Back to family values

 

So it’s a super few days for us. First up yesterday was our youngest daughter S’s birthday. We missed it last year because of the pandemic and we were unable to be with her again yesterday, sigh, but we are getting closer to visiting her and the lads in New York, and a lovely FaceTime call almost got us there. To help make up for it our middle daughter E came to visit with her school mate, buddy and BFF Cazza who we haven’t seen in ages. We had a cool lunch and lovely chat. Then today I went to collect eldest daughter R from London for a few days with us. Traffic was abysmal but given that she was stubbornly reluctant to come and visit a few days earlier (as is her want), it was great to see and get her and her 12 bags in the car and share the journey. We treated her to a slap up fish and chip dinner – she just loves it. Oh and it’s her birthday on Tuesday (whisper it quietly but her 45th!!!). We’ll do something special before taking her home later that day.  And tomorrow is another special day as E and son-in-law S arrive hopefully with our two eldest grandsons S and G for our much-delayed Xmas dinner…turkey, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, crispy veg, stuffing, the lot. I just cannot wait to share it with our family – though will badly miss the NYC branch of course.

Family matters so much; happy belated xmas folks

pigsinblankets paulie

Ranking

So regular readers will know we have 3 lovely talented daughters and we are as proud as can be of them; not just about what they have achieved in life but also because of who they are – their funny, lovely natures. Now as you may know our eldest daughter Rebecca has Down’s syndrome. She is bright and engaging and lives independently with 3 friends, like herself, in London. She’s in her mid 40’s now but she continues to amaze, delight and frustrate us (and I dare say those supporting her!) as much as she’s always done.

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Reminiscing

I seem to be in a reflective mood at the moment. Now I think about it, it may not be such a bad idea actually to log some memories down before I lose many more marbles. Certain things I see on tv are triggering memories from when I was young, especially about my mum and dad. I’ve done postings about each of them recently and here’s another about my mum which I’m certain you’ll find slightly intriguing…

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More surprises

Well my last posting on the subject of surprise endings took a while to get going. To be honest  I was scratching around for inspiration until Mr Josh happily popped into my mind. I was actually going to write about two quite separate subjects before that and I might still get round to them later.  But the surprise thing seemed to resonate with me and it might have been a little  intuitive because lo and behold we were delighted by some more surprises which are worth sharing I hope.

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Close family

Now regular readers will know we’re a close family. I have 3 beautiful grown up daughters, 2 fine sons-in-law, 4 wonderful grandsons and, of course,  my wife Caz who I love more than anything. I’m biased and this must sound cheesily gushing I know, but they really are decent and fun people and I like to be near them as much as possible. So this lockdown has been tough on us, emotionally.

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Hero

Aged 11, I passed my exams for a very good Grammar school and my folks were absolutely chuffed to bits. They always believed in the importance of education, home ownership, a strong work ethic and personal development. So for their eldest child to make it to Baines GS was a proud moment, not least because for the previous few years I’d shown no great aptitude for learning and was placed in the bottom quartile in every exam. So in the final year at primary school they paid for me to be privately tutored – it must have been a stretch for them – and it was enough to get me through the 11 plus.  Hurrah!

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Nostalgia

It’s an interesting word isn’t it? Nostalgia, the sense of looking back fondly. Then we have the word reminiscence, from an entirely different root, which means virtually the same thing. And very few other languages have words at all to compare with these unless they rob from English. We have an infinitely wonderful language that draws from Latin, Greek, Arabic, German/Dutch, Scandinavian, ancient sub-continental, modern American and so on. Anyway the point is I had a feeling of wistfulness (another lovely synonym) today when I listened to Beautiful South singer Jacqui Abbott on Radio 2 talking abut the Tracks of her Years. She recalled happily (I’ll stop doing similar phrases now) a song which her mum loved and played a lot – And I Love You So – sung originally by Don McLean. It is a haunting little tune for sure

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Chip off the old block

Despite the fact that Hancock continues to be a finger-pointing knob, worthy of continuing criticism, I promised my old friend and beloved Italy neighbour John, that my next posting would be a bit less ranty and a touch lighter (you’ll see what I did there shortly). And the best subject to have a smile at is my mum’s eldest son.  I wouldn’t exactly say he’s a knob too but if he senses that a product refund might be possible, he’s like a terrier with two dicks.  Continue reading