Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Horns of a Dilemma

Aside.

Jackie’s 84th birthday was in August but – as usual, we were all so busy we had to delay our l outing till September and then the Sussex family, who are leaving this month to settle in Australia (they have lived there in the past - for ten years, and our grand-daughter was born there) decided to come for a last visit this week. In the end I stuck to the first arrangement – without me the birthday outing would have been delayed yet again, and I knew the family wouldn’t miss me for a few a hours and anyway we all have to get used to missing each other.

The family were also going out to lunch but I couldn’t tell them where we were going as Joy was driving and it was her surprise. As soon as I got in the car I could tell that we were all looking forward to a few hours where we could chat – relieve our feelings and just chill. Very therapeutic. There was alternate sunshine and rain but it was sunny whilst we had coffee in the lovely village of Allerford and I took a photo opportunity. We were parked right opposite the old Village school – now a museum. We hadn’t visited it for years – Joy used to help out there, so we dropped in.

It is run by volunteers, many of them old in years but blessed with youthful enthusiasm for the bygone artifacts and ancient photographs in their care; but I could only photograph the School Room. Outside we had the opportunity of playing hopscotch where Margaret discovered she could no longer hop – maybe something to do with her new hip. She – from Bridgwater, in her childhood, played with a slippery stone which they slid on to the numbers whereas I, from Lancashire, used to throw a rough pebble. Joy experienced an unusual chat – up line when a gentleman asked her if she would show him how to play hopscotch.

Back in the car we drove onto Exmoor – through darkening skies - to Wheddon Cross to see the new re-vamped ‘Rest and be Thankful’ Inn, which we did, as we had managed to dodge the torrential rain. Lunch was our usual jolly catch – up and we managed to fix a date for our next delayed trip, for Joy’s birthday. We were appalled to hear that it would cost Margaret and husband £500 to travel up to Scotland to visit their son and family – so – having seen them recently, they are leaving it till next year At least they are in the same country; after September part of our family will be settled in Australia and it will be marvellous for them and I refuse to be sad – easy to say whilst they are still in the house.

18 comments:

miss diarist said...

It is always hard when family move so far away. But you can always come visit us here in Australia, Pat - we're a nice lot, I promise!

Mei Del said...

there's always webcam which is how my bro and his wife keep weekly contact with their only son and 2 granddaughters and daughter in law. they have it permanently on throughout the weekend!

and save up their hols to visit ...

PI said...

Miss Diarist: that's so sweet of you. I love Australis and Australians; we stayed with them for a month when they lived there before. The problem now is that MTL can't travel very far, The next county is pushing it. But they have always travelled far and wide so I'm sure they will be back visiting.

apprentice said...

Oh Pat it does sound like a bittersweey few days.

I think the globe is going to start shrinking again for quite a few folk as fuel prices hit -good for the planet, but not for family ties I fear.

R. Sherman said...

Of, it's not the same as having them nearby, but the good thing is, with the internet, it's pretty easy to stay in touch. It will be difficult, I'm sure, but frequent contact will help ease things, I'll wager.

As always, great photos. I'm glad you had fun with your friends.

Cheers.

PI said...

Anna: mustn't grumble; there are three other children still in UK.

Randall: thank goodness for the internet.

zoe said...

I do love reading your stories and looking at your wonderful pictures, Pat - you really know how to tell a tale.

If you haven't already installed Skype on your computer, then I recommend that you do so as that way you can keep in touch with your family regularly by a phone via internet.

PI said...

Zoe: that's funny - only tonight we were talking about Skype and web-cams and certainly Skype seems an excellent idea - especially as the ones in France and the ones going to Oz already use it.

Kim Ayres said...

a gentleman asked her if she would show him how to play hopscotch

sounds like a euphemism.

PI said...

Kim no really! We are quite simple folk in the SW and Joy kindly demonstrated - with one of the 'volunteers' rather tactlessly remarking he didn't want any heart attacks.

granny said...

Pat - tell your friends to try the bus - National Express - to Edinburgh. I went from London - it took 9 hours and cost £15. (Special price for wrinklies.) It was all very relaxed and easy too. From your part of the world you'd have to go via Birmingham probably. But still.

Your day out did sound nice.

Eryl Shields said...

We used a pebble, or anything we could get hold of, in Kent too. But I absolutely can't remember what we did after throwing it. I'll need to watch the English Patient again to see hopscotch in action. Why is it called hopscotch, do you know?

Guyana-Gyal said...

Pat, just to let you know...
http://sapodilla.blogspot.com/2008/09/my-ugly-hands.html

PI said...

Granny: thank you for that. I'm going to phone Margaret right now and tell her.

Eryl: you hop on 1,2,3 - legs astride at the aeroplane bit and when you get to the top wings, you have to jump round so you are facing the other way and hop back. Don't attempt with dodgy ankles.

PI said...

Eryl: 'the name "hopscotch" is a compound of "hop" and "scotch", meaning "scratched line", occurring first in 1789 and becoming common in the 19th century.[

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopscotch

PI said...

GG: just been round and read your lovely post 'My ugly hands'. And thank you for your kind words:)

LOM said...

Pat, I used to play hopscotch with a glass scotch my grandad made me, I still have it somewhere I will have to find it out and have a go in the yard!

PI said...

LOM: I've seen it now - it's great - a treasure.

Mei del: got the web-cam now. Just have to learn how to use it.