Sunday, 18 October 2009

UK Road Trip

One week from now we will be on the plane! Very scary thought given how much there is to do between now and then... this past week has been very productive however - touring the UK to see friends and family. We've clocked up some serious miles travelling from Surrey to Cheshire, then to Norwich and then back to Surrey again. Next week brings two trips to Poole just to get the final bit of value out of our car that we've only owned for 4 months! Travelling with us on the road was our trusty sat nav, which Tom helpfully zoomed right out to view the whole of Europe on the map! My navigation skills are already challenged without this complication...!

Navigationally challenged

Anyway, stop number one was Tom's sister Anna and her family in Cheshire. We had a fun packed few days which primarily consisted of shopping, eating, school run, shopping, eating, school run.. and so on! We made a brief pit-stop for coffee with Louise and Benjamin in Chester, to get my fix of baby cuddles and catch up on Louise's new life up north. It was great to spend some time with the Wood's before we leave, and we are excited about their planned visit to Melbourne next year! Anna and Kev have kindly offerred to store our 40" TV in the bedroom whilst we are away, which is very generous given that it's probably bigger than their bed. Here are a few photos from the trip.. (10/10 to Anna for her steak dinner as pictured below.. it was AMAZING!)

With Millie, Rosie and Jamie

Borrowing baby Benjamin for a cuddle!

The aforementioned decilious steak!

No amount of windscreen wiping could clear my eyes as we drove away from Anna's, but it was on to Norwich and more nice times and delicious food with the Lister family. We also managed to fit in the school run twice during this visit (bizarre as I'd never done it before with Tom's nieces and nephews!) and even 6 year old Emily's harvest festival assembley! We also found time to fit in a white knuckle ride on the newly-installed stairlift at Tom's grandmother's house (if you haven't tried one, I recommend it.. just allow plenty of time!), and for me to meet the infamous Paula Bullen at last (Lister family members will get this.. everyone else just read on!). Paula is from Australia and brought us a spectacular pavolva, which is apparently an Aussie favourite! Anyone who has had dinner at our house will know that meringue is the only pudding in my repertoire, so it sounds like I'm going to fit right in! Claire (Tom's other sister) gave us an amazing montage of photos of the Lister family, and I will defintely try and take her up on the offer of making me a Hague family montage too!
With Charlie, Emily and Ellie

Hold on tight!

Paula Bullen's amazing pavlova...

Tom and Emily

I left Tom in Norwich to continue the family visits, and drove back to Surrey in time for a fleeting trip to the 02 Centre for the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships. Lynne came along too and after watching a tremedous display of atheticism and fitness we then gorged on Wagamammas! Yummy. Saturday brought my goodbye to Elian and she introduced me to brunch at Breads etc in Clapham. At Breads etc you sit on a table with your own toaster and spreads and you cut your own bread and toast as much as you wish! This was really rather novel and exciting at the time, but upon reflection it also seems like a crafty ruse to cut down on staff costs making toast!

Elian and our toaster

A gymnast on the beam. Not sure which one (we were in the cheap seats).

That's all for now.. till next time.. g'day!

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