apologies for the dramatic title up front, really. i was struggling with what to call this and thus just decided to continue on with the title off the previous post about a final visit to South Fork!
with South Fork now being the concern of someone else the time had then come for my Mum and Dad to move on elsewhere. this they have done, or are at least busy doing as i write, and it is fair to say that their new home is quite some distance from us. as good a reason as one would need, then, for a farewell Sunday lunch. this we had, kindly hosted by Richard, Erika, Lyla and Ruby-Lee.
lunch with Grandad of course would not be lunch with Grandad without a few Grandadisms. in fairness he was mostly well behaved, really, with only one classic incident that featured him having a short, informal yet informative and certainly abrupt conversation with some chaps wishing to install some sort of cable.
the rest of his oddities were more or less limited to the subtle. like, for instance, after over 20 years of supporting the Lions deciding all of a sudden to wear a Blue Bulls hat.
yes, that is indeed your humble narrator sat next to Dad, eating away. in order to allow you to simply skip past any images of me that may cause offence, here i think is my only other appearance in this post!
i am not sure who took that picture exactly as James and William were both messing about with it. well, whichever of them took it did quite well, as i do not look all too horrid in it. not a bad result, in particular as i am eating away there! what was i eating? a rough, best guess would be that Richard had facilitated three, possibly four, pigs' worth of spare ribs, and i did my best to eat them all.
and now, you may be pleased to read, back on to the oddities of Grandad. i did mention that he was a touch more subtle in his usual performance earlier. this might in fact be a bit misleading, now that i look at the pictures again.
he got, it seems, bored with the idea of wearing a Bulls hat almost as soon as he had started doing so. he thus decided to modify it via placing something else over it. why exactly he didn't just take it off is beyond me, but anyway here you go.
yes, that is a bucket. my best guess for you as to why is that, like many people oddly, he thought that when Michele and i went to England to see The Stone Roses (one month ago today, fact fans), we actually went to see Guns N Roses. this is possibly why he is attempting to channel the look of former and indeed brief member of Axls' merry troop, Buckethead.
this was not the only bit of channelling he did, for better or worse. Sunday saw the world wake to the sad news that Geoffrey Hughes, the much loved actor, had passed away. as one may well expect, my Dad wished to pay tribute to him.
as he did not, alas, have a binman's outfit to wear nor a wall with flying ducks on it to sit by, and indeed no dodgy jeans to sell, he had little choice but to try and do his best impression of that other much loved character played by Geoffrey Hughes, Onslow. i think he did it rather well, if all the same disturbingly so.
how fortunate that he had a vest to perfect the look with! all that was missing was the cigarette and can of lager Onslow seemed to forever have with him, i suppose!
and yes, if you are wondering, the Onslow look was perfected at least to the extent of wearing slippers too!
regular readers shall be all too aware of why exactly he was not wearing his infamous, celebrated and loved red shoes........
after putting his shirt back on (nice though the vest was), it was time to have a good play with the grandchildren. no swords or light sabers for Grandad, though, what with him taking the more no-nonsense approach of children should be playing football.
thanks to Grandad James feels a need to only kick a football with his left foot. why, you ask? because Grandad, in his wisdom, has forseen that there will be a shortage of left-sided Premier League footballers in the next few years. a good deal of my father's retirement planning, then, seems to rely on James deciding to be a fotballer, get to be really good and sign for a Premier League side on the commonplace, insane wages they get. what can i say but good luck.
Grandad has not quite got around to advising William in such a direct manner, but he did ask for William, in a way that could almost considered to be polite, to stop riding his toy bike on the path as it was making a noise, instead advising him to ride it on the grass.
this he did, and thus Grandad was able to give him some advice when he fell off.
well, if "get out of the way" is advice, at the least.
now, for your pleasure, a brief glimpse of one of our hosts, Richard. here he is busy cooking the formidable amount of spare parts of various pigs for my benefit, which was jolly decent of him.
when i raised an eyebrow at Richard starting a fire so close to what seemed to me to be a wooden door Richard promptly bashed it a very great deal to show off the metal qualities of the door. so now i know. and indeed so do you.
a big well done to Richard for the expert and excellent cooking, by the way. everything was most tasty, and he did a far better job that i could ever wish to!
on to the rather more business end of the day, and it was of course an opportunity for grandparents and grandchildren to say goodbye for now, with the promise of seeing each other as soon as possible.
it is fair to say that all shall miss each other, but the world thanks to technology feels a good deal smaller and closer together than it did a few years ago. well, in the 80s.
that said, nothing of course will ever beat sitting on Grandma's lap.
or, for that matter, sitting next to Grandad, having a drink from a big glass and eating some "tasters" that Grandad insist be brought to him by the chef.
as for Richard, well, the emotional trauma of cooking and the physical energy used to say goodbye to Mum & Dad got the better of him in the end. that can be the only possible reason he fell asleep on the couch in front of the television during the afternoon, as this is something he would never, ever do usually.
the day still had time for some more Grandadisms, you may be pleased to read. do you recall that bucket he put on his head earlier? well, he found a close to conventional use for it. sort of.
William was so impressed with the idea of travel via bucket that he attempted to return the favour. Grandad, alas, is not really of the size for bucket travel!
it was a valiant effort, though, and William at least very nearly tripped him up! if that had happened it probably would have been the only picture i posted here!
beyond trying to levitate and trip up Grandad, William has a profound interest in fiddling with things that have buttons on them. this leads us to have all sorts of interesting escapades with the oven, the dishwasher and, well, everything with a plug. to this end, William was thrilled when he discovered that Richard had left his "speaker docking thing" for iTwat or similar devices within reasonably easy reach. easy as in he only had to move the one chair to climb up and get it!
alas, all things must end, and so our excellent afternoon came to a close. it came to be the time to say a sad, teary farewell, although with the promise of seeing each other as soon as possible and, of course, wishing each other well - in particular Grandma and Grandad on their new venture.
no doubt Grandma and Grandad's adventures shall feature here, but for now i really don't think i can say or add much to what this last picture says....
do be very excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!