Sitting outside at the Rogers' place, enjoying the evening sun. Mum's inside getting changed into her travel clothes (including layers for the arrival in Melbourne). It's crazy to think that she's been here for five weeks! Send like yesterday that we were at Birmingham Airport to collect her. Although, as you will know from Mum's posts and watching fb, we've been able to fit in quite a bit since then. :-)
This week Mum's been hanging out with Gwen, B's mum. I had a two day meeting London and Cambridge and B has had long days getting ready for a festival, so we weren't going to be good company. I'll let Mum tell you what she and Gwen got up to - they certainly weren't idle! I arrived late Wednesday night and we had a girlie day on Thursday; Op-shopping (called charity shops over here) and then we all got our nails done. Would you believe that neither Mum nor Gwen had ever had their nails done in a salon before?! We got gel polish (also called shellac), so they should look lovely for at least two weeks. Hopefully. (What a good excuse to not do the dishes!)
Last week we explored north east England: Nottingham, York, Scarborough, Whitby and Derbyshire.
In Nottingham we went to the UK's oldest pub, The Old Trip to Jerusalem, as well as a pub in a church, the Pitcher and Piano. We had a wander around the city and found a beach - a temporary one with sand, deck chairs and a shark! We beat the crowds to Sherwood Forest the next morning, saw the Major Oak (it's about 1000 years old), bought ginger biscuits from Robin Hood's mate (well, he looked the part) and high-tailed it out before all of the kiddies descended (ah, school holidays). :-)
York is one of the few remaining walled cities. Lots of history! The Minster is amazing - it's like a cathedral but was a meeting place for the ministers.. (I forget the detail.. Mum or Bruce, do you remember?). We spent an hour being guided around the transept and then another exploring the undercroft - there was so much to see! Whilst in York we also walked on the city walks, wandered around the Shambles and took a ghost tour.
Our seaside day took us to Scarborough, where we walked along the prom, saw a fair (are you going?), had a go on the penny arcade machines and paddled in the (very cold) sea. From there we headed up to Whitby and spent the afternoon there. Whitby was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula and also where James Cook did his sailing apprenticeship. We explored the Abbey ruins (with an audio tour), walked down 199 steps into town, wandered across the bridge and up a steep hill to the Whale Bones and Cook memorial, and finally took a short cruise on a mini version of the ship Endeavour. At the end of the day we had to walk back up all of those steps to get back to the car! Phew!
We stopped a few times on the way back to the West Midlands. First stop, Chesterfield - market town with a cool church spire. Second stop, The Heights of Abraham - a cable-car ride up a mountain, tours of old lead mines, a spot of history and some beautiful views. Final stop, Goathland - tiny little town in Derbyshire, also known as Aidensfield (from tv's Heartbeat) and the pub makes really tasty alcoholic floats (ie spiders). We made it back to Brum just in time for dinner. ;-)
Saturday took us back into Wales - but just for the day. We headed towards Llangollen for a boat ride across the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct -amazing engineering by Thomas Telford! A picnic feast by Horseshoe Falls, and a quick stop in town filled the rest of the day (we even got to say hi to Thomas the Tank).
That's enough for now.. I'll post photos once I get them sorted (but it might be some time - they're are quite a few!). Mum's on the plane now - she'll be home on Monday.
What have the rest of you been up to lately?