Back in the UK - Joe's 80th Birthday

2nd June - 7th July 2010

So what about this one?    Is it a weed or a plant?


The beginning of June found us back in the UK, in anticipation of Dad's 80th birthday party, later in the month.   Luckily this visit coincided with the start of Dad's daily radiotherapy treatment at Christies Hospital, so he had a chauffeur on hand.   

Whilst planning the party, Christine was kept busy taming the jungle that the garden had become.   For a person who lives mostly on a boat, she became quite a keen gardener (under close supervision of course!).

The next urgent matter was to take a trip to Wales, to meet the new (5th) grandchild, Gruff.   

Dodo and Gruff finally meet.

Iwan - budding yoghurt artist


As normal we were camping on the airbed at son Nathan's and around 7 am each morning, it became a little cramped!   The poor airbed was tested to destruction.

Our days in Wales were busy.   Granddad held fishing master-classes for James.    Meanwhile Christine, delighted to be reunited with her fireman hat, kept safe for her by Gareth in her absence, enjoyed a daily game of firemen.

"It can't be morning already!". Christine - always such a great morning person

Back in Poynton, it was party time.     Joe's biggest complaint was that the sore throat resulting from his treatment meant he missed out on enjoying the wonderful spread supplied by the Picnic Basket.     Family and friends gathered from near and far at the church hall we hired.  For Christine and Phil the party seemed to go by in a blur, catering for such a crowd was non-stop work.     Joe had a wonderful time catching up with everybody and at the end of the whole event, wonderful people did all the washing up and tidying.   We were so grateful, we were exhausted.

Joe, birthday boy and his weary daughter

Willing volunteers for candle blowing-out duties

Ciaran starts the queue for cake, to make sure he doesn't miss out!

This tea pot just isn't big enough!  Tired Tea Boy.

We made another trip to Wales once the festivities were over.   The school year was drawing to a close, much to the horror of the parents.  We enjoyed the summer school fete, wonderfully organised by Phil's nephew's wife Heidi (and we thought arranging the party was hard work!).   

We even managed to win the raffle prize, tickets for the entire family to visit Techniquest in Cardiff.  (Anyone want to volunteer to take three lively kids to Cardiff?    We'll throw in free Techniquest tickets!)

Great - have a good bounce on the bouncy castle, shake up all those sweets and cakes you just ate!

I'm sure they didn't look like that when we arrived!
At the beginning of July Joe was on the mend from the ill effects of his cancer treatment and we headed back to North Carolina, knowing we'd be back in the UK soon to help him through the next course of treatment.
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