England – June 2016

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Beachy Head, South Downs

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A flying trip to England en route to a wedding in Greece!

Sunshine in the southeast in Windsor, even more on the south coast in Eastbourne for the weekend and then… miraculously… sun in London too!

Apparently we caught the full  5 days of the English summer in between the rain storms 🙂

In 17 years I can’t remember a more eventful arrival in the UK… the morning after the night before of the Brexit referendum when the votes had been counted and the final tally revealed that Britain would be leaving the EU on a vote of 52:48 in favour.

We sat recovering from our flights at 6.30am over breakfast in the business class lounge watching the news with our fellow travelers in an eery silence as Prime Minister Cameron resigned from his post and it became clear that the course of history, not only for the UK but also likely for the other member states of the EU, was about to take an unexpected turn.

Ignoring the political, financial and, for some fellow Brits, the emotional upheaval which is about to unfold in the coming months and years ahead it was (happily), at least for us, a thoroughly delightful and very English few days… enough to stoke the fires of home sickness as usual! 😉

We started with Earl Grey tea and Victoria Sponge cake at Dorney Court Kitchen Garden Café with my parents on a sunny afternoon (several, if I’m honest!) 🙂

Then on to a glorious weekend visiting our good friends Dave and Ali at their apartment in a spectacular converted monastery in Meads village – a few steps from Beachy Head, Eastbourne – cliff top walks on an (almost) mediterranean blue sky day, a picnic on the cliff trail with butterflies fluttering in the breeze around us and bees buzzing in and out of the blooms of dark blue coastal flowers; an excellent gastro pub 2 minutes stroll from their apartment; real english fish and chips 🙂 ; a breezy walk along the coastal boardwalk and a potter around the famous Victorian pier (or at least what’s left of it after a devastating fire in 2014); fudge and rock shops; tea, scones, clotted cream and homemade gooseberry jam with sandwiches and (more) homemade cake in a countryside tea shop in Penshurst, Kent.

Flower-filled English country gardens, cows in fields, puffy white clouds drifting overhead, beautiful villages with cricket greens and country pubs, cottages covered in climbing roses and wisteria… sigh… oh and the first decent curry we’ve had since the last time we were back in our homeland… 🙂

All good English countryside things had to come to an end, of course, and we headed into London for Geoff to work for a couple of days. But the sun continued to shine and even that excursion was almost picture perfect. There was a slight hiccup at check-in late on Sunday night when it seemed that “someone” (who will remain nameless) made a reservation at the Hilton Tower Bridge and then immediately cancelled it… umm… no amount of analyzing could explain how this had transpired but luckily we didn’t have to sleep under the railway cuttings at London Bridge station so disaster was averted 😉 In full tourist mode, as Geoff headed off to the sparkly new Red Hat office at Monument and Pudding Lane, I headed off early, camera in tow and snapped all of my favorite places in the capital and more. There was an emergency stop required in the bakery section of Fortnum and Mason but I’d rather keep that quiet from his lordship bearing in mind how many tea shop visits we made over the course of our brief but blissful visit home 😉 🙂

And now… off for some mediterranean warmth and even more sun on the Greek island of Kefalonia in the Ionian Sea to attend the wedding of some English friends 🙂

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