My summer beach selling season finished on the last day of September. Luckily, September turned out to be almost as good as August and so I really cannot complain about my overall sales figures for this summer. I did reasonably well considering all the economic circumstances.
The very next day I flew to Manchester for my 3 week holiday in the UK, which was especially planned so that I could meet the latest little blessing to arrive in my growing family! Baby Arthur was born to Zoe and Rich on 9th September and so was just over 3 weeks old when I first held him! He is just adorable and the absolute image of his proud Dad. I spent the first six days of my visit with Zoe and Rich and loved every minute of my time with little Arthur. At the weekend we visited Hebden Bridge and Slaithwaite – two charming Yorkshire villages set amidst beautiful surrounding countryside. Both days we ate lunch there and browsed the shops and the weather was fine but cold!
I was not expecting it to be so cold in the UK yet. I have memories of past Octobers being like Indian summers. I packed all the wrong things to wear, thinking Christmas was surely the time to pack all my woollies. I was wrong! I had to borrow Jackets, scarves and woolly jumpers from Zoe, Emma and Karen!
After almost a week with Zoe, Rich and little Arthur, I took 3 trains from Huddersfield to Bury St Edmunds, where Emma picked me up from the station with my other two Grandchildren, Ralph and Neve. Ash was away training for a promotion. I had just 3 days at Emma’s but I had an amazing time with Ralph and Neve. One of those days Emma worked while I looked after them. Another day, we visited a large play centre called Curve Motion, and had lunch there. I could watch Ralph and Neve play all day long, but equally enjoy playing with them. Ralph is almost 4 and Neve is 14 months. It is scary how fast time passes and Ralph is a proper little boy now – doing everything for himself and talking non-stop. Neve is a little bull in a china shop, toddling and stumbling and falling and climbing every moment she is awake! An unstoppable force of will in constant motion! How lucky and blessed I am to have 3 such wonderful Grandchildren in my life!
On the Friday morning, Emma drove me, Ralph and Neve back up to Yorkshire, where she and Ash had booked a lovely old cottage in Holmfirth for the weekend. Our family is getting too large to be accommodated altogether in one place, so this cottage was perfect as our base camp and I would go back with Zoe and Rich to their home a few miles away, in Golcar – only to sleep. So by late Friday afternoon, Ash had joined us, along with Zoe, Rich and baby Arthur. Emma cooked a wonderful lasagne in the large open-plan Kitchen/Diner, replete with Aga and stone floors.
On the Saturday morning we met at the cottage again and drove into Holmfirth centre for lunch before taking a long walk through the beautiful countryside and around a large lake. It was a lovely walk even though for the last half hour we all got drenched in the rain. This did not bother us too much as we stopped by a lovely cosy country pub for dinner. Afterwards we all went back to the cottage and spent another lovely evening in the lounge in front of a roaring log fire, chatting and drinking after the kids had gone to bed.
Most of Sunday was spent hanging out at the cottage and Emma cooked another fab dinner for us all. We all had such an amazing weekend together and I am so proud of my wonderful family. All too soon, I said my goodbyes to Emma, Ash, Ralph and Neve and returned to Zoe and Rich’s for a further 5 days. We had a couple of shopping days but otherwise – just chilled at home, where I spent lots more quality time holding and helping to look after cute baby Arthur. He doesn’t cry much at all… but then he doesn’t sleep much either! This, of course is quite normal for a newborn and although Zoe is very sleep-deprived, she is coping so well. Rich, who is back at work, just seems to sleep through it all!
My sister, Karen had not yet seen Arthur and so she drove to Zoe and Rich’s to collect me, which saved me from having to take a couple of trains back to Stockport. I spent the last few days of my UK holiday in Bramhall at Karen and Mike’s. Caroline and Tony were supposed to be joining us that night, but Caroline was poorly and so they had to cancel, which was a real shame. But I’m sure that I will see them sometime over Christmas. I did manage to catch up with my friend Ange the following day, when we went for a walk in Bramhall Park and had lunch at the cafe there. On Sunday I went to the Trafford Centre with Mike. We did quite a lot of shopping and had lunch there too. That evening I had a lovely meal with my dear friends Gill and Rick in Bramhall at the new Asian Fusion restaurant.
As always, my three weeks in the UK was packed, sharing wonderful occasions with family and friends. It was a real holiday for me after my busy summer of beach selling. I have mentioned many times before, how I love to relive these precious memories through writing them up in this Blog. I am back home in Crete now, where it is so much warmer and sunnier and I have swapped my winter woollies for shorts and t-shirt again! Although I am really missing my Daughters and Grandchildren, I know it’s not long until I will see them all again around Christmastime.
So now, amongst other things, I am busy ordering canvases and seashells for my unique Seashell Mosaic Collages. Also, I’ve only been back a few days but have already thoroughly enjoyed a recent night out in Almyrida. I joined about ten other friends at the new Asian Fusion restaurant where Ernest Berry, one of my favourite musicians was doing a solo gig. The food comprised of 5 separate delicious courses spread out over the whole evening, with Ernest playing throughout the night. We danced a little, talked loads, ate loads and drank loads and my new friend Charlie put the icing on the cake by insisting on picking up my tab!
There are many other events to look forward to over the next few days too! A Halloween Party at McGinty’s in Georgioupoli and a house party at Carl Axon’s – another talented musician who many years ago, used to play with Doctor and the Medics and who now spends a lot of his time doing gigs in our area of Crete.