At the end of May, John and I travelled from Kavousi to London and then on to Cornwall where we stayed at our flat in Newquay. In spite of covid restrictions, we spent socially distanced time with our daughter, Rosie and her partner, Ed over the next few weeks and then on June 28th, Rosie gave birth to their daughter, Isla Rose Broom. 10 days later, we were present at the wedding of our son Graham, to Rhiannon at Islington Town Hall, London. As you can imagine, we are incredibly happy about all of this!!!
Isla was born in Truro Hospital at 7.30 am. She was 9lbs 7ozs (4.28kg) at birth and looked completely adorable from the start.
For some days, we had been expecting the baby to be born and I put my phone on immediately when I woke up. But no news for days. And then on the Monday morning, about 8am, I looked at my phone and saw three pictures of a baby. It was a wonderful feeling and I still feel emotional when I think of that moment. Excitement, relief, wonder, pure happiness, tearful ….
Ed, Rosie and the new baby (with no name at that point) were home at their flat by 3pm that day which seemed amazing to me, given that I remember spending some days in hospital after childbirth. John and I took flowers round to their flat and we couldn’t believe how well the baby, Rosie and Ed were. I felt very nervous picking her up as her head seemed so wobbly and she seemed so small. But holding my granddaughter was a wonderful feeling and brought tears to my eyes.
After a couple of days, the baby was named Isla Rose. John and I thought these were lovely names and they suited our precious granddaughter. For the next week, we saw Isla most days and on the last day, John and I were in charge for an hour as her parents went shopping. Isla had the good sense to stay asleep!!! . Both parents are very relaxed and so happy with their new daughter.
It was difficult to leave Rosie, Ed and Isla but we did have another family celebration to attend.
Graham and Rhiannon married on July 8th. When I first heard about the wedding, I was delighted but had selfish worries about what I was going to wear as I realised that shorts and a t shirt would not be appropriate! I went to a shop in Agios Nikolaos and the staff there, helped me choose a very comfortable, suitable and colourful outfit and they even took me to another shop where I could buy shoes! After months of lockdown and casual dress , I looked at myself in the mirror in some wonder that I looked so smart!!! The material survived the travel and I bought another dress in Truro, when I was in Cornwall, for the evening. My wardrobe has improved no end!!!
Graham and Rhiannon’s wedding was a delight. A small group of us attended the ceremony at Islington Town Hall – parents, grandparents, James and Rhiannon’s brother, Nye. In the circumstances, Rosie decided sensibly not to come.
The bride and groom were very happy.
as were all the relatives.
Afterwards, we went to a restaurant nearby, where we were joined by a few friends of Graham and Rhiannon. The company and the food were wonderful.
Speeches were made by the bride and groom as well as their fathers. Graham’s friend, Neil, introduced some music into the occasion, including ‘The bonnie banks of Loch Lomond’ which we all had to sing, of course. The evening was spent at the St Pancras Rennaissance Hotel where conversations continued until eventually the young folk went off to a karaoke session and the parents continued to drink and chat. Graham and Rhiannon had arranged for their parents to stay overnight at the hotel which was another treat. Whilst I ate a good breakfast, the next morning, I did not feel so well later on. But it was all well worth it!!!
A few days later, Graham and Rhiannon invited us and our friend, Jane, for dinner at their flat. It was quite dramatic as we arrived by taxi in a huge deluge of rain. They cooked us a lovely meal and we talked about their plans for the next two years. They leave for Mexico City on August 8th and Graham starts work as a chemistry teacher at Greengates School there later in the month. They sounded so excited and all set for adventure!. They are renting out their flat and putting their furniture into storage. We had a lovely evening and we felt very happy for them both.
Recently, Graham and Rhiannon met Isla in Newquay (see cover picture).
While they were there they checked out the new, superb Airbnb accommodation and they helped to organise Isla’s first barbeque experience which included some rain!
During the four weeks before Isla’s birth, we were unfortunately and reluctantly in quarantine for 10 days in the flat, so it was good to have a project for that period and then up until the baby was born! Now Rosie is no longer living in our flat, she had the good idea of renting it out on Airbnb. There is great demand in Cornwall at present for such accommodation. But the flat needed some work done to it before this could happen. By the time we arrived, Ed had laid a new floor and he and Rosie had painted much of it. So our job was to finish the painting and complete some other jobs.
We decided also to update some of the appliances – the boiler, cooker and dishwasher – as our contribution to the venture. These were bought and installed so that they would be completely reliable when people came to stay. By the time we left Newquay, the new boiler would not work which was the reverse of what was intended! However, it was not such a big problem and was fixed after we left, although we had to use cold water for a couple of days!
John and I were also given the task of taking pictures of the flat for Airbnb advertising. This was a bit of a challenge, not only do we have limited photographic skills but the flat is quite small. The living room/kitchen was easy,
the rest was more tricky.
The second bedroom is quite small! Fortunately, Ed’s mother, Sue, reassured us that the photos were not so important! In fact, Rosie has had no trouble in renting it out for August and September so we are taking some credit for this! The first group of people have arrived and all is good so far.
We also had time for some fun in Cornwall, which is just so beautiful especially in the good weather which we were fortunate to enjoy. Rosie took us to the famous Lost Gardens of Heligan which were lovely and it was especially good to have a professional gardener as our guide!
and I particularly enjoyed the flowers,
and the Mud Maid sculpture.
On another occasion with Ed and Rosie we had lunch at the Bowgie Inn, near Newquay and were stunned by the most spectacular panorama. I think that the blues of the Cretan seas are unbeatable but actually the view that day of the Cornish coastline was, without doubt, in close competition.
There was another pub outing to meet Graham and Sally We met Graham in Kavousi, but he lives in Camborne and it was so nice to catch up with them again.
We also went further afield for 4 days. We spent a couple of nights with John’s cousin, Liz and enjoyed her hospitality,
and the wonderful green countryside of Wiltshire
We visited Tim and Liz in Devon and later they also came to see us and Isla in Newquay. While they were there, we enjoyed a local walk showing off the wonderful coastline around Newquay,
and on another excursion sat watching the ferry from Rock to Padstow
Tim brought with him two local pictures which now are features of our flat. Apparently, John and Tim’s parents went to Newquay for their honeymoon in 1937 and bought these pictures by a local artist. Rosie and all of us were delighted to have something so personal to display in the flat.
It was then time to move on to London for the wedding. At first, we stayed with our friends Sarah and Mark, who with their son, Tom, coped very well with our comings and goings regarding the wedding and confirmed that we looked fine as parents of the groom! The next day when we returned, we brought some flowers which had been on a table at the restaurant.
One day I walked with Sarah in Battersea (we used to work together there in the 1980’s) and we went to an Arts community project in which Sarah is involved which was very interesting.
Later we watched England play Denmark in the semifinal of the European Cup which had a good ending!
Then we moved to stay with Jane for three days. She had moved since we saw her last so we were curious to see her new house and garden as well as catching up with her news. We visited the nearby old Rookery which is one of London’s many wonderful parks!) and Jane was keen to show me West Norwood cemetery. In 1842, a section of it was acquired by the London Greek community for a Greek Orthodox cemetery. There are many impressive looking monuments and mausoleums there.
The highlight of the visit was a barbecue with her daughter Chloe, Felipe and their children. Felix, aged nearly two, managed to say my name and Lila was very good at games and cheating at them! It was such good fun!
We watched the football final which was going well until Italy scored and then there was a certain inevitability about the result! On the final day, we had a good chat and pint,
with Jane, John and Maureen in the County Arms on Wandsworth Common and we then spent our last night catching up with news with our friend Phil in Bracknell in her lovely mobile home
and the beautiful garden she has created.
It was a very nice end to our trip.
The journey there and the journey home had moments of stress, particularly at Heathrow Airport, both going into the UK and coming out of it. But, we feel very lucky that we made the trip!
We arrived home safely by taxi from Heraklion Airport. All was well at home and it was a good feeling to be here. I also like to tell as many people I can that I am a grandmother and a mother in law!!!! Since then, we have recovered from our trip, enjoyed meeting friends and going to tavernas. I played a game of tennis which was a treat as was swimming in the sea!
Do we miss Isla? Yes, of course but we do get regular reports of her and we receive photos and videos. It is delightful to see the changes in her. I just love her expressions and general development and everything about her!
We hope to see her before long!!!