There has been a long delay since my last post but here goes. The week after the canoeing trip I took the brood abseiling. There are some abandoned railway lines running through Kimberley and one of them includes a masonry accommodation bridge with enough height to be used for practice. Michelle is too small to try abseiling but Matthew, Roseanne, Rhuarhri and Caitlin all had a go. They all conquered their fears which for some were greater than for others and at the end of the day, after two or three goes, they were all getting the hang of it and good day was had by all. At the end of July we had our family holiday to Center Parcs at Whinfell in Northumberland. Normally we travel a lot during our holidays but this time we chose a stationary holiday in a comfortable chalet in Whinfell Forest. One of the trademarks of Center Parcs is a large swimming pool complex, with slides, jacuzzis and poolside cafeteria. We all enjoyed the pools, cycling and walking around the woods and the wildlife, including Red Squirrels, Jays and Greater Spotted Woodpeckers. Roseanne went horseriding and both Matthew and Roseanne went quadbiking. The holiday was enjoyed by all. Perhaps we will do something similar again.
After our holiday I spent seven weeks working in Romania with a side trip to Turkey. During my stay in Romania I managed to visit Brann castle again and spent a nice weekend in Constanta on the Black Sea. Towards the end of this trip one of the black clouds on my horizon turned into a storm. Kathryn phoned me to tell me that she had tracked down one of her old boyfriends from before our marriage and had invited him to stay at our house for a weekend whilst I was away. Rightly or wrongly I did not object to his visit but having him in my house overnight sleeping in my bed just did not seem right and I could not pretend to be happy with this even though I eventually agreed that Kathryn had the right. However Kathryn went away and thought about it and decided that I was right and the the ex-boyfriend should stay in a local hotel instead. The boyfriend objected causing a bust up for which I was blamed, and after a considerable amount of swearing and crying and putting the phone down and texting we were close to going our separate ways. Normally after a seven week shift I would look forward to going home. But after this shift I was tempted not to go back. I did not know what to expect on my return and approached my front door in great trepidation. Things were icy between us for a few days but eventually the atmosphere improved and a truce agreed. Kathryn is still involved with the ex-boyfriend and of course this means I have no security in my own home. At anytime Kathryn and her ex may want to get closer together. This must mean him moving in and me moving out. Of course I don't want to be parted from my children, or Kathryn for that matter and all that I have worked for but this is not in my hands. One of the symptoms of this insecurity on my part is that I find it difficult to justify spending any more money on house improvements for a house which at the moment I don't expect to be living in much longer.
I had a long stay at home stretching into November. I have become more involved with the Friends of Cromford Canal and I have taken up a position as School Governor at Kimberley Primary School. My canal exploits even got my picture in the paper as one of those bow hauling a horsedrawn narrowboat for a mile to a place where the normal horse power could take over.
I am now back in Romania for a three week stay, but I should be home before christmas. Perhaps this will be my last at home with my family.