Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Onward to Tewkesbury

George and Janet
Originally uploaded by wjwmorrow.
I visited Janine and family for precisely two hours. Enough time to consume 1 1/2 bottles of beer ('tis the season for sobriety checks so I was being careful) and a handful of those dried banana crunchy things. The I set of for Tewkesbury to descend on my brother's family.

Twenty years ago George and his wife Janet embarked on an ambitious breeding programme that yielded five very impressive offspring (see blog "Morrow Triumphs": 28th August 2004). I hadn't seen the tribe since my departure for Seattle in October 2001 and was looking forward to observing their development. The eldest son Richard had just returned from his first quarter at the London School of Economics. His grades are in the top 6% of his class and he is on the football (soccer) team. He is obviously having fun and has developed a very dry, drole wit. Apparently his take on life and humour is very similar to my own. I'm pleased to see that he has become politically quite aware in a left-leaning way. Hannah, now 16, is very striking at 5' 10" (whatever happened to the slightly dumpy shy girl I knew three years ago?). She is also excelling academically and has a clear plan to go to medical school in 2006. The other three boys, James, Matt and Chris are all over achieving, especially in sport. I have a feeling that James may make it as a professional football player although he seems to be equally interested in management. Matt and Chris are junior county tennis champions. I'm watching all of them develop with great interest and delight.

Anyway it was fitting to be in Tewkesbury at Christmas. The town was featured in Dickens' Pickwick Papers and has a historic and festive feel. And as it happened Janet's brother and sister-in-law (+ two small children) were also there. In total 13 mouths to feed. Janet is unflappable and never breaks a sweat. Quite amazing. We ate, drank and were merry. A lovely evening.

The next day after a hearty, high cholesterol breakfast (good job, George) the children disappeared to play football, tennis, work, etc. and George went foraging for a Christmas tree. I plotted my route to Totnes, my next port of call, said my goodbyes and left about mid-afternoon contemplating the rosy glow of familial bonding.

The story continues...


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