a postscript and general thank-you.
It started out as three thank-you letters, they got so large and rambling that I thought the best thing was to make it generally available.
It was good to see you all looking well and not at all old. Actual ages don't count, I've decided. Look at Mum, oops you can't, she's in Italy, gallivanting.
We had a lazy journey back up to Bonnie S and stopped off at several friend's places on the way, so it took several days and quite a bit of food and drink. We have now reinstated the diet and hopefully that will reduce the sudden girth expansion. Repeatedly crossing the country, as we wound our way North, I saw several roads I've not used before, there's some lovely scenery out there, though the sunny weather helped, I'm sure the Pennines can be a bit bleak in Winter, and only Scotland can look good in the rain.
I was really pleased that everybody really enjoyed themselves, I hope to put a wee burst of movie opposite, but I know some computers object, so if you just get a blank there then try this link on the right
Useful thing, the internet, I think I got everybody, and they should be able to see themselves 'on the telly' . Anyway, I'm getting through the backlog of emails, one of the less attractive aspects of said internet, and I'm getting ready to chide Waitrose for their patchy service. The actual food came out fine in the end though, fortunately Cousin Ben knew how to deal with Unexpected Catering Crisis Circumstances. I've been working on the wording between emails and this is the result so far, now shall I send it or not?
Many guests had brought food and drink, I won't list them all as there are too many, and I'd probably get at least one wrong, but thank you very much, the 'bought in' food went down well, but it was the home-cooked stuff that got the praise, and Ben's ice-cubes were the Piece de Resistance. Its probably a mistake to use expressions like that, but I couldn't resist it.
Our journey back was punctuated by visits to friends and relations so I ended up even heavier, but the diet should take care of that. (Two consecutive days a week at 600 kilocalories per day, otherwise normal.)
The house was still standing when we got back, though the cat had something to say about the prolonged absence, and is sitting beside me, I seem to have been forgiven. For reasons I try not to explain, she has her own chair by the computer. Purring like a small motorbike. She's a bit lighter than one though, which is just as well as she walks pointedly over the keyboard if I've been taking too long. Spell-check, or rather the Mac version of it, has a bit of a problem with that and usually goes into a huff.
We have now determined to have at least 2 holidays before the year's end, one in Devon via Mum, which should extend our Summer a bit. It's so warm down there we don't really mind what the weather does. After the party I went down to the High Street in Winchester to get a wooden pole from the hardware store (to suspend the flying pigs). Starting on the way back, walking, it rained so hard I expected the pole to sprout leaves. I was just wearing a shirt (and trousers if you want to be picky) so I was well soaked, but it was so mild that, with the uphill bit to the house, I was half dry by the time I got in and finished with a quick rub of the head with a towel. If you try that in Scotland they find you the next morning, quite dead but very clean. But I digress, back to now, with that holiday coming up and the other, a trip to Skye, (with the caravan and a couple of canoes) I must complete at least half a dozen repairs or projects before Winter. Here it tends not to drop hints, but just arrives like an unexpected life-changing brown envelope. Just when you think you've got a bit more Autumn (or in severe cases, Summer) Winter drops a black bag on your head, and by the time you have night-adapted, you are up to your oxters in snow. Oxters are armpits in Scottish, spellcheck thinks they should be otters!
Ah well, mind how ye go,