Monday came and so did the arrival date for our daughter Sam; so I set off for Heathrow to pick her up – we thought it best rather than her have to battle through the train system in her semi-comatose jet-lagged state, and we couldn’t be sure of the state of the rail network from London to Stone.
In the meantime Bec and Diane were off to
|Bec and Diane - about to head off to Stafford|
On a day when it would be reasonable to assume that there would be shed-load of cars and other traffic on the roads it was remarkably clear and an entirely free run all of the way to Heathrow – got to Terminal 3 (the advised arrival point) a good hour before the flight was due to arrive.
Into the arrival hall and confirm the plane was still on-time or at least not too late – no flight on the board – mmmm, had to resort to asking about it – “Oh Qatar Airlines are now at Terminal 4” – it might be numerically next in line but it wasn’t exactly just next door.
Even with the detour to the correct terminal I was early only to find a 30 minute delay in landing.
Eventually we were away not too long after the arrival and Sam was still wide awake and was so for almost all of the trip back.
We were able to catch up with everyone at the Monday gathering – most had been there since early afternoon and the collection of empties confirmed that there had been great enjoyment.
Bec’s phone needed more drying out – the store suggestion was to use silica gel packets in a sealed bag – we always throw them out – next best option – sealed bag with calcium chloride the dehumifying crystals that we all have in a boat, sealed bag, small container for the phone to keep it off the crystals – the overnight results were good – pictures could be recovered; after a few more days all the essential information had been extracted.
Xmas day arrived and I remember being awoken by the very lovely wife of mine with her saying “Time to get up – Santa’s been, Santa’s been” – she is still a big kid - considering that she put the presents out, it was a memorable discovery on her part.
One of just two days in the year that I like to not get up early, I reluctantly acquiesced.
We had a very enjoyable day with the three girls all acting like children – although some didn’t need to act too much.
|Just two of the kids on board this week|
|Did I say very big kids?|
Must say a big big thank you to Jean (and Andy) on nb Josephine who were so wonderful in cooking our lunch the day before in their oven whilst ours was not working – the whole day was made much much better because of that.
|Banjo - in Xmas mode|
|he just loves being dressed up - as you can see|
It didn’t stop us eating too much as is the norm for this time of the year.
Wednesday and we were off to Birmingham to see Debbie, James, Katherine and Rachel and another lunch – it was very good to see them all – especially as it had been a year since we had last got together.
We got to practise our Aston Villa jokes in light of the
Did you know that the Aston Villa shop has an 87.5% discount? – but still lost 1-0.
Thursday was Panto-day – Diane had missed out last year; Sam was enthusiastic; Bec had never been before; and I was the driver - but happy to be going.
Braving the post-xmas crowds – we had not thought that through too well – we found parking (well actually I found it as they had jumped out whilst I was queuing) at The Potteries and agreed a meeting place and then off to the Regent (no you’re not!!).
|Diane, Bec and Sam - Panto-time|
It had all of the usual stuff and plenty to enjoy in the whole show – there did seem to be an oversupply of adults compared to children – and it was the adults enjoying even more than the kids.
We have had four wonderful days this week and really had a great time and great xmas – we are so very glad that both the girls made it, even though the sleeping arrangements were a bit cramped.
We had eaten well and eaten too much; but Sam and Bec could easily say – I came, I saw, I ate