We were both sad about our earlier than hoped for departure from Shanghai, though when we landed at Heathrow we felt glad to be back and relieve Charlotte from her family duties of looking after Jamie and Sarah.
Arriving home, we were thankful to find the house still standing and the garden and pool looking fine, yet there appeared to be no one around. However, when we called out, Lucas came squealing down from upstairs to greet us and then excitedly bounced around us for the next hour, insisting we play with him. During that hour, I fixed his new bike before chasing him around the garden on it, tired with that I then had to bounce endlessly on the trampoline before his excitement dissipated. Poor Charlotte looked tired and I think another few days of family duties would not have done her any good. We said goodbye to Charlotte and Lucas the following afternoon. I am sure she was glad to be returning home to Suraj, especially as Lucas was about to start swimming lessons the following Monday.
We are now back to normal. The weather has been indifferent, mostly cold and damp. In the first week, Sue went into school for three days, catching up with the latest gossip there. I set about planting seeds in the greenhouse and started my morning bike rides again. I was surprised when Roger Woolnough decided to take me out for a lunch that he owed me, we chatted about our upcoming trip to see Joan and Phillip in Italy.
Sarah got an ‘A’ in a Sociology essay, I profess to have read it but didn’t understand any of it. She had been struggling each day into school each day with a bad cold, but eventually succumbed on Wednesday and spent the day in bed.
Jamie is still rising early each morning for work and it appears his new girlfriend Harley is still in the picture. At the weekend he drove to Bournemouth with friends to celebrate his 21st birthday and by all accounts had a great time, but it is always difficult to prise any details from him. The following Tuesday I took his car to the garage to have one of the wheels repaired. When he had new wheels fitted recently, they had somehow managed to cross-thread one of the securing nuts. While his car was off the road he shared a lift to work with one of his workmates who lives in Harborough.
On a Friday evening, I attended the Leicestershire Referee’s Annual Dinner at the Walker Stadium in Leicester. It was a smart, black-tie event with the former Welsh rugby union player, Jamie Robertson as the celebrity guest speaker and proved to be very amusing.
On Saturday Harborough RUFC was playing a very important match against Spalding for promotion to the next league. However, I received a phone call from the club bar steward asking if I would officiate for the Club as there was an inter-county match being played at the club between Leicestershire and Essex on the same day and all other committee members were going to Spalding. I duly turned up, watched the game, said ‘Grace’ at the after-match meal, and then chatted with a beer in hand to the players and officials. Afterwards, I received a plaque on the behalf of the club, which I put behind the bar to be displayed later in the trophy cabinet. Unfortunately in Spalding, Harborough narrowly lost their game and failed to be promoted. Leicestershire easily beat Essex, it seems it was a day for home victories all around.
Nan travelled to Wales on Wednesday to see her sister Josie, one of my Welsh cousins kindly picked her up and transported her to Brymbo. They have arranged to see a show at the weekend in London and will be staying overnight at a hotel. When I rang her the other day they were out playing bingo, but I managed to speak to her the following day and wished her a good time and enquired as to when she was going home, I got the feeling she was in no hurry.
Charlotte has hurt her back and it seems to be causing her quite a lot of trouble. Lucas is coming to stay with us at the weekend as Charlotte and Suraj are attending a friend’s wedding.