Saturday was a friends and family day. It started with my sister, Judith, and her son, William, coming up to my mum’s house.
William rides motorcycles and wanted to see the Ducati. He is getting quite tall and should have passed me the next time I see him.
Later in the day, mum and I went up to Judith’s house. Its base is an old farm house. Darren built the extensions on both ends. The old is crucial. Old houses are for short people. After being reminded several times, when I was allowed to walk around on my own, I whacked my head on a beam.
I didn’t think about this when I was taking this picture but here are four generations of women in my family. On the left is my mother, Eileen. On the right is my sister, Judith. Next to my my mother is my niece, Natasha. On her lap is her daughter Elsa.
This trip was my first trip meeting Elsa. I felt like I knew her because her mum does a great job of posting about her and her character. She was an absolute doll. I did not appear strange to her because I was introduced as Danielle’s dad. Danielle had visited and got to know her two days ahead of me showing up.
I’d never met a Patterdale before but this is Magic. Darren says he’s a Rottweiler disguised as Patterdale. He was doing more of a Golden Retriever impression with me.
We took a walk up into Judith’s garden to pick apples from the tree at the top. The view is great and you can see why they say “England’s green and pleasant land”
On Saturday night, my old friend Simon Hartley came to pick me up and take me out. We have known each other for 50 years and even though we haven’t seen much of each other in the past 30, we easily connected. I had a great time hanging out with him at his local pub and just chatting about life. For some reason, I did not take a picture with Simon or of the pub. Trust me, don’t look like we did 50 years ago but we look exactly the same as we did 30 years ago – just grayer.
Getting home from the pub proved to be a bit of a challenge. Up to this point, I hadn’t used cash in England. On my last trip, I had some money I hadn’t spent and stashed it in the safe at home. Apparently, in the intervening period, paper money had been replaced by plastic money. The taxi driver took one look and asked me what I was trying to scam him with. He did not take credit cards so we had to go off and find an ATM to get “real” money for him. You can turn in the old money at the bank for new bills so I gave it to my mum. Who knows whether she will do it?