Sunday 19th December
Our last day of “Oreo responsibility” and much like yesterday, walking Oreo and relaxing was the order of the day. These last two days of doing nothing has helped Christine get over the majority of her “aches-n-pains” in her knees, hips and shoulders etc., job done👍👍👍.
The trio are back later today, but we had a message telling us they had been delayed in Finland so don’t wait for them; ha ha, we weren’t going to anyway!!!! They eventually arrived home around 1800hrs and after an hour or so of laughing and joking about our experiences and hearing about their holiday and not forgetting Mia’s visit to Santa Claus, everything was forgotten😂😂😂😂
We eventually bunkered down in our cosy beds on the settees whilst the the other two scrambled around looking for the third duvet😅😅: which they didn’t find!!!
Monday 20th December
Today we had arranged to meet Trevor for lunch, but unfortunately Gill couldn’t join us as she is still full time working; oh dear, poor Gill.
Prior to leaving for our lunchtime get-together, I went down to the stables with Jane and Mia to be introduced to Shona, Mia’s 12-hands pony. This certainly brought back memories to me, watching Jane brush and pick out her pony’s (Silver) feet. Once groomed and tacked up, we headed to the ménage to watch Mia put Shona through his paces. It has been over two years since I last saw Mia on a horse, the last time she was held in the saddle by Jane or somebody: Now full of confidence, she is an accomplished rider, and to confirm this she has a couple of first place rosettes, 3-seconds and a few others hanging proudly in her bedroom. It was very cold out in the ménage and both Mia and I were pleased to “pack-up” for the day, so I left Mia to “muck-out” Shona’s stable.
We set out in reasonable time; we had previously agreed to meet half way in Berkhamstead, the perfect place and the Kings Arms, a pub in the busy high street, was the venue. Ah yes parking was now the issue, there was nowhere, and where there was, it was all metered, something very alien to us these days!!! I drove up a “dead-end” side street adjacent to the Kings Arms and what luck, there was a car leaving. I couldn’t get into the space quick enough, and a bonus, no meters!!! It was only when walking away from the car I noticed a plate on poll, “parking restricted to 30-minutes, no return for 2-hours”, oh bother, never mind I’ll take a chance, after all I have Spanish plates and the local council probably wouldn’t go after me so 🤞🤞.
This old coaching inn has quite a history. It was originally built during the reign of Queen Ann; above the door is her crest and it has been going ever since, first as a coaching station with accommodation and stabling for 40-horses, even Queen Victoria stopped here in 1841 whilst travelling to Woburn. But the interesting thing for me was the landlord. His name was “John Page (a relative perhaps???) and he ran the pub from 1792 until his death in 1840. He was succeeded by his daughter “Poly” who allegedly was “very” friendly with the exiled King Louis XVlll of France who lived just up the road and frequented the The Kings Arms regularly; the result of this, and no doubt encouraged by her father, was a very upmarket clientele!!!!!
I digress: we had a very convivial extended luncheon and put the world to rights as well. Trevor, being a investor in this group, current owners of the Kings Head, he enjoyed an investors discount and treated us; thank you very much Trevor, it was very kind of you. We now left, both wondering if we had parking tickets or not; Trevor for overstaying his meter time and me for abusing the “short-stay” parking!!! Good, all clear, a result 😂😂😂
Back at home and after Mia had retired to bed the four of us played Marjon, something we enjoy but as yet only get to play with Dave and Jane; then off to bed. Tomorrow we are “Mia” sitting, Jane and Dave are heading out to view a couple of properties.
Tuesday 21st December
After breakfast and for a change the three of us headed to the park accompanied by Oreo, who had certainly perked “right-up” since his “mum” had returned; more his old self I’m pleased to say. Fortunately it wasn’t too cold and more importantly no rain, so had lots of play-time on the swings, slides and climbing frame etc. Heading back Oreo picked up a long chunky piece of wood and insisted he brought it home. It was so long that he banged into most things, and worst of all, my car
The rest of the day we just pottered as Mia was still very tired from her exhaustive holiday and the evening was taken up discussing the “pros and cons” of the two houses they had viewed earlier; we’ll have to watch this space!!!
Wednesday 22nd December
Freedom day for us!!! Pantomime for the other three, so we were all up early. Jane went to sort the horses whilst Dave created a spread sheet on the two houses seen yesterday. Unfortunately there was also another “prospect” in the pipeline, yet to be viewed, which included a grade l listed monument on the land that needed “oodles” of money being spent to restore it. They couldn’t get a viewing before Christmas but were going to walk the footpath adjacent to the property to see how bad it was, as the property is on their way to the pantomime. Once they’d left we packed the car, cleaned up and hit the road; time to resume our itinerary.
Today we headed to Castor, a village near Peterborough to meet up with Elton, Andrew and Holly; naturally whilst in England Christine wants to spend as much time as possible with Elton.
After a horrendous journey, traffic, rain, spray and of course, roadworks, we arrived in the pretty village of Castor, just 5-minutes from the centre of Peterborough. We arrived at Andrew and Holly’s cottage around 1600-hrs, just in time for Christine to go with Andrew and collect Elton from play-school, I on the other hand enjoyed a G & T in the kitchen whilst Holly prepared dinner. Also in the cottage lives their big guard dog who took an instant dislike to me, she was also protecting her three newborn puppies. This “miniature”Dachshund made a lot of noise and snapped around my ankles!!!!
This thatched roofed cottage must have been built many hundreds of years ago; it was very old with a flagstoned floor downstairs and exposed, very low beams everywhere, but tastefully modernised throughout. As is the way with old buildings such as this, we will have to walk along the corridor to the loo in the night, not too much of an issue on the face of it but there was a roof truss to be negotiated along the way; could be interesting!!!!
Team Elton soon returned and he took centre stage. I have said this before, he is “Bonny little chap,” full of beans and exploring everything, even after returning from his day at play school. When it came to his tea time food wasn’t top of his priorities, there were two new faces, too much going on. Anyway after tea Christine went up with Andrew to Bath Elton; modern Dad and an out of practice nanny, would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall in the bathroom !!!!!
Once Elton was put to bed the four of us sat down to a very nice lingering roast lamb dinner followed by relaxing in the lounge and mulling over “this-n-that”. There were no distractions from upstairs, obviously the day at play school and an early evening of fun and frolics with his nana wore him out!!!
Thursday 23rd December
Next morning was a different “kettle-of-fish; workday for both, Andrew took Little-one to his play-group, we quickly cleared up and after a swift breakfast left, following Andrew to one of his distribution centres; yes, amongst other investments he is the owner of several transport and distribution business’; best of luck Andrew in these times with driver shortages etc.
After the grand tour we said our goodbyes and headed to Chapel Brampton near Northampton for our long awaited Christmas destination with Mark and his family; can’t wait.