6th August 1999

On Saturday the 24th July, I headed for Manchester Airport to meet Jen. She arrived on time, after an apparently very pleasant flight (business class, I’m very envious!). We headed home, spent the afternoon grocery shopping and the evening relaxing in front of the TV.

The next day, we headed up to Ironbridge for a walk, following the route I walked on 10th February 1999. Jen wasn’t very impressed with the steep climb, but enjoyed the woods at the top. After arriving back home and grabbing a bite to eat, we went out to The Fox pub for Jen’s first experience of a real life Pub Quiz. It was a lot of fun, and we came third thanks to a well placed joker card.

I was back at work for the rest of the week, so Jen spent her days relaxing at home, or shopping in town.

On the Monday evening we went to see Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which was very enjoyable, if a little corny. I think you need to be a kid to enjoy it fully! Tuesday and Wednesday evenings were spent relaxing, and on Thursday night we went out for a drunken time with Pippa.

Friday was my sister’s 21st birthday, so we had arranged to drive down there for her party. The drive took nearly 5 hours, thanks to some very nasty traffic, so we arrived at my mum’s house at about 5 to drop off our wedding clothes for the next day. I phoned Dad from there, only to discover that everyone was at the hospital, after Philippa had been hit by the boom while sailing. She was in intensive care, and heavily sedated, so we decided not to go to the hospital and to go to Dad’s house instead. We had drinks with Dad, Clare, Manda, Hayley, Liz, and some of Philippa’s old school friends who turned up expecting a party.

The next morning we went to the hospital. Philippa was still in intensive care, but she was awake and talking, if a little groggy. She had tubes everywhere and looked terrible, but at least she was conscious.

As Philippa seemed to be on the road to recovery, we decided to head off to Scott and Natasha’s wedding, which started at 2. It was a very traditional ceremony, and reception, with lots of my old friends acting as ushers and bridesmaids. A good time was had by all, despite the small risk of people expiring in the stifling heat of the marquee (especially during the hot vegetable soup course of the meal!).

We went back to Dad’s the next day, and then back to the hospital. Philippa was looking much better, and was moved from intensive care to a general ward. We left her to settle in to her new surroundings and went back to Maylandsea for some dinner and drinks.

We had planned on going to Bath on Monday, but decided instead to go to Cambridge, which is much closer to Essex. Cambridge is a very pretty city, especially along the river, with the old college buildings lining the waterfront. We rented a row boat for an hour, and had a fun time dodging incompetent punt pilots and trying to find a way through the throng of boats. My first rowing experience went remarkably well (and Jen was good too, but she’s had lots of practice)!

After a meal and a wander around the shops, we headed back to Shrewsbury. We arrived back late, and went straight to bed. The next morning I discovered a letter from Canadian Immigration on my doorstep. It was my medical forms, so I immediately booked an appointment with a doctor in Birmingham.

I called Dad, and discovered that Philippa had been sent home from hospital. That was the good news. The bad news was that my Dad had been sent home from work after falling off a ladder and hurting his hip! He’s now using a dining chair as a zimmer frame, and hobbling around the house. I expect Philippa is having a good laugh…

We had planned to go to the seaside for Jen’s last day here, but the weather was being cruel and we ended up staying home. We watched Sliding Doors, and generally did nothing, but lazy days at home are good sometimes.

On Wednesday I took Jen to the airport and we said our goodbyes. It’s now four weeks before I head off to Canada and see her again. I hope it goes quickly!

Yesterday I went for my medical, which was very successful. Find out more on my Canada Immigration Page.

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