The next two and some weeks were really so much of a waiting game. We had no news from Sairha and Lacey on our Australian passports. Then after 3 weeks I emailed the consulate, and a reply the next day said there was no return pre-paid envelope. So we got straight back in touch with Sairha and Lacey, to action as quickly as possible by Express and Courier post. So finally we knew things were on the way.
And at last we got the form for Stews’ NPI pension (took 2 weeks!), to get notification of new address, so we could initiate accessing the pension (now through a new company Phoenix Life). And we had to re-do the UK pensions application for Stew – He rang in the week and they said they had never received the application we sent from Oz in May !!
We went over to Mum & dads grave again and did a tidy up. Then visits to the Frenchies in Huddersfield (Saying bye to Sally, Georgia and Mark).
It was really spectacular scenery driving over the hills, with amazing views.
We had a day in Leeds going on the train, and taking in all this sights of the old and new city centre. There are some wonderful old buildings; from the markets, corn exchange and arcades, to the new dome ceiling Trinity Centre.
And then a Saturday morning Nostell Priory parkrun followed by a drive over to Yummy Yorkshire tractor fest, with Jason, Vic, Croyde and Bea (over from Perth), Vic’s dad and sister too. We had such a fun day together.
We did a few sesions round at Lez & Elaine house reno helping with a few jobs and we also visited, Josh’s new house reno, in Greetland – sharing a yummy pie & pea lunch together too.
We were trying to keep as much exercise on the go too; lots of walking into town and back (a good 6 km), and then 2 to 3 mornings a week doing a jog and equipment session in Crow Nest Park. I was working up to the 10 km Nostell Priory run, which went so well. Jason was flying, and came first in his age group (~35 mins), and 7th overall out of a field of ~370 competitors. Vic, did a great run too, and I was just happy to complete in under 1 hr 10 mins, with at least 50 runners coming in after me… Though I did have a rest day after.
We had cinema nights – with Jason, granddad and grandma to see the ‘Legend of Tarzan’. Then with Jason, Lez, Josh, and grandad and grandma we saw ‘Star Trek Beyond’, and a last one with Jason to see the new ‘Jason Bourne’ movie. All great viewing with the super comfy recliner seats. And we enjoyed lovely evenings out; Leggers Inn at the Dewsbury canal basin: Lez, Elaine, Muz, Jackie (Luke), John and Cath, and surprise meet with Punky Bob, Andrea – then Paul Hirst (a quick one in the Poacher).
We had a few Sunday morning brekkies with grandad, grandma and Jason, and even managed one on our last morning before heading off to Europe. And we made a few visits to Dorothy and John too. We gave Fritz a drive out to Sherburn-in-Elmet one Sunday morning, to the famous ‘Squires’ Biker cafe, some great sights of the Yorkshire flag, and a hot air balloon just packing up.
We were trying to sort out a last family meal; and decided on buffet at the Yangtze Chinese on Sunday evening 24 July. Some could make it, others couldn’t – but mostly to have a get together with all the Kenny clan, and of course Jason, granddad, grandma. Even Graham, Josh made it across (Elaine was away, and Lez didn’t want to come along). Charlie and Angie could make it, but we’d made a last goodbye to Caroline and Andrew on Saturday night, staying over in Huddersfield. We’d had a great night pub crawling round Huddersfield, from the roof top Evolution bar, to Karaoke, finishing off with curry at the ‘Kebabish’. It was lovely staying over and seeing some of the old family heirlooms too.
At the Chinese Geoff and Eileen came along to join us for a drink. Though only Dorothy and John made it for the Kennys; Jane was in hospital the day before, and her sisters couldn’t make it either. But other cousins, Neil and Linda came along, which was so nice. The buffet spread was really good lots of choice and favourites for everyone.
I wrote work up notes for Felix for ambient MCM modeling pre-departure for 3 months at the GIG, Guangzhou, and there was feedback from Andrew at WACL, and the PCCP computational manuscript reviews came back really favourable, with some small changes. Felix was heading off for 3 months at the GIG at the end of July. I also made an email contact to the Dewsbury Reporter, with a copy of our front page departure from there in 1989, replied ‘Hello Sam,
My name it John, I work for the Dewsbury Repoter. Thank you for your email – what a great story. Will you still be in the country on Monday for me to give you a call?’
Resulted in a new article after a photo shoot and phone interview. With the passport return delay, we actually were able to see the publication and get some copies on 28 July. It was pretty cool 🙂
As the last days of the month approached, we were so incredibly busy. The last Sunday, we actually managed a great 18 km bicycle ride with Jason along the Spen Valley greenway, and so great to ride the new paths at the back of our old house in Station Road, and right through the old railway tunnel into Dewsbury. There was even a ‘Yummy Yorkshire’ café stop as we came out in Liversedge, and then up a massive hill to get back to Jason’s place.
Then we were doing some garage roof maintenance and repairs for granddad and grandma – while the weather was good. We cleaned up the whole roof and ceiling, and then painted over with roof sealer and Stew put on loads of flashing too.
Then Stew was doing a last oil change, and found a new oil leak, from the engine push-rod oil seals. He had spares, but that was another days work to replace them, and get everything back together again. I was having a headache myself, having to do lots of online research for travel, ferries, and more visa’s for Iran and India.
We had a lovely quiet curry night out with Lez and Elaine (after Elaine had got back from Torquay, and dropping Jessica and Anthony off at Manchester airport, for their big Bali – Perth –Dubai, 5 week adventure), and we even managed an early morning swim at Batley baths with granddad and grandma.
Then Hurray, YAY, YIPEE – the passports finally arrived back in Yorkshire, and we were so ready to set off ….?? We made a ferry booking Hull-Rotterdam for Sunday evening, giving us a last 2 days to get everything ready, and last goodbyes.
Jason picked us up after work on Friday, after we’d been skyping Sairha and Lacey. Sairha had a rotten cold, but they had had a great day baking and decorating Croyde’s dinosaur birthday cake. It looked awesome 🙂
Then we were out looking for ‘Batley’ postcards, so we headed to the Bagshaw museum, at the back of Batley Park. What a great building, with Stew recanting tales of when he was in the ‘museum club’, with Graham as a kid, and old Batley photos, showing ‘East Street’ the first house his mum and dad had together, and he lived as a baby. One room was a new display of Gujarat – and how all these Indian migrants came to the area in the 1950s’ to work in the textile industry. And just where we were heading off to again:)
We called at granddad and grandma’s to arrange a last Sunday morning breakfast, and then back home getting changed for a last night out. Another wonderful evening, meeting Charlie and Angie at the ‘Bath Hotel’ down Halifax Road – it being 40 years since he had last had a drink and lunch in the place, when he was at Dewsbury College! There was Elaine, Gill and daughter Katie, Wendy and Paul too, so lovely to see them all.
So we were finally getting back on the road again, we were heading over to Europe setting out on the next chapter of our adventures, and the second lap round the world on Fritz for us……