On again

Today’s portrait shows the birthday girl, looking very well for someone of 97.

Mauiri Denaro
Mauri Denaro, Mrs Tootlepedal’s mother at her birthday lunch

Our trip to London to attend the lunch was very successful.   It nearly started very badly when the bus to take us to the train in Carlisle didn’t arrive on schedule.  We were just getting rather nervous when a friend, who chanced to be passing by, said unprompted that he would drive us in.  These are the sort of friends you need.

Alan, our chauffeur and Mrs Tootlepedal at Carlisle Station

We stayed in London with my sister Mary who lives conveniently close to Euston Station.  She has recently had a hip operation but we went to watch her playing tennis so I think she is probably recovering quite well.

On Saturday, after tennis,  we went to Buckingham Palace and then we had lunch with my stepmother and my middle sister in a tapas bar.  Later, we had  an evening meal with my eldest sister and my daughter and her partner in an Italian restaurant followed by a visit to an open air theatre to see Comedy of Errors.  It was quite a full day.

The visit to Buckingham Palace was not to see the queen but the much more exiting prospect of 50,000 cyclists pedalling round the streets of London.

Cycle London

There were so many of them that the streets were jammed and the very success of the event made for rather slow cycling.  They came in all shapes and sizes and ages….

Cycle London

…and in the middle of the slowly moving river of pedallers we were able to see  Annie and Joe enjoying their ride.

Annie and Joe

We exchanged a few words and they cycled off.  When we saw them later in the day, they said that in spite of  progress being rather slow, they had enjoyed being part of such a mass turn out of cyclists.

There was a hundred mile sportive the next day which went very well and I will try to get an entry for it for next year.

The Shakespeare play was very enjoyable.  It was performed by a young and enthusiastic cast and every now and again they broke into some of the great Motown hits of the sixties, which  oddly enough seemed to chime very well with the rest of the play.

The next day, we went down to Marlow and had a very tasty lunch at a posh restaurant beside the river Thames.  Afterwards, we returned to the house which Granny shares with Mrs Tootlepedal’s brother Mike and his wife.  (She has a neat Granny extension.)  There we admired Mike’s ingenious garden irrigation scheme which makes use of a borehole which he drilled himself using a hand turned augur in his back garden.

There was a bit of sitting on the sofa to let the lunch settle down too.  Here is Mauri with Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike.

The family
236 years of accumulated wisdom on one sofa

The weather was very kind for the weekend, warm but not too hot.

On Monday, we helped my sister Susan trim an over vigorous castor oil plant that was threatening to block the light from her flat’s window and then, after a cup of coffee with the sisters, made our way back to the station and caught the train home.

Visiting  eight family members (or knocking off the ‘rellies’ as my brother calls it) in the space of a two day sweep of the south must be considered good value for money.

On our way north, we had an unscheduled wait in Wigan while some flood waters in Cumbria subsided and let the line emerge ahead of us but this only delayed our arrival in Langholm by an hour so we felt that we had got off lightly.  The river Ribble was in spate as we crossed it at Lancaster but further north, the rivers were much less furious and by the time we got home, the weather was calm and dry.

I picked a couple of tomatoes from the greenhouse (the first of the year) and we sank into the comfort of our own home with gratitude for a grand trip and a safe arrival home.

Apart from the cycling and Granny’s birthday, I didn’t take any photographs while I was away and concentrated on enjoying the moment instead of rushing around for handy vantage points.  I missed not writing my diary and I missed even more, not having the time to read other people’s posts which brighten my day when things are normal but I think that I made a good decision.  I would like to thank people who made generous comments on my last post.  Paradoxically, I got more comments for writing that I wasn’t going to post than I usually get when I have written a post.  I was touched by your kindness when I got back and read them.

There was no chance of a bird of any description today so I have put in a cosmos which seems to have managed to do very well without us while we were away.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “On again

  1. Welcome back, we missed you! Granny is beautiful and certain doesn’t look 97 – that’s the reward of good living! 🙂 Sounds like a wonderful trip; you did the right thing to enjoy each moment and forget about the blog. Glad you’re back.

  2. It sounds like a fun trip! I’ve missed reading about all your adventures.It’s interesting to hear someone mention the river Ribble in Lancaster. That’s where my ancestors lived until they came here in 1638.

  3. That cycling event looked fun. And “knocking off the ‘rellies’” is a great term, but has a different meaning where I come from. You could get into trouble doing that.

    1. The cycling event was good but the proof of the pudding will come if better facilities for cyclists arrive in the not too distant future. It definitely showed that if the facilities do come, there are certainly cyclists ready to use them.

  4. Your London relations thoroughly enjoyed having you both here and giving us lots of opportunities for family getogethers. Come again soon!

  5. Great portrait of the birthday girl, looking so young, and another excellent one of all those combined years of wisdom sitting on the sofa.
    We much enjoyed your visit and were impressed by all you managed to pack in to a weekend.

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