People who are as old as us may remember the days when, if you went to see a long film at the cinema, there would be an ‘intermission’ half way through: the film stopped at an appropriate point and you had the opportunity to buy ice creams and go to the toilet. We needed to be back in England for a few days in September, so there was an intermission in our latest adventure.
Part 1 ended in the French Pyrenees, close to the Spanish border. On Thursday 10 September we returned to Toulouse and flew from there to Gatwick, arriving home very late at night. We kept ourselves busy over the next week. Our folk dance club met the day after we got back, and we managed to go for the first time in months. Charlie and Oscar stayed with us while Claire was on one of her work trips: we enjoyed some woodland wandering and a funfair as well as the usual pubs and playgrounds. Ian had a bit more work to do, and we spent a lot of time following up contacts from Part 1 of our adventure, and planning Part 2.
The saga of Claire’s move continues! After the original chain collapsed in August, she looked for other houses and made an offer for one she liked, in a different village near Stroud. But then she heard that the owners of the house she originally wanted had found somewhere else, and faced with a choice she decided she really did like that one best. So now a new chain has been established, and she hopes to move in November – or maybe late October if she is really lucky.
We are trying to buy the freehold of our flat in Slough, but this has been more complicated than we anticipated. We spent some time going through various emails and documentation, and on Wednesday went to Slough for a discussion with our solicitor. Unfortunately, when we arrived, we were informed that he had been taken ill in the night so was not in the office. However, the day was certainly not wasted.
From Slough we went on to Windsor, for a pub lunch with Robert and Kathy, new friends from Florida. We met via the home exchange website, but this was the first time we’d met in person (they are now doing a home exchange not far from where we live). We had a great time chatting and discovered we have lots in common. We look forward to seeing them again when we are back in the US.
There were two reasons why we needed to be back in England this week. Sandie had a mammogram on Tuesday, the first stage in the follow-up to the operation she had last year. On a happier note, Claire’s friends Ravel and Stuart got married on Saturday; Claire was bridesmaid, and we had been invited (with the boys) to attend the evening celebration. The boys actually stayed with us from Friday to Sunday, as Claire was busy with her bridesmaid duties.
On Saturday we went to Chesham: playground, pub lunch and a stroll through the market, where we saw owls from a local sanctuary. On the way back we stopped at the playground in Little Missenden – completing the trip we embarked on several weeks ago, which was aborted due to rain.
Then it was home to get the boys bathed and into their smart clothes before heading to Bisham Abbey where the wedding had taken place. It is in a wonderful setting by the Thames, the bride looked stunning and the weather was kind – one of the best days this summer! The boys had a great time, playing football outside while it was light and then taking over the dance floor, along with some new friends. After we’d eaten we took them home, as Oscar at least was tired by then. They were both looking not quite so clean and smart as when we set off!