Well that was quite a break from the blogging. I haven’t posted anything for exactly a month, not because I’ve had a writing block but just because we’ve been back to UK seeing family and friends on a kind of wedding occasion cum holiday and have simply been too busy to do any postings. Yeh right, who’s that busy eh? Fair enough – here’s the schedule below. So much to write about – I’m not sure I’ll get all the postings done this side of Xmas. But whilst we’ve been away we’ve gone through the 50K visits mark on the site. What can I say but thank you, thank you, thank you. I remain staggered and delighted that so many have come by to read this self-regarding ranting and raving. You must be mad, sad or unbelievably wonderful. Whatever, I think you’re just great.
So here’s the travel stuff. We were invited to the wedding of the daughter of our truly great friends L and S over in Tralee on the beautiful west coast of Ireland on 16 August (much more later). D had asked our daughter R to be her best lady – it was such a thoughtful and typically D-ee request. She is such a delightful girl. C and R were natural invitees to D’s hen night at the end of July alongside E and S our other daughters. I should explain that we were cross-the-road neighbours of L and S in north London where all our 5 daughters were born.
We figured that it would be easier and cheaper to drive back to the UK for the hen night and to stay in the UK in preparation for the wedding rather than head back to Italy in the interim. So:
– we set off for the UK on the 22 July (the morning after the last posting)
– stayed overnight in Strasbourg
– arrived back in the UK and drove up to stay at daughter S’s and top son-in-law I in London. Great fish and chips dinner; haven’t had it for ages – it was so delicious
– next day drove up to L&S’s in Wetherby Yorks
– C and R head up to Newcastle for the hen w/e
– L and I spend w/e replacing a garden fence – we were fence-virgins but took our time and after two day’s of building, it’s still standing!
– L and I make it to J’s local stag event. We are the oldest attendees by about 30 years. So we arrive late and leave early (to have an Indian – another much missed meal) but I still feel that I was probably as pissed as most of the other guys by the time we left. Young guys have so much drink capacity.
– girls arrive back from Newcastle after w/e – shapelessly. We head over to good friend and fellow Director B to meet with client in York then on to B’s place for lovely overnight stay in N Yorks.
– next day down to daughter E’s in Brighton. A long and quiet drive.
– one day with our daughter, brill son in law S and wonderful grandkids S and G. The boys are just great and we’ve missed them dreadfully
– but we have to head up next day to Buckingham to a) collect furniture etc from old friends J and S when we had to leave it on our return to Italy. As ever J and S were the tops but they were glad to get rid of our crap. b) C was at our old friends C and K’s for a facial etc for the wedding. Then C and K invited us to stay over after dinner which was lovely
– next day back to Brighton
– next day I head over to Southampton way for business meeting with Eastleigh FC.
– next day just us and the grandkids. Sam and I go to see Wall-E at the cinema. nice day even though the weather is attrocious in the UK
– w/e exclusively with E and S and the boys ( though online work interrupts enormously)
– head up north exclusively with the boys to visit the n branch of the family
– stay with C’s sister and brother P in Cheshire for couple of days. Visited Tatton park and had a great day. G is more than a handful but a star. S is just a great lad playing footie with many kids in the park.
– up to my brother D and D’s in Poulton, Lancs. Pop in to see my M&D – my folks look great and are in good health thankfully. The kids catch up with cousins etc. Top BBQ at D& D’s later and lots of vino…aaahh.
– whilst C and D look after the lads, D and I drive up to Whitehaven to collect D’s new bike -my brother works for a major motorbike manufacturer and he has to test new models through (he’s crippled with a gammy knee but still can perform for the company…if a new bike’s around). We race back; me in the car, D on the bike. He’s showered, changed with the BBQ on the go before I turn up sedately at his place.
– back to Brighton for few precious days with the grandkids – again clients’ stuff gets in the way and I have to head over to Gravesend/Northfleet way for meeting with Ebbsfleet FC
– head up to Stansted for flight to Ireland
– wedding etc (much more later)
– back to Stansted and down to Brighton for overnight stay- we are due to head home next morning on an early ferry but…..
– I have to head up to London for meeting with potential new client.The meeting gets changed 3 times but we meet at 6pm and we need to make the ferry by 10pm in Dover!!!
– inevitably we fail (by 5 mins despite driving like a lunatic) but make the midnight crossing.
– we land in Dunkirk at 3 am and unsurprisingly no hotels open in n France at that time so decide to drive through the night to our Italian home.
– long story short, we drove for 23 more hours before we landed home yesterday in MdF Italy. Very, very tired.
However weather is fantastic here even if pool is a disaster (more later). It’s hardly been a restful holiday but we’ve caught up with friends and most of our family, attended a super wedding and had some real good quality time with S & I and E, S and the boys. It was brilliant of E and S especially to host us at their place most of the time but it was definitely time to head home and get back to normal …for a rest!