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Two People, Fourteen Months, One huge world!


UNITED KINGDOM | Friday, 15 January 2016 | Views [1032] | Comments [1]

Until this point our travel choices have all been about places. Our time in England though was precious for the people and events that we were able to share with them, including each of my parents' birthdays as well as Christmas and the New Year.

The weather did us no favours and we were able to count the number of times we saw the sun in the six weeks that we were there. Six. Not days, times! We were prepared for something like this though and it meant that I was able to help out my parents with a number of jobs that they didn't even realise they wanted doing!

Chilling Down Outside Hampton Court Palace

Chilling Down Outside Hampton Court Palace

In no time at all the greenhouse was fixed and weeded, the shed cleared out and organised and the garage joined in with a healthy car load of junk for the recycling centre and dump. Next it was onto the main part of the house which caused a few stresses amongst the olds. So far, so good but - did anyone mention the attic?

Dad's attic used to be a pride and joy. Painstakingly floored and lined before my birth the walls were lined with shelving displaying books and fully indexed boxes of slides, a wondrous model train set tops it off. Unfortunately the collecting of stuff did not finish at my birth however and by the time we poked our head up there it was to find all of the floor covered to waist height or more with boxes of papers etc. Many weeks of hard toil later the impossible now appears possible with most of the wall shelves again sorted through and 60% of the floor area cleared. There is still a long way to go but there is hope of once again getting this space in order so that they can enjoy the space once again.

With Dad In Lloyds Bank, The Strand

Lloyds Bank

In amongst all of this we squeezed in a quick weekend to visit our friends Mike and Caroline in Nottingham. We enjoyed their company for the years that they lived close to us in Mt. Pleasant NZ and it was great to spend time with them catching up on the intervening years. We headed out to the famous Sherwood Forest and gazed wistfully at the Major Oak which is reputed to have given shelter to Robin Hood and his merry men whilst on the run from the heinous Sheriff of Nottingham.

Tamara also managed to travel up to Norwich to work through some family tree stuff with her second cousin David. The joy of meeting David for the first time was completely counter-balanced by the news that he had just been diagnosed with a very aggressive and terminal cancer and before we left England he died, less than four weeks from diagnosis. He was very pleased to be able to pass on his family research to someone equally passionate about it. One bonus that came from this visit was the opportunity to meet up with some of the wider family - all cousins of some description.

Dinner With Martin & Frances - My Former Business Partners

Martin and Frances

Apart from this our time in England was about preparing for Christmas, visiting London on several occasions to see the lights, meet friends and sightsee. On one of these occasions we happened to be in Leicester Square at the same time as a film premiere which was all a bit of fun. I consider Leicester Square to be the heart of London nightlife and once again it did not disappoint! On one visit dad gave us a guided tour of the medieval Temple area of the city. Located slap bang between the area of trade (the ports) and the area of commerce (the City of London) this was the ideal place for the lawyers to set up and they were not going to miss that trick. Intriguingly this area is lit using gas lights to this very day and they give a very soft light to the streetscape.

Christmas itself was at my brother's house and involved a lovely walk through Knole Park, past the old house and the quietly grazing deer. While the weather had not been sunny it had at least been unseasonably warm and it was to stay like that for the whole of our visit. Later we started our Christmas meal in just enough time to finish before bed several hours later. The food was scrumptious and it was fun to have almost everyone together for Christmas. On this occasion everyone from my immediate family with the exception of Skye was there and she was sorely missed.

Of Course The Pub Was Full Of Morris Men!

Morris Men

Partly as a result of missing Skye and partly as a cunning plan to find some sunshine we opted to fly from England back to NZ for a couple of months during which we hoped to spend more time catching up with friends and family and to spend several weeks touring the North Island. More of that in our following blog.

Until next time.....

Tags: christmas, family, friends, london, nottingham




London will always have a special place in my heart and it is packed with incredible sights.

  Frances Mar 17, 2016 10:41 AM



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