’ve just spoken to Gaz. It seems that everyone has survived and had a great time. Friends started to arrive on Friday, but the weekend really got going on Saturday morning at the Go Karting centre in Newport. It was great fun. Lots of close racing with a fair bit of bumping and boring. Gaz made it to the final, and his lap times improved during each session. The winner ( whose name I’ve forgotten ) does a few track days in his tricked out Mitsubishi Evo 6, and he was consistently smoother and quicker than everyone. A deserved winner.

After a few hours break we all met up again at the happy gathering for a meal. After this the main party headed off in to town while some of us headed home for a relatively early night. I had a great day out. Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to go charter boat fishing tomorrow, as I’m still feeling pretty rough with my URTI.
The dogs gave me a great welcome when I picked them up from Springfield Kennels earlier this morning, and now they are relaxing on the rug. Apparently Madoc whimpered and cried a little at first, but did settle later. Nefyn seemed to take it all in her stride.

I think Chris will be along later to let us know what happened at Centre Parks.