Friday, 30 September 2016

Old friends, new friend

Since we arrived on Friday last week it has been a bit of a social whirl.

Barry and Pauline met us at Hatton Cross station on Friday evening - we were meant to hook up in the Arrivals Hall at LHR but we were through early and they were a bit delayed. They had come all the way out from Hammersmith to help us get our cases to the hotel we were booked into for the night. We managed to get ourselves plus luggage to Hatton Cross and then they took over! We had a quick bite to eat in the bar and then they left us to fall asleep ...

On Saturday morning Lesley, aka ODS, came to collect her food parcel from the hotel and joined us for brekkie. Then she toddled off, having donated one gingernut to the woman on the neighbouring table - to try out with her coffee and decide whether she and her husband needed to do a repeat trip to NZ. Last time in NZ apparently they discovered hokey pokey icecream, but no one had told them about the gingernuts!

ODS continually or continuously or constantly or all the time, tells people that I talk to anyone. She blames it on my New Zealand-ness. I have to say, she isn't far wrong on either count, although both my parents (English) happily struck up conversations with total strangers anywhere. So it's in the genes.

I am not sure what ODS's excuse was at breakfast though. Not only did she strike up a conversation with the couple at the neighbouring table, she also chatted with the man who was waiting for toast at the same time she was. I only found this out because he came up and shook my hand and wished us a good holiday ...

I was pleased to see that ODS had the grace to blush when she was justifying her sociable behaviour.

Back on track, McD, get back on track.

So then ODS departed, and we went back to the room to pack and await Barry and Pauline again. They were accompanying us into Pimlico where we were based for a few days, and then we were off out for lunch together. You saw the last two posts with La Perla (yummy fajitas) and Horse Guards Parade photos.

Then on Sunday we went over to Rembrandt Gardens to meet Ray of nb Ferndale. We didn't meet Diane as she was playing in Spain with their daughter.

Lunch in a pub on Praed St, two chardonnays, two lager shandies, two ciders, and lots of chat and laughs. Ray is a lovely man, but a trifle too tall ...

He doesn't look quite so tall when he's sitting down ...


And on Monday we headed out to Cow Roast to see Jaq and Les on nb Valerie. And what a lovely surprise to find that Carol and George from wb Still Rocking were due to visit too.

I copied these photos from Carol's blog http://wbstillrockin.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/out-and-about : Les and Jaq, L&J and David and me, and then L&J, M&D and Carol and George, plus Molly - the last one is a bit dark, but we are all there - well, physically, but I am not sure about mentally ...




Lovely lunch, a huge number of laughs and some serious talk about end of life stuff. It's hard to describe how refreshing it is to converse with Jaq and Les who are so open about Les's terminal diagnosis, what's happening, how they are coping/crying/laughing/planning. There was a real sense of comfort given and received throughout our visit. We only stayed about 3 hours - they loved seeing us all, but Les's stamina isn't what it was and he isn't one of those people who can just slope off to bed in spite of visitors being on board. Anyway, we didn't want to be travelling back through rush hour - our stamina for that isn't what it was either!

A note to other boaters/blog readers: if you are in the area, DO go and see Jaq and Les - don't feel constrained or feel like you shouldn't bother them at this time: they want to be bothered and talked with and listened to and laughed with. Take wine - Les can have the occasional tipple ...

1 comment:

Raymond Pearce said...

hi to you both, great to finally meet and have such a lovely lunch and afternoon.
As Abraham Lincoln said - my legs are just long enough to reach the ground - and that explains my height.
See you again next time you are back

ray