After lunch we are setting off for a nice country house hotel about a 40 minutes drive away for our annual family Christmas get-together. It is also a belated birthday treat for my beloved who turned 65 in the autumn but didn’t feel up to it at the time.
This year may be the last time we can orchestrate this because the children are all growing up and moving away. Each year it becomes more and more difficult to get everyone synchronised. But this year it will be a “full house”.
Starting with the eldest, there is my daughter, her husband and three boys. Two boys are still at school and the eldest (26) is just about to start an obscenely overpaid job in the City of London as an economist. Yesterday they moved into a new house. This daughter lives life on the edge but the move is wild even for her. The central heating and electrics need attention and everyone tried to persuade her to delay moving until they were fixed.
Naturally she ignored wise advice and now they are in a house that has stood empty for several months, with no central heating, no cooker and dodgy electrics. They could normally have stayed with us, but we are in the middle of a renovation programme ourselves and only have one small spare bedroom. For me this is the stuff that nightmares are made of and I would do anything to be able to fix things for her, but I can’t.
Next is my younger daughter who recently resigned her directorship with our company and is moving to an exciting new life in France in the New Year together with her husband and the three youngest children.
Her three older children are staying here. One is a handsome chef with an eye for the ladies, another is a guitar playing, singing all around Mr Nice Guy who is reading mathematics at university and, last but not least, is their beautiful sister who works in our business and is the daughter of our two wonderful great granddaughters. Our granddaughters’ sporty partner will also be enjoying the festivities with us.
Then comes my dearly beloved’s lovely daughter. She and her family moved down from Scotland to help us with our retirement “exit strategy”. After being thrown in at the deep end she became a fellow director in our company and will, I am sure, take the company on to new heights. Her husband is a designer in London and the boys are in primary school.
Also joining us will be a talented young lady who has worked with us for 15 years and is now a fellow director and surrogate daughter. With her will be her tolerant and handsome husband and their young son.
So … there you have it - 25 of us and a very mixed bag aged from 4 to 67. We love being together but as a group have outgrown most of our houses and certainly all of my energy! So - hotel here we come, are you readyfor this?
Have a very happy and prosperous New Year.
LOOKING TO HEAVEN - Here is one of the 'apples of my eye'. Rosa, looking to Heaven, as if she has just heard her Nanna Maria calling to her to tell her how much she loves her ...
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