Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The first two days

We used the homeopathic remedy 'no more jet lag' to reduce the effect of jet lag and when we arrived at Heathrow in the late afternoon we managed to eat a light dinner, go for a stroll and stay awake until about 9pm and then slept most of the night,  though we did wake a little early - 4am. But after a couple of days we were pretty much back to normal.

Nigel's sister, Gail, and her husband, Janos, have been working on a large estate near Reading for the past three years.  When I say large I mean 2800 acres!  Most of it is leased out, but it is a substantial property, especially so close to London.  The 'house' is a few miles from Twyford.  Gail and Janos live in a small flat within the house.  Walking through the gardens on our first evening I suggested it was like having your own Hagley Park, but I later revised that to a Mona Vale within Hagley Park, though the Mona Vale homestead is much smaller than this little house.

But Janos and Gail resigned from there a month ago and are off to Cornwall, where we'll join them once they've settled in.  They wanted us to see as much of the local area as possible, so kindly took us on two days of chauffeured touring of local and not-quite-so-local villages and sites.

In those two days we drank cider in the 'Vicar of Dibley' village, Turville; wandered the banks of the Thames at Henley-on-Thames; sauntered through the tiny village of Hambleden; enjoyed the solitude of Weylands Smithy; marvelled at the standing stone circle that surrounds the village of Avebury; delighted in the quaint buildings in Marlborough; saw squirrels, alive and deceased, and [sadly] a dead badger; learned that Boots [chemists] sell pre-packaged lunch deals very cheaply; that good coffee is available outside New Zealand; you would have to be bonkers to be a cyclist over here (the roads are so narrow); walking along riverbank tracks means constantly watching your footing to avoid all the bird droppings; despite the huge population in such a small country there's a surprising amount of greenery here; and that if you avoid the rush hour(s) traffic isn't too big a problem.

On Saturday we went to London and I'll leave that story to Nigel.

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