Jay celebrated her birthday with a climbing party at The Warehouse in Gloucester, followed by a sleepover for her friends.
Having put our house on the market at the beginning of November, on Wednesday 13 we finally moved from Darkes Farm to a new house in Toddington.†
Most rooms in our new house are straight by now, though there are still some areas to tackle, eg we didnít bring any wardrobes with us, so clothes are still kept in a pile on the floor.† Jay is getting used to the new bus arrangements, and we are finding the additional driving into Cheltenham quicker than we expected, as the roads through Winchcombe are generally very quiet.
Helen came home for a few days at the end of the month.† We took her to look round Broadway, and also rode on the Toddington Steam Railway.
A short local expedition for Bank Holiday Monday took us to Broadway Tower.
On Wednesday 3 we went to see Berkeley Castle, calling at Breadstone House to see Hazel on the way back.
She seemed very well and contented, much as she was before.† Breadstone House (above) seems to be an ideal establishment for her, all the staff very friendly, and we saw several rooms we had not seen before.† A very pleasant feature is the glazed conservatory area linking two of the older buildings (below).
Our last trip of the school holiday was to Hailes Abbey, just down the road from us.
On Saturday 13 we went out for a Titanic dinner, as a late celebration of Teresaís birthday.
Mick and Pat visited.† We went on the local steam train and afterwards enjoyed lunch at the nearby pub, where Jay had strawberries and cream.
For the last six months or so, Jay has been building a robot from a parts magazine.† Itís finally finished.
A quiet month of unseasonal weather, and unwelcome illnesses, first for Teresa, then for Jay, who missed her school exams and the summer orchestra concert as a result.† (But she had to do the exams anyway when she got back.)
Helen visited for a few days, while Roger had a bumper month of sport Ė the World Cup, cricket, Wimbledon.† Quite exhausting.
A traumatic month:† literally in some respects.† Jay completed her second year (Year 8) at Pateís, achieving some good exam results and a generally complimentary report.†
In music, Jay had a master class and her Grade 7 violin exam, both preceded by a spectacular display of nerves.† Later in the month, she camped out for a very wet week at Beauchamp House for an orchestra course.
On Wednesday 24, Roger was admitted to Bristol Royal Infirmary for his long awaited coronary bypass surgery.† The operation was performed on Monday 29 Ė successfully, weíre glad to report Ė followed by a weekís recovery in hospital.
Meanwhile, Breadstone House reported a deterioration in Hazelís health, and she passed away on Saturday 27.† Teresa was left alone to deal with the double strain of the progress of Rogerís operation and her motherís death and funeral arrangements.
Hazelís funeral took place at Gloucester Crematorium on 15 August.
Roger was still recovering from his bypass operation, with pains and soreness in the chest the most noticeable after-effect.† He started to exercise more to build up fitness, mainly by taking a daily walk.
Roger had his six-week check-up at the Bristol Royal Infirmary; all tests and examinations were satisfactory and he was discharged.† He should now be able to return to most normal activities, except for heavy work and lifting.† He has described his experiences in Bristol Royal Infirmary and during his operation.
Jay received her Grade 7 Violin exam result, a pass with distinction.†
Teresa started work part-time at the Gretton playgroup, two mornings a week for the time being.† Gretton is only about six minutes drive from Toddington, so itís actually easier to get to than her last playgroup in Cheltenham.
Jay had her first riding lesson.† She had to borrow the hat Ö
Ö and the horse Ö
Ö which was suitably old and slow.
Jay helped with the lengthy job of painting the fence:
Our first Halloween at Old Forge House:† we didnít have the usual fondu meal because we forgot the cheese, but Teresa and Jay provided a pumpkin for outside the front door.
Jay enjoyed her riding from the start.† After a few private lessons, she moved into† regular classes on Wednesday and Saturday.† She canít wait for them to come round.
Jay finished a series of Royal Institution maths master classes which took place over ten Saturday mornings.†
click to enlarge
Just before Christmas we were invited to a pre-Christmas party to meet some of our new neighbours.†
Over the Christmas break, the girls come on my walk with me:† we try to vary the route a little.†† A detour into the churchyard provides a view of some poignant headstones (in foreground below) and a splendid view of Toddington Manor:
Helen also takes the opportunity to see Jay riding:† here she is on Blizzard, lining up a jump.