At the beginning of this week we said goodbye to our US family after six amazing months living near us in Cambridge. I have mentioned elsewhere the welcome impact of our two US grandchildren Elliot and Sophie. So often their presence was delightfully unplanned as they popped in from where they were staying next door. In particular they enjoyed chocochinos from my new drinks machine. Sitting round the table for elevenses, clutching their hot chocolate drinks and cakes these moments became a delightful routine in the last few weeks since they left school. I say 'routine' but the surprise conversations with dramatic butterfly-lateral-thinking meant nothing was ever routine! How we valued their breathtaking imaginations and confidence.
Well, like all grandparents whose children live a long way distant, we are now coping with inevitable sadness that the end has come. However, Rob our radio academic surprised us by leaving a CD to be played once they had left. Of superb studio quality with editing that skillfully uses music, it contains a series of face-to-face interviews with all the other family members. Rob asked them about the highlight of the months together and quite independently (because the interviews were recorded over time) they each gushed about the holiday at Minehead - crabbing and just being together. Bless them, they each said very kind words about us both which actually caused even more tears then their actual departure. We are truly thankful for family life and are immensely grateful to kind people who let them to stay in their houses for two lots of consecutive three months. Oh, it was good. Now, down to the writing grindstone without the patter of tiny feet and heads around the door suggesting time for chocolate drinks.