Rich, Carla & Izzy cheer us up


Having been out drinkin’ for the last two weekends it’s been nice to have a quiet family weekend.  And doubly “family” in that my brother and his family – including little one-year-old Izzy – stayed with us.

Nothing stressful or hard work, just a nice couple of days spent with people I love and whose company is, now more than ever, treasured.

But first of all on Saturday morning I had to go and collect my new glasses and be fitted with some contact lenses.  Despite some trepidation about the fact that they’re old person’s glasses varifocals, which can apparently be difficult to adjust to, the glasses were absolutely fine.  No problem whatsoever.  In fact, my first thoughts were “Blimey, I hadn’t realised reading had become quite so difficult!

Stu new glassesReading – and focusing on small details – is now not nearly so difficult, and I look a lot cooler.  Although, sadly not in this deeply unflattering picture I took at the opticians.

The contact lenses I wore only for a few hours on Saturday, but they look like being fine.  They’re a bit tricky to take out – well, sometimes they are and sometimes they’re not – but should make life a bit easier at times when glasses might get in the way.  I’m probably going to a pub quiz after work tomorrow so may wear them then – or should I show off my new glasses?  Nice to have the choice!

On reflection, I’ll probably take some lenses and wear those.  Drinking isn’t really recommended on anti-depressants, and although I’ll obviously be ignoring that advice when it suits me, tomorrow I’ll probably follow it.  Once or twice over this weekend I’ve felt decidedly odd just for a few minutes, something presumably due to the anti-depressants.  And anyway, I don’t really feel like drinking at the moment (the aforementioned last couple of weekends have gotten that need out of my system quite thoroughly).

Izzy Carter and Carla CarterReturning to Saturday – upon my return from the opticians my brother, his wife Carla and their daughter, Izzy, were already here and the house was in a certain amount of mayhem as our girls got very excited about our visitors.

Izzy wasn’t sure what to make of my new glasses to begin with, but soon realised that I probably wasn’t going to kill and eat her and began making wonderful “Ooohh!” noises that delighted us every time, as well as even beginning to smile and laugh.

The best noises were saved for this morning when, whilst talking to my parents on Skype, she decided to stand up and blow raspberries non-stop for about five minutes.  Like a repeated Fast Show catchphrase it only got funnier the longer she did it for!

Meanwhile, on Saturday, we caught the train to Charing Cross – Izzy’s first ever trip on a train, amazingly – and did a bit of tourist stuff down on the South Bank: strolling around the crowded Christmas Fair, seeing some Art and exceedingly dull jazz (is there any other sort?), gawping at the London Eye Millie and Darth Vader on the SOuth Bankand having our pictures taken with Darth Vader before catching a crowded train home (another authentic London experience).

After a delicious dinner cooked by the increasingly expert hand of the Lovely Melanie, we slumped down in front of the TV with a tin of Quality Street.

Just what the doctor ordered!

Sunday began rather earlier than I’d hoped, to be honest – at 7am; but since our visitors had to go home after lunch it was probably just as well, so that we got to see plenty of them.  Rich tried to watch Match Of The Day, but being the only football fan in the house he was persuaded to give up after just a little while.  Instead, we went down to the woods (a rite of passage for every visitor to Bexley now) and to the swings.

Spider's webs as diamond necklacesIt was – unusually for our neck of the woods – rather misty, but that only added a chill air of autumn mystery and turned each spider’s web a into diamond necklace.

It was almost Famous Five-like in its perfection – everyone laughing and enjoying themselves even in the misty damp.  Even a short sharp sulk from Millie and a ridiculous prolonged one by Amber only made us smile and them look silly

Izzy had a nap on the way down there and woke up just in time to catch the start of Amber’s benny, which meant there was a free space on the swings so she could give them a try alongside her big cousin.

Millie and Izzy on the swingsShe may not have won the swing-based welly wanging (Millie won that by a country mile) because she wasn’t wearing wellies, but Izzy looked to me like she was having the time of her life on those swings. It was a pleasure to watch – well, it was a pleasure to have all of that time with Rich, Carla, Izzy and the girls.

At one point I did look around and see everyone (except for Amber) laughing and felt a twinge of regret tinged with guilt that Trev couldn’t be there and that we were still laughing, but it was only a twinge, and I quickly reminded myself that IWTWHW.

On the way back from the swings we even saw a heron!

Carla and I spotted something with strikingly large wings fly overhead, and when we crossed the road to walk alongside the River Shuttle saw that it had been a heron.  The girls were wholly unimpressed, but myself and another family out walking both whipped out our cameras (well, my camera; their iPhone 3GS) and snapped some pictures.

Amber, looking mad
The Mentalist

Sadly, after another of the Lovely Melanie’s delicious lunches, it was time for Rich, Carla and Izzy to go back to Swindon, while we settled down to watch Star Wars and make some bead art.  The picture here is of Amber showing off one of her pieces and displaying one of the most deranged smiles I’ve ever seen.  Somehow it seems to be the perfect end to a wonderful weekend.

Come and see us again soon, Rich, Carla and Izzy!

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