A bizzare weather pattern hit England in late May and early June. The unforeseen whirlwind began in London before sweeping down to the south-west and then storming East Anglia. It travelled in a 2001 VW Polo and brought gifts from a land down under. It was called Hurricane TomKat...
Our two week visit to the UK felt more like two minutes. We flew in, rushed around to see as many people as possible, and then exited as fast we had arrived. However my cheeks still ache from the smiling, and my heart felt a little heavier when we had to say goodbye. There is nothing like moving to the other side of the world to make you realise how important your friends and family are, and nothing like coming home to see them to make you feel special :-) Thank you to everyone who rushed around as much as us to fit in some time together - whether we saw you for five minutes, two hours or a whole weekend, it was wonderful.
Our two weeks went something like this .. in rough order of appearance... Lucy and baby Dora for bathtime, Elian for lunch, Sally and Pippa for Sex and the City 2, Ed and Cat for tea at Royal Festival Hall, dinner with Mum and Dad Hague, playtime with Jake, Daisy and Emma, lunch with Grandma, yummy cake with Gordon and Margaret (godmother), engagement celebration dinner with Mum, Dad, and Toby plus one, loooooong drive to Norwich. Pause for breath because this is a long one... surprise engagement dinner with the in-laws: Peter, Sue, Claire, Steve, Anna, Kev, Emma, Ann and children Millie, Rosie, Jamie, Charlie, Emily and Ellie. Then the same cast to Bahman Zoo, then the North Norfolk coast, interpersed with phone calls with the lovely Louise and the very bendy Sally (who I miss dearly), as well as a lovely lunch with Marian and Florence. Next up was the most wonderful weekend - the wedding of Thushani and Andy at Sandhurst/Deepcut, and a fantastic fun-filled 36 hours with the uni friends I miss so much - Sarah & Matt, Pippa & Rowan, Sally, Fiona (no Alex unfortunately), Telfy & Ant, Katie & Chris, Ella and Andy and of course the happy couple themselves. The next day we were treated to cuddles with baby Amelie (see previous blog post for photos) before Sarah and Matt played hostess with the mostess for us in Raynes Park. To continue.. Wagamamas with Sarah and Matt, office day for Katie featuring more people than I can include here, then engagement drinks in London with reappearances from Sally, Fiona and Elian, bubbles from Phil and Kate, and fun times with Lynne and identical sister Claire, husband Mike plus a whole heap of Tom's friends. Next was ring shopping (yay!), Pizza Express with Lucy and Dora, then down to Poole, for more visits with Mum and Dad, as well as Marion, Di (loved the cakes thanks!), Grandma again, flat coke and a few tears with Jo and ten (yes, ten) wedding venues. A bit of shopping, much packing, calls to Gully and V&A, lots of goodbyes, then the coach to Heathrow. Phew.
If anyone is planning a similarly busy holiday in the near future, please can in touch and I can send you my spreadsheet to assist with planning!
If you're still reading after all of that, well done. I'll leave the rest of the story-telling to a selection of photos from our visit. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!
PS Marian and Florence - I need to retrieve the photos of our lunch together from Peter and Sue's computer - I'll send them on to you shortly!