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The Family Bandwagon

Our family is spread out across the country and across the world, and what better way to keep in touch than a collaborative digital journal?

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Ken's birthday pub hike

Last weekend was a long weekend, and also friend's birthday, so on Monday we high-tailed it onto the tube and down towards Hampstead Heath. His name is Ken, and (strangely!) he went to primary school with Dee. Now, I hope at this point you're thinking something like, "Wow, they stayed in touch for that long!", but the truth is much more serendipitous ( may have already told this story) -- Ken was a student at Swinburne when Mark, a Uni buddy of mine, was tutoring. Mark recently moved to London and "dossed" at Ken's for a while. So at Glenda's birthday -- Mark's girl -- both Ken and Dee knew fewer people than everyone, so started chatting. So. Very. Bizzare!

p1000608.jpgAnyhoo, it was his birthday last weekend so we headed out of our precious safety-zone ("the city") to a suburb. Turns out they've got sun, people,  cafes, greenery! So we arrived at the beer garden and met some of Ken's friends, then I supped a wee dram of uisge whilst Dee enjoyed the red wine. We chatted, ate little nibbly things (calamari, salmon fish-fingers, lamb koftas) and generally enjoyed the sun -- although as the afternoon wore on it threatened rain.

After lunch (and a delicious chocolate cake courtesy of Glenda --  thanks!) we all decided to walk off the meal in Hampstead Green, a nearby park -- although it's bigger than any park I've seen in Aus, just like Hyde Park in London central. We wandered across field and dell and came across a fair! Ferris-wheels, skill games, spinny-aroundy and upside-downy rides! Dee, Ken and I all tried the archery. None of us won a prize, but Dee did have the dubious achievement of almost hitting a "carny" (i.e. fair worker) with an arrow! Remember kids: wine and bow & arrows don't mix. (I kid, I kid, we wouldn't want to get rolling drunk on a school/work day/night -- really, the carny almost got himself shot by ducking out in front of us to retrieve some arrows from the targets. I mean, come on! He was asking for one in the behind!)

It was weird being in the middle of a green space and looking back towards the "urban jungle". It was also getting muggy -- the rain was on its way but taking its sweet time about it. We got to the edge of the park, grabbed some drinks from the supermarket and had an impromptu picnic in a field, while around us people threw frisbees and kicked soccer balls. Decided we'd come back another weekend and play tennis and/or lawn bowls! How sophisticated!

When the rain started, we bid adieu to Ken and company, boarded a bus and headed back home. As always, more photos here. (And I'm not if you need to be on Facebook, but Glenda put some photos up too.)

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