Italy again

Regular readers will know our last visit to Italy was quite traumatic. In fact just about every visit we make there has its dramatic moments. But C and I are clearly Italo-mishap junkies and so decided that we needed to test the Gods of Fun once more by making a flying visit to check on the house etc before our move to New York. Would there be any possibility we could just go there and return without some drama befalling us as this shot of daughter R awaiting our flight home with a beautiful Italian sunset in the background  implies?

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America

Hello again blogosphere….it’s been quite a while since I last did a posting. I kind of lost my writing mojo after my youngest brother passed away. Trying to produce some amusing and opinionated pieces just didn’t seem important for a while.  But time heals as they say, my brother’s children are getting on with life brilliantly and several kind folks have asked me to get back on the ranting horse. So here I am back in the saddle with some fantastic news for a change….

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Closure

So yesterday we finally got to say goodbye to my youngest brother Mark. It’s been a long wait but he was laid to rest not so far from my  mum and sister. And despite a couple of glitches it was a lovely service and committal. I was especially proud to see so many people turn up for the service and to talk to so many folk who knew him and just loved his kind gentle character. It was great to catch up with so many old friends and family, some of whom I haven’t seen in absolute years. Several family members had travelled half the length of the country (and I mean Britain) to say goodbye to the most decent chap I’ve ever known. But on a day which started out thoroughly miserable but brightened up beautifully for the interment, my fondest memory will be of my father Bob who delivered a stunning few closing words at the service. He chided those of us who had criticised Mark over the years for his ‘softness’ by declaring his utter pride for a son who had demonstrated nothing but goodness and selflessness to all throughout his life. He wanted nothing more than to be in that bloody heavy coffin rather than his beautiful boy. Poor Bob. We all felt wretched at losing a brother but heaven knows how he must have felt yesterday and these last few weeks. I can’t imagine his hurt and never want to experience it.

But life moves on. His kids were sad, of course, but full of life and his grandson, who we saw for the first time, was just beautiful. And you could see Mark’s lovely features in him. Here’s one of the shots of Mark selected for the service sheet. He was around 2 years old at the time and I must have been about 9 and my younger brother Dave around 5/6. I remember the day the photographer came round like it was yesterday and he must have taken 100 pictures of us. But this was the one and only shot that everyone remembers…

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‘Bye Mark. Love you bro.

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Cruel world

Last week in August we headed down to Italy for a week’s break to get some hard work done on the house before the winter. Regular readers will know there’s usually a bloody drama with our visits but this time there was no sense of looking back afterwards and smiling wistfully.

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Dumb and dumber

I spotted something in the news the other day which made me hoot. It appears that Sherie Hewson, who regular visitors to this parish will know I regard as La Dipstick Grande, has decided to leave the TV show Loose Women. Apparently this is in consequence of it becoming too dumbed-down, by having the likes of Katie Price on the panel.  I haven’t watched the show in ages but it must be about as engaging as CBeebies if Sherie thinks the quality is slipping beneath her intellectual threshold.  Now that takes the biscuit! Blimey I’ve heard it all now.

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Odd pairings

So last week-end we had a busy old schedule; a drive up to Northwich, Cheshire on Saturday for the marriage of C’s neice which was designed and entirely produced by lovely G and her top husband M on the theme of a retro afternoon tea party – brilliant. Then a blast back down to Colchester in Essex on Sunday to my lovely cousin K and cool husband A’s place as they were hosting a barbie for my dad Bob, who happened to be having a holiday in Westcliffe. It was a bit of a surprise do as Bob wasn’t aware that we and all our daughters and grandkids were attending as well as my cousin C and her daughters. It was a real gathering of the southern and rapidly expanding section of my family. I have to say that at both events, separated by hours of yet more week-end motorway traffic,  we had a really super time. Both events were bloody fab.   Continue reading

It’s spoil Jim but not as we know it

Well you know yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the greatest day in international football when England only went and won the World Cup 4-2 against the mighty West Germany. Of course the bloody Germans have had their revenge many times over since then but nothing can take away the memory of that day. I was 14, about the same age as my eldest grandson is now, and he might have to wait until he’s my current age before he sees England win it again. Sigh. Anyway to celebrate the memory C and I went to quite a special place yesterday. It’s along the A40 just before the Target roundabout. Oooh sounds nice.

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