Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Family time in England

At the White Horse Inn on the 9th of May
This seems like a bit of a silly blog to write, because I feel most of the people that read our blog were actually on this trip with me. None the less, in time to come when my memory fades, I will have a copy for myself to remember, as with all our blogs. I was looking forward to the trip alot. Mum and Dad were over to visit Char, Mike and Elliott who had just settled into their new life in Oxford. What a great time to head on over and catch up with them all. Getting to see the family, with some excursions around, made for a great holiday over in England. 

Yes, I remember Adlestrop.
For the first few days I was in England, we made excellent use of the rental car that mum and dad had. We had day trips all over the show. I would have no idea right now of the names of the small towns etc that we visited other than the one memorable village of Adlestrop. Apparently famous for a poem written at the train station, however my father's version of the historic Adlestrop and its significance was much more entertaining. Involving naming a flat he lived in during his younger years with his buddies after what would turn out to be a muddled up version of the towns true history from his high school english class. So that was Adlestrop. On my birthday I got to choose what we did, so I decided I wanted to go for a walk in the hills and drink lots of ale. We did that going to the Uffington White Horse and walking the historic sites of the area including the extremely large standing stone circles in Avebury. Along the way we stopped at a few pubs and I enjoyed some lovely Golden Ales, my new favourite beer style of the trip. It was a beautiful day and it was lovely to spend it with my parents, then home in the evening for curry with Charlotte, Mike and Elliott.
Looking down to the main street of Oxford and to the countryside in the distance.
For me the trip was not like my usual travels but more just an opportunity to spend time with the family, making up for the time we spend apart. Just generally hanging out, exploring more the local stuff and experiencing a bit of the normal day to day life that they live. Saying that, we still got up to a lot in the two weeks that I was there. But the things I enjoyed the most were smaller activities like reading to Elliott, taking him to swim class, playing with the lego and Thomas the Tank Engine puzzle game, helping Charlotte plan out her garden, running the 10km race with her and enjoying family dinners each night. While in Oxford, I did get a good look round the town. Getting panoramic views from one of the many church towers, and really getting a feel for the historic town and how close and connected it really is with the farmlands and small towns in such close proximity. 

Father and I enjoy one of the many daily pints of ale.

I quickly snuck into London town for a day catching up with my good friend Marc Rogers. I spent the day sightseeing London on foot taking in some more of the lovely weather and catching a few of the art galleries which I hadn't yet made it to: The Tate Britain and the National Gallery and just generally having a good walk around town. I met Marc that afternoon at a pub that was getting two unfiltered and unparsturised oak barrels of Pilsner Urquell served as fresh as it would come from the brewery, as it would be in the Czech Republic. Marc rocking his professional dress of business suit and briefcase, we spent the night at a few different bars, drinking some nice beers and we even found ourselves at a live punk rock gig.

Marc and I at some trendy back alley East London bar.
Headed for the Cornish Coast we found ourselves in for a very long day of driving with a few stops along the way along the Jurassic Coast digging for fossils and taking a few cliff top walks along some spectacular coastline. This part of England really surprised me, with its crystal clear Atlantic waters, beaming warm sunshine and quaint & relaxed beachside towns. We had obviously struck it rich with the weather and made the most of it. Spending time walking the narrow streets of St Ives, to running the Coastal pathway with Mike, playing in the sand with Elliott at the beach and even having a brief swim. We took a small day trip along the rugged coast and rolling green hills, had a picnic lunch and ate fish n chips of the harbour wall as the sun set. 

The beautiful Cornish town St Ives from our Airbnb apartment looking out to the Pacific.
I relaxed one day as the rest of the family went off for another day trip. I took in the view from the large front room window, a view I could look at for hours on end, then later set off along the Coastal Pathway heading north this time. I also explored the harbour at low tide, which is an extraordinary sight with the whole harbour draining twice a day at low tide. Even more exciting looking up at the wall from the sea floor then the following day jumping of that wall into the now returned ocean. 

This is what the harbour looks like at low tide.

800+ year old bridge in .......
I really enjoyed this trip with my family, and look forward to catching up again somewhere else in the world, hopefully sometime soon. 

Little pee-pants acting like a G.