Leaving a rainswept Harden we headed south and as we progressed the rain petered out and we saw some sun. We got to Marian and
Martin’s mid afternoon, let ourselves in to the cottage and Christine made use of the washing machines. Marian returned soon after and we caught up with goings on, though this was minimal as we had all been together a few days earlier. That evening
the 3 of us went to
Royal Oak for a meal sitting by a nice log fire. Returning to the house we all had an early night, after all the next day was Election Day and a “very” late night was expected.
Thursday 12th December, and General Election Day dawned but on this occasion Christine and I couldn’t vote, we had left the electoral list having lived Spain for so long.
A quick visit to the Wee Dram in Bakewell was needed as I had ordered a couple of bottles of “Thomas Deakin” gin, a very pleasant orange tasting gin introduced to me by Mark back in the summer.: Meanwhile Marian headed towards Manchester Airport to collect Martin who was flying back from the US.
That evening we sat down to an excellent roast dinner over which we contemplated the results of the general election. We covered everything from a Corbin led coalition to a Boris majority and everything in between. When we had cleared up, we sat down in front of the TV, glass of something in hand, though not too sure if it was to celebrate or commiserate but we were ready for the start of the results program in hopeful anticipation and fingers crossed. When the exit poll was announced at the first strike of Big Ben at 2200hrs, we leapt into the air in absolute joy, our worst fears of another hung parliament were put to bed, wonderful. Though this was only an exit poll, our combined experiences of these polls told us they are seldom wrong, perhaps a handful of seats either way at the most, so our glasses now became celebratory drinks. Accompanying our evening in front of the television were 7 Bowles, each filled with Cadbury’s roses. Marian had sorted them into the colours of the 7 political parties and as the results were announced, so the bowls of the corresponding losing party got eaten: there were lots of blue one left over!!!
We eventually got to bed around 0300hrs but were awake again at 0600hrs to check we weren’t dreaming!!!!!
With little sleep on Thursday night, euphoria got us through Friday as we drove South to meet up with Trevor and Gill in Sonning. Fortunately it was a reasonable drive with minimal rain and we arrived around 1700hrs, as planned. We were made very welcome and soon settled into a cup of tea before heading out for an Indian, naturally preceded by a stop at a local before arriving at the restaurant; Apparently Teresa May is seen here regularly.
Saturday 14th and a leisurely start to our day including an excellent breakfast cooked by Trevor. Tonight we are all heading into town for a “Christmas-Carrol Concert” at the “Royal Festival Hall” hosted by Alan Titchmarsh. Leaving Sonning, we collected Gill’s Mother then headed to London to meet up with Hillary and Ian, Trevor’s sister and husband at “Brasserie Blanc”, a French food restaurant inspired by Raymond Blanc; it as very popular and extremely busy, but the 7 of
us had a very nice meal though a little rushed, as time was short.
Tonight we were going to enjoy the London Concert orchestra and the London Philharmonic Choir where Trevor is one of the choristers, which makes tonight a rather special occasion.
Our experience leaving the theatre was a different story. The heaven’s had opened just as we were queueing up to leave the festival hall but we had to go as our party, for logistical reasons had split up and Gill, who was driving gave us instructions where she would bring the car to meet us. The pavement outside had about 2 inches of water, well over our shoes and the steps we walked down were small waterfalls, we were soaked right through but being on such a “high”, we didn’t mind. We all mustered at the appointed place and said our goodbyes to Hillary and Ian before Gill plus car arrived. The five of us, wet through squeezed into a Hybrid, not too large a car! and headed home by way of the
Christmas lights around the West End. Fortunately with the traffic being very heavy and slow plus it was still raining heavily! we could hang out of the car windows and take pictures as we went along, after all, we couldn’t get any wetter, could we?
The following morning after a very long lay-in and breakfast we said our goodbyes. It was a super couple of days, thank you Trevor and Gill and it was nice to meet Benji, fleetingly! we then headed off to Seaton, Devon.
We look forward to seeing Trevor and Gill again next June, at their wedding.