Happy Days…

So Mum is here for a visit and since her (and her partner Alan’s) arrival last Wednesday, it has been a busy time with little chance of the daily blogs I’d planned to keep you all appraised of our Days Out (and In)…so here’s a little summary thus far…

Wednesday – Arrival Day
Much chatting and catching up over their best coffees since the start of their trip on May 9th (Go London…yeah!).  Checking them into the local hotel, marvelling at how big the room is compared to everything else they have stayed in and then off to The Boaters Inn on the riverbank in Kingston to eat fish and chips, drink wine and gaze dreamily at the Thames (which, on Wednesday, was dappled in soft Autumn sunshine).  My specialty Spag Bol for dinner…with more wine.

Thursday – Lewes-and-Brighton Day
Off to the county town of Lewes this morning to see all the places that Alan remembered from his childhood there…as with all nostalgic meanderings, he said everything seemed a lot smaller than he remembered.  We also walked around the castle, through the gardens at Southover Grange and visited Anne of Cleves cottage before walking back up Keere Street…very steep cobbled street that apparently the Prince Regent who became King George IV drove his carriage down on the strength of a dare…and they say his father was the mad one! 
Then it was on to Brighton and a visit to the Royal Pavilion, the pleasure palace of King George IV whilst he was Prince Regent (is there a recurring theme of reckless behaviour here?) This was my second visit and I had forgotten how truly spectacular and OTT this place was so def. worth visiting and taking the audio guide on your visit.  We then wandered along Brighton Pier before deciding that we were rather peckish so we found a fab Italian place in Brighton’s The Lanes and waddled out of there for the drive home at about 8.  Speaking of the drive home, we had a little trouble finding the turn off back to the main road and took a scenic drive along the coast for a while hoping to find another connecting road…Plan A having failed abysmally, we turned around, drove back to Newhaven and found the turn off…

Friday – Hop-On-Hop-Off-Bus Day
Friday was tourist day in the capital and I have to say that I enjoyed the top deck of the hop-on-hop-off bus very much…it was really quite relaxing to be absolved of the need to take any photos (because it wasn’t all new and overwhelming like last time) and to just enjoy the ride in the sunshine (yes, sunshine again!  Very blessed we were…)  After a couple of hours of winding our way through the busy streets, we ‘hopped off’ at The Tower of London with enough time for lunch at gbk (scrumptious burgers) before meeting the Yeoman Warder (more widely known as Beefeaters) for our guided tour.  He had a few grisly stories to share, a typically English (dry) sense of humour and a ‘way’ with the ladies…but did you know that they come highly qualified for the job?  They have to have served a minimum of 22 years in the Army, Air Force or Marines and have reached the position of Sergeant Major and they (all 35 of them) live in the Tower of London with their families until retirement at 65…needless to say they kind of inspire ‘good behaviour’!

We then ‘hopped on’ a river cruise back to Westminster Pier – more witty commentary and interesting facts – before ‘hopping off’ and wandering past the Houses of Parliament, up Whitehall (past Downing Street and Royal Horse Guards), into Trafalgar Square and then along Constitution Hill to Buckingham Palace… again I was struck by what an ‘ordinary’ looking building Buckingham Palace is, particularly when compared with Westminster Palace (aka Houses of Parliament) but if you are ever here in July-August, def. check BH out the inside – it’s amaaaaazing!…

…and then the only thing left to do (well that we had any energy left for) was to ‘hop on’ the bus home….and have Chinese takeaway for dinner…

Saturday – Day-Off Day
Saturday was my relaxing, houseworking, catching up day so J was despatched with said parent and partner to buy satnavs and posting boxes (look out chicky, there are a-comin’) before the visitors decamped to Hampton Court Palace nearby…in the drizzle…so I can’t really tell you what they got up to other than that there was jousting, a mock wedding and a lost umbrella.  Then it was pizza and Eurovision with J and the kids last night…makes you realise how small these flats really are when there are 6 people in them!

Sunday – Getting-Organised-For-All-The-Other-Days Day
Today the sun has finally broken through the clouds and we are all just puddling around here at the flat and the travellers are having a little breather before they set off on their big NW odyssey tomorrow morning…

So there you have it…a longer blog than usual but consider yourselves updated!

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