I spend time mooching around the van and chilling in the morning after everyone has gone to school and Richard, Claire’s husband has gone to Greece for work. I enjoy my time alone, knowing that soon enough everyone will be home. I sit in the garden and write and appreciate that fact that I am in my short long, long shorts and bare feet. It seems summer has come to Wokingham.
I am slap bang in the middle of middle class suburbia and homogenous red bricked houses that mirror each other. When Claire comes home from work, we go into town to do some food shopping for the evening. Wokingham has enough to get by, Reading not too far away by train. I would hate to live here. I would shrivel up and die. No sea to sail, no coast to walk. I am starting to really look forward to going home, just for that alone, never mind all the folks I want to spend time with, hopefully doing just that. Claire sweetly buys me cheeses insisting I have something to remember Wokenham by. I am seeing her again this weekend in Plymouth as she has some business there, so I promise to see her when I get there.
Claire insists on another bottle of wine. I am starting to feel like I have done nothing but drink for weeks. It’s not really my bag, but more so these days. Eleven years of no alcohol seems a long time past now. In the garden Claire’s neighbour Kate comes in for a chat. She wants me to email her. It seems I have made an impression with Claire’s friends, I am flattered.
The evening goes by quickly and Claire and I agree to have en early night as she has a book she wants me to read and needs to finish the last chapter for me to take it. I am relieved as I am tired too, as it seems are the boys, who sit at the table quiet and teenager grumpy. I wisely don’t tease, but instead we talk about things in common and Bill, the eldest talks about shoulder pain. I get my massage oils out, give his shoulders a going over and explain the importance of warming down after sport not just warming up. We do some stretching exercises and he feels better. These are such nice boys and so easy to get on with. I like Claire and Richards old fashioned values with them and it pays off as the boys are a total credit to them.
So a little bit of normal living has set me up for the last few days of my trip. I am so chuffed, I have found an old friend on Facebook. I could not stand the site, but as Deb has cleaned it up for me, I have discovered its benefits. Joe and Tandy went to France to live and then emigrated to Oz. I always phone Joe on his birthday but couldn’t get him this year. Worried I tried all ways to get him, eventually hoping all was well and that they had moved back to France to create their dream of having a place in the mountains and running skiing holidays from it. I discover that is exactly what they have done, so guess where I am off to in the Spring….in the Hobby of course….yippee….