Just for a change I was completely organised and had to do very little packing on Friday morning (toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, laptop). All of my family’s Christmas gifts were wrapped and packed, I’d planned my weekend wardrobe (although – as usual – I didn’t even wear half of it while we were in Cheltenham) and I’d grabbed a jar of my piccalilli for the guest house owners.
Unfortunately we failed to put the pickles for my Mum, sister and niece in the car. Poor D forgot all about them and the sheer size of some of the jars and the volume of the contents mean that the box is far too heavy for me to lift – and I didn’t realise the box was still sat on the ironing board. Oops!
After a bit of a rest we spent the evening at Mum’s house with Mum, my stepdad and my sister. Gifts were exchanged, Amaretto was had and chat didn’t stop. Feeling nicely relaxed (and a bit tipsy in my case!) we went back to our room for a nice, early night.
After a leisurely (and delicious!) breakfast we were collected by R’s foster father and driven to a nearby garden centre for tea and a chat. As I’ve mentioned before, R is afraid of birds – so he stopped at the entrance to ask us if this was the garden centre with the Parrot.
Okay, so R has a lot more going on with him than his autism and therefore he actually looks special needs – people have mistaken him for a person with Downs in the past. I am fairly certain, however, that this didn’t give the elderly couple trying to leave the garden centre the right to stand there and gawk at him as if he was an alien. I honestly wanted to say something, but instead I responded to their distinctly embarrassed-sounding “good morning” and we went on our way.
Yet again, I almost lost my hat!
Whilst R was happily munching cake his foster father and I discussed the current situation and what might happen next. While we both think that the college was a little too quick to jump to a judgement we do both understand their reasoning. My meltdowns can be frightening enough and I’m emotional rather than physical. R is physical, so you can see why a college staff member would be terrified at the prospect of working with ten stone of unpredictable young man when he’s already launched himself and attacked them once. There is a possible new college placement on the horizon, so here’s hoping!
Once deposited back at Hope Orchard I proceeded to take the photographs for my review on the establishment. We then took a break and had some nibbles before getting changed for our evening drink with my friend Laura.
This is one of the best shots I have of the interior of a room at Hope Orchard – but look at that soft lighting and the golden yellow on the walls! Each room is specifically designed for relaxation and warm colours like this are always good – even for a winter person like me! You also now know what my laptop looks like; she’s a bit old but I can’t part with a model T40! Doctor Who fans will understand.
Laura eventually arrived and we posed for a picture:
Why yes, I wore the fedora and the scarf to the pub – where I also bought a lot of things concerning the Vulcan XH558 – the only Vulcan plane that is still airworthy. I ended up with a diary, a beanie, a scarf, a postcard and a book. Did I mention that I love aeroplanes? I actually wept when the Concorde made her final flight over my house.
After another wonderful breakfast we packed, and D loaded up the car while I called my Dad to ask if we could pop round. Dad is looking really good, has just bought himself the new version of the Royal Enfield and was actually at The Aviator Saturday lunch time enjoying a pint! I wish we’d known, as we would have been more than happy to meet him there. Anyway, it was good to see him.
We slept very well on Sunday night. Travelling really does get to both of us, but I do love travelling back to ‘Nam to see my son and the rest of my family. Unfortunately the Christmas Market arrived early and went away the weekend before we were booked to arrive, so I didn’t get to wander around and eat samples of Ostrich or Wild Boar or Springbok and I didn’t get to sit in the Paris Cafe stuffing my face and remembering my Nan and all our happy times there. I remembered Nan anyway, because she’s in my thoughts every day.
This next week is going to be busy for me; D’s Mum has asked for my pickles for Christmas and I’m attending my first WI meeting and have promised pickles for the Christmas raffle. There was enough in the cupboard for me to raid it and put pretty little fabric “lids” on stuff, but now I need to make lots more things – especially my sweet chilli courgettes because D has eaten them all! I don’t mind; I was planning to go all kitchen-witchy again anyway and I enjoy the process of turning vegetables into jam, relishes and garnishes.
Now I need to go and catch up with some cross-stitch and all the blogs I follow!