01/10/2012 21:15

17 July 2009


Dear Catherine,

How are you this week – I bet you are happy school is finished? 

I went over Ireland two weeks ago to see John from Thursday to Sunday.  He needs full time care now and Fiona is very busy looking after him.  Sometimes Tonia, Gavin or Rory take over for a few hours and he has someone come in fro three hours every Thursday to look after him while Fiona goes out.  But she has to be there the rest of the time.  Its not that she has to keep an eye on him all the time, actually he can really look after himself, but he has to take a total of 35 pills at set times during the day and he could never remember to take all of them, so Fiona has them all ready for him at the times they are supposed to be taken.  He can get a little confused especially when he is tired, so she needs to make sure he eats properly and doesn’t do anything silly.  Like for example when I was there, he fell over when going out the back door, he just got a little disorientated trying to step down and turn to the right and ended up on the ground, he didn’t hurt himself a lot but couldn’t really stand up himself.  When I go I try to do as many jobs about the house as I can, like cutting the grass and weeding.  John tries to help as he would always have done it himself, but he cannot help a lot.  Please, please send him a note or drawing to let him know you think about him, he (and I) would really appreciate it, especially as he may not be here in the future.

I also had a trip to Lisbon in Portugal for work.  I had to go with three chaps from the client to see a quarry where they are mining the stone facing for the hospital I am working on.  We stayed in a lovely hotel with a massive bedroom, which was wasted on me as I only slept there and only used a tiny fraction of the space.  We went to see where they mine the stone.  They cut massive blocks out of the rock, like about 2.5m x 2.5m x 2.5m.  We need 13 of these to produce the amount of stone facing we need.  They take a block into the factory and cut it into strips 40mm wide, like an egg slicer, only with very sharp blades and working very slowly.  They then polish it and cut in into the sizes they need.  The machinery and controls are very complicated operating the cuts like a robot and storing the pieces away so they can be retrieved when required.  I love going to places like that and it reminds me why I love my job (most of the time anyway).  The Portugese are really nice and friendly and took us out for two superb meals.  One was looking over the Atlantic and the other was a traditional meal up in the mountains near the quarry.  Most of the people I went with were French, the Portugese spoke French as well so I got the chance to speak a bit of French which I also love.  My Greek is suffering at the moment which is a shame.

I have been going to the Hill Club to keep fit a bit and also playing tennis on Sundays in the local tennis club to try to keep a bit in trim..  I used to love tennis when I was young and am getting back into the swing of it again.  You should try it and I wish I could teach you.  Are you doing any sport at Sacred Heart?  If you get a chance you should take up tennis.  I would give you a lesson any time you wanted, if you are prepared to have a go. 


Continuation of Lennie, adventures.

Like I used to do when I was telling you stories in bed I was always trying to imagine the next bit.  And I seem to have made up bits to continue this one!  Lennie was a little afraid when his dad hadn’t returned so he decided to go out and look for him.  His mum didn’t want him to go but Lennie thought it was partly his fault and went out in search of his dad.  He trundled around all he areas he usually visited and his dad would have been familiar with.  He was just about to give up when he saw the trap.  It was being raised up and to his horror he saw his dad inside, clearly not able to get out.  He followed as quickly as he could but just could not keep up with it.  Eventually he broke the surface and saw two fishermen land the trap in their boat with satisfaction.  They removed dad from the trap and chucked him into a tank of water they had in their boat which seemed to have two other lobsters in it.  He followed the boat back to the shore and tried to see where they took the tank when they unloaded it from the boat.  They carried it into a quayside restaurant.  To be continued *****

It looks like I will not be moving to a new flat at least not for the moment.  I am comfortable where I am and the people are friendly.  It’s a bit small and I could not possibly fit all my things there.  I do not have a garden to work in which I would like as I miss my garden.  I would also like a dog, which may not be possible or maybe a cat.  What do you think?  I have your mobile phone card, I found it the other day – do you need it or would you like me to put credit on it?  I discovered how to put a photograph on my phone of the person phoning me, so I have my brother on it, it is a lovely photo of him smiling, and I have a few others as well.  Its not too difficult to do if I can do it!

As I will always tell you, don’t forget that I love you for ever and do not blame you for anything that has happened.  I enclose £10.00 as a contribution for your pocket money and suppose I would like to know if you get it ok or if you would like anything else.

 Lots of love,



Dad  xxx                                                                            17 Harley Road, Harrow HA1 4XF