Friday, 8 July 2016

It's a long trip north and longer to get home

Saturday 25th June to Sunday 26th June 2016

The vehicle was hired, the accommodation was booked, bags were packed and at about 8am we bundled ourselves into the people mover, Andy set the sat-nav and we were off heading northwards to Macclesfield.

The purpose of the trip was that we all needed to see Paul and Elaine and how they were doing.

Such is the bond within this group that almost no matter where we are, we would drop everything to see one another and this was just such a special occasion.

As everyone who has read Paul’s blog will know, Elaine is battling cancer and now has gone into a Hospice in Macclesfield.

We called into Aston Marina along the way, only to have a break and to meet up with Roly and Bev who would also be joining us for the weekend, but in their own vehicle (dogs and all) and after this fuelling-up break we continued on our journey northwards.
No they weren't drunk in the back, but you have to worry about what they
were up to in the back seat.

In the cafe at Aston - fuelling the bodies - as if that was really required

Timing was important and we did well on that score, pulling into the carpark at the hospice at around 2pm – the time that Paul had asked us to be there and we spent a fun but emotional couple of hours with Elaine.
She is such a lovely person who cares more about everyone else around her rather than herself – we just love her so very much – just a few tears around.

Happy hats at the ready - our lovely ladies all together

...and the 4 of us behind - what a contrast

It was clear to us that she was starting to get tired and again we timed it well with Paul’s arrival with Wendy (from Mojacar).
We were all going out for dinner later with Paul and Wendy so we needed to freshen ourselves up a bit.

Off to Sutton Hall for a lovely dinner and a chance to try and cheer Paul up a bit – he has desperately needed something to smile about and we hoped that we could do just that – he was in good form throughout – I guess having so many friends around has helped for some time.
Friends for dinner? - just a few of us

The boys have the shoulder down technique going well here

It was not an early night, but it was also not a late morning getting up.

Debdale Park and quite a number of these lovely
wood carvings around

After breakfast and a bit of a walk around Debdale Park, we headed back to the hospice at the arranged time – 11am – Elaine was much perkier, having had a good night and we joked around as we have done countless times before.
It was more painful this time to say goodbye to Elaine.

We drove over to where Paul was staying and had a cuppa and cakes/biscuits with him before we left.

The sun is out and we do so enjoy each other's company

We have had a theme of rabbit ears going throughout the trip and here they are again
The drive back was a bit more quiet than the one up to Macclesfield the previous day.

It may have only been two days but it seemed like a week to most of us – we were exhausted.

Great thanks to Andy who did all of the driving, and a great job he did with it too.


  1. Thanks guys, we both thoroughly enjoyed your visit, such a great bunch of special friends.
    Paul xx

    1. Paul, we love you both so very very much and at this time we are especially sad that we can do no more than just be available for you whenever we can and whenever you want us to be there

  2. Love the hats at such a sad time.