letter from the UK

I write a letter to my friends across the seas on a monthly basis. I try to give a taste of ordinary life in Cambrdigeshire (UK) from the eyes of an Aussie-born semi-retired recycled teenager. Please feel welcome to read these letters as I paste them in my blog.

June 07

Well, I guess we have to admit ‘flaming June’ was indeed ‘flaming June’ but only in the Aussie colloquial sense – i.e. we had sunshine very occasionally and enjoyed the rain that we missed in April instead. I hope you had some good times yourself. I had looked forward to strawberries and the tennis at Wimbledon – the strawberries I have been enjoying very much and Wimbledon only occasionally in between the rain. Getting on in years I am starting to sympathise with those quaint ‘old’ characters I have met previously – like my dear old landlady at Manor Farm in Peterborough. She used to sit almost on top of the TV to see it – now that I am developing cataracts it seems, I too am having to perch myself very close to the screen if I really want to see – many of those fantastic plays at Wimbledon were missed by me for I could not see the ball! Still the replays new to Wimbledon were very helpful. Fortunately I am told that there is a quick and easy operation they can do to restore my sight.

Family are all fine. Daughter Susie quiet on the home front – her end of term looming. My John (husband) is the same although a wound he has on his right hip has proved to be MRSA positive. This month I was honoured to be invited to baby sit the grandchildren Elisabeth (10, disabled) and James (coming up to 2). Parents Jenny and Jon did all they could to make it easy for me and I even managed to get together my usual healthy salad lunch along with their different meals. I planned a proper sit down lunch family-style. I should have known better – both children really did not want to sit at the table so I remained in glorious isolation watching them from afar as the food was carried and dropped around the room. Mid meal, there was no mistaking it – each one in turn needed their nappies changing – the worst kind for the day, of course.  Not the most pleasant of meals I have enjoyed recently. However, it was lovely to play with them (when they would let me) and to see how they are developing. James loves his fruit and he made himself very popular with me by calling me ‘Nanna’ and I think he learnt ‘plumb’ pronounced ‘umb’ by him.

The course at the language school in Cambridge finished on the 8th of June. The staff is very conscientious and I was determined to get them to smile at least once before I left. I made them my Guinness and Walnut cake and left it for them to take a piece at coffee break time. Next to it I left a recipe for fruit cake – not a proper one but a hilarious version given to me by Jenny’s mother –in- law (Anna), which suggests you regularly sample the vodka or whatever to test its quality and gradually gets more and more confused until it ends “Who wants fruitcake anyway!” It brought a few chuckles from the staff as planned

I’ve enjoyed some fantastic concerts – an amazing violinist and a concert at Fordham which featured the Saffron Walden Choral Society conducted by Janet Wheeler. I knew her from my days at the King’s School Junior School when the junior choir went down to the BBC to record for her – she produces schools programmes. I knew she was going to be good because I saw her in action as she tidied up my choir ready for recording.

Piano pupils are working towards exam soon and spa parties continue..

I hope all is well with you? RJW

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2 Responses to “letter from the UK”

  1. Cataract Symptoms Says:

    Very nice blog, I really love your article, keep up the great writing. Many people do not write very good articles on their blogs. You have done a fantastic job though. Interesting article as well.

  2. rjwestwell Says:

    Thank you so much for your kind comments. One sits at the computer sending off messages into the ether and never knows where the messages have gone or if anyone at all reads them. Thank you – you have encouraged me to persevere.

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