Sunday, 24 July 2011

Kew Gardens "The Railway"

Matthew and I are enjoying a refreshing 25p soda and lime at the "Railway" near Matthew's gran's house. We have just enjoyed lunch with Matthew's second cousin, Emily Guest, and her partner Mark. The weather, I must say, is STUNNING. True sunny calm glory. Matthew is ecstatic to have just watched Lewis Hamilton win the German Grand Prix on the big screens.

Tomorrow is our last day in London. We have covered a lot of ground and reconnected with many relatives. We recently returned from a week in Wales, visiting the Fenwick, Thomas, Evans and Hughes families. And their gorgeous and personality-filled cats.

Yesterday we went on a shopping spree at Fortnum and Mason department store. Of particular note were the insect lollies. That's right: dried scorpion and ant hard boiled candy, and scorpions floating listlessly in vodka. We didn't actually buy those!

And we also fit in a visit to the V&A Museum, for lunch with Elinor (Matthew's cousin). We sat out in the gardens, in a shady spot by the reflective pond. We also had dinner with Matthew's uncle and aunt last night, the freshest Thai food in a bright restaurant close to Matthew's gran's house in Kew.

Cat, Steve and Matthew on our day out in Oxford.
Matthew's family has been so welcoming, so interested in our travels, and so supportive of our recent marriage. They are a very close and connected group, and it has been a real pleasure and privilege to share their homes and hospitality in the last three weeks

Friday, 15 July 2011

In Cambridge

We are in Cambridge for two days, at a hotel called "The Varsity". The weather is gorgeous. Yesterday Matthew and I went punting. Our punter, Craig, told us stories about the colleges and the pranking students. (For example, there is a secret society of free-climbers who scaled the King College chapel and put traffic cones on each of the spires.) Down by the water there was a gentle breeze and some very calm ducks. Professional punt staff operate in constant fear of the "self-hire punter", and our own punter got very hot under the collar a couple of times trying to avoid collisions.

We are catching up with Cat and Steve from Cambridge today, and driving to Oxford later this evening. I acquired a Cambridge rowing tshirt yesterday, and I am going to get a "matching" Oxford one tomorrow!