Friday, 25 October 2019

Dredging up the recent past: being on shore in the UK before we headed home

In our last week in the UK, we caught up with family and our lovely friend, Lesley.

We left the boat and headed to Kingston on Thames to stay a couple of nights at Warren House, a lovely hotel which is close to the centre of KoT but is in lovely extensive grounds.
Beautiful staircase

David on the spare bed in Warren House

David's niece Sarah and her husband came for a drink with us on the Friday night before they headed off to Norfolk for a wedding weekend.

On Saturday David and I went out for breakfast to a great cafe that felt very much like an NZ cafe. Really nice food, excellent service.

We then went and picked up Lesley (ODS) from Staines and took her out for a long afternoon. We started off by visiting Runnymede, a place we have driven through several times and boated past once but not stopped at. Such an important place in England's history.
At Runnymede there is a sculpture called The Jurors, a set of 12 chairs with a 'story' on the front and back of each chair. This one was about education. You can read an article about it here:

This is the Magna Carta (corrected from original posting ...) memorial at Runnymede

Lesley at the Magna Carta memorial - she is in much better shape and was able to walk comfortably all around the park.
Lesley is on a very strict cancer-killing diet at the moment, so while David and I had cake (him) and a scone with jam and clotted cream (me) at the cafe, Lesley valiantly just drank water ... The new diet of almost exclusively raw fruit and vegetables is doing her lots of good - her skin is beautiful and she is losing weight. As she says, if it's doing as much good to her insides as it is to her outsides, she'll be very happy!
Lesley's huge bowl of salad - two of these a day. See the size of the Olivia container beside the bowl: yes it IS a big bowl of salad.
 We then decided to go and visit my aunt Molly who lives in Leatherhead - not far from Runnymede, in fact just a short way around the M25. All was going well until we got off that and I stopped looking at the GPS and winged it to find the required roundabout exit - bad mistake!! We ended up going all the way to Oxshott and then turning around and going back to get off the M25 exit again. Of course, when we looked at the map a few days later, if we'd kept going another half mile or so, we would have approached Leatherhead from a direction we weren't familiar with - DOH!!

Catching up with Molly in a surprise visit was great - she and Lesley met some years ago, so it was old home week.

We delivered Lesley back to her brother's place and then headed out for dinner in KoT. A big fail, as we could not find where was sensible to park. So back to the hotel we went and had another bar meal - the food was fine and the cost was reasonable, so no real worries.

On the Sunday, we made our way back to Surrey, to Abinger Hammer this time to stay with my cousin Gordon and Sharon for a few nights.
Josh, Gordon and Sharon's latest grandson. A little cutie.

The dining room - love that table!

Molly, Gordon, Sharon and me - David took the photo - out for dinner at The Plough.

Gordon didn't want downpipes, so they found these decorative chains made of plastic. The water flows out of the guttering down the chain into the gully trap. Practical and very attractive!

A slight frost on the day we left.

Our last night was in Beckenham with Lionel and Carole - they had just come back the night before from a wedding in Croatia, I think, so there was no late night revelry!
We went out for a walk around the lake at Kelsey Park - a beautiful resource there in Beckenham

I think the two geese on the rock are Egyptian - Irene?
 On the flight to Vancouver, I took these photos over Greenland, I think.

And my seat on the Air Canada flight had a massage function ...
OK, the next post will be about being in NZ, I promise! No more harking back to Old Blighty!


Adam said...

That's not the Kennedy memorial -- that's the Magna Carta memorial. The Kennedy on is down a footpath to the right; and the best one of all is the Air Force Memorial up at the top of the hill. Pictures of all three here:

Carol said...

They are indeed Egyptian geese Marylin. x

Jennie said...

Beckenham was the town of my birth, Marilyn. I spent very many happy hours over the years in Kelsey Park. At the other side of the town is Beckenham Place Park - another great resource for the locals. It is years since I last visited, so I am sure it has changed a great deal. Jennie x

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

I totally agree with you and Carol. Xxx

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Fixed, Adam - I knew it was wrong as I typed it ...

Thanks re the Egyptian geese, ladies - they are lovely.