Fresh Return to England
Fresh Return to England
In Early 2019
Back to fast Broadband and short lived Siberian Cold
A visit to our midland family was our first port of call, we had a new family member to meet. In chilly weather we made our way to Oxford from Heathrow where we were to meet Jonty for a quick pint in a pub near the coach station. Jonty’s welcome was warm as always but the weather hit the tubes with horizontal rain and a brisk cold wind that shoved our memories of blissfully hot Darwin right back down under as we trundled our heavy bags to the train station for a quick ride to Bicester where Jonty and Jenny live.
The next morning it was cold and dry as we went in to Oxford again and Jonty showed us the lab where he is conducting his seabed sand experiments to assist the future of offshore windfarm development and then after a brief whizz through the Natural History Museum and the bacteria exhibition we had lunch in a favourite old Oxford pub, The Turf, where Bill Clinton famously revealed he once smoked dope.
Jonty kindly loaned us his car that he had been planning to sell at some stage, so the next day we sped north, keen to meet our new grandson Milo, born on November 1st last year and everyone else of course.
Rob and I spent hours getting to know Milo and seeing how gentle Darcy could be with him. Generally Darcy shows total disinterest towards Milo but he’s too kind and sociable to be the jealous kind, he just settles in his bed close by when everyone else is ‘ooing’ and ‘aaing’ over the little baby.
We had numerous dental and medical appointments to attend to during our visit and it was as I was leaving the waiting room in my dentist’s practice that a voice said softly, “Hello Barb.” I turned to see our dear friend and fellow self-employed driving instructor John Hoult who was waiting for his lovely wife Jane to finish her appointment. It was getting to be that time of day so we had lunch together in the Lord Nelson pub in the Market Square. What a lovely spontaneous get together that was and we finished by arranging to go to their home for a meal another day to hear their exciting retirement plans.
At the doctors we both had x-rays done, Rob wanted to see the inner workings of his knee and I wanted to know if there was any serious damage to my left foot and why my upper right arm was hurting, could it be frozen shoulder, tendonitis, arthritis or something worse?
My radiographer revealed there was a broken bone in my foot but the arm was sound so that pain had another cause.
Nice walks in the early spring sunshine up Manor Lane near where Charly, Tom, Milo and Darcy live brought roses to our cheeks and smiles to our faces as Darcy pursued his long enjoyed antics with his muddy puddle. Pushing the pram up a fairly steep hill added a new dimension to our daily exercise. Darcy also accompanied us all over town on our errands.
To Syd in the shoe shop to get a new key cut while Darcy demolished his treat, then on to visit Rosemary in Crown House Care Home where she now lives and on to the Lord Nelson (Nelly) for some lunch. Darcy, nose twitching and I waited outside the butchers while Rob bought himself some sausages then home to Charly’s and some admin involving a new mobile phone and starting the procedure to get our Australian Visas so we would not have to leave the country at the end of each three month period.
Then came the day we would have lunch with my cousin Greg and his wife Janet before driving to our southern family in Broadstone, Dorset.
Our first outing was to Arne on the shores of Poole Harbour and the weather had taken a turn for the better with blue skies and a warm sun. Never before have I seen live ragworms appearing to swim happily in the shallows and the gorse was in joyous golden bloom at another of our godspots, Rockley Park.
There is a kind of time warp along shorelines, where the in and out flowing of the waves has been taking place for eons and the waters that link to the channel and the world’s oceans beyond will continue their movements driven by the sun and moon long after mankind with its destructive ways is evident only in what it has left behind.
Our perambulations always called for some liquid and nourishing refreshment at the end. After being blown along Bournemouth beach we went into a beach café which was delightfully dog friendly and filled our daily doggy needs; there was even a brief contretemps, but if only humans could settle their differences so quickly. Amidst loud banter and the clattering of dishes, hissing of the overworked coffee machine and the ticking of at least eleven grandfather clocks were supped our delicious cups of hot chocolate.