Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Relatively Speaking.

Today is definitely going to be a do nothing day. I am exhausted but I would not have swapped the last few days for the world.

After twenty years apart Jenny and I were instantly comfortable with each other and more or less picked up from where we left off. I got the feeling that she was a little worried that it would all be too much for me and my health but I hope I put those fears to bed very quickly. Andrew, Laurence and Peter rallied around to help with the cooking and all the bits and pieces that go with having visitors so it really wasn't that much extra work for me..

I got to meet Glen, Jenny's husband for the first time, who coincidentally is a paramedic so he and Andrew had lots to talk about. I was also introduced to Jenny's boy's James and Luke. James the eldest got on really well with Andrew and Luke formed a special attachment to Laurence who dressed him up in some of his uniform and taught him some self defense moves. Luke was particularly impressed as the demonstration involved (some pretend) beating up his brother. However as with all six year olds the excitement, strangeness and tiredness soon took over and I have to say it is a long time since I last had a six year old sobbing into my shoulder.

Crisis was averted by the good old laptop and CBBC games. Sometimes technology is a wonderful thing.

On the Tuesday Andrew took our visitors for a walk around the village while I got on with making lunch. We had a full roast dinner followed by apple and cinnamon crumble or blackberry and apple crumble. Blackberries are unknown in Australia so this was something new as was roast potatoes.

It was really strange to think that blackberries, one of our most common wild fruits, are unknown is some parts of the world. I'm really looking forward to visitin Australia and finding out what fruits and veg we've never heard of. Laurence and Andrew found it really strange that the boys have never seen snow. They are heading north and will spend some time in Scotland so I really hope they get to see some when they are up there. Ideally they'll see a night light dusting and not come up against blizzards and ten foot drifts.

My cooking was punctuated by frequent calls too and fro from the Brompton, which spoilt things a bit. I am due a drug delivery on Friday 13th. The company doing the delivery were supposed to ring me on the 29th November to find out what I was running short on and arrange a delivery time. I'd heard nothing so on Friday the 6th I rang them. I could not get through as the phone was constantly engaged. Eventually I managed to find the number for their complaints department online and rang that number, as by now I was desperate to talk to anyone I could get hold of. By some miracle and a fourteen minute wait I got through to someone who couldn't take my order, I was through to the wrong department, but would ensure I was rung back. Nothing happened Friday or Monday. Frantic I rang the Brompton and spoke to Lisa as Carl was away and told her what had happened. Lisa was furious but said I wasn't the first person reporting a similar problem. Thirty minutes after calling Lisa I got a call from Healthcare at Home, no apology was offered and the person calling sounded like a sulky child, I was not impressed but at least I now know my drugs will be arriving on Friday, I hope.

After lunch we hopped in the cars and took them on a whirlwind tour of our bit of Bedfordshire. Unfortunately at this time of year a lot of things are closed so it was more a point at and drive past tour than a get out and look around though. So we drove through the Woburn estate, past the Millbrook training ground, through Ampthill, Milton Bryan and Eversholt. Our final stop was at Houghton House a derelict manor house. Here we could stop, get out and explore and it proved a big hit with James, who is very into history. Unfortunately I couldn't get from the car to the house so I volunteered to stay behind with Luke, who had fallen asleep.

One thing I found a bit odd was how cold they thought the weather was. We were wandering around the house in short sleeved t shirts, as we'd cranked up the heating for them and had it on during the day, which we don't normally do, while they had about fifteen layers on. I couldn't help thinking that if they think it is cold here in the south what will they make of Scotland. Of course it is their summer over there so they've come from temperatures of 30C plus so I suppose temperatures of under 10C must be a terrible shock to the system.

It was early to bed for everyone last night as they were off on their travels again this morning. It was only after they left that I realised we'd been so busy catching up that we'd completely forgotten to take any photos except for one of the boys together. Fortunately they are returning in two weeks and we are going to spend a little bit of time in London with them in the new year so I will be taking pictures like a mad woman.

So now the dust has settled the house seems overly quiet and empty but not for long. Andrew finishes term on Friday so this weekend we will be going down to Hatfield to move him back home for Christmas.

Right now though I'm looking forward to a quiet afternoon watching a film on TV, or should that be dozing through a film on TV and then an early night before work tomorrow. Fortunately I'm in for just one day and then off for the weekend. I just hope Healthcare at Home keeps their promise and this Friday doesn't turn out to be as stressful as the last one. Next blog Friday.