Saturday 25th Aug
We finished today off with a visit to a very good friend of ours, Sandy Weedon. She was in good health and looking forward to retirement in October. It was good to catch up and have it re-confirmed that we really did get out on time ;-)
Sunday 26 Aug - Sunday 2 Sept
These few days were mainly used pottering about preparing for our move to Hertford and enjoying the company of Bob, Liz and Ben.
|From L - R. Ray Me, Bob, Liz. Benjamin (no. 35) and his friend Elliot.|
We did get our heads together and they have decided to join us in our trip to Africa. Due to Ben's schooling commitments, the outline plan is to go there from Easter to the end of August 2014. There's a lot of planning in the offing. Woo hoo ! We cant wait. They are a wonderful trio and Bob has a lot of worldly experience to bring to the table so to speak. It was one of our real concerns and when Bob said we could all go together for about 6 months we were elated.
|Our cow shed for 3 weeks.|
|The tup and cow that we made homeless.|
On the Thursday, we went out for an Indian meal with John and Jackie, my cousins. There was an Asian Elvis impersonator performing and whilst he was very good and the music was at the correct volume, when the singer opened his mouth my ears hurt. Really, especially my left one. I ended up putting a piece of tissue in my ear. At the intermission (for want of a better word) we asked the restaurant owner to turn it down a bit. Needless to say, it didn't happen so I ended up putting a large wad of tissue in each ear that stuck out about 3" either side. Even my Shrek impression did not do the trick and we eventually had to leave so we could at least talk to each other. We went back to John and Jackie's house and met their daughter Georgie and finally had a chance to talk. We may meet up at his place in Spain at Christmas. Fingers crossed, they are lovely people. On the Friday we to see Ice Age 4 with Liz and Ben. Another brilliant and entertaining film from people with a mad imagination. Karen had been desperate to see it since we got back and it was good to use Benjamin as cover for our childlike entertainment. Monday 3 Sept
Today we moved to Hertford campsite with the intention of setting off for France on Wednesday.
That evening I went out and took Naomi and Rosie for dinner at a Chinese buffet in Bishops Stortford.
|Ray doing his "I'm sure I had one of those somewhere" thing.|
Tuesday 4 Sept
I happened to mention to Karen about the Harry Potter film Set that my sister Trula had just visited. That was it. We booked to stay for another 3 days so we could fit it in ! We were now due to leave on Saturday.
We took Leon to the vet to get his regular check up and jabs needed to protect him in his travels. He was not a happy cat but needs must.
We also dropped the Fiesta off at Rosie's house and on the way back intended to stop in at Trula's place. We never made it. I decided to fill up with fuel at Sainsburys in Harlow and armed with a 10p a litre discount voucher put 100 litres (£140 worth) of petrol in Gromit. As I put the filler back in the cradle Karen pointed out that it was the petrol pump and not the deisel one I had used. Doh!!!!
We pushed Gromit off to one side and I decided in my infinite wisdom to buy a load of storage boxes and siphon the petrol into it. This went well until the station attendant told me to put it back in the tank or he would call the police. Needless to say I siphoned it back in. I called a number he had given me and a very nice man charged me £150 to siphon out and take away about 110 litres of useless but highly inflammable and highly expensive fuel.
I then had to fill Gromit up again from scratch. Another £150. Whilst reeling from the cost, the siphon man said the cost is nothing compared to the wife never forgetting the cock up. Thanks for telling me what I already knew ! We never did get to Trula's, having ran out of time.
That evening I went to visit Jon Elvidge, a guy we knew from the police in Haringey. He is a Sergeant on the Traffic division. He had previously invited me to a bikers rally in Santander, Spain in early October. As we were already due to be in the area we signed up so to speak. I will be out riding the Spanish Mountains and Karen will be sunning by the pool. Whilst I was with Jon, Karen was sipping Proseco in a wine bar in Hertford with her old work friend Laura. She was the girl we took skiing 18 months ago in Italy.
Wednesday 5 Sept
Today was Harry Potter day. The visit was incredible. All the props from the film were on display and the attention to detail was amazing. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
|The teachers at Hogwarts|
|The Great Hall|
|A chocolate feast|
|HPs common room.|
|Harry's invisibility cloak|
|The clock (seen when Harry and Hermione went back in time)|
|Entrance to the chamber of secrets|
|Hagrid's motorcycle. and a small one to make him look big.|
|Hagrid's house (and Fluffy)|
|Some of the chess pieces|
|Part of the wooden bridge leading to Hogwarts|
|Buckbeack. It was moving at the time of the photo.|
|Aragon and the serpents head.|
|The Hogwarts model used in all the films|
|A model of "The Model"|
|The wand shop|
|Muggles being crushed in "The Ministery" - they will never crush the fat one !|
|The treble decker bus|
Tuesday 6 Sept
Karen happened to mention that there was bike racing on at Donnington on Sunday. Another 2 days camping were booked ! Estimated departure date was now Monday !
Friday 7 Sept
I had some last minute admin to sort out and Karen went to Trula's to do some washing and ironing. This was closely followed by a session of 'Berty Bots all flavoured Jelly beans', including vomit, earwax, soil, soap and bogies. There were some nice ones too but they were boring by comparison.
Saturday 8 Sept
We took a run down to Caterham (near Gatwick) to see my best mate Taff (AKA Robert) and spent a couple of hours talking about the demise of the police force and other such rubbish. I was good to catch up. We have an enduring bond that time apart does not diminish. I dare not tell him, but he really is a great guy. (He was also our best man).
Sunday 9 Sept
Donnington didn't happen. We watched it on TV instead and saved ourselves a load of money. I finally booked the ferry for midnight Monday whilst doing our final packing up. Now we cannot make any more excuses.