The saga of that began with my aging, invalid father eloping with a woman of similar age, Willow, continues. On Tuesday, he celebrated his 85th birthday. My brother, Oli, and I arranged to meet up with him in London. In the evening, Dad and I would go to dinner at Hardy’s in Dorset Street with the Statistical Dinner Club. Before that, the three of us had a lovely afternoon together in at Primrose Hill. Oli wasn’t attending the dinner, and Dad and I were booked in to the Hampstead Britannia hotel.
We had lunch in The Washington, Hampstead. I enjoyed a fish finger bap, a beer and a coffee. We were served by a gorgeous young lady who told us that she was an actress and had appeared in Eastenders. I told her that this was impossible as she was smiling and the pub was so well lit. Only British followers will understand that. In fact, it was true. Shana Swash had appeared in the famous soap for several years. She is delightful and she lit up the pub and made us all smile. And I love her hair! I sincerely hope that she would appear in the film of one of my books someday, if such a film is ever made.
Although my father suffers badly from Parkinson’s Disease to such an extent that he often falls over, he can really motor if he proceeds in a straight line and neither stops nor tries to turn. And so it was that he almost sprinted up Primrose Hill. The three of us sat on a bench in the sunshine and admired the magnificent view of Regents Park, the zoo and the City of London.
After Oli had left us to return to his home in Petersfield, Dad and I took a taxi down to Dorset Street. We met lots of old friends who sang “Happy Birthday dear Tony!” There were speeches and the guest of honour was the President of the Royal Statistical Society, Peter Diggle. Amongst other topics, he spoke about his commitment to reach out with education to six African countries. I was delighted that he bought a signed copy of Eleven Miles, giving me twice the asking price because he admired the charitable intentions that I have for the proceeds.
I hardly slept a wink that night because I could here Dad moving around in the next room and I was worried about his welfare. I was relieved to see him onto his train back to Chesterfield and even more relieved when I heard that he was safely home in Bakewell.
On Thursday, my lovely granddaughter, Marley, went into labour. We knew that the baby was a boy. It took until Saturday afternoon for Kenley to finally enter the world: my third great-grandchild! How exciting! We received photos from my son and daughter-in-law. Marley and Kenly both seemed quite chilled about the whole experience and so they were.
This evening, Marley was home in Overton and Joy and I visited. What a super little bundle he is. I am proud to show him to you. Here we are: Kenley and his very proud great-granddad!
Smile with me and enjoy your celebratory coffee folks!
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