From the North East we headed to South West England…
Jason spent the weekend in Cheltenham for a boy’s weekend with his old university mate Eric. Eric is the captain of Cowley Cricket Club and had invited his Aussie mate to join the team for a game of 20/20 cricket. From the match report you can see that he impressed with his bowling. “It was Eric’s Aussie mate (Jason) who got the breakthrough in the 13th over as the no2 was given LBW for 29 and then in his second over he bowled the dangerous no4 for 47.” I am not going to mention his batting attempt….quack.
The weekend also entailed 2 games of golf, watching the world cup final and a ten mile run up Leckhampton Hill. Here they are at the top of the hill.
I joined them later for an evening drinking french wine and a walk into Cheltenham, before traveling down to Cornwall the next day.
Cornwall is the home county of my cousins. My Aunty Pam and Uncle Graham made us feel very welcome at their beautiful house in Looe, which has spectacular sea views. My uncle is the most amazing cook and it was a treat to share in the consumption of his culinary delights, including a barbecued paella complete with mussels and shrimps. Although eating alfresco at the seaside town became somewhat of a tactical defence exercise against a growing army of hungry seagulls. Here’s a picture of Jason and Dad practising their world cup skills whilst waiting for their dinner. From Looe we went over to Padstow where we met up with some distant relatives from Perth and our friends Tess and Chris from Melbourne. How strange it is to travel to the other side of the world to catch up with people who live in our own country.
We walked along the coastal path from Looe to Polpero with Rosie on our back. This is a beautiful walk but has quite a few steep inclines along the cliff.
After such a walk in Cornwall it almost seems obligatory to buy cornish pasties for lunch. Here is a picture of Jason, Dad and a sleeping Rosie on their descent into the cute fishing village, Polpero. Since the weather has been gorgeous Jason had a quick dip in the English Channel before dinner, which was booked in the Mediterranean Bio-dome at the Eden Project. These are two enormous greenhouses (pictured) and are a major tourist attraction. It felt special to be there after all the visitors had gone home and enjoy our meal in such peaceful and leafy surroundings. Here we met my cousin Katie for the first time in many years, and her two adorable children Alfie and Matty (pictured).
Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Cornwall. On the return leg we went through Somerset and visited Cheddar, a great little tourist town famous for its gorge, (cheddar) cheese and strong apple cider called scrumpy. It also holds great memories as Jason and I had been on one of our first dates here back in 2007.
We also stopped in Bristol for a couple of nights. This is where I had lived and worked prior to moving to Australia and where I first met Jason. We stayed for a night with Sam at his new house and spent the evening assembling his new coal BBQ. Those who have cooked on coals before will know that there is quite a skill involved in creating the fire and ensuring that the coals have burned and cooled perfectly for an even spread of heat for cooking sausages. You may also know that everyone has an opinion to share on how their dad used to do it! We were very proud of our efforts and ended up with perfectly palatable, burnt sausages. As always, the coals had reached their perfect cooking state by 10.30pm, after all was cooked.
We also stayed the night with Helen and her husband Ed, and children Alexander and Jasmine (pictured). Helen is a friend who I’ve known since my single days and we were very happy to put all the children to bed, order a take away and open a bottle of wine. Such a lot to catch up on.
We drove back up North through thunder storms and torrential summer rain.