Sunday, 10 February 2008

In-law family weekend.

Andy and NickyMr A's sister Nicky asked for a digital camera for Christmas, so her brothers obliged, buying her a fairly sophisticated one. Nicky is used to the old fashioned film type of camera, and we knew she would need some help getting started, so we went to visit just after Christmas and got it all working. It sounded as though she was still working on the film camera paradigm, and she wasn't planning to use it again until her holiday, so we paid her a visit to help her to take a few more pictures and to practise deleting them. We had a pub lunch together and walked/wheeled about a bit before taking her back home. We only managed to persuade her to take two photos. She's pretty stubborn.

We carried on down into Devon, with a brief stop at Mr A's parents, since we were driving right past their house. When we arrived I was plunged into a whole lot of Mr A's relatives. This was pretty daunting, especially as I was only expecting to meet Jane, Charles and their son Richard, but there were five extra family members as well. I can't complain; I have introduced Mr A to many more members of my family than this, in a shorter time too, and he can't even pronounce the names of half of them.

Cows' bumsCharles showed us round the organic farm he runs - 'play-farming' he calls it, since he's cut right down from the time when he was producing a million pints of milk a week. Now he rears a handful of organic calves for beef. Jane told us about her work in dentistry, trying to establish why people leave the profession, and, presumably, thinking about how to retain them. Richard showed us his scar - in the shape of a large question mark around an area of his skull above the left ear. He's had two lots of surgery to remove the brain tumour, he's lost a significant amount of vision, had radiotherapy and is now in the midst of continuing courses of chemotherapy. He follows a vegan diet with plenty of vegetables, as do the rest of the family, avoiding salt, gluten and a whole lot else, and he looks healthier than we do. Long may it last.

It was a terrific weekend, and provided a whole lot of warm family feeling, inspiration, and topics for conversation on the long drive back. Who knows how long our health will last?


aims said...

He's a vegan and raises cows? Maybe that's why...

Lola said...

They've only been vegans since the brain tumour - in fact, only Richard keeps strictly to the diet, but they don't cook separately for him and for themselves.