From Berlin, we moved on to London, again by easyJet via Luton and full marks to Luton – everything worked like a dream. We were staying with friends, Vince and Rosy and after having dropped off our bags, we headed for the City and ‘The Artillery Arms’ where we met up with old friends, Dick Jones and Mike Quinn. It was good to see them both after a gap of quite a few years but conversation soon flowed (as did the pints of best!) and it was quite like old times.
Then it was on to another pub in Southwark to meet up with Graham and Emily and James and Claire for more chat, more drinks and an upmarket fish supper. Yum-yum, one thing we miss in Crete! It was a real delight to see all the ‘kids’ looking good and in fine voice and the evening just shot by as we caught up on news and put the world to rights.
We arrived back at V&R’s rather weary and a little worse for wear!
The next morning, Vince took us for a visit to his new allotment and we sat and enjoyed the tranquil North London scene as V&R planted some beans.
Then it was off for coffee at the local tennis club and some shopping before Rosy laid on lunch back at Addington Road. Sheila then undertook some strenuous retail therapy in Oxford Street while I watched a video of Arsenal beating Man U 2-1 in the Cup which had been thoughtfully arranged by my fellow ‘Gooner’, Rosy!
The following morning we said our goodbyes to V&R and headed for Gatwick Airport where we picked up a hire car for the trip to Cornwall with ‘our’ Rosie, who we collected en route at Poole, near where she is working. It was a pleasant drive through the West Country and we arrived at ‘The Countryman’ pub near Launceston around tea time.
We were the only people staying but it got quite busy in the evening with families and couples out for their Friday suppers and although the promised live music did not materialise, we had a great evening with Rose in good form, although it has to be said that none of us actually ate a Cornish Pastie!
The next morning after a ‘full English’, we drove the final hour to Duchy College, near Truro, which was he purpose of the trip. Rose is thinking of taking a horticulture course there next year and they were having an Open Day. We were given a tour of the premises by an enthusiastic student and it seemed to fit the bill, so the trip was worthwhile. They certainly know how to grow daffodils too!
Then it was time to turn around and retrace our steps, dropping off Rosie at the camp site in Dorset, where she showed us round her caravan.
Then we set out to arrive with cousin Liz just in time for a pre-supper gin and tonic! Another evening flew by and before we knew it, it was time to leave at lunchtime the next day to stay with Phil at Bracknell.
She showed us round her new ‘estate’ (complete with Scottish flag) and then we settled down to a further evening of good food, good wine and good company! The following morning we set off reasonably early for Gatwick, handed back the car and got the flight to Athens.
It had been a short and tiring trip to the UK but hugely enjoyable as we had managed to fit in seeing all three of our children (including their respective partners) and a number of family and friends. Many thanks to everyone who provided accommodation and meals and to those who fitted in so amenably with our plans and made the trip such a success.
Nice to be in England again but good also to be going ‘home’ to Crete!
PS Apologies for lack of photos of Sheila. Not sure she wanted to be seen in England!