We managed to cross the Irish sea before the onset of Storms Ophelia and Brian. You may say that was good planning but it was purely accidental. Some of the weather we encountered on our travels around the west coast was pretty dramatic but nothing compared to the recent storms which we recently discovered took the roof off the milking sheds on the farm where we had been staying a few days before.
Secret Footpaths of Redhill
Our first stop back in England was to our youngest son, Ryan, in Redhill. After being chauffeured to Maidstone for lunch with Jon’s Mum, we returned to Redhill with full tummies. We all felt we needed a bit of a walk so Ryan took us on a footpath adventure. It was amazing to see how many footpaths, fields and livestock are within a few minutes walk of, on the surface, such a built up area.
Our visit to the south east of England, was planned to coincide in our middle son, Sam’s, birthday. The heat from 27 candles was extreme but he managed all but one stubborn candle in one puff.
A mid-week birthday with such busy lifestyles is not easy but we managed to head off to Fireball Pizza in Chatterton, Bromley. It was a cosy restaurant with a huge wood fired pizza oven. The decor was a pretty eclectic mix but it gave the place real atmosphere and the food was really good. There were five of us and all of us had something different, including the option to have the pizza folded over as a calzone. Sam chose the signature Fireball HOT but relented on the option to go Fireball Super HOT). He had to tone it down with plenty of local craft beer and an impromptu birthday ice cream complete with candles. The combined singing of the waitresses and us was a bit dire and brought some attention to our table. Shame!
Return to Nottinghamshire (with Prosecco)
A long overdue visit to Woodborough which is about 7 miles north of Nottingham to visit friends, Alison and Andrew, had been scheduled. Alison and I went to school together from the age of 5 to 11 but then progressed to different secondary schools. Miraculously we have kept in touch over years of house moves and we are determined not to let that falter now, even if this time it has taken us around 3 years to get together. Woodborough is a beautiful little village and, at one time, we lived not far from here in Arnold. The old phonebox in Woodborough has been put to good use.
With children slightly younger than ours it was a reminder of how busy family life can be. Swimming lessons for their son Luke, dance classes for their daughter Abi and homework to name but a few but we did manage to fit some fun stuff. Lego construction work was probably top of Jon’s list and mine was probably trawling through craft projects and knitting patterns was mine. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another three years to get together!
Return to Leicestershire (with Prosecco)
Another one time home we had was in Great Glen in Leicestershire. How could we not arrange to see our friends Jackie and Trevor? Jackie and I immediately struck up a firm friendship when we met at our ante-natal classes way back in 1989. Jackie and Trevor are now grandparents themselves and it always feels like only yesterday we met up every Thursday with our own babies crawling around the carpet. Even though it was a brief visit we managed to meet up with their children, Matthew and Sarah, and of course, their granddaughter Lottie who seemed to have some sort of 360 spinning till I fall over thing going on. Sarah works at the Space Centre so has a pretty snazzy jacket…
During our brief stay, unbeknownst to us a day out had been planned. This needs a post all of it’s own so you will have to wait till next time. Visiting our family is always precious to us but we also love and cherish the friends we have in the many places we have lived throughout our transient life. When one day we have a home again, it will be lovely to see these valued friends more frequently, with Prosecco, of course!
09/10 – 14/10/2017