We woke up early so that I could spend the last few minutes with Anne before she went to work. It is sad saying goodbye – but at least we know we shall be back. I also got to say goodbye to Jane who hopefully will come and visit us sometime. Then it was time to shower, and Dave took Henry to the station. By the time he got back I was ready to go and we went to Evie for morning coffee. That was so special to spend some time with her, just the three of us. After coffee we took a very slow drive to The Grumpy Mole. We left Evie just after 11am and our first stop was in Benson. We wanted to talk to someone at Le Boat, but they were trying to prevent a barge from sinking completely!
Our lunch date with Pete and Bev was for 2pm and we arrived shortly before that. Dave and Peter are old friends – having gone to school together. It was a wonderful catch up for all of them. Bev had brought with a photo album from their wedding – quite something to see Dave in a suit.
At 16h30 we got on the road to Gatwick. There is a petrol station right at the airport so that was easy enough – £36.54 for 25.39l.
We dropped the car at Europcar at 17h20 and we were in the lounge by 18h00. This after both Dave and I were stopped at security. His belt triggered the machine which has never happened anywhere else. And I completely forgot to put my nasal spray and throat spray into the clear bag – I never do and this is the first time my suitcase has been set aside for checking for that. I do not mind as security far outweighs the wait! I did some shopping for Bev S. Got Patum Peperium for Dave and I and a bottle of whisky. Bev R had suggested Scapa and so we bought that. The flight was delayed by over an hour but we were comfortable in the lounge waiting, and then again on board with champagne. The flight was good – I managed to sleep from just after dinner to just after breakfast! Once again passport control was a breeze and we did not have to wait too long for our cases. Home safe and sound after a very busy and amazing family holiday.
Dave and I woke up at a reasonable time and relaxed a bit before getting ready for the day. We had breakfast and then took a slow drive to Cara, arriving just after 10. Daniel was visiting from South Africa which was such a coincidence. We had coffee and pastries before heading to Little Milton. On the way we drove past Le Manoir, one of my dream dining destinations.
We had a family lunch with Anne, Stuart, Jane and Evie at The Lamb Inn. After lunch we went for a walk to the lock and it is amazing how flooded the area is.
We then went back to the house and I packed one case before we had birthday cake. After that we watched the Grand Prix in the background while chatting. I then packed the other case and we had a simple Sunday supper of homemade Halloween soup and chunky bread. We finished off the evening with port, cheese and crackers. An early night for all of us as everyone has work tomorrow.
I woke up early so that I could meet Carol and Michael for breakfast. They are friends of my parents who live in St. Albans and I was so grateful they wanted to see me and would drive to Finchley. We had breakfast at Oak Caffé which I can highly recommend. After that I walked to Shul and Maya gave an inspiring talk, followed by a very good sermon from the Rabbi. After the service Talya dropped me at Totteridge and Whetstone station and I caught the Northern Line to Euston and then the Victoria Line to Oxford Circus.
Dave had spent the morning exploring around Camden and met me at Uniqlo. I did my returns and bought a smaller jacket and then I went to Inglot. From there we walked to Marble Arch, being invited to take part in a protest!
We then got the Central Line to Bank and the Northern Line to Camden so Dave could show me the lock and part of the market. Far too many people for me! From there we walked 96 steps down to the platform and came back to the hotel. We went to buy water and as we got back the kids arrived. That at least meant they could have a bathroom break and change Hannah before heading on their way back to Barnsdale. We had a quick shower and arrived at the party at 18:00.
Talya had gone all out and the African theme was amazing. The meal and party was great and we left a little early. Such a blessing we could celebrate with Maya and made more special by the fact she loves the pendant I had specially made for her.
We woke up, had breakfast and packed and headed off to Peterborough. First to fill up the car with diesel (£65 for 50.04l). We did not quite need to put fuel in but Dave wanted to show James how it worked. We then went to Europcar to collect their car. Thankfully they did not need James’s passport so we did not have a repeat of the Finchley exprience. We finally left for London at 11.20. We arrived at Glenlyn Hotel, checked in and unpacked. Their is no space in our room for the large suitcase. The kids arrived at 13:40 and as soon as Carli had had a cup of coffee we headed off to Harrods. We caught the underground from Woodside Park, changed at Leicester Square and got out at Knightsbridge.
We went straight to Harrods Cafe to celebrate Carli’s birthday. She and James shared a cream tea and a slice of fudge cake. Dave also had the cream tea but with an espresso. I had mint tea with a croissant.
Dave fed Hannah bits of cake which to her must have been far better than her baby food! The bill including gratuity came to £65.45. A true once in a lifetime experience. We left the kids there and headed back to Finchley in rush hour. We changed trains at Euston as we were on the wrong one for the Northern Line. We got back to the hotel at 18:00 and changed for Shul. The service was short and lovely and then we all went to Judy for dinner. It was a lovely family evening.
Given that it was cold and wet, we decided to spend part of the day in Peterborough shopping. I was not feeling 100% so didn’t mind the slow start to our day. We had a late breakfast, Dave did some work and we got to Peterborough just after 12:00. I managed to find nearly everything on my list which was great.
Dave and I had a simple lunch at Greggs and we met the kids back there just after 15:00. Our drive back went in the direction of Deeping Saint James where Dave bought his first race car in the UK. We drove through Stamford and got back to the resort in time to enjoy a cream tea.
Dave went to train and I looked after Hannah while Carli and James packed their overnight bag. Tomorrow we leave for London. Dave cooked lamb chops for dinner. They were really good and we enjoyed them with cider. I went to bed still not feeling well.
We had set aside one day to do a long drive to the North Norfolk coast. We set out from Barnsdale at 10:25 and had a pit stop at a Starbucks. Not sure what all the hype is as their espresso tastes the same as any other chain coffee shop.
Our next stop was at The Real Ale shop and then we arrived at Wells-Next-The-Sea. We parked at the harbour (£4.50 for the day) and went to K’s American Diner for coffee. The owner has been there since the 60’s and she runs it with her daughter. I can well imagine in summer this place is packed. Dave bought us a kipper from Arthur Howell fishmonger and then we went to French’s Fish & Chips for lunch.
We walked around the village before heading back to King’s Lynn via Burnham Market. We did a quick shop then drove back to the resort, arriving just before 18:00. I was not feeling well so went to lie down, getting up over 2 hours later to eat something. I went straight back to bed in the hope whatever was making me feel nauseous would pass.
After breakfast, James, David and I headed to Melton Mowbray. It was not the best day for a farmers market and it was amazing how many stall holders had turned up.
The parking cost double on market days and we managed to find one close to where we wanted to be. For £3 we had three hours of parking, not that we browsed around in the rain and bitter cold for that long. We started off with espressi and a slice of Victorian sponge at Off The Beaten Path.
One stall holder had nice looking tomatoes but there were too many in the container for us. But when we bought a dozen double yolk eggs (£3) he sold us two for 20p. We got freshly baked baguette from another stall holder (£2) who then discounted the scones James bought by 80p. At Dickinson & Morris we bought two pork pies, a locally made beer, Stilton which is from this area and some bacon.
Once our shopping was done we came back to Oakham to get toffees from Thorntons. We came back to Barnsdale for lunch and in the afternoon the three of us took a drive to Stamford. Then back for cream tea before Dave and I headed to the leisure centre. We had bruschetta and snacks before supper – Hannah gave everything a try and then we had the pork sausages for supper. You could taste they were made with quality ingredients. I was quite sleepy so had an early night.