On Saturday August 8th my sister Fran kindly came to our home from Walton-le-Dale and collected me to drive me down to our brother Selwyn’s house in Swadlincote, Derby. It was good to chat with her on the way down. We especially had fun as we tried to do a crossword, to keep her awake whilst she drove us. I managed to read the clues to her but we were making little progress at first. We felt really encouraged when we managed to get any words, especially if other words round the original word fitted in confirming that we had made the right choice! I laughed a lot as we tried to get our brains into gear! We had a good journey despite having to slow down frequently to 50 through road works on the M1. Fran’s Sat Nav had seemed to take us on a convoluted drive round Leeds, so we wondered if we would ever get out of Leeds onto the M1 proper. Her Sat Nav did not do recalculating or suggest a U turn as soon as possible as my Sat Nav tends to do and it announces when it thinks we have reached the location but Fran’s seemed very quiet at the end; and just quietly changed the directions if she strayed off the correct road! In the end we arrived just after the time we had said and Selwyn was there to welcome us. It was an uneventful journey.
The weather was glorious when we arrived, sunny and really warm. Fran and I went out eagerly into the garden to sit and relax plied by Selwyn’s own elderberry wine, which was gratefully received, before lunch. We were both so thrilled that Jonathan had stayed for lunch before leaving. I just found myself laughing so much and it always makes me feel good when I laugh. We had a lovely lunch, followed by a tour of Selwyn’s extensive garden. I am extremely impressed that my 75 year old brother is so active, mowing a lawn, which requires an hour and a half to complete; growing cucumbers, tomatoes in the greenhouses; dahlias and various other flowers were a delight to see. I just could not cope with that amount of work without any help. I am just so thankful that our gardener Martyn helps maintain our garden so well.
Janet, his wife of more than 50 years keeps the house perfectly and they both prepare meals. Strawberries and raspberries from the garden are delicious too and much welcomed in our meals. Vegetables too are provided from Selwyn’s bounteous gardens.
Afterwards we just relaxed in the warmth and sunshine of their garden. It was a treat to sit and read and almost doze. Our relaxation was made perfect with intermittent conversing. I must admit that it is easier to stop and just read and relax when I am away; at home I am always aware of the jobs needing doing, such as preparing for services, doing my online blog or sorting things out. At home I am blessed by my beloved preparing the main meals whilst we normally have fruit as a sweet in the week; at the weekend treating ourselves to more of a pudding.
Having had a relaxing afternoon, we had delicious moussaka served with jacket potatoes and home grown spinach in crème fraiche; perfect! That was followed by the gorgeous crème brulée, with home grown raspberries and strawberries, or grapes. I not only enjoyed all the food but it was all so healthy for us. No wonder Selwyn and Janet are so fit. Selwyn, bless him, had a film made for television he thought I would enjoy and he was so right!
It had been on television a number of years ago and for some reason I had never seen it. It was ‘Mr Axelford’s Angel’ and it made me laugh too. It amused me even more as Angel is so accident prone and I can easily knock things as she did and break things! What was so lovely was the way she seemed unaffected by her disastrous arrival in the office and just chatted away in a natural way! Mr Axelford had obviously never met anyone quite like her! She even invited him to join her at the Indian restaurant that evening after work. Suddenly out of the blue Mr Axelford asked her to marry him! She did not believe him and refused him. However he kept following her. He needed to see her all the time. Angel had a boyfriend although it was not really serious. It was impossible for her to work for him as he just wanted her to take the day off on full pay. She announced she was leaving and told her boyfriend about Mr Axelford’s proposal. Her boyfriend said that Mr Axelford a millionaire would not marry someone like her. That was the final straw as she got her boyfriend out of her home. She then returned to her work and simply said she accepted! It was a brilliant feel good film.
We then watched ‘The Duchess’ which Selwyn did not enjoy as much. It was a very good film on BBC 2 but a very different film about a wonderful courageous real woman. Fran and Janet and I loved both films I think.
I had a quick bath and then relaxed in a comfortable bed in what had been the Alice Room just opposite one of the bathrooms. It was like staying in a 5 star hotel only better with the fresh garden produce. The next morning I was woken with a cup of tea and treated myself to a shower before breakfast. A gong, the one which used to wake us as children in our parental home, heralded the fact that it was breakfast. We had serial and cooked breakfast lovingly prepared by Selwyn. Then thoroughly relaxed and rested Fran and I set off for home. We stopped for a drink on the way back and made even better time on our return journey. Fran had a drink at our house before a quick visit to Cathy and Ken on the way to having lunch at our other sister’s Janet’s home with Graham. I was so relaxed that I just read and enjoyed my beloved’s company and the lunch he had lovingly prepared. It was good to be home.