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A finger buffet was held in my honour to bid me a fond farewell. My Mum went to a huge amount of effort, as always, to lay a fine spread fit for a King. She had to settle for me and my million-pocketed rucksack as her guests of honour.

With most of the food polished off we all ventured outside for the presumed photo session. Nan & Grandad wanted one of them with me, but it had to be a normal picture as opposed to a digital image so my Dad disappeared for his other SLR to satisfy the complete party. Tens of pictures later, all of which were taken with both cameras, twice, I set about copying the digital images to lappie which worked a treat. I was immediately accompanied by all four Grandparents who huddled around me with murmurs of delight at how brilliant it was that the pictures we took less than an hour ago could be viewed on the laptop in the kitchen...

I took pleasure in presenting a couple of gifts during the afternoon. Following my trip to Plymouth at the beginning of the month, during which I managed to capture a beautiful scenic picture of Wembury church and bay, I presented my brother and sister-in-law with a framed landscape of their place of marriage for their first anniversary celebration, which they will be spending on a Greek island. For my Mum, I have written a poem entitled Smile for her to treasure when I am afar:


Oceans and land may part us
Minutes may seem like hours
When you close your eyes at night and rest
Smile for me

The Sun and the Moon will rise and set
Hours may seem like days
When you open your eyes in the morning and rise
Smile for me

Stars will sparkle in the skies
Days may seem like weeks
When you gaze at the restful stars of the night
Smile for me

Time may seem against you
Weeks may seem like months
As you wake to the tuneful dawn chorus
Smile for me

Oceans and land may part us
Love, thoughts and memories unite
I will be home in a little while
Smile for us

At the possibility of driving Nan & Grandad home, both of which had made a huge effort for my benefit to venture out of their home, the first time since my siblings wedding last September, I leaped at the chance and accompanied by Mum we set off. At the end of our journey I looked to my Grandad and asked if I had passed. It made my day to be told by a retired driving test examiner that my drive home was very pleasurable and I should keep it up...

A cup of tea later, and a promise of another visit before my departure, we made our leave.