Thursday, 3 May 2007

MY sort of surprise visit to Sausalito to see Alan

As my usual January visit had been put off due to the Hornby School job in Brazil, I did not go to Sausalito to run the trails with my brother, a tradition we had sort of established over the years since we met on 4th May 1995 after 22 years WITHOUT CONTACT! So.......I had decided I'd go in Feb.....then I went to UK for the funeral. So we are already almost in March so we didn't really know what to do.

Alan was ill, maybe with an uncured Lyme disease. I was frantic and not sleeping due to too much catching up and NO BREAK from work since Jan 2006 so we said" Go for it"

I realized I could make a space to be there for his 63rd birthday and that would be the first time I'd spent a with him for 40 years! So he sent the ticket, I jumped on the plane and there I was for 3 weeks of running in the Springtime in gorgeous Sausalito!

Starting the Academic Year in South America

Returning to a Buenos Aires summer after snow in the UK was really weird. I always say I love the sun and the heat but the snow had been so much fun and that snuggling down in front of the telly and the fire is such a pleasure in the UK.

It was super to get back to big slabs of tender meat and full-blooded Malbec wine but we all missed the Indian curries which are such a feature of Leicester and considered, now, to be the national dish of England! At least Chicken Masala has become the most favoured dish in the UK, way, way beyond fish and chips!

So much for learning about English culture and imagining it might be stable!

So work cranked in..... thousands of unanswered emails, lots of arrangements to be made for conferences, on line courses, consultancies, writing for various publishers, BBJ concerts, footy matches and all those things we do which have to be scheduled outside the usual routines. back to freelance work; Mick back to school and BBJ; Sarah back to college, school and BBJ and Jamie back to selling full time, translating, inserting subtitles in English for DVDs and winning all his matches in the new footy league.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

A new hobby for James

James had become interested in photography over the years and decided to buy a pro camera. This is one of his first photos against the beautiful backdrop of the first snow of 2007 in Leicester.

Jamie's first experience of falling snow

Imagine arriving at Heathrow, London , in mid-winter from Buenos Aires, Argentina, in mid- summer.

100ª F to 40ªF in 24 hours.

They said it would Jamie put his alarm clock on 4 times in the night to check. I awoke at 5.30 am to the sound of silence, with the snowdrops falling and the roofs covered in white. What an amazing experience, and one even more appreciated after years in th East, Middle east and the Mediterranean.
Pic of J and I having our first snowball fight !
Me at 56 and him at 27 !!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Home and ready to start 2007!

What a strange beginning to the year! Exhilarating in Brazil on the Hornby School, then sad and miserable but hopeful in the UK at Dad's funeral and then three weeks in Sausalito with a sick brother.

I'll start with the funeral and Leicester in the Winter:

Well the funeral was " lovely" with Mick's Mum celebrating a lived life and refusing to mourn death. We had always called her " Captain Marjorie" and this was the epitome of her captainness. She is almost blind, and walks unsteadily with a caliper and her trolley bag but she could hardly push that thing behind the coffin into the church............. So we supported her, one of us on either side, and she walked with a smile, nodding in her dignifierd manner to the "full to the brim" church. It was all so comforting to her and she sang the hymns as we all tried to do so without our voices breaking through the tears.

It was the first funeral of a close relative our own children had attended and they had many Qs about protocol which we tried our best to answer.

People came from near and far and it was a really warm feeling with the Vicar, David, and his assistant, Lorna, performing a gentle, personal and real ceremony, summing up Dad's life in a
humorously sweet speech at the pulpit.

The cremation was equally dignified and the buffet party with sweet and dry sherry was full of love and admiration for Mum and a recognition of how she had looked after Dad for about 50 years during his various illnesses. Her determination for him to pass away in his own home was realised despite the long battle and Mum felt rewarded for her efforts.

She was so determined to be " cheerful" that she passed this on to us all and we all rejoiced in life rather than death.


Close up

Global Issues

Global Issues
RBT published by OUP