After a long but busy silence this end we are delighted to announce the birth of Nell Olive to our son, Nick and his lovely wife Sam.
Nell was born rather unexpectedly, over six weeks early, and despite everyone’s great initial happiness the older generation anyway shared a few privately anxious moments. However Nell and Sam, and Nick too, were all wonderfully well cared for at the Homerton and London Free hospitals and Nell and Sam are now at home with Nick, and Nell is progressing well.
Needless to say, we are very proud and happy grandparents, as are Sam’s parents, Angela and John Raine. (What is that relationship, anyway? Is there an official term for co-grandparents-in-law?)
The only disappointment is that Sam and Nick can’t join us now on our long awaited family gathering here in Cornwall, where are gathered nearly 40 Halls, Craggs, Lathams and Fuller-Sessions (the children and their offspring of Douglas and Rachel Hall). Sam and Nick are missing, plus of course our Sara, her husband Derek and their son Tom in Australia and Steve and Jenny Cragg, Ben, Hannah, Honor and Miele in Cape Town.
The rest of us have all converged on Susie and Birdie Hall here in Cornwall, in Susie’s family beachside cottage, the most perfect base for a summer gathering. And what is more, the weather has been brilliant: hot sunshine with the lightest of fresh sea breezes. The days have been full of activity and self-indulgence – beach games, swimming, surfing, barbecues and endless good food and drink, with all the cousins intermingling and each year the the previously youngest proudly assuming the role of carer of the even newer young. Soon it will be Nell…
As the immediate family grows, so the balance shifts. It would be interesting to work out the average age. The three Hall children had nine children between them, who have so far produced 21 children and so on.
We leave Cornwall on Saturday, to yet another round of family and friendly gatherings in London and a rather significant birthday for Ruthie, our eldest. How can one still feel 27 and yet have a child well more than that? (We have had some amusing discussions among the two older generations about what age we actually are, and how old we feel, but that’s another blog maybe, for another day.)
Ending on a serious note, how genuinely lucky one is to be part of a warm, loving, all-embracing family and friend network. This is far far more valuable and worth striving for, and enjoying, than any amount of worldly possessions, fame or success.