So it has been a month of momentous family news: some happy and some terribly sad.
The Happy: Our eldest daughter, Katrina, became engaged to her long time partner, Matt (a sometime contributor to the site). Anna and I thought it was only a matter of time. It is happy news and another important step in their lives. They plan to buy a property in the Manchester area and tie the knot next August. Congratulations to the happy couple and I promise to behave on the Father’s Speech (maybe).
As if all things were falling into place Katrina secured full time employment at her employer, Arcardis, and so getting that mortgage became easier. Another happy event was my Favourite Youngest Daughter, Sophie, eventually starting to complete the purchase on moving apartments. This move has been awaited for 8 months whilst their buyer was generally disagreeable and sought various lease changes. It has been a long period of uncertainty and it tested everyone’s patience. They should move in early January.
I mentioned terribly sad. Bill, our former brother-in-law and my Best Man, after living with cancer for 15 years eventually succumbed. I will write elsewhere in a separate blog such is his important place in my life.
I’ve written in my travel blogs about Anna having double vision due palsy in her left eye. This came on in South Africa at the end of November. This is a difficult condition as operating with one eye is very limiting on her mobility: she can’t drive. The good news is that an MRI scan and other tests reveal nothing sinister behind this problem. However we’ll have to wait possibly months for her nerve to heal and her sight to be restored.
With no idea when this condition might correct itself I made the decision to cancel my trip to Australia. I was planning and had prepared to cycle 2,500 miles from Melbourne to Cairns. I cannot leave Anna stranded in our small village 5 miles south of York.
Her new chauffeur has been bemused at being called to run her to have her brows done, who knew women paid other women to shave and manage this area of their faces? At our Pilates class the topic of Christmas presents came up. One lady wanted a puppy. I’ve always resisted such an acquisition but I did volunteer that if Anna could find one with a full driving licence I might weaken.
I can’t let the General Election go without comment. With this event complete and the selection made then the dialling down of hate posts on social media and the reduction in coverage on the mainstream media is a joy.
So seasonal greetings to my readers. We’ve made our last trip to Marks & Spencers to carry out that particular grocery shopping. This is a supposed period of peace and goodwill. However, it involves facing down the steely look in the eyes of 75 year old women. They are armed with a full trolley advancing toward you with limited control over this WMD. Hopefully I can now avoid this until next year.