Once we moved into Hawksbourne Road, one of the first things we did was take out the coal fired central heating and put in gas. We just couldn’t get the hang of keeping the fire alight over night so that the house would be warm in the morning. And the coal was so expensive!
One of the useful things about being at Bible college was the diverse skills that the students possessed. One of the students used to be a gas fitter, so he volunteered to put the gas central heating in for us. These days a gas conversion would require various certificates and checks, but Clive climbed onto the roof unaided and put the flue down the chimney, and it was done in an afternoon.
In a similar fashion, we locked our car keys in the car and had no way of retrieving them. One of the students used to be a petty thief, so we asked him if he could break in and get them. He was a bit reluctant to do something that was from his old life, but he asked us to turn our backs so we didn’t see. It took him no more than 20 seconds.
Moving out of the college and having our own house again was a joy. It was so good to have a place we could retreat to, that wasn’t in the midst of the frenetic pace of life at Roffey Place. I was given a large room at the college and made a studio for my graphic design, as Bob had by now bought a second double decker bus. I was still away on mission, but not nearly so much as the previous year as others had joined the team. Meanwhile Donna and Luke enjoyed our little garden and going to mini-gym and mother and toddlers.
We made the decision around May that we would like Luke to have a baby brother or sister. And before we knew it, Donna was pregnant. She sensed all though her pregnancy that this was a baby girl.
At some point in the summer or early autumn we again went up to Yorkshire. Lawrence very quickly established himself as a ‘super grandad’, his patience and involvement with the two boys was extraordinary. Ben couldn’t get the hang of pronouncing “Grandad”, and called him “Nanag”, a name that immediately stuck with him for the next ten years. I love this piece of video, as Lawrence gets them involved in sweeping the drive, whilst trying to protect his car from scratches! Luke appears to be very determined to unscrew the handle of the spade!
Donna’s pregnancy was progressing well, and when we went for the 20 week scan on the 6th October we decided not to ask the sex of the child, but leave it as a surprise. However, we were able to get a photo from the ultrasound, which was very advanced for those days. Unfortunately the picture has faded over the years, but the section on the left shows her right calf and foot, whilst the section on the right shows a side profile of her face. The umbilical cord can be seen curling away in the background.
That summer we again went to the caravan. The weather was predictably awful for most of the time. However, we just wrapped Luke up in his ‘all in one’ duffel coat and went on the beach. At least we had it all to ourselves.
Luke was flourishing, and our little ‘blond bombshell’ was learning new vocabulary every day, as can be seen in this clip.
We spent Christmas in Horsforth that year and had a number of really nice days walking in the dales with Lawrence, Eileen, Chris, Mark and Benjamin where these pictures were taken.