Monday, 27 July 2015


Having said farewell to Lesley as she was heading back home to Kent, Olek and I drove to Scotland and he was a very entertaining passenger. (David, take note, please.) He responds when I point out things of interest, and spent over an hour on Flight Radar 24 tracking the progress of planes from various locations and discussing that with me, and then a couple of hours What’s Apping with Lesley. Much of that conversation thread covered territory that she should know better than to traverse – her conviction that Mel is merely (whisper this please) a stuffed toy is distressing to Olek and me and supremely distressing to Mel. However we are aware that Lesley is conflicted and confused – after all, if you think Mel is an ST, why would you send him a voice message shouting at him to wake up when she’d been informed, after inquiring if he was bored yet, that he was peacefully sleeping? Clearly she only says he’s an ST to wind us up. I am having to review if she is a true friend.

The Scotland trip was in part to deliver Olek, and collect David. But its primary purpose was to attend the interment of our little grandaughter’s ashes. Caitlin died almost 7 years ago at age 6 months back in Opunake. Tim and Marta brought her ashes with them to Scotland and have been contemplating the interment for a while. Friday was the day, and St John’s Town of Dalry cemetery was the place. It is a lovely cemetery with a beautiful outlook across the fields to the hills beyond. Even though she died back in 2008, this Friday’s service was emotional and, at the same time, quite lovely. However watching your kids experiencing such pain is awful. This time though, Marta had other family around her – in 2008 her only mum Jola was able to come over from London. In 2008 they were surrounded by our family, and this time only David and I were present.

So a sad reason for the trip. It was leavened though by seeing our friends Kate and Marcus and two of their lovely kids – when we Christmassed in Scotland back in 2013 we house-sat for them while they were in NZ visiting Kate’s family. It was also lightened by meeting 2 wonderful couples who are Tim’s recently acquired friends: Issie and Gavin, and Mairi and Alec. A couple of late nights at the Clachan Inn accompanied meeting them … However I did manage not to drink much – assisted by the bar not having a chardonnay in the house wine range – but the lack of sleep does me in anyway.

Our trip back yesterday was in rain from about Cumbria southwards (misty in Scotland, mind, but not raining while we were there, in case you Sassenachs want to complain about Scotland’s weather …), and I was in bed by 8.30, and David retired after his TV watching was interrupted by the wind blowing the aerial off course. Not an early rising this morning either, but we managed to get to Midland Chandlers and buy three new and more sturdy deckchairs plus a new telescopic aerial pole, but not the engine oil we went for …

We decided to stay another night in the marina – there have been several loads of washing done and it might as well have been accomplished while there is a tap right by us, and we are on shore power – the weather today has been such that the solar panels wouldn’t do much! Wigram’s Turn charges £10 a night and that includes power. A good price we think.

Tomorrow morning we need to get up and get away by about 10am – we are meeting Mick and Julia at the top of the Calcutt flight and we are making our way (we hope at a leisurely pace, but knowing them that is a faint hope) up to the top of the Hatton flight over the next few days. We are due back here early on 4 August so we can head down to Surrey to our niece’s wedding. An added bonus is that Tim is most likely bringing the boys down too, so we will see them again. Yay!!!

And another piece of good news – Lesley has had a letter saying that her recent scan shows no signs of any returning ovarian cancer: Hoo-bloody-ray!!!

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