Huw's UK bit!
Where to start? Awesome fun catching up with family and friends.
Wyn, Emma, Tom and Immy's new home in Cheltenham is fab - even got their own river (stream really) running through the back complete with swings, on which Immy is fearless. As usual Tom is 'go, go, go' and we had heaps of fun playing cricket, Monopoly, more cricket, Admirals, more cricket, repeat to exhaustion (me not him)! Pub quiz Thursday was a blast and the new owners of the local were great fun. They have a great little community in their village - very lucky.
Great to kick back with Dad and watch the tests, glass of white with lunch very civilized - good results but the England team don't make many friends! Return Ashes in Aus will be interesting. As usual we ate like royalty thanks to Mum - amazing! And yes i've stacked some kegs back on! Ah well I'll get rid of them in France and Italy......help!
The week in Saundersfoot was like being a kid again. Mum sourced the house which backs onto the beach! Made 2 mammoth sand castles with Tom and played more cricket. Weather was classic Brit beach weather, beautiful one day then cats and dogs the next. Got to go to a water slide park and spent the entire morning carrying Immy down the slides - what a giggle! Tom also went on a high ropes course and was absolutely fearless!
Essex was 24 hours laughing. All the boys and girls were on great form but no way could you keep that pace up for any longer.
Last 48 hours spent in London catching with Bass and Kate on the first night and then Wyn and his mate Stuart on the second - Bass out both nights! Again spent most of it laughing. I had begun to forget how awesome London is. Also managed to catch up with Ellen (Chrissie's niece) who is over working, doing well and loving it.
Leaving was tough! Felt really connected to people and places the whole time I was back. Got some great ideas for the future but will have to see how things pan out! Got the best piece of news I could have hoped for from Oz when I was checking emails in the water park! Go figure, but I think it will impact significantly on future decisions coming up! Cryptic eh!
My time in Cardiff was shorter due to my trip to France to stay with Marg. After arriving back I had one day to wash clothes (thanks to Huw's Mum) and repack ready to head off to Essex via London to see General and Co.
Picked up by General and Kevin from the station and taken to a newly renovated pub on the river where a load of old friends turned up to say hello It was a lovely day, warm weather and great to see everyone again. About 8.30 pm off to the Half Moon for a drink where the barman remembered what I drank !! Then finished up the night having a curry at the usual curry house where we had lots of laughs. Weekend finished with an excellent lunch at a pub with everyone, and then back to London and onto Cardiff by late Sunday evening. Super few days.
One day to pack and then off on the train to Cheltenham to stay with Huw' s brother. They have just moved into a new place in the same village, and the house is fantastic. As soon as we arrived Huw and Tom were playing cricket which continued over the next week with Tom showing some excellent cricketing skills. Met a number of Wyn and Emma's friends as they threw a BBQ one night - nice people, and then went to the local pub quiz night and had a great time even though we didn't get many correct answers! A very friendly, connected community. Something different, was our trip to the circus. It was an old fashioned circus with a duck, a few horses, clowns, acrobats, a trapeze artist in a beautiful old part of the Cotswalds. It was really enjoyable and as good day out.
The next day we headed off to Saundersfoot in convoy for a week at the sea side. Liz had booked a magnificent house on the beach and Huw and I had a stunning room facing the sea with a balcony. It was a great week with many games of cricket, monopoly, making sandcastles, reading, going for walks, lunch at other villages, water slides and fun parks, and of course fish and chips and ice cream. A highlight was the dinner at St Brides Hotel high on the cliff overlooking the harbour for Liz's birthday and a day at the Spa for Liz , Emma and myself. It was brilliant, and the infinity pool overlooking the ocean plus the hot and cold stone massage and foot pedicure was sooo relaxing! We left to drive home to Cardiff with the bank holiday traffic ! Wyn and Emma headed off to Cheltenham the next day and there was a very sad Huw and Tom as they parted. They have become great friends.
A couple days later and we said our goodbyes to Huw's parents and headed to London to spent a few days with Richard and Kate in their lovely flat in Primrose Hill. Had a fantastic Greek meal first night around the corner from their home, and caught up on all the news late into the night. Primrose Hill is a beautiful suburb. We spent time getting maps for our coming trip to Europe, and caught up with Ellen, my niece who is living and working in London in a great little pub called The Victoria in Paddington. Had a lovely lunch with Huw's Aunty and uncle and his two cousins in Covent Gardens and a meal with Wyn and his mate, Stuart, and Richard on the last night before leaving the UK for Europe the next day. Stayed at the Mecure Paddington last night to catch the Eurostar the next morning.