July 2012, the most eventful month of our lives, is almost at a close. But what a month! We’ve had Sarah’s birthday, Rose’s birthday, we’ve moved out of our home of twenty-three years to live in a caravan, Paul and Josephine have bought their new house, we’ve celebrated our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary in a Premier Inn, we’ve criss-crossed the country and driven almost three thousand miles, and to top it all, yesterday we welcomed our new granddaughter Catherine into the world.
So, a little over a year after writing about Rose's arrival on the blog, here we go again with Catherine, another beautiful baby. I’m not posting photos yet as Paul and Josephine would like to be the first to share their lovely daughter with the world and aren't yet in a position to do so. But watch this space for photos soon.
We’re staying in this super little cottage in Rochester for a week to be on hand if help is needed. They've got Josephine's mum Jenny on hand too - she's done an amazing amount of work in helping them with their move, packing, unpacking, cleaning and tidying and she put me to shame with the weight of boxes she's been shifting.
In case you missed the blog and wondered where we’ve been, (as if), we’ve been on the road again since Tuesday morning when we left St Andrews and headed down to an overnight stop in Bury St Edmunds before meeting up on Wednesday morning with an interior designer who is helping us with our new house in Framlingham.
It was a long drive (over seven hours) but we shared the driving and arrived in time to do a little sightseeing. We’ve never been to Bury St Edmunds before but it’s a beautiful little place and we relaxed for a while in glorious sunshine in the grounds of the ancient abbey before heading for Mothercare for some last minute stuff before the arrival of the baby.
We met up with the designer in Framlingham on Wednesday and then headed another hundred miles south to Rochester to Paul and Josephine’s house. All the overnight stays of the past couple of weeks have started to impact on the bank balance (and the waistline) so it was great to be able to stay in some accommodation for free for a change. The house is starting to look very homely although there’s no WIFI, radio or TV installed yet (hence the lack of blogging) and Marion and I (with Marion doing the greater share) have kept ourselves busy cleaning and tidying up before the family moves in. As baby was having none of that inducement nonsense, the cleaning went on for three days and the house is probably cleaner now than at any time in its two hundred year history.
We took a break for the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday night and headed into Rochester where we were able to watch the spectacle from London on a big screen set up in the shadow of the spectacular castle. There’s no point me commenting on Danny Boyle’s mad event, I’m sure you’ll have seen it, But it was great to enjoy a family atmosphere in this small city where Paul and Josephine will be setting up home. It rained a bit so we watched the finale in a friendly pub on the high street and left just as Paul McCartney showed that his performance at the Queen’s jubilee concert was not a one off. And speaking of the Queen I was gobsmacked when the audience in Rochester rose en masse and stood for the National Anthem – every one of them! I thought I had better do the same to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb. I couldn’t see the same thing happening in either Southport or St Andrews.
It’s been a memorable month so far but with just two days left there can't be any more momentous happenings in store - I'm not sure that we could cope.
You’ll be pleased to hear that there’s WIFI in the cottage - hence my blogging again.