First going away get together !

With the departure date getting even closer, today we had our first going away party for Carl. This was held in Swindon and because the house at 25 Kent Road is no longer available, it was a big meet up and lunch at a local Indian Restaurant. Dave, my cousin, who had the big house that we could all fit in, decided to emigrate to Spain a few years ago, so that option was not available either, how very selfish of him! I booked the Curry Garden, which is in the old part of Swindon up on the hill. Now before the MIllar’s made it all the way to Swindon, my aunty and uncle wanted us to stop at theirs for a cup of tea, which is in the very nice village of Shrivenham. Arriving just after 11am, out came the tea and flap jacks. Now the Carter’s are famous for their flap jacks. I say famous, I have been enjoying them for as long as I can remember, so that will do as famous in my book. Roy has always been a keen allotment lover and also very creative with wood, building planes, music boxes, making pictures, you get the idea. Well we just had to see his latest project, so to the shed we all went. Now not being a DIY person or very good with my hands, I could not believe the contents of the shed. All the basic were there, you know heater, radio and vice. What else was there? every single tool you can think of, all of which had its own place within the shed. Tucked away was even a lathe. The only thing that was out of place, was about six empty tea cups! So back to the project in hand, this was a steam engine, yes that is right, from nothing and I mean nothing, Roy has built a small steam engine. A small boiler, with pipes, screws and tiny valves, all ending up at a drive wheel. After warming up for a few minutes this steam driven engine chugged away and was amazing. Even Carl, Laura and Jodie were impressed, but then with me as a Dad, that’s not that difficult in the DIY world ! The plan for the steam engine, to be fitted to one of the model boats that Roy has built from scratch. All in all Roy must have the patience of a saint, bundled with a lot of talent.

Lunch time was approaching so onwards to Swindon it was for our 1:30 booking. We parked up and made our way to The Curry Garden. With so many indian restaurants in Swindon and being a Sunday, it was no surprise that we were the only customers. This worked out well, as with 23 of us we could all mingle about and take over the place. The food and service was very good and I would recommend the restaurant. The main man running the day said his goodbye just before three o’clock and said he should have left at two, but we were left in the capable hands of one of the waiters. Now considering the restaurant would normally close around 2:30 we didn’t leave until just before 4pm and that was only because I felt sorry for them, so asked for the bills. All paid up, now the usually “doing the rounds’ saying our goodbye’s was next. As always this took a long time and a few tears were shed.

For Carl and myself it was off to Carol’s and Mick’s to deliver and show them how we (I say we, but I mean Carl) set up thier new laptop ( see post “What a day in Swindon”) then around the corner to my Mums to meet up with the rest of the Millar’s for a final chat and goodbye.

A good day had, now time for home. Next going away party, Saturday 27th, Carl having pre drinks at our house, before the 24, yes 24 all head for Oxford. I have told him “not to go mad” because on Sunday we have the other side of the family coming over to ours, for his final family going away party… Yeh right…..

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