Goodbyes and Hellos
Yesterday was Charlie's last day with us so day 13 of cycling was dedicated to Charlie's Dad, Colin John Hazeldine.
I met Colin on a number of occasions as a neighbour and I particularly remember sharing a glass of 30 year old whisky with him at Emma's 30th birthday party. He was an unassuming guy and the more I talked to Charlie this week I was amazed at Colin's achievements in life.
As well as serving as an Engineering Officer in the Royal Navy on the old Steam driven Ark Royal and operating in war zones on minesweeper, he was an Ocean Master in civilian life. He took part in the Fast Net race a couple of times as well as sailing across the Atlantic and back seven times.
Being the oldest of three brothers, Charlie was catapulted to the head of the household when his dad died suddenly in 2011. I get the feeling that Charlie was not given the chance to grieve as I have and lacked the support that I received after Emma's death. We have had deep discussions this week on and off the the bike and have have both shed a few man tears in the process.
Thanks Charlie, considering you only came round to put my fence up a few weeks ago, you have been a star! I have enjoyed every moment of your company and Lotte will be devastated at your departure tomorrow. I haven't had the heart to tell her yet!
As well as saying goodbye to Charlie, Jim and Natalie are also heading home tomorrow after a week. Nat has been on the bike with me most days and shows the true spirit of the Dundonian lass I remember from when I worked up there for a few years as a Pilot. Thanks Nat! I haven't finished with you yet however, as I need 50 miles to Bergamot tomorrow from you before your flight!
No doubt Jim will serve breakfast in bed in the morning as he has done every day this week. I am burning about 6000 calories a day, but still appear to be putting on weight! It was a pleasure watching Jim set up camp every day after my cycle with the precision only the British military installs.
Lotte has had a few days off and has been thoroughly spoilt in the process.
She had an eye infection which required a visit to the vets.
A dose of antibiotics has done the trick and she will be back on the bike with me on Tuesday.
I will be joined by two very special people tomorrow.
Watch this space xx D&L