Our return flight
to London had been booked out of Atlanta in Georgia, as when booked, we had
no plans of selling Dream On, so she was booked to spend the summer in
Brunswick, Georgia. As British Airways could not change the route, we had an
800 mile drive from Annapolis to Atlanta to catch our flight.
Arrived back in the UK on 11th August.
We had limited time
in the UK this year, arriving later than usual in August and leaving earlier
to travel on to Belize to collect the new boat.
had to continue with medical checks and physiotherapy for her right wrist and
as usual there was a fair bit of property DIY, so we did not spend as much
time with family as hoped.
However, it was wonderful to catch up with family, grandchildren and friends. Time went far too quickly.
As soon as we arrived at Gatwick, we drove to Horsham in
Sussex, to see Geoff's oldest son, Simon and to meet his new family, Debs and
her son Ben. Debs and 6 year old Ben have just moved from Paris. It was
great to meet up with them and enjoy Debs fine cooking. Simon introduced us
to the "Dongle" mobile internet. What a great gizmo. Thanks for the loan of
your dongle, Simon. It was a life-saver. Stayed overnight then headed off to
Haywards Heath to see grandchildren, Simon's 9 year old twins Lucy & Daniel
and their mother Robin. Having not seen Robin for quite some time, it was
wonderful to see how well she was after a recent operation and to catch up
with her life again.
After a day with Robin, Lucy and Daniel, we drove to
London to spend the evening with Iza's son Simon and an airbed night on the
living room floor in his flat in Clapham. Simon was in the process of
packing to leave the flat for an 11 month secondment with Barclays Capital
to New York.
From London we drove to Bristol to drop off the boat PC we
had hand carried back for repair and modification. Another hour's drive to
Worth, near Wells in Somerset to spend time with Carol, (Geoff's sister) and
husband Bob. They live in a wonderful old cottage and smallholding, with two
horses, (much enjoyed by Geoff's grandchildren when they visit), plus
chickens, sheep, two dopey greyhounds and the best homegrown vegetables you
will find anywhere.
After overnighting there we drove to our flat in
Nottingham, routing via Towcester to catch up with old friends Penny &
Once in Nottingham and unpacked we contemplated the
skeleton of the wall we had ripped out of our top floor back in February,
which required some major re-thinking. So, once again we found ourselves
living in a building site. This one unfortunately required all materials to
be carried up two flights of stairs. We also had a badly abused student
house that required major surgery.
These rebuilds kept us busy for three weeks as the student
house had to be re-let or sold and we could not face returning to our own
flat again next summer and having it all to do then.
Another couple of trips to London to meet up with Iza's
sons Adam and Simon and a carvery lunch with Iza's sister Anna and husband
Mark and the boys before they left UK..
Simon, off to New York for a period of 11 months. Adam,
now a Captain in 2 Para in the Army, having made the transfer from the Royal
Air Force off to his third tour in Afghanistan. Adam has had an
exceptionally busy time recently making the transfer, new training courses,
including another month, (this time with the army), in the jungles of
Belize. Also a move a matter of days before flying to Afghanistan from RAF
Officer's quarters in Uxbridge to his new Army base in Colchester.
Geoff's son Nick and family live in Scotland. So we
decided to meet up half way in the Yorkshire Dales. Despite the rain and a few
floods and Geoff's attempt to emulate Evel Knevil on
a wet grassy slope at Barnard Castle, it was a great weekend. Geoff
spent 11 years of his childhood in Yorkshire, so it was also something of a
nostalgic trip for him. Nick, Yvonne, daughters 7 year old Amy and
Holly, who was 3 years old that weekend, are such an easy going happy
family. It is always such a pleasure to spend time with them. We really
enjoyed their company and the countryside.
We had also been invited to a family reunion, celebrating the 80th
birthday of Geoff’s cousin Kathleen, on his mother’s side. This was a
fascinating occasion, meeting up with family he hasn’t seen for
upwards of 20-30 years. All the children he knew now have their own
grown children and it was an interesting challenge to work out who belonged
to whom. It was an enjoyable day hosted by Geoff's God-daughter Susie and
During our house rebuilding, Geoff developed a cartilage problem in his
left knee and could not walk for a couple of days. By the time we left UK
this was still giving trouble.