Roger and his views > Grandparents
Gale`s (For reasons that will become apparent!) brief and truncated view  18th December 2013
To Tom and Basma Gale, a daughter, Safiya (“Saffie”) ,born at the QEQM Hospital, Margate, on the evening of Sunday 15th December 2013.
It has been a busy and at times emotional past few days.  I was on a Eurostar train travelling to a Parliamentary Assembly meeting in France last Thursday when it became apparent that the first daughter due to my youngest son, Tom, and his wife, Basma, was preparing to make an appearance.
Hard to concentrate on even a matter as important as the breakdown of democracy in the Ukraine when you are texting your wife, the future grandmother, to try to monitor not only the issue in hand but also the pending birth of a child.
The Eurostar return to Ashford on Friday evening was either characteristically late or I am just unlucky with the “high speed” trains that I catch but in the interim the young couple had made a couple of overnight visits to the QEQM with no end-product quite in sight.
I apologise to those who attended my Herne Bay surgery on Saturday if I seemed slightly distracted,. I hope that the mountain of paperwork that I waded through on Saturday afternoon did not result in dictated gibberish. My visit to the Shottendane Home Christmas party was brief and I left early from the Acol Senior Citizens` wonderful annual Christmas bunfight.  In the middle of Saturday night/Sunday morning Tom and Basma were off to the QEQM again. I met Laura (Sandys) with Lion Father Christmas and his elves for a “tin-shake” at the Ramsgate Garden Centre and made my way home, via the  Margate lifeboat crew, to erect a Christmas tree, slog through a couple of hundred e-mails and to then bite my nails and wait.
A Father, at the birth of his child, can be of some use and comfort to his wife and to those around him. Grandparents, as I ought to have learned by now, are utterly useless and can do little except sit and wait and worry!  It was a little short of 10pm, having not taken in the “Strictly Come Dancing” semi-finals or most of the “Sportsman of the Year” Awards, when we learned that the little lady had  made her entrance.  Mother, and child, and father are, as they say, doing well.
I do not care for “social media” and I do not, ordinarily, bare my private soul in public but I hope that you will forgive me if I take this opportunity to thank the NHS in general and the wonderful staff, from ancillaries through student midwives up to consultants and everyone in between,  at the Margate maternity unit for the care, attention and genuine affection that my family have received during the past few months and over  what seemed like a very long weekend before the baby that at times I feared might never make it finally turned up .
The Gales` Christmas present has arrived early. May Suzy and I and our newly-extended family wish you all a happy, a healthy and a peaceful  Christmas also.

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