26 June – 6 July 2016: Back AGAIN in Yorkshire; more old friends, family and birthday celebrations for Stew


It was so lovely being back at Lez and Elaine’s; home from home – and as always we slept well. Stew and Lez were up first just after 7am to go to the carboot, while I really wanted to get out for a morning jog. It was a bright fresh morning, and felt good to be doing some exercise. The whole place was amazingly quiet – I only saw 3 other people all the way round; its definitely not an early morning place here. Getting up the steep ginnel was a bit of a challenge, especially after a weeks break, but I made it all the way round in ~40 mins, which was not too bad at all. Lez got changed to spend the rest of the day working on the reno house, while Stew set to work on the bike. He still had bushes and oil seals to replace, so he worked away steadily all day.

I was happy to work on the computer; I wanted to catch up with emails and communications, and send off some photos to everyone we had been visiting. I pinged a few whatsap’s off too – to Jason letting him know we were back. He was out later at the Wakefield tri-club, and suggested going out to the cinema later, and though ‘Finding Dory’ was highly recommended by Sairha and Lacey (Having seen it yesterday) – the film was not yet showing in the UK!! It looked like it would have to be the new ‘Independence Day – Resurgence’, as the only reasonable option. Jason booked the X-plus lounge for 7pm. We arrived in good time and got ourselves comfy and reclined in the great seats. The movie was very predictable, but really well done, and seeing it on the huge screen, in 3D with really good sound too, made it enjoyable, engrossing and well worth it for an evening entertainment. It was after 9.30pm when Jason just dropped us off, as he needed to be up for an early 6am work start in the morning. Lez and Elaine were having a relaxing evening, finishing off watching a movie, after which we all headed to bed. The next day, the workers were out early, Stew was up having tea and browsing the days newspapers online, and I headed out for a jog into a very breezy but bright sunny morning. The air was really clear, and I had great views over the distant hills as I headed down the road towards Crow Nest Park. It was still pretty quiet on the street with hardly anyone about. I really didn’t want to get by feet soaked in the wet grass this morning, so I made a change of route and headed into the park sticking to the pathways. I came across an outdoor equipment area, which looked quite new and decent; so I diverted again and spent a good 20 mins using the cycle machine, bench press, situps, orbital walker, and bars, before continuing on with the run. It was so nice to go through most of the park, even round the large lake, where I disturbed a load of ducks trying to soak up the morning sun.

Once complete round the park, I got back onto my usual circuit, down passed the allotments and up the steep cobbled ginnel. I was just about back at the house, when I saw Lez’s van heading out. Checking the time when I got inside, I’d managed to be out for an hour – which was really good. Stew had tried to call Motorworks, and thankfully they had all the bits he was after; so we got ready to go, taking the shopping list and some bags with us, as Elaine had lent us her car. It’s about an hour drive, so really quite a ways to get to Meltham, through Huddersfield – but the pick-up was pretty quick. Then another hours drive back. The fuel gauge light came on just as we got back into Dewsbury, so we thought we’d better stop and put some more diesel in. Lidl in town had just reopened at the weekend, following some refurbishment, so we decided to head there to do the shopping. We kept working till gone 5.30pm. I still had a load to do on the manuscript editing, and the bike was a long way from ready too.

I’d had a break to prepare all the veggies for the evening meal, and also pegged out the washing and brought it in later when it was dry – just to have a break from the computer screen. Stew set about making dinner, on a mission in the kitchen. The potatoe and spinach gratin does take quite a bit of preparation; but it was worth the wait. The meal was delicious, with enough to feed 10 people I think!! Besides the gratin, we had cauliflower, broccoli, baked chicken, Aunt Bessies Yorkshire puds, and a cheese and mushroom sauce. And as usual Stew had made a complete mess in the kitchen, using pretty much every utensil, pot and plate he could find, but he was let off the clear-up, as he had done the cooking. Me and Elaine did the dishes, and it really didn’t take long. I was getting close to finishing my full read through and edit of the paper, and so wanted to finish it, which I did by 11am after everyone had gone to bed. Then heading to bed myself I was soon drifting off to sleep.

The next day, I dressed in my running gear again, and asked if Stew as going to come out today. There was no rush to starting the bike work this morning, as we were going to Uncle Joe’s funeral at 10am (grandad’s youngest brother). So Stew also got his running gear on and after our cuppa, we headed down the road to Crow Nest Park for half an hour. Back home we showered and got ready to walk down to the crematorium, which is in fact adjacent to Crow Nest Park. We were greeted by family members and friends; we had no idea who they were, and over the 15 mins before the ceremony began there really was quite a growing crowd. We spotted granddad and grandma arriving with Elsie (grandad’s sister, she looked so pasty and pale, hardly ever leaving her own home; granddad and grandma always visit her), and they were greeted and saying hi to so many people. They were standing by an older lady, who looked so like Auntie Barbara (Who had lived in Queensland – another of grandad’s sisters, who we’d visited on a couple of occasions, though who had died a few years ago too), and indeed it was another sister, the oldest sibling, Dorothy. Not only that, a tall guy looking rather like Lez and Graham walked over and introduced himself as Chris (Dorothy’s son, hence Stew’s cousin) ! and his wife Jane. It’s amazing just who you see after decades at family funerals. We were all ushered in behind the coffin and pole bearers, and we ended up stood right at the back. There was such a menagerie of local Batley folks and ‘Chickites’. A leaflet of the funeral service to Joe was handed out, and I was so surprised to see Joe had shared the same birthday as Lacey (we never knew). The service was really very nice, and Michael, one of Joe’s grandkids, who he had practically brought up, managed to get up and say a few words.

After the service we met up with granddad and grandma again, and said we’d come along to the refreshments at the Dewsbury Nash. It was such a nice gathering; seeing Elsie enjoying herself being out of the house, and granddad and grandma in the company of family and old friends (even old school mates!). Stew got to talk to his cousin Chris again, as they exchanged a few snippets of their lives since they had last seen each other (decades ago, apparently last at Joe’s wedding!). We all got settled at a table, and enjoyed cups of tea & coffee, and a nice ‘traditional Yorkshire spread’ – sarnies, pork pies, sausage rolls, pickled onions, and the only exotic things being quiche and pizza squares. The dessert plates were so ‘typical’ too….’Battenberg’ cake slices, 3-colour fairy cake, melting-moments and a few more. We excused ourselves after an hour, as we needed to get some work done too. Stew worked away in the shed, getting the wheel and forks back together on the bike, while I finished my work on the STOTEN VOC paper, and glad to get it sent off to Hai, by late afternoon. Now we just needed a new rear tyre, the one we had was cracking up in a few places. No one had Heidenau’s in stock, but they could fit them locally, so we ended up making an online order, to get one delivered to Lez and Elaine’s sometime next week.

So the days went by, mostly grey and dull – bleeding typical British summer, reminding us so well why we left to live in Perth. We hadn’t much planned for the next day, and thought we could help Lez some at the house, and if he didn’t have things ready we’d take a walk into town (I needed to get a few things for Stew’s birthday tomorrow!) So we ended up walking into town, and managed to get there dry. I left Stew to go walk about the market, while I went off in search of a few things, and we’d meet up Gregg’s (local bakery store) in the precinct later. I did pretty well, getting a few small items, but I still needed to get some supplies to bake the chocolate cake later. It was already raining, and I ended up having to buy a $2 brolly, as we set off back up the hill. We were really pretty wet and soggy by the time we got back – it was such a grey miserable day. We had to go back to the main house, just so we could dry out Stew’s long pants and my trainers. We got back to help Lez around 2pm, and spent the next 3 hours painting emulsion on the upstairs ceilings. Stew was doing the main rollering, while I was going round all the edges and corners with a small brush. Lez came back with some milk and choc biscuits, so we could make some coffee, and he’d also got the radiators for the central heating, so Stew helped him carry them into the house. Stew had volunteered to cook dinner later; a lassagne – so we left early to get some supplies in, and make a start (and I also sneaked in some baking supplies). We got the groceries back in the house, and Stew took the van back to Lez, while I started chopping up onions. As Stew got on with the cooking, I did as much of the chopping up and preparations as I could. Then I went upstairs to do some secret birthday business.

The dinner was excellent, and made a really nice change – together with some mixed salad that Lez made up. Jason called in around 8pm to drop off a birthday card too, but he had an early start again, so didn’t stay too long. He said he’d come up to granddad and grandma’s tomorrow after his training session. Then as everyone was watching the TV, I headed to the kitchen, and set about baking and decorating a chocolate birthday cake for Stew. It felt not quite right, having to bake it all by myself, without Sairha and Lacey – but even so I enjoyed it, and managed not too bad. The 65 big birthday candles were great.

We were all up before 7.30am, with happy birthday wishes and cups of tea, before Lez and Elaine had to get off to work. Stew enjoyed his pressies; a scratchie card from Lez and Elaine (but didn’t win anything!), and some chocolate and ‘Stewarts’ mini-mints! Stew did love the birthday cake (so a couple more pics), and the small pressies I’d managed to pick up were good too; Thorntons fudge, a selfie stick for the GoPro and small camp stool – the deluxe microlight camp chair I’d ordered online, wouldn’t be delivered for another few days, as I’d written in his card.

So this morning we were heading off to Leeds, but first it was another morning park-gym run for both of us.

Setting off on the bike we dropped off birthday cake with grandma and granddad, leaving some for Lez and Elaine too. We had a coffee, and Stew got more pressies. Granddad and grandma had to get off to a doctors appointment, so we dressed back in our riding gear and went off to Leeds to the GetGeared bike accessory store – It was a huge place and we ended up buying some new bike gear for me; a complete dayrider suit of waterproof jacket and pants and handle bar muffs.

Then it was back to granddad and grandma’s and we spent a lovely day together. We got out of our riding gear, and changed into lighter pants and trainers. Granddad drove us all to the White Rose – We wandered round a good hour and Stew managed to get a new lightweight pac-a-mac (to replace the very leaky BMW one he had), and we got another folding bottle. We then took them to Macs for a flake ice cream cone, as they had never had one.

We headed back home for curry take away dinner, and movie later – We ordered food from the Khyber (now at the old Church Steps pub). Granddad and grandma hadn’t had curry for ages, and really enjoyed it too. After clearing up we settled down in the lounge and watched ‘Fury’ with Brad Pitt, as a tank commander in the last weeks of the world war II. We’d seen it, but granddad and grandma hadn’t. We got it for granddad for his birthday, and he really enjoyed the movie. Jason came round, just as the movie was finishing, and we all had  yummy birthday cake together.

The next day we were house sitting for a couple of hours, as the guy fitting guttering for Lez turned up around 8.30am to finish up the new fitting at the front of the house. We managed to get hold of Sairha and Lacey for a half hour skype, before they were going up to Vic’s to entertain the kids so Vic could do some packing (She was on the plane to the UK tomorrow – and hopefully we’ll catch up with them too). It was lovely getting some facetime again, so they could wish Stew happy 65th birthday, and we could hear all about their camping adventures. Later we went off to Lez’s work in Wakefield, for a staff and residents BBQ – nice to see the people he works with. We called off at Station Road on way back (our old home). Our old next door neighbours Jackie and Muz weren’t at home, but youngest son, James answered door – so we said we might get chance to call by again in a week or so. It was amazing to see him and he asked how Lacey and Sairha were. My lasting impression of James was him and Lacey as 3 year olds, playing tea-parties under the kitchen table. We then stopped off at Kev and Michaela, at the other end of the street – so nice to get big hugs at the door, and welcomed in for a coffee and natter. So lovely to catch up with the past 10 years on the street. Michaela had recovered well from breast cancer 10 years ago, but Kev was not looking too well. He’s having some awful stomach issues. Their girls Beccy and Faye were on their own paths; Beccy with 2 girls of her own, and Faye working as a solicitor (conveyanceing), an established girlfriend and both into football. Faye had played since junior school, and only stopped because if a knee operation. We chatted a good hour, enjoying the conversation – and then it was time to go. When we got back late in the afternoon the new back tyre arrived, and the microlight camp chair I’d ordered for Stew’s birthday. It was really good – so now we just needed the weather to get off camping again.

Aiming to be up early and drive over to an auto-jumble Saturday morning near Wetherby, we’d set the alarm. It was only 6am, and even though my eyes were heavy we managed to get up. A couple of mugs of tea later we were getting ready for the drive. Lez and Elaine were up early too, going off to the reno house to get some more work done; Elaine painting in the bedroom, while Lez was doing more work on the central heating. As we donned on all our riding gear, we could already see the weather was deteriorating – masses of grey cloud accumulating. So we made sure to put our waterproof suits in the top box. We headed off onto the M1, and despite the heavy sky we managed to get to Rufforth dry. It was a great drive, with pretty quiet motorways, so Stew was able to open up at around 80 mph most of the way. My new bike gear and Stew’s gloves were performing well. As we turned into the carpark we could see the parking was already busy, with queues to get in and pay the £2 entry. We soon got parked up with a few other bikes, and headed into the market area. It was huge – so much bigger than anything we get in Perth. There wasn’t too much really interesting, with the majority of stalls selling new tools. But we had a good wander and did find a few useful things to buy. Stew got a small grease gun, a pair of silk under-gloves, some socks and batteries (for our small radio).

The rain clouds were gathering, and there was no way we would get back dry – and though we did try to set off without the wet weather gear. We ended up having to pull off the motorway by a bridge, as the heavens opened, and we donned on the wet suits. Stew had his full one piece, but I only put my jacket; and it was great to find the new trousers were working pretty well, definitely drier than my old ones (And warmer too). We got back around midday, and we didn’t have much else planned. I spent an hour doing some sewing; I wanted to put some elastic loops at the bottom of the trousers. We got back into our riding gear, and headed out again – & tried to visit JohnBoy and Karen, but there was no answer at the door, so we continued onto Station Road again, and today found Jackie and Muz in – so lovely to catch up with them after 5 years. There were warm hugs and greetings all round, and we were soon welcomed in and having teas and coffees. Jackie’s sister Gwen was also there, with Dave, as they were all making preparations for a big birthday party this evening. If we didn’t have the curry night arranged we would have joined them. Muz has the same birthday as Stew, and Jackie was turning 50 next weekend. We had a great hour; catching up and seeing all the changes they had made to their house.

It was after 4pm before we got back to Lez’s, and Jessica and Anthony had arrived too, so more hugs and greetings too. We all had quick showers and got ready to go out. We walked in the pub just before 6.30pm, and were quite surprised to see the Frenchies already here, and Graham and Andrew at the bar – and Caroline was just round the corner. It was the start of a wonderful, and rather boozy evening. We all settled with drinks, chatting round the table – Caroline was telling me off, because I hadn’t told her it was Stew’s birthday!! As we got into the curry house (Mim’s) it was quite busy, and we all nestled quite cosily into the rear seating. I ended up at the opposite end of the table to Stew, next to Jason, Caroline, Andrew and Georgia. It was no nice to have nearly all the French cousins together, a well as Jessica, Anthony and Jason too. We ordered three mixed starter plates, just to get going and give everyone chance to pick main courses. It wasn’t long before we were tucking into papadums, pickles, salad, yoghurt sauce and starters – yum, and cracking open the wines. We were all getting engrossed in conversation, and it took quite a while for us to finally get through the main course order. There was a nice mixture of vegetarian and chicken dishes, then rice, chapattis and nan breads; and everyone enjoyed the food. Plenty of food round the table, with dishes being passed back and forth, and wine in full flow – a bit too well really. And we even managed one photo as we waited for a taxi back home.

I was sleeping soundly, and thankfully the hangover wasn’t too bad when I woke, and was even out of bed by 8am. Lacey pinged a What’s ap, to see if we were up and could have a skype. They were chilling out Sunday afternoon at SarahB’s – so we had another lovely natter, and so nice to have a conversation with SarahB too. And they were all telling us how much Sean and Cici were enjoying having Sean’s parents around, so much help with the garden and cooking.

I’d been texting a while too, and found we could go for our girls night to the cinema in Huddersfield – so between several txts, we all agreed we’d go tomorrow for the 5.30pm showing of ‘AbFab’. I spoke to Charlie too, as we said we’d go round later. In fact they were going to meet with Geoff, Eileen and Sandra at the Ridings in Wakefield, so I said we’d be happy to come along. As we needed to get going shortly, I peeped in Jessica’s slumber chamber, just to see if she was awake – and she was, so soon got up so we could have a quick coffee and say goodbye, as we’re not really sure when/if we’d see them again before they headed off for their Oz holiday. So we dressed in our bike gear, hugs and wishes all round, and headed off, into a mostly blue-sky day.

We parked the bike up and Charlie and Angie were waiting for us. They hadn’t told Geoff and Eileen we’d be coming along, so we all climbed in Charlie’s new car – (a Seat with dual control for his driving instructing) and headed back out again, for a really lovely afternoon together. And so nice to see Sandra again too, and even though she really has such a debilitating illness with Crones disease, and on morphine every day – great to see we was chirpy and getting out and about with the family.

Amazingly we bumped into JohnBoy and Karen, with grandson Kean (Marks   ~2 yr old son)….after missing them at their home yesterday. Kean was a little tyke, dressed in a superman outfit, and constantly running off, with Karen running after him, while we had a quick natter with John. We said we’d call round again to see them later.

We wandered the shops and managed to buy a few things; a decent bike lock, Stew had been looking out for some time, and some swimming goggles, while I got some UK first day issue stamps. We also had a lovely coffee stop, and finishing off in a great antique shop. We hugged and parted company in the car park, and on the drive back, Charlie was asking if we wanted to have tea with them; a pub meal – but actually after the big curry last night, neither of us felt like having another big dinner. So thanks, but we said we’d just head back – and be sure to see them again after out East Coast tour.

We had a quiet evening in, and found Lez and Elaine just eating a light meal when we got through the door – oven pizza, potatoes and baked beans. We still didn’t want anything yet, so just made a brew. It was a gorgeous early evening, so as Stew got peckish and set about making some food, I got changed into my running gear and headed out for a lovely 40 mins jog round the park. Back in everyone was chilling online, and an old movie was playing on the TV. I had the last piece of pizza and some yummy yoghurt, with strawbs, raspberries and blueberries. Then Stew wanted me to order a couple more things for the bike from Motorworks, and Elaine got me to order a couple of train tickets, as she hadn’t been able get it to go through on the iPad – no probs. She was going to Torquay, with a friend Margaret, for the weekend of 24 July, and cheapest way was to get return tickets from Crewe. This meant she could also drive to see Jessica and Anthony on the way (And Anthony will take them to the train station in Crewe). Then on the way back, she can stay over again, and now drop Jessica and Anthony at Manchester airport, for their month long Oz adventure trip. The film playing on TV was on the slow side, but a decent movie with Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt, so we managed to watch it to the end, before we all headed off to bed before 10pm.

It was still only 7.30am when we got up to make some tea. As I was heading to York Uni for the day, Stew was going across to the house to help Lez and Elaine with more work on the reno house. The day was bright and breezy, with mainly blue skies, but even so I put on my full riding gear – it’s at least an hours drive, and could quite easily rain by the time I was heading back in the afternoon. It felt good to get out on the bike – its just too heavy for me with all the luggage, so I really enjoyed the drive. There was quite a bit of traffic on the motorway, but not really too congested, so I could relax and enjoy it. I found the motorcycle parking spot next to chemistry, where Andrew had directed me, and got everything locked up fine. I was just walking across to the WACL building when Andrew came walking down too, so that was good timing too. Another familiar face Terry Dillon, was also walking with him.

We were soon in the building, and after a quick chat and greetings, was walking passed the next open office, which happened to have Ali Lewis sat at his desk; so more surprise greetings. I spent a really good 3-4 hrs with Andrew, going over all Felix’s work, MCM developments and the potential for future collaborations. We walked across to the Derwent college, to get a sandwich lunch, and then I had a tour of the facilities, as well as the planned expansion. It was great to see all the equipment; so many GC’s, ToF, Syft’s, uHPLC’s, standards preparation kit, and loads more. I met Kelly, who was taking over Jacqui’s role while she was away on maternity leave till February. Their new baby Ryan, was only 4 weeks old. One major experimental system was a 30 l, PTFE flow chamber, pushing through VOC’s and forming SOA, collected on filters for analysis. Another PhD student, was working on a dual flow reactor, photolysing water to produce OH, and reacting with mixtures of VOC. The outflow fed directly into an MS, and enabled relative rate constant determinations, at a rate of about 15 per week (Once the system is operating well). My whole PhD measured only 16 rate constants in total!! They are also trying to measure Cl reaction rates, but they system is not yet working well. Last visit, was up to the open student area; where Felix worked through March. It was a large light airy room with desk space to accommodate around 40 PhD students and postdocs. There was also on going developments for the MCM – with Gecko (2 postdocs). Peter working on photolysis and writing gecko code with MCM rules, new 3 parameter photolysis, Mike Jenkin would be working on an updated rule base and SAR calculations. The timeline for the work with funding for 2 more years, so they are aiming for a release date: July 2018. Well time was pressing on, getting on for 3pm – Andrew had another meeting, and I needed to get back. So with thanks and goodbyes, I said I’d be in touch again soon. The skies had turned much darker, with massive grey clouds building overhead.

Stew came out as he heard the bike coming up the drive, and took over to put it in the shed. Everyone was home, and I just had time for a cuppa before me and Elaine headed off to meet Caroline and Georgia at the cinema in Huddersfield. The teatime traffic was building a bit, but we managed to keep moving and arrived just about 5pm. Caroline and Georgia weren’t far behind us – so hugs and greetings all round. We got tickets, and still had a half hour before the film started, so we sat out for a drink and natter. Georgia was telling us she was going to London tomorrow, Mark (the Mark!) was flying in – and they were meeting up. He was expecting to go to Wimbledon but hadn’t got any tickets in advance. After a few days in London, they would come back up to Yorkshire for a few days, and then he was off to Greece for a week, before returning to Perth!! So not sure what is going on there. Drink finished, we got settled in the cinema just as the ads were starting. Patsy and Eddie were not at their best (definitely getting passed their prime), but so outrageously OTT, and there were so many celebs all having small cameo parts. It wasn’t as funny as we expected, but in all it was a nice evening entertainment together. It was 7.30pm when we came out, so not too late for everyone – so hugs and goodbyes, and we all headed off. We’d get back in touch after the weekend, as we were going away on our East Coast tour too.

I pulled myself out of bed, dressed and went down to make us some tea. Stew wasn’t far behind. Elaine had already been up and was off to work, while Lez got up half an hour later. The day was bright and breezy, and checking the forecast, it looked like it was going to be a much better week than the last. While drinking the morning cuppa’s I set about writing some notes up, from yesterdays visit to WACL, and Stew was online browsing the days news. I then went off for a park run, I enjoyed the hour exercise again, and had just got back in and put the kettle on when Stew got back too.

We had a coffee, and Stew managed to get hold of Sandra and Keith on the phone, so we arranged to go visit them in Skegness on Thursday. Next job was the trye fitting, and checking the address found it was at the bottom of Taylor Hall Lane, right next to the house I grew up in. The guy was really chatty and helpful, and Stew was soon taking the back wheel out.

The place was called ‘The Pitt Stop’, and as I walked out onto the street a very English 3-wheeler; a Reliant Robin was just passing by.

I went for a look at my childhood home; It was so poorly looked after. They had even knocked down the shop and extension mum had run her photo studio business from! We had kept that yard so well as kids, making pocket money sweeping up the leaves.

With the new tyre fitted we headed off, going by way of the graveyard in Upper Hopton, to visit mum and dads grave. It really has such a lovely outlook from there. The grave hadn’t been visited for a while, so we cleared away the decayed flowers, and I’ll definitely come back do more of a tidy up and bring something colourful, and let them know we’d been.

From there we then headed onto granddad and grandmas. It was lovely to see them again, and find they had started back swimming yesterday and enjoying it. We stayed for coffee and biscuits, and asked again if they would be interested to go to the caravan at Filey. We could be there to join them on Friday for a couple of nights – that all sounded good, and would be so nice to do. Time was getting on, so we didn’t stay too long as I really needed to do some more workup on the notes for Felix. Stew volunteered to cook the evening meal again; Thai green curry and it did turn out better than he expected from the limited supplies.Me and Elaine then cleaned up Stew’s messy kitchen, and as Elaine had brought in a right bag of rhubarb from someone at work, we set about making some rhubarb crumble. It took quite a while to peel and cook down, and once in the oven Stew nipped to the shop to get some custard and ice cream. Jason arrived just as the crumble was coming out of the oven and so joined us for some too. It was good to see him again, and we were able to say what was happening for us all over the next week. He was going to Rippon on Saturday, to watch a tri-event, and possibly may come to the caravan.

We cleared off all the crumble dishes, and headed to bed in succession; Elaine first, and me last. I did manage to make it to bed before midnight, though I still had quite a lot more follow up notes and emails to do.

Next morning I asked Stew if he wanted to do the park run, and he said he’d think about it after a cuppa. He did put on his running shorts and top, so that was a good sign. Stew did a half hour and returned before me, while I did longer on the equipment, and a longer jog route back. Stew was just making a brew when I returned. The weather looked reasonably dry, so I put in a pile of washing for us, that would give us a full clean load to set off with tomorrow. I needed a shower to cool down, and with a second brew, we set about filling in the doctors registration forms for Stew. I also pulled out all the NPI pension docs for Stew, and it took quite a bit to tracking to get a correct phone contact, and start the process to claim the pension fund he had paid into while running ‘Keyole Motorcycles’. We were now working with Phoenix, and though they did trace the policy number, they had to send a new form to Stew’s mum & dad’s address to take the process further (and that turned out to take some doing too – we didn’t get the form sent for over a week!)

Then we headed off to visit Dorothy and Co in Birstall, taking a detour through Wilton estate so Stew could re-visit the place where he lived in the pre-fabs (now replaced with some newish brick bungalows). It was really nice to see young kids out with their bicycles in high-viz vests going through some on the road cycle training with instructors. At Dorothy’s we found John in finishing off painting in the kitchen after a new boiler fitting, and Jackie too. Dorothy was at the school helping the kids with reading this morning. It was lovely to see Jackie again, and hear all her news and happenings over the past few years, and taking a call from Jane – who was at an appointment in Leeds, and ended up calling back to see us, before going back to work. It was so lovely to see Jane again, after their (Jane, Pete and Lydia) visit to us in Perth in April 2015 (just before we set off on the travels) – We told them all we were heading for a few days over on the east coast, but that we’d be in touch when we got back, so we could arrange a big family meal out with everyone.

Stew was looking for something to make for dinner again, and headed out on the bike again to do some shopping. Elaine got back after 5pm, and we had a lovely evening – Stew in the kitchen, and us mostly watching the Wimbledon men’s quarter final between Murray and Tsonga. Elaine gets so animated watching, she was flicking between channels. Murray did win in the end, which was great. By then Stew finished up making dinner; a prawn, leak & spinach, cream sauce with pasta. It was quite delicious. Then after some rhubarb crumble, me and Elaine cleared up again, and I managed to get a next chapter in the blog updated. So we would be ready for the start of another chapter as we were next heading off for our East Coast tour (And still waiting for our passports to arrive back!).