Sunday, February 1, 1981

Well away

After much cajoling from Dad, I got up at about nine, and after collecting together all of Robert’s records and boxes of plates etc. (and, of course, the cat), we set off to his new house at Saxton, near Dearnelow.

The weather was superb, the sun bright in a clear blue sky although the colours were a little washed out into whites and yellows. We piled all the stuff in the boot and on the back seat and I sat in the back with George on my knee; he was quite frightened by all the commotion as we drove eastwards on the M62 and then south on the M1, eventually turning off  and driving through quiet countryside to Saxton, where we arrived at around half-eleven. The cat crapped all over in the car just as we got there.

Robert and Carol's house is an ex-council house near the Church and War Memorial. Robert had a record on when we got in; Mum was there, and Carol too, and everyone seemed happy. The house was light and roomy inside, with one main room separated by an archway, and Carol gave us a guided tour. There's three bedrooms total, with one bathroom/toilet. It's nothing spectacular but it's a good house; they’ve done a lot of cleaning. George was really anxious, rushing around the rooms mewing loudly.

Carol cooked us chicken and roast potatoes and afterwards we all went for a walk around Saxton, which is pretty small, just an austere conglomeration of farms, houses and the odd garage or two. You can walk through it in about five minutes, which we did until we reached the end of the houses one way, and then came back the other way before we wandered up a narrow footpath over the fields a little way. It was warm for February, like spring. Robert kept saying he couldn’t believe they were actually living there and joked that he was envious of himself. There are plenty of bird-watching areas and footpaths, and even a local infant school for Carol. They’re both well away there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they start a family within a couple of years.

We got back to the house at 2.45 and Mum, Dad, and I left to drive back just after three. We had the usual predictable cock-up in the centre of Ferscliffe, which is criminally planned. There are no signs, arrows, or anything.

I finally started my essay at nine thirty and finished four hours later. It's two-and-a-bit sides long.

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