nothing lasts forever, as the saying goes, although sometimes some things feel like they do. in the case of the Harlo Invasion (or if you will "holiday"), the people of Iceland and their mystical volcanoes certainly stretched a two week visit out beyond the conventional fourteen days. however, those extra days have now come, sadly, to an end.
to the great delight of some school governing bodies and employers, a delight matched only by the contempt and disdain by the people of Iceland, the Harlo gang have taken to the skies. at long last, my Dad asked me to add in.
now, a tradition to many when ending a holiday would be to "liberate" (or, if you will, steal) any and all items which are not nailed down in the hotel. in the strictest sense of the word Mum & Dad's house isn't a hotel as such, but this did not stop their enthusiasm for engaging in this most noble practice.
the haul they loaded up was most impressive, it has to be said. what exactly they intend to do with a 1981 edition of The Complete Encyclopedia Britannica and several pairs of mismatched socks left by Fred on his last visit is anyone's guess, but there's no faulting the spirit and excitement displayed by them as they whistled away in innocence as they shoved the lot in their cases.
next came the somewhat simple task of checking in for their flight. yes, even in this day and age of high alert security it is still a pretty simple task; the "somewhat" part to it invariably comes in when you ask certain gents to assist you with it. have a look at the picture below and see if you can spot anyone with a penchant for speaking their mind in a most abrupt and direct manner who might have made the check-in process all the more involved and entertaining than it normally would be.
a clue would be that his shirt is closer to blue than it is yellow. never mind, i am sure Colin appreciated the fact that the gent who spoke to him about his checking-in approach put some warmish rubber gloves on before doing a full inspection, so to speak.
i would like to think that the Harlo gang had a wonderful time on holiday here. their reaction on leaving certainly seems to suggest that they have. i mean, look at them, proudly showing off how each and every one of them clearly had a "number one time".
Mum & Dad have had a hard time accepting the fact that they have gone (at last, my Dad asked me to add here), and that they have the house to themselves once again. look at my dear Mum. she is so upset she is smiling through the pain, waving her fist in anger at the aeroplane which has whisked them away.
as for my Dad, he is beside himself with despair and depression at the fact that they have gone. the Harlo family leaving has hit him like one imperial tonne of bricks, really. i know this because we have seen this kind of reaction before.
the above picture is how my Dad looks when he is upset. Richard, Gillian and I know this because this is the same reaction we get from him when we deliver some really bad news that is going to break his heart. examples of this reaction have been at the times we have said "Dad, i am moving into my own place.", or "no Dad, keep your money, we shall buy it ourselves.". we try not to hurt him with phrases like that, but sometimes we must and simply have to leave him to work through the visible pain.
i must say a lot of people are aware of how much my Dad will miss his guests. it's not only the people of Iceland who have tried to keep them here. a number of people, Uncle Trevor in particular, have gone to the length of offering to sell their own blood or "anything, absolutely anything at all" if it means keeping the Harlos here and several thousand miles away from them. a selfless gesture, and one that my Dad has for the most part politely declined, even thoughtfully suggesting that one or two of them avail of a bathroom to relieve themselves as they depart with their idea.
Colin, Angela, Andrew and Christopher - it has been a sheer delight having you come and stay with us. we all look forward to seeing you again real soon!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!