We flew from Singapore in a whopping great 800 seat plane with a web cam on the tail. This is not recommended viewing for anyone with flying anxiety as you watch the nose dive through the clouds and the speck of the runway gallop up to meet you.
We checked in to a dingy B&B near Heathrow, taken there by a driver qualified to be up there with the crazy Thai drivers, (see earlier post about Beelzebub driving school). We were pretty zonked and disorientated and slept fitfully, but did rouse ourselves sufficiently to sample our first English pub, run rather bizarrely by an Asian woman.
We went our separate ways after dumping our luggage at Euston, Matt went off to buy a super-dooper shiny Gretsch guitar he has been lusting after for ages. I went to meet my dear friend and new baby, she and her partner have asked me to be their celebrant for their naming ceremony, so we had the initial planning session.
Next stop, Berkhamsted, where we stayed with our sweet and incredibly hospitable friends, the young gals had painted us a big welcome sign which made us very, very blinky and emotional. We had a lovely time with them as always and earned our keep by having creative sessions and cooking a celebratory feast.
We went for a walk with my Ma and Pa, it was great to see them and wonderful to be back in English countryside, they don’t make woods like this anywhere else! We saw the antlers of a magnificent stag having a doze in the middle of a golden corn field, and ate a splendid beery lunch.
We were due for more visits, but Matt had come down with a nasty sinus infection so we had to lay low for a while. Luckily he recovered in time to take my gorgeous nephew and niece camping. We had a night with my brave sis and cooked a meal as she is still recovering from her op. Thanks everyone who has asked after her, she’s doing fine, apart from a trapped nerve in her ankle which is giving her a lot of trouble, it was inflicted while she was under anesthetic that she really could have done without.
We had a brilliant, if occasionally damp time camping, in the Forest of Dean. Tom and Alice really are a delight to have around. We visited Tintern Abbey on our wedding anniversary, it’s such a beautiful place full of personal romantic history for us. The next day we were off to Puzzlewood, a place that apparently inspired Tolkien to write the Hobbit. You can understand why, it’s a magical place full of strange rock formations, twisted trees and glowing green moss. Alice got super-excited because they were filming an episode of ‘Merlin’ there, and she got waved at by Morgana!! Adventures aside, we spent a fair amount of time hanging out, having uke and guitar jams, lounging in our new Onesies (me and Alice), playing cards and having olive spitting competitions, all good clean camping fun!
And finally, our countdown had reached the end, 1st September, the day we got back to our home in Ulverston. We had a smooth uneventful train journey with mounting excitement as we crossed the bay, went around the corner, and there he was… HOAD! The local lighthouse guiding us home.
Check out more pics below…