WILLIAM  JAMES  HUNT  -  Later  Life  continued

The  Year 1999

Now let me say a little about my month in U.K. I found a month much too short for me as I usually go in the summer only and have two or three month at one time. I did not have much time too rest, I had to get on with it and do the best I could, and it sure was a busy time. I did get to see a lot of my friends and did have one Friday night out for a meal. Barbara and Des, Bob and Helen had gone away and were not available. Later before I was due to return to Canada they rang me to say they were home and would take me out for a meal. I found out that at that time they found it impossible to hire a room for us to get together for the millennium, everything cost too much, never mind I would still be over as my flight was already booked.

The first week I was on my own as Michael and Irene were on they're holiday starting the 21st of July and returning the 28th of July. I was there to drive them to Castleford to pick up their bus taking them on holiday, as they have no car, then again picking them up when they returned. I used that week going back and fore to Halifax to be with my friends and work people, I found a lot were on holiday as the firm now "Nestle" have changed the holidays.

When I worked for Rowntree-Mackintosh we did have our holidays from the first Saturday in July, now they have different weeks to keep the factory running, and so this time I was not able to see a lot of my workers, I did manage to see my main Supervisors Bob and Helen, and Barbara, I was very happy about that. I hope to see more of them when I go over in December for a month and bring in the New Year 2000 with them (Millennium). That also did not materialize, still I sure was glad to be over there.

I did manage to go down to Wales for a week. I do not have a lot to visit these days; I do stay with Nancy. The next time I was staying at Heidi's I was telling her about me writing my "Life Story". The big surprise I got was when she said to me this: "Why are you doing that Grandpa?" I said, "Don't you remember when you were in England and I used to tell you some story's about Grandma's and my life and the funny things that happened to us from time to time during our courting life?" And once you said to me  "Grandpa, why don't you write your life  story. It seems so many funny things have happened to you." My reply to you was  "Maybe one day when I'm retired I will."

Now let me get back to my days in England in the summer of 1999. Well the rest of my time went very well.  But sure went very quickly. If I can manage to go over next summer it will be for two to three months.  As I am getting close to the day I will no longer be on this Earth. I would like to go every year instead of every other year. The only time I will go in winter will be in December to January 2000 to bring in the New Millennium.

Dad had many years of life yet, but you do not know when into your late 70s - Keith Hunt)

I wish that Grandma was here with me like we planed, but if she had been with me I doubt very much she would have been strong enough to make it, even in 1993. One never will know what will happen in their lives, but that  should  not  stop you making  arrangements to enjoy ones retirement. I still say my prayers to thank our Lord every night.

Now I'm on my last week to the end of my holiday, Ho! I must tell you that the weekend before we had a trip to Blackpool. Carolyn [my niece's daughter] and family were already there; I did take my video Camera with me hoping I could take the children enjoying themselves at the fair ground and beach, to show people back in Canada. I did take the pictures and I thought things were okay, anyway I have to take my glasses off when I use it and of course I could see something on the Camera but could not read it. I was thinking I must check that to see what was there when I can put my reading glasses on, eventually, I put my reading glasses on to see what was in the eyepiece.

I could not believe it, it said "No Tape." I must have taken it out. I only used it a few days before going to Blackpool. I thought that the tape was still inside, I was very disappointed, believe me! The kids were having lots of fun on the sands and on the rides. Anyway, it was too late to do it again as I was returning to Canada on the Friday following.

The last five days of my holiday with Irene and Michael. We spent it doing my bit of shopping to bring back things that I cannot buy in Canada. Now it was time to get my cases sorted ready for my return to Canada tomorrow. We are now in Manchester Airport waiting to board, Irene and Michael were with me like they always do to see me off, They do not have a car so I pay their fare home to Pontefract and it's worth it. It is time to board so I said my goodbyes to them and said I will see you again in December.

Now I am back in Canada, my flight was very good we did not encounter any trouble and Heidi and Randy was waiting for me at Kelowna Airport. We went straight to their home and I stayed the night then set off home after breakfast. First I called in to have my blood checked, and to my surprise my blood was much to thick, I had to go and have it checked for three weeks until they got it down to 2.5 and I had to go back on eight mg. Believe me, I will never do that again. I thought when I had my last check with Irene's Doctor it was so low I decided to stop taking my Coumadin a few days before travelling back home to Canada. I had to put off going to Saskatoon to visit Karalei for over a month.

Then Keith wanted to have a week's holiday with me before I set off to Saskatoon. Keith came down to me on the 23rd and went back on the 29th after visiting Ty-Roy his son and Kaiola [another daughter of Keith's] who lives in Kamloops. When he was ready to return home to Calgary we made arrangements to meet at Sicamoose on the Sunday as I was to leave Kelowna at 10am and he did the same from Kamloops, and we met up within ten minutes of me arriving there. Keith had worked it out okay. We got on the Trans-Canada Highway with me following him to Calgary. I was staying the night with him before setting off next day to Saskatoon. We had a good run all the way stopping

a few times to eat and to give Puff [Keith's dog] a little walk and some water, we

got to his home at 9-30 pm.

I felt okay until early morning when I had an upset stomach, I guess it was something I had eaten on my way up. I had a drink of Eno's that eventually and it did the trick. After breakfast I was checking my shoulder bag to make sure I had all my Medication, I was surprised to find that I had left my oral Chelation at home. This was a real problem I could not go on to Saskatoon without them.

After talking to Keith, I remembered that we could get them from Regina, so we rang a friend and asked her to ring the firm and see if they could supply me with what I needed. I got the message to give them a ring and they would send them straight on to where I was going, and so they would be there when I arrived at her home. I paid with my master card and they were in Saskatoon the next day. I was pleased to be able to have them sent, as it was a new treatment for me.

Now I got that settled I got ready to go on my way to Saskatoon. Keith set off to take me to the highway leading to Saskatoon, I followed him through Calgary to the highway leading to Saskatoon; we stopped to say our good byes and I was on my way, I was not expecting to encounter the episode that followed after I left Drumheller. I was told to follow the 56 and 9 sign. I did this but was not told to follow the 9 when it branched off at a junction, a long way down the road, I went straight through and still followed the 56. I though I would stop at the first little village for my lunch. Eventually, I got to a place called  "Settler" - they  had   a   few restaurants there.

I ordered a meal and asked the waitress if they could direct me to Saskatoon.   "After you finish your meal, I will bring you a map and show you." So she did.   "Follow the 12 east and it will take you straight to Saskatoon." I was sitting facing the window and main road. I asked, which is the 12 east. Pointing to the main road running past the window she said, "There it is." Then I asked her which way to go, left or right? she answered. "Go right and only around the corner, you cannot see it from here, you will come to a T junction in the road, the right one is Edmonton, and the left one is 12 East, go on that one all the way and you will come to a sign for Saskatoon." I thought that was very good. I got on my way and she was right when I got to the "T" junction, I went 12-East.

Right, I was off like a shot, and I did not stop until I got to the end of 12 east, over 120 km. I arrived at this "T" junction. I could only go left or Right. There was a sign right in front of me but nothing saying Saskatoon. I spotted a man who was on a bicycle going left. I thought if I go up that way and wait for him to catch up with me I would ask him the way. When I did asked him, he said, "Go back to that junction and turn right." I looked at him and said, "I have just come down that way, and it is the 12 east."

"Where have you come from?" he asked me." 

"From a place called Settler" I said. 

"How did you come this way?" he inquired of me.

 I told him the tale and then he said, "They have sent you the wrong way, now you will have to go all that way back. They should have told you to turn left at the restaurant, and kept straight on. You will come to 21 south that will take you straight into Saskatoon, you have a long ride ahead of you." I thanked him so much, and got on my way.

It was going on for 5pm. By the time I pasted the restaurant again. I travelled on and on it was a straight road with no place to pull in. Eventually I got to a place called Kerrobert, it was 7-30pm, by this time. I had had enough of travelling and pulled in to a hotel to stay the night. I got in touch with a friend by phone to let her know where I was and why, and told her what happened, I ask her to get in touch with her sister and let her know I would be there in morning, her sister was meeting me just after I got into Saskatoon. I was told I was only one and a half hours away. I told her that I could not drive in the dark, and would ring her before I left in the morning.

I had quite a good sleep that night, and was quite fit enough to go on my way, I phoned the friend to let her know I was ready to leave, and she gave me Else's phone # to ring Else [her sister]. When I got onto the main drive into Saskatoon. "Give her a ring when you get to the first Petro Canada gas station" I was told. I did that and Else picked me up within a few minutes. We set off for Warman with me following Else. We got a good ride all the way. I didn't think I was staying more than one night, as we were going the next day down to Karalei's farm in Spiritwood, which is out in the country. Karalei was there with as she had a court case against Darran. The next day I went with her to court to keep her company and here what went on.

We set off for Karalei's home after dinner, I had James with me, and I followed Karalei home. It was quite a way. Then I met Vern [Karalei's now new husband] for the first time, and I sure found him to be a very nice person. I very much hope things workout okay for them, she is a very nice girl and deserves a much better man in her life then the one she had had. I never liked Darren from the fist time I met him, and I told Karalei that. They were only living together at that time, this was in 1995, and had been together for some time, then, believe me, I was glad she got him out of her life.

I must say that I really enjoyed my short time on the farm with Karalei and Vern and the two children [Karalei had with Darren].

We did have a little trouble with Darren because the children did not want to go to Darren that weekend because I was there, he was asked if he would have them the weekend after, he was such a bad person, as usual he refused the request, the children refused to go, so he contacted the police and they had to go.  What kind of a man would do that to his  children? We had more trouble later on through him.

I must tell you this tale, one day when Vern came in for Dinner and we were sat around the table he was talking to us; one day he would be building a log cabin when he will be giving up working up North and working only on his farm.    Then he said, "Would you come down here to live if I build one for you?"  

Ho boy! How I would have loved to take him up on that offer! I said, "If I was ten years younger, believe me, I would not only take you up on that offer, I would have come down to help you to build it. I don't want to move from B.C. at this time of my life.  I just hope that I can stay in this home the rest of my life. I'll never forget your offer to me."

I wish Karalei had met Vern years ago.   

All good things must come to an end. Now it was time for me to go back home.  I rang Keith to let him know as I had made arrangements to stay with him on my way back. I set off late in the afternoon and so arrived late. We had a good night and after breakfast I set off for the last leg of the journey to my home in Keremeos. Had a nice day with a few stops along the way.  The worse part was coming through Kelowna to Keremeos.  Arrived at my home at 8:30 pm.

Now I must get things together as there is not a lot of time to get all my work done. I started typing this a little at a time and hope I get all up to date before I leave for the 9th of December. Boy! With all the things I have to do and my own packing it is not leaving me much time. I only have five days to get all I have left to do before I have to be on my way for U.K. for the Millennium. I have wished for a very long time to live to bring in the year 2000 in the U.K. with my family and all my friends. All through those last two years I kept asking in my prayers for Jesus Christ to keep us well for us to be around to make the trip in the year 2000, the only disappointing thing is that Mam is not with me. It will not be the same for me without her; still life has to go on and Mam will be with me in my thoughts every day.

I do miss her so very much, remember we had planed for over two years before she passed away, as I said together it would have been the highlight of our life. But, I know that she would have wanted me to go, and this is why I'm going and will be toasting for Mother as well for the wonderful life the God gave us together for 54 years. I just hate travelling on my own especially in winter, as I can't get a straight flight to Manchester. I thanked God in my prayers for letting me live to see the Millennium coming in. I was trying to get all my things I needed to take in my cases.

I have to go to Heathrow London then change to go on to Manchester. I have a lot of waiting around at each Airport making it a very long journey, and it will be a big drag this time. Still, this will be the first winter, and believe me the last one. Now I only have ^wo more days left, this is all I have time for I will finish off the year 1999 when I return in January 2000.

I hope everything will go okay, this will be the only time I will be in the U.K. in winter. I wish they had charter flights likes as in the summer. I prefer traveling with the British Airways. It cost a lot more but they look after you a lot better. I know I would rather pay more to enjoy the nice meals and other services but British Airways do not fly into Manchester. I hope soon they will make Cardiff a bigger Airport.

I eventually arrived in Manchester for 4-45 pm on Friday the 10th of December 1999. I was not expecting to encounter another episode like the one going down to Saskatoon, well I certainly did! The man who was looking after me wheeled me down to level one to pick up my hired car, the same company as I did when I went over in June.  As usual I handed her my B.C. driver's license. When she came back to me and asked me this question, "Were you born in 1920?"

My answer was "of course I was" She then said. "Our insurance covers you only up to 74 years of age. Well, I was 78 years old.

"Then I came in June and you gave me a car without a word being said. And I told you when I left in July, do not forget I have booked with you for a car when I come back in December." She admitted she did remember me saying that to her, she had to have a word with her Manager on the phone.

Now believe me that was a long wait, over 45 minutes. Then the manager spoke to me on the phone and said,  "I do not know how we slipped up in June. I am glad you did not have an accident." 

I bet he was! Why was he so long? He had to ring up all the other rental companies to find one that covered up to the age of 79. He did find only one, Avis. He had to transfer me over to them, I had more money to pay, $400 dollars more, because of the car was bigger. They did my company a favour by up grading the car free. The man that was looking after me never left me. Now after getting all the papers signed they told my man to take me up to level two and give him my car number. Here we are at last, usually they send me a man to  show me  all the switches, as they are different from Canadian cars. The man had to show me all he could. It was dark and raining outside, and I did not know how to work the de-mister when I got on my way. I had to open the window to keep the windshield clear. I got to Pontefract where I stay with my niece at 7:40 pm. Boy! Was I very tired! What I have learned from all this is, I will not be able to hire a car in U.K. any more. I thanked our Lord God in my prayers for looking after me and for a save journey all the way to my home.

When I arrived at Irene and Michael I was ready for a meal, and a rest as this was what I did, then we talked awhile before sorting my cases out, I mentioned to them about me just having my ingrowing toe nail taken off and with all the waiting at the airport it was bad and I was told to bath it in salt water every other night and rest it often, but I suppose they have enough to do with all the other things preparing for the Christmas day meals that they had a lot of things on their minds, especially Irene, so I guess they did not really worry about my problem with my foot, I did ask her if she had a bowl I could use, as usual the family came and so ended my asking.

Michael asked her something else so I kept quiet thinking they would ask me later but they must have forgot. Then after a few days I asked Irene again about a bowl, she came up with this, "I haven't got a bowl, I could clean out the mop bucket if that will do you," 

"Sure will," I said.

I had been up early in morning for three nights with the pain, and I did not care what it was as long as I could bath it, that is what I had been told to do, if I had not done so much walking and bathed my foot it would not have been so bad.

We had done a lot of our Christmas shopping to buy presents before I want down to Wales for a week or two before Christmas. I asked God in my prayers to keep all my family in good health and hope to see them soon. I was getting my cases sorted out ready for my trip to Wales. I never forget to say my prayers, no matter where I am as I know the lord above is still guiding my life.

I set off to visit my nephew Colin and Barbara in Wales on the 15th of December before Christmas, I only stayed with them for one week as I wanted to be back to sort out the presents that I had got for each of them all in Pontefract. I was ready now for my trip to Wales I had a nice journey all the way, and it was a very nice day for traveling, I arrived at their home for 4:30 p.m. I received a very warm welcome, later on after we had supper we got talking about things, I mentioned to Barbara about my in-growing toe nail that I had it cut out only a few days before I left Canada. There was no hesitation from, " Barbara take your sock off let me see it uncle Bill."

When she saw it so bad, straight away she went and got me a bowl to let me bathe it. I did that in salt water then Barbara got some ointment on it then put a little bandage around it, it sure felt a lot better. "Thank you Barbara that was very kind of you, Irene did not look to see how bad it was as I said she was so busy with all other things she had to do. I understand when she as all those children asking her things."

The next day after we finish breakfast, I started to mention the episode I had at the Airport when I arrived there, some how when I was over in June they had failed to notice my age when I picked up my hired car. Then I went on to tell them what happened this time, when I handed them my B.C. driving licence she said to me were you born in 1920 I said "Yes" then they found I was 79 years of age, I was held up for over an hour because their insurance only covered a person up to 74. ( I would no longer be able to hire a car any more.)

I have already said this previously, I told the whole episode. I went on to tell Colin and Barbara they do not take into consideration I have been driving in U.K. all my life until I went to Canada. I told them I had not had one accident in 44 years, driving in U.K. I have been driving in Canada the last seventeen years still without an accident but that did not make any difference to the insurance company. (Now in Canada 21 years (2005). I guess, they all have their own rules, still they should have noticed it when I was over there in June for a month.

Colin then came out with this, look uncle Bill, why don't you fly to Cardiff Airport and our Antony will pick you up and drive you home, I will come with him, I asked him if Antony would be willing to do that, Colin said he would be too pleased to do it, because he would be glad to get out of the house, when we go shopping he is only too pleased to drive us and sits in the Van waiting for us. I was very pleased with that offer, and I will do that the next time I come over. I forgot to say that Antony as "Muscular Dystrophy", Lesley and Antony met in collage and after a few years Antony came down with that trouble, what a nice person he is, I sure hope one day they find a cure for it, Lesley is Colin's daughter and so is Janet, they just have the two girls, I was so glad that Colin still lives in Wales with his wife Barbara and all his family.

Colin is my middle sisters son, her husband Cyril was in the army with Tubby you know that I have mentioned that earlier about Cyril. He died in the Japan war camp in World War Two; they had four boys and you may wonder how Colin came to live with his Grandma in Wales as he was born in London where all the family was born. During the 1939 war they evacuated all young children from the city out into the country, his three other brothers went down South but Colin was born with a club foot, my sister Maud asked her mother if she would take Colin, to stay with her. Mother said yes? Colin went to Wales to stay with her during the war. Colin never went back to his mother because she did not ask to take Colin, back.

When he became old enough to work she had the cheek to come down to Wales to take him back, so Colin decided to stay with his Nan (Grandma) that's the term they used in London. His Mother never asked for him back until he started working, so she thought, now he could bring her money to help to keep his brothers but Colin would not go and leave his Nanny!

I was proud of Colin telling his Mother to get lost, Colin by this time had a girl friend (now his wife Barbara) and she's still a very nice person, and still together to this day (2005). Colin's other brothers have never been in touch with him to this day 2004. What was worse his mother never was in touch with him either. I still keep in touch with Colin and Barbara and also their family.

Now the time I had with Colin and Barbara and their family was almost over, now to get ready to get back to Pontefract tomorrow. I have enjoyed my stay with them all, and Antony and Lesley's little boy was a scream, he was three years old and could sing a French song that he had heard on the Television from the adverts. We went down to the seaside one night and give him some nice rides, I enjoyed the time I had with them all, I will be looking forward to my next trip to the United Kingdom in 2001. I just loved that little boy he has a Welch name - Rhys. He was so bright for a three year old, the questions he asked me when I was saying or doing any thing, believe me. I sure love you Rhys!

Before leaving Ammanford, Janet's husband Graham give me a route to by pass the big towns to get to the main Chester road that leads on to the motorway straight to the my home in Pontefract, I followed that route and it cut my travelling time down by one hour. I have said my goodbyes and now on my journey home to Irene and Michael and thanked them all for their kindness in looking after me. I would like to say that I still said my prayers every night no matter where I was and to thank our Lord for once again looking after me and giving me this important time in my life to bring in the Millennium.  Also said in my prayers to ask God to keep them save and well until I can visit them again. "Thank you all for the nice week I had. I hope to visit you again very soon, once again, if our Lord God-Jesus Christ in heaven is willing."

Now back with Irene and Michael once more, I told them what Barbara had done for me regarding my trouble I had with my toe, they asked me how it was, "It's a lot better at the moment, although I will have to keep bathing it." 

That was the last time they asked me about it.

I know that Christmas was getting very close, I have already said that was all they had on there minds, I did not say any more about my trouble until we got into the new year. I was not going to let this spoil my enjoyment over the Christmas period.

I really enjoyed having the children around those few days before the Christmas day; we looked after them while their Mom and Dad went to do the Christmas shopping, we had finished our shopping. I did play some games with them and we enjoyed many good hours, I think they let me win some to keep me playing, I had good many hours and there was lots of laughter. Christmas time is not the same without having children around, it's been a long time since I enjoyed their company.

Now we are all together having our Christmas dinner, then it will be time to open our presents, Carolyn and Mark was taking a video of us watching the children opening them.  Ho boy, what a thrill that was, they could not open them fast enough, paper was lying all over the place; I sat enjoying myself, then it was my turn, I was not opening them fast enough for the children, "let me do it uncle Bill, I let them do it." 

Before I knew it they had them all done and the paper all over the place, still they all had a very good time. I really enjoyed being over there that day, it's a long time since I had Christmas with children. It was the best Christmas day for years and it brought back to me of my days when I was small, and believe me as I said before we always had a very good Christmas with my parents. How I would have loved Kristina to be there with me, I would have enjoyed myself. Later on that day the children were having fun and Michael was his usual self, I thought, he didn't like having the children around him, I had to remind him it was Christmas day let and the kids enjoy themselves, I don't think he liked Lee, as he was the only one he kept getting on to. I guess there was a reason, but I told straight up "Remember Michael, it is the day for them to enjoy themselves." He did not say anything else, but I could see he was annoyed with me. Still I don't like anyone keeping on picking at the children, especially at Christmas time.

We are now getting very close to bringing in the New Year.  This is why I wanted to come over in winter and this special time will be my last time I will ever travel over in Winter. It was very sad for me to go on my own. I knew Edith would have wanted me to go because we talked about it a lot during the two years we had been planning to go. And after she passed away I kept asking God to keep me in good health to be there, and each night when I say my prayers I thank God for giving me the chance of a life time to be around, and for guiding me throughout a wonderful lifetime I have had.

The trouble with Edith she never looked after herself, Edith was a very picky eater and only small meals, and I could not get her to take any vitamins; if she had eating well Edith might have been a lot better. I said to her many a time, "If you fancy anything let me know and I will go and get it for you," because I liked a dinner every day at that time, I used to say when it was almost supper time (tea time in U.K.) "What do you want or fancy today Mam, but it was the same thing all the time. Edith would say, "I'll have the same as you Dad."

"Well  just remember if you want anything else let me know."

This is the night of New Years Eve. Here we are now watching the Television and watching the entire celebrating going on around the world, (we are hours behind other countries in U.K.) that were celebrating in the new millennium before us in the United Kingdom. What a wonderful sight it was, I really enjoyed those few hours while we were waiting to celebrate our turn to bring the New Year in, we also had a great celebration it was all around us and went on until the early hours of the morning, and I packed it in at 2 am.

I was glad that I came over for the new millennium. Then it was time for me to retire to my bed, with the celebrations still going on. It was so nice a night to see all the fireworks around us. I went indoors and we had a little time to talk with my family and they all had a drink to wish each other the very best for the New Year; I was very tired by this time still, I wanted to make sure the whole family were also enjoying themselves, now I would retire as they all wanted to go back outside to watch the fireworks.


The next day we had another celebration among our family to wish all a very happy and healthy New Year, this went on all day.