Well after our flying visit to the UK we’re back in Italy again. We had a great, though hectic, time in England. Following E’s surprise birthday dinner, next day we headed up to S’s place in London, did some work at the internet cafe in Richmond and discovered my laptop’s cracked screen is going to cost £300 to replace. How can that possibly be? S and I have downloaded my files etc on it to a dongle (?) so I can still access them. I’s going to see if they can source a screen off e-bay for me. Even at £100 it’ll be a lot less than hoicking it back to PC World. Bloody technology.
Left R with S as they were heading back to Brighton for E’s birthday bash with all her friends as we headed up to Wetherby to see old friends L and S. Because we couldn’t really leave till S had come home, we didn’t leave London till gone 8pm so it was almost midnight when we got to L and S’s. We were a bit jaded but still had more than enough wine before hitting the sack. Next day C and S went shopping whilst L and I headed up to Middlesbrough where L’s charity HEATS is based. He does some brilliant work with disaffected kids in the area using sport as a uniting factor. this day it was a 5 a side tournament involving 10 of his lads who have all been excluded from their schools and rely upon the services L provides to keep them gainfully occupied. they were all around 15 years of age playing against a lot older lads and blokes. I thought both teams might get heavily beaten but they played like giants. It was freezing cold (the next day the UK was covered in snow) but it was a refreshing change to be out watching kids playing their hearts out. At the end they were all awarded a medal for their approach to the day and invited to join the local league. I have to say L and his colleague do a fantastic job with these kids – and on a bloody shoestring – you just know that without L showing them some interest and respect, these kids would be in serious trouble. He deserves proper funding and a knighthood for his commitment. He’s a bloody hero. If you want to learn more about the work of his charity HEATS, check out the link on the pp site’s home page.
Anyway we had a good old time with L and S that night but next morning we had to get away fairly sharpish as we heading back to Brighton on the Sunday as this would be our only chance to see our wonderful grandsons. We actally had a smooth run down despite the snow everywhere. It was brilliant to spend some time with them. G was a little poorly with a heavy cold but he has such a pleasant nature and of course this was our first time seeing him crawling around chasing after Big Brother, but never catching him. S is just turning into a great kid and we are as close as ever.
Next day I had to spend the day in London getting through some good work with an old friend and in the afternoon seeing a prespective new client about finding funding for a major new arts project to be launched later this year. All very exciting and I’d seriously like to be involved – I’m waiting to hear how the conversations with the artist have developed. That night we had intended to stay with S in Richmond as I had further meetings there the next day but S had asked us to stay for another night down in Brighton so how could we refuse?
Next morning we said goodbye to the kids and E and S and headed back to London. First meeting with an accountant to sort out my affairs which went well, then into town for a catch up meeting with my fellow Directors at Sponsorfinder then on to a meeting with a radio station head who we were hoping to attract on board as media partner to a major event we are retained on. The conversations went really well and we ended up at a great little bar to move the conversation forward more freely. Got back to S and I’s around 7.30 and had a nice last night with the guys watching the Liv v Arsenal match and having a lovely meal prepared by I.
Next morning around 5.30am that last bottle of wine didn’t seem such a great idea. But we were up and heading out to Stansted early to try and beat the rush hour around the notorious North Circ road. We did alright and had a good flight back (i’m not sure I could have done a 3rd drive back in 3 weeks). Our neighbour P picked us up at the airport and took us to the supermarket on the way back bless her.
So here we are again. It’s nice to be home and we are not expecting to have to travel much for 2 or 3 weeks now – unless my work commitments demand it of course. We’ve got a huge overgrown garden to try and clear again, some trees to chop down, pool to get cleared, work to start on the repairs to the house and a million and one other things too. We’ve got the first guests of the summer heading out in May (daughter S and I, and old friends over from America M and S) which will be cool. Will we be ready? ….no chance but the sun should be shining and the wine cooling. Buono.