My husband's father Teddy is a remarkable man. On the cusp of 90 and having lived the most extraordinary life, I realised this morning that with his wife Pam , sadly now deceased , between them they were responsible for bringing 3 children into the world , who themselves brought 8 children into the world between them who subsequently brought their own children into the world , numbering 6 in total plus another 2 on the way . That is a grand total of 3 children, 8 grandchildren and 8 great- grandchildren.
Not only is he possibly one of the kindest, most generous and selfless people I know , but he is also one of the most resilient and resourceful. He was still riding his moped into his 89th year hence the nickname Moped Ted.
Having survived Tuberculosis as a young adolescent , he went on to survive WWII in Britain through the 1940's , being rather unfairly called an 'alien' due to his Swiss nationality , putting out fires on London's rooftops as a Fire Warden.
His skills were revered as a film cameraman in the early 1950s, joining Independent Television when it first started and rising through the creative ranks to become one of the best - loved and admired Lighting Directors at London Weekend Television. His retirement was well-earned but such was his reputation that he still continued to work into his seventies.
Of course behind every great man there is a tower of patient, resilient and supportive strength - the wife . Pam was equally adored by all that knew her and together they soldiered life's ups and downs as every stoic couple of their generation seems so capable of doing - A lesson to us all.
I feel very lucky to have had their love and support over the years since my marriage to their son David, especially as my own parents were tragically taken from me in my twenties. I can still remember the twinkle in Pam's eyes as she cheekily had a quick ciggie in the garden , a little merry from a large glass of sherry - both hers and my favourite tipple.
I am thinking of Teddy in his hospital bed as I write this and praying for a peaceful and dignified ending as he nears the end of his glorious life. What better legacy to leave than the admiration and affection of not one, not two, but three generations of offspring, all of whom have benefited so enormously, in ways they may even be yet to discover, from knowing this wonderful man.
Yes , I don't like to use a proliferation of exclamation marks but this warrants three.
I am BEOYND excited to the point that I'm going to have to invent a whole new word to describe my excitement.
On 27th September I will be singing ( alto ) Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man : A Mass for Peace with VfH ( voices for Hospices ) at Kempton Park in the presence of none other than the composer himself.
I can barely contain myself ! It is my favourite composition in the world, by the most talented composer and all in aid of one of the best causes in the world. Oh My ! Just ordered the score and I'm going to start practising straight away. Yippee !
I don't often go to Hobbycraft but it seemed rude not to stop in the other day as I was passing . Things have changed a little since the DoCrafts and Papermania only days. They now stock all sorts of good brands including one of my favourites - Little B. I adore these tiny 3mm wide washi tape rolls - gold on white .
Had to get one of each design as they were in the clearance section at half price as were the Thickers ( Kitten - one of my favourites ) , some eensy teensy Tim Holtz letter stickers and some vellum card inserts . You never know when they might come in handy ... maybe for Christmas cards, which stand about as much chance of being made as a snowflake's chance in hell !
Every now and then I go on Facebook . It takes me about 2 minutes to realise why I don't make a habit of it. The bragging season is upon us. Not content with boring us all with close-ups of the £4.35 cup of coffee they've just bought ( more fool them ) they've now moved on to bigger and better things. We're treated to an eyeful of some ludicrous cocktail they're sipping on the balcony of the sort of hotel they know full well that most people will never be able to afford in the kind of resort that has less to do with travelling but everything to do with bragging.
I used to know people like this. They were in my primary school, sitting at the front of the class with their hands raised higher than everybody else's shouting " Miss, Miss .... me Miss .... me ". They might as well have had NOTICE ME plastered on their foreheads. Facebook was invented for them. They've never really grown up. They have to tell the world that their holiday is bigger and better. They've had a modesty bypass and they're gonna tell the world about what a far superior time they're having than any of us.
The kind of post I love is ... bugger ... the washing machine has just packed up . Now that's real life and gains my utmost respect. Or maybe ... oops forgot to shave my bikini line - now that's more like it . This week I'd have posted ... how do I get rid of chin hair ... or .... why do mosquitos like me so much or even .... cat's just puked on freshly laundered duvet. Of course I'd then have had to take selfies with me and cat's puke or snap-chatted a few hundred disinterested morons or tweeted it to the masses or maybe I should just pretend that the duvet cover in question was a real silk, 2000 thread count, gold plated , Versace designed little number in a 10* billionaire's resort on the other side of the world . Nah ... not my style.
Last week was a whirlwind of end of term activities . It always catches me out - I know it's coming but I never seem prepared. It didn't help that we were in the middle of a heatwave. For some bizarre reason I thought it would be nice to hold an impromptu celebratory party picnic on the school fields before Speech Day which turned out to be the hottest day of the century. I ended up lugging picnic tables, chairs, ice buckets, cool boxes, trays of canapés and some very heavy bottles of fizz from kitchen to car and then onto the playing fields whilst the ice melted and the canapes wilted and we all nearly died of heat exhaustion.
We then sat stuck to plastic chairs in a marquee whilst the Head of Sports delivered an hour long rundown of every school sporting acheivement from endurance kayaking to tiddlywinks ( I made that one up but we'd all nodded off in the heat by then ) and that was before the speeches had even begun.
BUT it was worth the wait . Whilst I wondered if I might introduce ' extreme picnic endurance' onto next year's sporting calendar , I heard the sound of youngest son's name being read aloud and saw him spring up onto the stage to collect the Senior School prize for Drama - bless all six foot of him .