Onward and upward
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Back in one piece, despite ‘flu germs and fog on the journey. Our last visit to the farmhouse, though a little sad, was a happy, energising one. The children were a joy; the youngest grandson who still believes – most of the time - in Father Christmas said it was a great time because you could ask for anything – didn’t matter how big it was – anything: ‘because NOBODY PAYS’ His Mummy then had to explain that Santa doesn’t like greedy little boys. On Christmas Eve he held aloft two family Christmas stockings and said:
‘I have a pronouncement to make: these stockings have to be filled NOW or they won’t get filled a TALL!’
I said he would make a jolly good head- master but he said that school was his worst hobby.
Our fifteen year old grand-daughter brought a tear to her mother’s and my eyes when she gave her a beautiful album of photos and copy she had been assembling secretly, of her mother’s life up till now. Flash, the cat, went berserk on the polished floors, with wrapping paper and string and blotted his copy book by up- chucking his salmon treat on one of the rugs.
We enjoyed the Christingle Service where the vicar had taken up ventriloquism. I said there should be oranges for Grandmas and grandson said I could have his orange as long as he had the sweets.
We went to Crawley to see ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ Snow White was played by Kellie Shirley, an excellent East Enders actress but she was blighted by a black wig and an uninspiring Prince. The parts of the Wicked Queen, Nurse Gertie, Muddles and the Forest Fairy were played with terrific gusto, in the old-fashioned way and we all enjoyed it.
Travel Lodges made the journey a piece of cake and they were nicely refurbished. Little Chef has moved a bit up market and one can get grilled salmon, a minty choc with coffee, a concoction of fruit yoghourt and granola for breakfast, to say nothing of the Belgian waffle (Hi girls!)doused in vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. We thought it was sweet that they have a peeing pole for dogs on the green, and in case the dogs can’t read there is a picture of a dog atop the pole.
BTW we heard two smashing radio programmes on BBC 4 which wiled away the journey: Count Arthur Strong, which if you have had a northern childhood, particularly in the thirties and forties – is an utter delight, and we both laughed out loud. The other was a writer who went on a cruise ship as a host to the lonely old ladies – all highly respectable and decorous but you had to be able to dance – keeping a distance of six inches betwixt at all times, of course. Most of the hosts were retired and married and seemed to love it. How about it- some of you dishy older men? If nothing else you’d get posts out of it.
The photos below are random as I didn’t want to just repeat last years. The card is one of the ones our grand-daughter made for us.
It was good to get back to messages from my cyber friends. Thank you all and I’ll be round to see you as soon as poss. Here’s hoping for a happy, healthy, peaceful year to one and all. God Bless.