Touching base in my hometown Newcastle

Finally having some ‘me’ time in my hometown Newcastle and catching up with family and friends. It should have been last week when I came north but that couldn’t happen because the car needed servicing. If I had been able to come last week I would have had five days here but unfortunately I only have  two days and so I’m striving to get around to seeing folks and also just touch base with my home town. As a boy the quayside played a big part in my life and now as a man I always feel the need to spend time there when I’m home.

 
Today I met up with a man who joined the Royal Navy around the same time as me and who has been reading my memoirs. His name is John (see photo below) and although we hadn’t met before we got on really well. Over a cup of tea on the quayside we talked for a couple of hours about life, loves and of course the Royal Navy before exchanging gifts; John gave me a book called Fish and Ships, the Royal Navy, and I gave him a copy of my cartoon book JL Against All Odds (you can read it here on my website). John is a wonderfully sensitive man who has supported many vulnerable people throughout his life and it was truly a pleasure for me to meet him. Thank you John for taking the time to say hello and let’s stay in touch ๐Ÿ™‚
  
This weekend (3 April) is my beloved granddaughters 24th birthday and so I’m thrilled to be here for her special day. Having been the primary male in her life we are extremely close; as a child I took her everywhere with me in a papoose. What was really funny and yet very sweet today was that I needed some new clothes (jeans, jacket, tee shirt) and she chose them all for me ๐Ÿ™‚ What was also lovely for me was that she took me to the Black Garter pub where she works and without question all of the regulars absolutely love her. I’m a very proud grandad. More photos will follow.

  

Macbeth livesย 

  
My little grandson Sebby is ten years old and has #autism. Wednesday night he took the lead role in Macbeth on stage in Cardigan as part of a UK wide Shakespeare event. He was brilliant; not just was he word perfect, he WAS Macbeth. A brilliant night. Afterwards Sebby was praised highly by the organisers and was given the Head Teachers Award for his achievement. These days I can quite happily (as a very proud grandad) live my life through my grandkids ๐Ÿ™‚ 

To Australia with love…

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On Monday our beautiful grandchildren emigrate to Australia and so we spent a last day with them today at the coast; Skegness. Having lived abroad a couple of times (India and Gibraltar) we know it’s a wonderful opportunity for the children although from a selfish point of view there’s no doubt we’ll miss them. If there is one consolation these days it has to be technology because it’s made this world much smaller and easier to stay in touch with loved ones wherever they are. I guess it’s one of those times when I’m excited (for them) and sad (for us) both at the same time. Wherever they are, they always have our love x x

Time with my family…

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My lovely daughter Benita and her hubby Dan are with us for the weekend (up from Wales) with the kids as they travel north to go camping for a couple of weeks in the Whitby area. The nicest thing about our impending move to Wales is that we will get to see them all on a more regular basis.

Having a ‘down’ day? No. I don’t think so.

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Life has had it’s ups and downs. When I have down days one of my strategies is to count my blessings and one of my most cherished blessings is my family. This picture shows just a few of my Motley Crew and just looking at a picture like this lifts my mood and gives me the strength to face anything. Although I woke up feeling quite low today I’m feeling better already.