Well in the last posting about our mixed bag of a trip to Italy, I talked about how we failed to remember to take our house keys with us. It wasn’t the only thing we forgot as it happened. We intended to take a new rug with us and several other things but somehow in our busy pre-trip schedule, they all got sadly forgotten. And upon returning we intended to bring several items back to the UK and in our haste, you’ve guessed it, we overlooked them too. It’s clearly an age thing as C and I hurtle towards our bloody dotage. They’ll be feeding us baby food soon.
Well this is my first posting in a little while and it’s about a very recent visit C and I made to our place in Italy. We decided to drive there to make a bit of an adventure of the trip especially as we intended to spend a bit of time there for a change and maybe oversee some work done on the place as well as having a nice relaxing break. The weather when we left was terrific – at least 35º and the forecast for our little village of MdF was even better. Hot stuff. Sadly we found out before leaving that our great friends and neighbours J&C wouldn’t be there but hopefully we’d catch up with neighbour and pal Freddy who’s a permanent resident. So the weather was balmy, our car felt in tip top condition and we had a nice 3 day drive to look forward to. What could possibly go wrong?
I suppose it’s one of the things about getting old that makes you appreciate that time is precious and you just do not want to treat it wastefully. Well today was one of those slightly frustrating days when I was using it unproductively, sigh…
Well yesterday was a great day really. I headed in to London to see my old friend J who runs a very funky graphics design agency. We had a great meeting on how I might be able to help build awareness for him and his creative work now that I’ve sharpened up his online presence. All very exciting. En route to meeting up with him near Waterloo, I drove in to north London and parked up my car very close to where we used to live on Muswell Hill Rd. It was lovely to walk through Highgate Woods again on the way to Highgate underground station. Now you may not know it but because of the hilly terrain, the station was built in a deep cutting excavated beneath Highgate Hill. During the war, the deep-level platforms at Highgate were used by many as a shelter from the bombing of London by the Luftwaffe, and, later, V-1 and V-2 missiles. The entrance is a long way down. You can in fact get an up escalator to the surface from the booking hall but there’s only one way down via a steepish path. I’m not sure these pictures do it justice….
Poignant day yesterday. First up we went up to Akeley Wood to collect my super grandson Sam from his school. He’d just finished his 21st and final GCSE exam (physics urgh) which had been spread over 5 long weeks. 5 weeks!! I know we’ve all been through it but that’s too long in my opionion. The lad is shattered but happy and relieved at getting over the finishing line. And there he was in his shirt all signed by his school mates – when did that become a thing? Anyway the point is that yesterday was effectively his last day at school. That’s it no more school uniforms, lazy long holidays etc. It’s all behind him as in August he’ll start his 2 year contract with Borehamwood Academy studying BTEC level 3 Sports Sciences while doing all his football stuff of course. Then yesterday afternoon it was fab grandson Georgie’s last sports day at junior school. It was a fun afternoon. But you know you’re getting old not just when you’re kids leave school but when your grandchildren do! Thank christ they didn’t invite the grandads up for a race at the end. Couple of pics from the day…
So I’ve written about my youngest brother Mark before. Two years ago he went for a check up having some stomach issues and was found to have bowel cancer like I had. However he’d left it a bit too late to get the diagnosis and was told it was too advanced and inoperable. Shortly afterwards he was admitted to hospital and died. All this happened whilst we were away on a trip to Italy. He’d gone before we’d got home. He was just 57 and we’d been robbed of a lovely gentle guy who was a good brother, proud dad and doting grandad. This horrible disease has a thing for my family.
Now readers of a certain vintage will know that we used to live in Buckingham before moving out to Italy. Seems like a long time ago and yet here we are living back in the Parish (well nearby). Now one of our neighbours then was one of the guys out of the band Mud (I think the drummer) who is sadly no longer tapping out a beat. Nor is lead singer Les Gray, equally sadly, who I can still see now on ToTP crooning along to how lonely he was at this time of year. Must have been those tiger feet of his. Continue reading