Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Stuff I did in the UK…..
Warning if this post seems weird, it is because it was a letter originally, and it was easier to edit than re-write. If there are any strangesses, and any questions you would like to ask, please let me know. Ta muchly. xxxx
Katie my sister and I went to the museum in West End, then to the cemetery – the Titanic sailed from Southampton, the ship that helped the survivors Carpathia - her captain is buried there. We walked through the lovely park and got a bit lost, so we just followed our noses back to West End.
Sunday the 19th, we went on the walk of Southampton walls. That was really interesting. That should be teamed up with a pub crawl! There are so many pubs in and near the walls of Southampton. The Mayflower sailed from Southampton, so there is a memorial thingy there, they popped into Plymouth for repairs to one of the other ships, that is why it is said they left from Plymouth.
I had my hair cut by the most gentle hairdresser I have ever been to. He cuts the old ladies hair at the scheme. We went to Hobbycraft (love that shop) and over to see Auntie Jean (mum’s sister). She is fine, John is a pain, he sits with a sad look on his face. Jean is so funny, she does not remember a lot, and says so. Too funny. She does not remember their house and did not remember John when she came around from the coma. Jess, their granddaughter was there, she is so vibrant. And beautiful!
We got fabric at Hobbycraft so K could make a quilt for Jorja. It was very quick and very pretty.
Katie made Jorja’s quilt, it was mostly done by the end of the morning. We went shopping in Southampton, Matalan and Primark. K bought herself some shoes – in Clarkes. She said that shoes in Aus are really expensive. I bought about 6 bras, and had already ordered from Avon. You can get lovely bras for 3 and 4 pounds – about R30 to R40. And 2 sleepshirts. Oh, and a raspberry pink tee shirt. Edible!
We had a few drinks in the pub that night.
Tuesday, we went to Milton Abbey and Milton Abbess. It is a place we used to go to when we were kids, it was very peaceful then, not so much now. There is a school run at the abbey (not in the abbey) and the kids seemed big and noisy (they were very quiet and well behaved before). It seems the whole area does not want the tourists there like they did. It used to be really visitor friendly. The village is not as pristine as it was, the old school house was for sale and we said k and I should move in and make quilts there!. The price was 850 000 pounds, and had some mad idea of bedrooms too! Like 5 and 3 bathrooms.
Katie paid for lunch at the local pub, the meal was very good.
Wed the 23rd was the best! We went to Pear Tree Church (where Mum and Dad where married), and saw the graveyard, there is a memorial to a kid who was cannibalised by his ship mates in the graveyard. – nice! Not! We saw inside the church briefly – lucky us. We went on to the old houses that we lived in and K knocked on the door of Obelisk Rd, and the same people who bought from Dad still live there; 37 years later! They let us in and we went all over the house, it looks so much more lighter than I remember. They have knocked down the workshop, that used to be stables and have built a flat for their son who lives there now. That house used to be a school. We got home and dad said not to say anything to mum (she didn’t go with us) until we got to the pub. We had such a time telling her the stories of our day.
Thursday we went to Kirtlington to see David’s grave (my uncle who died when he was 7, either 1945 or 1943), it looks in pretty good nick, but will need some attention soon. The folks have been looking after it so well, but it is starting to come apart. Dad clipped the grass and mum replaced the flowers. It was freezing cold I had on my thick jacket, the only time I needed it, and wanted a scarf too. We popped into the church and the one lady said she always wondered who David was that his grave was still tended after all these years. We went though some of the prettiest villages then on our way to Blue’s. They were really gorgeous. We had a great meal there and a superb pudding, Uncle Ian is not doing well he has Parkinson’s, so he is very unsteady on his feet and can barely talk sometimes.
On the 25th I saw my old school friend Andrea in the evening (Andy Sheppard on my FB), she is such fun. We had such a good time, we went to the Jolly Sailor in Hamble. Lots of steps down, and the same getting back to the road – wow! She has an Audi TT – shame! :-))
Sunday we had lunch at the pub.
27th shopping with Sue at Gun Warf in Portsmouth, I got myself a lovely cardigan. It was expensive, about 20 pounds. And got Ian a very nice book on the Lancaster plane. He is really chuffed with it.
Tuesday we went to Netley Abbey, it is a ruin of an Abbey that King Henry 8th destroyed. He gave it on to someone else, who used it as a home, then it has been ‘restored’ back to the abbey brickwork only. We were there way over an hour. My tackies were soaked with dew when we got home, I left them under the radiator at mum’s for 2 days to dry! Mum did not go, she does not understand ‘piles of bricks’.
29th was quiet we went to Bitterne, and went to the Sainsbury’s and picked up my Avon.
On the 30th K went out to lunch with a school friend, and George ( Dad’s army buddy) and Margaret arrived from Yorkshire. We were moved to Mat’s for 4 nights. Those kids are so funny!
1st October the 50th wedding anniversary. K bought the newspaper early and put it through mum and dad’s door. We put ina big ad for their 50th. Sue went over and decorated the door and put a handful of those glittery 50’s and ‘happy anniversary’ thingy’s and balloons! K and me went to the harvest festival at the church, it was the school thing, Geesh, how disorganised. Sue had to leave to get her hair done, I left with her. I got back to the folks place and hair dried my jeans! It was pouring with rain.
The party was a real success. Lots and lots of laughter. Lots of relatives, all great.
Next day we had breakfast at Mat & Sue’s. Eleven of us, and Sue does not even worry. She is so organised.
In the afternoon I went shopping with Sue and bought a pair of jeans at Sainsburys.
3rd, we went shopping at Marks and Spencer and I had roast lunch at Andreas’ – her hubby is so handsome! She has two teenage daughter’s one at university and the other is 16 and so grown up in a nice way. They have a dog that wanted to eat me – yeah another one! I think these dogs are turning me into a cat person!
The 4th was another good day. We said farewell to George and Margaret and they left back to Wallace and Grommit land. Dad, K & me went to the other walls of Southampton that we missed in the tour, and went to the Titanic museum. That was pretty cool. Dad’s brother George booked for us to go to out for supper. He so enjoyed our company at the party. It was a great evening, and we all had so many laughs. There was George and Carole, dad and mum, Mat & Sue and me and K. Quite a party. The Baby McRae’s were baby sat.
The 5th, we visited A Jean again.
6th, return home – small delays everywhere in the airport for me. And I brought back a pair of Cat safety boots for Sean, I had to wear them as they were so heavy, my ankles were raw by Jnb!
Obligatory crying baby, and home!
Ian took off work and I had a lovely day with him on Thursday, and he worked the weekend, but I think that was good to give me more time to re-adjust to being home. Sean came for supper Thursday, sounds like he has a girlfriend in Warmbaths. But I was so tired, anything could have been said.