The day of September 18th started out spectacularly in Reading, where I was staying with Tom and his family – warm and sunny. We planned to drive up to Leicester in the morning, pick up Dennis who was taking the train from London, and head for Russell and Pauline’s, where we would rendezvous with the rest of the family around noon. We were all worried about Russell’s health and thought that a relatively brief celebration was in order, so as not to stress out the birthday boy.
By the time we reached Leicester, the weather had changed and rain was threatening. But this was the only dark spot on an otherwise delightful occasion. There was a fine spread contributed by the three families and good wine to drink. Gifts and cards were presented. Russell seemed in excellent form, despite having had one of his spells the day before. We ate, we drank, we played quoits.
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Our original intention of leaving after a couple of hours melted away because everything seemed to be going so well, for celebrants and hosts alike. Consequently, the celebrations extended through most of the afternoon.
The next day, Tom and family headed for a walk around Hambledon with Dennis and me in tow.
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