Sunday, 14 October 2001

Second/Third Week October 2001 - A Week in Lyme Regis, Birthday Boy, Fools Gold, Captain Scarlet Presents, Band of Brothers on TV, The Jurassic Coast

The week of Nat's Fourth birthday was spent in a caravan in Lyme Regis on another Sun £10 holiday. We had packed his birthday presents and driven with him and Han down to Lyme Regis. Han wasn't really a great part of this holiday as she was only 10 months old and very much confined to her pram. On the day of his birthday we were in one of the two big fossil shops in Lyme Regis when Nat announce to the owner that he was four that day. The owner, lovely man, gave him with a free piece of "fools gold" as a birthday present. I had bought a pile of Captain Scarlet toys at the comic shop before we left as this was now on TV and had supplanted, somewhat, Thunderbirds as his favourite program.

To be continued

Nat's Fourth Birthday in Lyme Regis, Fools Gold, Capt Scarlet, Caravan Park, Band of Brothers, No More Bill, The Jurassic Coast, Seaton Tramway, Stilon Pate,

We stayed the week of Nat's fourth birthday in a caravan park just outside of Lyme Regis on the famous "Jurassic Coast". It was a fabulous week and we booked it using one of The Sun's £10 holiday offers.

View The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. in a larger map

A short walk from the caravan were the very cliffs where fossils are to be found. The fossil shop you can see below had the most incredible collection of extraordinarily expensive fossils. It blows the mind, if your not some brainless fundementalist who believes the World is only 6,000 years old, to try and comprehend the incomprehensive periods of time involved in their creation. On the morning of his birthday I gave Nat the over priced capt Scarlett toys I'd bought from the comic shop in Leicester and Deb gave him a couple of things too. When we went into town that morning and once again called into the Lyme Fossil Shop Nat told them, he was a very forward four year old, that it was his birthday and for his cheek got given a free piece of Fool's Gold by the shop owner...which was nice!

View Larger Map
While we were there I kept up with Spielberg's spectacular Band of Brothers, which was being shown for the first time, on the black and white portable, or was it colour, in the caravan. It clashed with the Bill and this marked the time when I stopped watching what had been one of my favourite TV  programmes. I've not watched an episode since!
 On our first day we had visited Seaton and travelled on it's famous tramway all the way to Colyton Station. We walked into Colyton Village where I bought some Stilton pate from a small local butcher's shop come delicatessen. Years later I returned to buy some more only to discover we'd visited on half-day closing!
Durring the week we travelled around the beutiful county of Devon and on our way home we diverted to Cornwall to visit the Eden Project.

Hannah, of course, remembers none of this as she was only eleven months old at the time!

Wednesday, 15 August 2001

August 2001 - My Breakdown - Katie and Dad Suppressed Grief

Lost the plot this month and ended up needing professional counselling. I'd suppressed the grief of the lose of Katie and my dad's sudden death in the January had brought it all bubbling back to the surface. Suffice to say I behaved like a complete loon and a total prat and I ended up threatening those I loved. There was one delicious irony; which was being accused of being a wife batter (which I wasn't) by P Harrison (who was and probably still is). If I'd known what was coming on 11 September perhaps I would have more perspective.

Sunday, 15 July 2001

Friday, 26 January 2001

Friday 26 Jan - The Death of My Dad Six Weeks after the Birth of My Daughter

My dad suffered a stroke last week and we'd been down to see him but couldn't stay because Han was only six weeks old. We were due to go down to Wales after I'd finished work. However, I had a dental appointment that morning and had left work at 9:00 am to get there. while I was there deb rang to say that the hospital had called to say that my dad had just died of a massive heart attack. I suppose this was hardly surprising; the very first thing that the medical staff had done last week was ask me for resuscitation instructions after advising me that it would be better not to try and resuscitate my Dad should when the situation arose. The stroke he'd suffered was massive and his chances of recovery, at age 79, were close to zero. So I had given my consent to  them to treat my dad as a "Do Not Resuscitate" patient. If he'd lived he'd have had no quality of life and walking to the pub, something he did daily, would have been absolutely impossible. No, he would have been doomed to sit and waste away in a small flat unable to carry out the most basic of bodily functions...and what's the point in that?
I returned to work to advise what had happened and to let them know I would be on my way to Wales immediately and would advise when I would be back. We travelled down and eventually arrived at Prince Charles Hospital in Methyr why I briefly saw my fathers body.  I stayed down for a few days with my cousin Cath to make arrangements while Deb and the kids returned to Leicester. My Dad was cremated the following weekend.
This is where he grew up and spent almost his entire life; this is the village of Abertysswg as it looks today.
And, this is how it looked when he was a young man. He started working down this mine, when he was 14 years old, along side his Father and Brothers!

This is Charles Street where both he and my Mother were born and raised. The blue tiled shop is Roffi's. Mr Roffi emigrate to Wales from Italy early in the Twentieth Century and established his shop and proceeded to have a large family. His wife was still alive when my dad passed away and she was a sprightly 102 years old; I saw whilst I was there which was only the second time I'd seen her in my entire life. Her Son Aldo had been a good friend of my parents and I visited her with him.