The weekend before last we flew out to England. Primary reason for the visit was my father-in-laws birthday. We got the late flight out to London Luton, and the day we left, temperatures hit the 40’s and the humidity was just off the scale. I can’t lie, the idea of rain or just overcast, cold England was dreamy. When we got off the plane it was amazing. Never before have I felt so happy to be cold. Both of us were in shorts, even though we knew it’d be at least 20 degrees cooler, we couldn’t face the idea of jeans / trousers whilst in Gib. The cold swirled around my ankles as though I had just opened a refrigerated unit. It was bliss. We picked up our hire car, surrounded by people who were not as enamoured by the weather. Our noble steed for the trip? A bright yellow Fiat 500. It could only just contain us and the cases, but it was zippy little thing.
The first day of the trip we had some essential shopping to do. (Read: Shoes and cat toys.) And after we had done all of our chores we went visiting some family from my side. It is a well-known fact that all visits to great-aunts require cakes. So we had massive cream cakes from the local baker and stuffed our faces and caught up with the goings on of my great-aunt and her sister-in-law who told us about a boat trip they had taken to celebrate my great aunts 90th birthday. It sounded pretty cool if I am honest, a trip down the Grand Union canal into London. I wouldn’t mind doing it myself one day! After seeing her, we went to my parents. Not just to see the folks but also to meet the newest addition to the family. Bonnie.
Oh my goodness she is so tiny and fast and cute. So whilst we did give the family some little gifts, our attention was otherwise occupied!
On the second day of the trip we spent the afternoon with my sister and my nieces. Catching up over lunch and generally hanging out and having fun. It was lovely. The weather was awful though. It poured. It was quite fun. I had a rather nasty headache, so instead of getting a lift back from the pub where we had lunch, myself and my youngest niece decided to walk home. Her with an umbrella, me in my rain coat (I haven’t forgotten everything about the British summer it seems) and it was so nice to splash home. Seriously, by December I will be ranting about the cold and rain here in Gib, but it was just so refreshing to feel cool and damp, as opposed to burning hot, and therefore damp with sweat. Driving home in the rubbish weather wasn’t so great, but the Fiat just about managed. We kept our fingers crossed that the weather would improve for the next day, as that was the day of the party and a BBQ had been planned.
The Saturday of our trip we drove into London. Not just to attend the birthday party, but also because we needed to book tickets to PARIS. How exciting! (We shall be going in September on the Eurostar.) After we got tickets for that all sorted out we drove across town to Bayswater to see a friend of Mr BOTR from Gib, who has been waiting for surgery. We took him for a little bit of food at the Westfield shopping centre. OMG. How big is that place? We actually went to a burger place, but they did the nicest veggie burgers I have had in ages. After we ate, we dropped him off again and then we fought the traffic back to north London for the birthday BBQ and party. Thankfully the weather held out. It was a bit cooler than the other sunny day we had, but the sun was out for most of the day, and thankfully it didn’t rain on us at all, which was a relief, because a rainy BBQ is not my idea of fun!
It was lovely to meet so many of my father-in-laws family and it was great to catch up with my brother and sister-in-law and to see their little girl. We stayed until late into the evening, and as is typical in family parties, we were laden with food when we left, as we were flying the next day we took a little bit to my family and then we left the rest in the freezer for when we visit next!