We experienced a blustery night in Treaddur Bay in North Wales. The wind was howling as it came off the bay. The sign in the facilities said ‘no wetsuits or dogs in the shower’ so some people and dogs must have ventured into the sea.
We set off for Windermere in the Lakes district reasonably early the next day which was fortuitous as the clutch went and we broke down about 20miles from where we were heading. It took us many phone calls to get us picked up and to a garage 4miles away where the owner and his sidekick at the garage were very helpful and managed to take the gearbox out, replace the clutch and rear brake pads in a day and a half.
We made the most of it by taking a scenic bus route via Windemere to Keswick further north in the Lake district where it was very cold but the views along the way were spectacular.

Roger at the garage let us plug in the van for two nights so that we could stay in it rather than having to find a hotel which was lovely of him to do. On the third day we made our way back to Windermere to see the ‘world of Beatrix Potter’ a favourite of mine from my childhood and we took the ferry across the lake to see her house in the very small village of Little Sawrey. It was a long day’s drive from there across the beautiful Yorkshire moors to Wyse House farm campsite near Malton which was a great campsite.

We visited my mother’s cousin’s wife and had a nice day with her before visiting Castle Howard of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ fame and then we continued on to Hitchin Leisure where we bought the campervan and could stay there for a week. We had a few things to do to the van and to catch up with friends there. We walked into Hitchin every day or to the train station to get to London on several occasions to visit various friends and relations and catch up with Maurice’s sister Maura who was on her way back from Canada to Perth.

We made the most of our forays into London visiting the famous architect ‘John Soanes’ house which contains over 40,000 pieces of memorabilia and is quite amazing.
I found it a bit overwhelming with everything that was crammed into the four storey house.

A very interesting renovation was ‘The department store’ in Brixton which cousin Hugh and Joelle took us for an afternoon drink as they were both members.
A group of architects had renovated beautifuly the building which was now their offices, a bar and restaurant.

A highlight was seeing the ‘Lion king’ at the Lyceum one night before we descended the old 193steps to the Covent Garden Metro. The metros are a swift way of getting around London but to be avoided if possible at peak times and around the tourist areas especially if you are at all claustrophobic.

We left Hitchin to spend a week with our friends in the Chilterns near Cholesbury and we were again lucky with the weather. It was cold (for us) but it hardly rained for our three weeks in England.
I had the good fortune to also meet up with a cousin from my mother’s de Jong side of the family whom I happened to find on facebook after having been given a name by my mother’s cousin’s wife in Yorkshire. I am going to join Ancentry and plot as much of my family tree that I can which might be of interest to others years ahead.

We drove from Cholesbury down to Southampton on the 25th October to join the Queen Elisabeth on a 12night cruise to the Canaries with our friends. This was our first cruise and we were looking forward to it.

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