Well, the day of the Royal Parks Half Marathon finally dawned for Denise to put all that training and effort to good use. Having raised loads of dosh last year for Perennial, her chosen charity, and then having an operation just three weeks before the event which prevented her from from taking part, she was understandably keen to complete the event in fine style this year.
And she did it – and in a really good time of 2 hrs 18 mins! A good 10 minutes faster than she expected and four minutes quicker than a certain well-known Radio 2 DJ who just happened to come in a few minutes before her.
No doubt the encouragement provided by her loyal travelling supporter group played an important part in her success – but obviously the real credit goes to Denise for committing to this masochistic ordeal and then seeing it through to a very succesful conclusion. Well done darling!
The past nine months have been a tad difficult – not least when it came to sitting down and attempting to write an interesting, entertaining or informative blog. In August of last year I started to feel unwell and by the time I had been diagnosed with kidney disease towards the end of 2016 I was well and truly under the weather and largely ‘confined to barracks’ with little prospect of having anything interesting to write about.
These days the media seldom seems to have much that’s good to say about the NHS, however I have to say that my personal experience has been pretty much wholly positive. No doubt I’ve been fortunate to live in a part of the country where the service doesn’t seem to be permanently overloaded and in crisis, however being able to get to see my GP at virtually no notice and most importantly being able to rely upon the services of the experienced, caring and highly professional staff of Gloucester and Cheltenham hospitals has made the overall experience of being ill vastly more bearable than it might otherwise have been. I am immensely grateful for their help and support but, at the risk of seeming ungrateful, hope to be seeing rather less of them in the year to come.
Anyway, enough of all that! The good news is that as I hopefully near the end of my initial treatment (the wonderfully named Ponticelli Regimen) I seem to be making good progress and have at last been able to get back towards living a more normal existence, enjoying some of those things that I’ve been looking forward to over the past few months.
The first and most important news to report is the arrival of our first granddaughter, Gretel Lilly Ewbank, who came into this world in Nürnberg on 23rd February 2017 courtesy of her parents Richard and Collette. She’s a beauty and a delight and no doubt will one day be a famous scientist, renowned artist or perhaps even a skilled restorer of classic cars. Who cares just so long as she remains healthy and happy?
On the automotive front I have to report that Bertie has moved on to pastures new. Although we thoroughly enjoyed our relatively short period of Austin ownership it became increasingly clear over the past year that he was just one car too many for us and that we would have few opportunities to gain full use or enjoyment from him going forward. The good news is that he’s moved on to enthusiastic new owners and that for the first time in 47 years of automotive ownership I’ve actually managed to make a small profit from buying and selling a car!
Nature abhors a vacuum and the prospect of having a little spare space on the drive was obviously insufficient reason for not going out and buying another vehicle (not sure that sentence makes sense, but you know what I mean) so we immediately went out and bought a motorhome – what else? Our first short expedition to the north Devon coast in early May was an unqualified success so as I sit here tapping away at the keyboard we’re actually parked in a field in Powys at the start of a six day break which, if all goes well and the weather stays reasonable, should see us exploring the Welsh coastline and getting to know our new mode of transport. Today Welshpool, tomorrow the world – we’re on the road again!
It may have taken Richard a little while to get around to popping the question to Collette, but it seemed to take no time at all for the big day to come around. With Jennie and Nathan’s Yorkshire event still fresh in our minds we were really looking forward to celebrating this second family wedding in the course of only nine months. The fact that this time we’d be doing so in the Bavarian Alps made the prospect even more exciting.
The Duftbrau Gasthaus was a wonderful setting for a wedding – mountains, forests, wild flowers, donkeys and excellent beer, what more could anyone want? The pictures tell the story ……….
Well, the great day came at last and Nathan and Jennie have now tied the knot! A September wedding in Yorkshire was always going to be of a bit of a gamble with the weather – and celebrating the event in a tent (sorry, a Papakata tepee) in a field on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors was definitely pushing their luck – but fortune favours the brave and I’m glad to say that we were blessed with sunny skies and the only water to be seen was bottled and on the tables.
Beautiful bride, handsome groom, glamorous bridesmaids, lovely setting, great weather and surrounded throughout the weekend by family and friends – what more could we have asked for? Well, we could have asked for a Hip-Hop DJ session provided by Richard and Tom – but we got that anyway! All part of our musical education I suppose.
….holiday blogs, motoring obsessions and a general account of life in the Ewbank household…..