Images by John 'K'

Life as seen through my lens…

OMG has it really been over 2 months? :)

It’s nearly 3 months since I last did an update here, so I thought it’s about time I corrected that.
Since the last time I wrote, we’ve been back to England, seen my youngest daughter pass her driving test, got her a car (nothing flashy or expensive, but it goes), and have started a new school year.
So… England. It was great to catch up with the family members we had left behind. First few days were spent in the town Jan and I both grew up in, seeing my mum, Jan’s mum, and having a look around the old town. I also met up with my old boy-scout leader, who is living in the same place as my mum. She hadn’t changed a bit and is still as devoted to the movement as ever. We had a fun couple of days there then headed up to where we used to live before moving to America (and where our two eldest daughters still live).
We arrived in the Midlands to find our old house looking like a bomb had hit it (literally). The front drive had been dug up a couple of months back to repair a burst water main, and because of the then almost constant rain the holes had not been filled, and the front and back gardens had been left to grow pretty much untouched in the 2 years we had been away. We had 7 days to spend there and had planned a whole load of trips out with Gemma, and Maria and her family, but found we had to spend a lot of time dealing with the mess in the gardens, chasing the repair-men to come and fill in the holes in the drive, and fixing things around the house that had been left. That aside though, we still managed to find some time to go and do stuff with our daughters and grandsons. The week went by way too quickly and before we knew it we were driving to Wales to see Jan’s ‘baby’ brother and his family.
I’d last seen their youngest son shortly after he was born, and to see him now really made the passing of time sink home. The tiny baby I had seen was now a very energetic and fun little boy, aka the ‘ginger ninja’ 🙂 Their other kids had grown up too – you really don’t realise how quickly children do that until you find yourself with big gaps between each time you see them. What seems such a slow gradual process with your own kids is nothing of the sort (tip to any parents reading this – make the most of the time you have with your children – it’ll fly past quicker than you think!)….
From Wales we went back to our home town for a few more days… Met both mums again, headed down south for a day to see my brother and his family (and had a visit from my Sister too). That was rather fun – made a little too entertaining through the antics of my sister-in-law who had been tucking away the odd glass of wine while eating nothing… (at least we know her heart is most definitely in the right place) 🙂
The last few days were made of a number of happy reunions and sad goodbyes, and as if to say "it’s time to head home now", the weather, which had been beautiful for the two weeks we had been there, turned back to the more typical rainy summer day that we remembered… We left the country with the rain echoing how we were feeling – we wanted to come home, but were sad to be leaving everyone behind….. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we see some of them again.
Some pics from the trip are in the albums….
Back home again, Paula took her driving test and passed with flying colors (so it seems I’m a good enough driver to teach her well after all 🙂 ), and after seeing how much it would cost to have her added properly to the insurance for our existing cars we decided it would be cheaper to get her one of her own, so we went on a hunt for a cheap but good 2nd-hand car. A couple of days after starting, she was the proud driver of a 1999 Saturn SL2 saloon, which was in very good condition for its age. She had it just in time for the start of school, so I’m not having to drop her at school every day any more, and she can now get herself around to the various events she has to attend without Jan or I having to play taxi-driver for her.  She passed before her elder sister (Gemma), even though she started driving long after!!! Hopefully Gemma won’t be too far behind (takes her test early October)… and then all we need to do is convince Sarah that a car with a manual gearbox isn’t that bad to learn in!
We have had another trip down to Monterey with Paula and her boyfriend – was a lovely day out (a few pics in the usual place).
Other than that, life is pretty much back to normal for us. Paula is back at school, Sarah is still working, Jan has started up her tutoring with the new school year (although both Jan and Paula now hate getting up early every day!!!), and work for me is going well. Sarah has even started socalising with folks here (not before time!!!) 🙂  Funny thing about Paula’s school is her new American History teacher is the daughter of the VP of the division I work in (and who authorised my relocation from the UK) – talk about weird coincidences.
OK – I need to stop before this becomes a novel; this update has been long enough, but I’ll try not to leave it too long before the next one, especially as I’m hoping to have some interesting pictures to share from something that’s happening next week – more on that after it happens. 🙂

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