Thursday, 3 April 2008

Jane's Visit

Bill’s sister from Sydney was with us the past couple of weeks. She neatly timed her arrival to coincide with his birthday celebrations and I took her to the airport this morning. Bill was upset that the ‘head office people’ at his new job were coming to see him today and so he couldn't do the airport run. I'm very sorry to see her go as well. Besides enjoying her company immensely, having her here has gotten me out and about more than I have been and, with the improved weather, I’ve enjoyed that.

Jane’s had varying success with her daily visits to her 93-year-old mother, Ellen, at the residential home. Some days they had reasonable conversations, others not. Apparently Ellen has taken to shouting out “BILL!!! Where ARE you?” at unexpected intervals, making everyone jump. Whilst I can see why she might do that assuming that Bill was visiting along with Jane, I gather she does this even when she has no visitors. Ellen’s voice has a sharp edge and Jane’s imitation of her calling “BILL!!! Where ARE you?” made me think of some Mynah birds that belonged to a friend of my family when I was young.

Jane culled Ellen’s wardrobe whilst she was here and we went shopping for replacement garments one day. I enjoyed the challenge of removing some of the ribbed neckbands on sweaters she didn’t like and hopefully making them more useful. We also called in at at Vivienne Westwood’s new shop (I wouldn’t buy anything even could I afford it, but I’ve read her biography and wanted to see her clothes for myself). Another day we went to another village (where the posh people live) and trawled through all the charity shops for baby clothes for Jane’s expected granddaughter. Driving Jane to and from a cousin’s house briefly dragged Bill back into the family he generally takes for granted. Another day she and I went into town to go to the green market and fitted in a visit to the local historical library, two vintage clothing shops and a coffee house for lunch.

We searched my magazines for craft ideas for her endless supply of fabric sample books (her daughter works in the interior decorating & design industry). We caught up on the state of things with her descendants and our respective partners. We didn't spend all her visit chatting. On the days I stayed home or had solitary ventures, I think Jane enjoyed the quiet time and the lack of any schedule or requirements other than to visit with her mom.

I’m looking forward to meeting up again in the US for Bill’s birthday gathering.

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