Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Steven had planned a few days away visiting a friend in Bridlington.  On the third morning, he slipped on the kitchen floor, fell and broke his left wrist.  After a local X-Ray, he was referred to Scarborough hospital.  There he was fitted with a pot - or as we call them today, after the American pattern - a cast.

However, all was not well.  Steven endured several days of travelling back and forth until they finally decided to reset the fracture with plates and goodness knows what else ironmongery.  We wondered why he didn't come home and get transferred to Northern General, which has a specialist fractures unit.  But I rush ahead of myself.  After two weeks of Steven being away from home, Jack took Silas by afternoon train to visit him.  Jack remembers how flat the East Riding was, and Silas remembers the long sausage they had with chips.  

The weekend came, and Steven seemed no nearer coming home.  "Well, we've got a free day tomorrow," I piped up at Friday teatime's sharing time.  "Who's up for visiting Steven?"  I looked across at the brothers.  They blinked blankly.  "Does anyone know if Steven'll be around?"  Nobody did.  "My parents are supposed to be coming..." offered Harriet.  "Well, that's good enough reason for going," Jack countered.  And so we agreed we'd all go - Steven being around or not - first thing Saturday morning.  (First thing is a euphemistic expression for us.)

Jack was on to it with a vengeance, knocking out cheese and ham rolls with Mary for all they were worth.  We shoved Lil's "truck" (electric scooter) into the back of our van, together with six collapsible picnic chairs, an apple crate of thermos flasks, and a box of pickled onion crisps.  Paul appeared, announced that Steven had explained he'd be out all day; then he went back to bed.  It was an enjoyable drive over.  I was amazed at the number of wind turbines sprinkled around that Wolds farmsteads and small business units.

We did an amazing job of rendezvousing with Jack and Harriet at the long-stay car park next to the railway station.  I loaned Barrie £2.50 for the ticket, and he still hasn't paid me back, having skived off to the Cardio ward for the last three weeks.  Pace.  

 We emptied the vehicles, and set off on a trek to the harbour.  The viewing area provided an ideal suntrap.  It was our first delightful taste of Spring.  However, not for long.  The children were itching to dig in the sand, fall in the water, fall out with each other, fly kites and generally do what kids do on a beach.

"Look, there's Phil!" Harriet beamed.  Sure enough, it was our old friend from Leeds.  He'd taken early retirement From Kirklees Council last year, and got a small flat just 200 yards from the seafront.   The tide was just past the turn and slowly coming up the wide beach.  We settled down out of the wind and under the warm sun.  The kids dug in the sand, fell in the water, fell out with each other and flew kites.  Jack was in his element.   Ray sat in his picnic chair defying the tide until the last moment.

Phil invited us back for a cup of tea.  Titus emptied the seawater from his wellies, and we all gratefully used Phil's toilet and washed our hands.   "What're we doing for tea?" Harriet prompted.  "Fish'n chips," Jack suggested, hopeful.  Hmmm; for 13 it was going to work out expensive.  It was too cold to sit outside.  The we noticed the time, and realised that unless we got away sharpish, we'd be back home late for Paul's meeting.  The van return journey was uneventful.  But an hour later, eight o'clock had long passed and Jack and Harriet hadn't got back.  We feared a fish and chip shop had stepped out into their path.

We sat around the lounge with uniform pink faces from the sun (except Paul).  Steven finally came home another week and a half later.  

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