Published: September 15th 2012August 24th 2012
In the Pub
Enjoying a drink at the Fox,in Oakley
With the first part of our trip underway, we said our goodbyes in Welwyn Garden City (Hertfordshire) and headed South around the M25 toward Basingstoke and the next stop on our schedule. We have been working with our excel spread sheet that identifies all of the stops on our tour, detailing where we are morning, afternoon, evening and overnight. Without it I think that we would find this trip quite difficult, Andy says it’s like being on tour with the Rolling Stones.
We had wondered if we should find a base and make our visits from that base, but that is quite a tricky thing to do unless we rented a house somewhere so we will see how this trip works out, equally by staying with friends and family we had dedicated time to spend with them.
Late afternoon we arrived at our friends Jon and Loraine (Butler), in Oakley (Nr Basingstoke) we have known Jon and Loraine for a number of years, Andy originally met Jon through business and strangely they did not see eye to eye when they first met, however things changed and they are now really close friends of ours.
Jon showed us
our room and got us settled in, we showered and rested as the jet lag was still catching up with us, but as soon as Loraine arrived home from work, the dinner was cooking nicely in the oven and we headed off to their local pub, “The Fox” for a pre-dinner drink, after all a visit to the English countryside would not be right without a visit to a traditional English pub.
This is our first visit to a pub on this trip, Andy said he enjoyed the beer, but as we were drinking the heavens opened and in true British style the rain poured outside, by the bucket load! What a change to the beautiful hot weather of the last couple of days since we arrived.
Fortunately the rain had stopped by the time we wanted to leave, as Loraine’s son had dropped us down there we were walking back. We happily meandered back through Oakley and towards a nice lamb roast.
There were a lot of puddles from the tremendous downpour, the air was so fresh and the countryside was looking very green but 25 minutes later we were sitting down for our dinner
and by 9.00 our eyes were hanging with the jet lag still evident, however we were sat watching TV and lasted until 10.00 before the jet lag finally got the better of us.
The following morning was an important one for us, as we were doing a viewing of our home, as it has been rented out for four years and we wanted to check over it, we were of course awake early. Ok so as per usual Andy was awake and out of bed long before me, but I did enjoy a cup of tea in bed and read my book for a while.
After a hearty breakfast of toast and the coveted Marmite we headed off to our house to meet with the letting agent so that we could do an inspection, this I will not dwell on but we did fire the managing agent and has resulted in us doing a lot of work to get a few things organised before our departure back to Oz.
That afternoon we headed over to Chineham see our friends Martin and Amanda who we first met in Australia when Martin worked for the same
A roast Dinner
With John & Lorraine
company as we did, they since returned to the UK to live but we were under a time constraint here as Amanda was expecting a baby, so we needed to squeeze a visit in at the beginning of the trip before the baby arrived.
We had beautiful afternoon tea (fabulous cakes!) and sat and chatted quite happily as if no time had passed and obviously catching up on issues of the work variety!
That evening we had a curry, we have been waiting for a long time for a decent curry and Amanda being eager for the baby to put in appearance it was the obvious choice. Thankfully for me and Andy, baby Thomas was born no more than 48 hours later and we were well out of their way! Congratulations to our delightful friends Martin, Amanda and Libby on the birth of their son, Thomas Hunter Eves, what an awesome name.
The following morning we said our goodbyes and headed toward Southampton to see my Mum and Dad. My Dad had suffered a heart attack last year and thankfully is alive today thanks to the air ambulance crew that were able to save
Amanda, Libby, with Martin,Andy,Caroline and Lil Wal!
his life and whisk him away to the hospital. I did not come over when it happened as they had difficulty getting hold of me and by the time I knew about it the major drama was over and he was on his way to recovery so I was persuaded not to come.
It was great to see them and a relief to see Dad looking so well, following my two year absence and of course spent hours chatting and catching up about all of our travel news and thus bringing what we had written back to life. I even managed to catch up on an episode of Coronation Street, which I have not seen for 2 years, amazingly after one episode I was back up to speed on the storyline.
That evening we tucked into another welcome roast dinner, followed by a homemade plum and apple pie with custard.
Whilst Andy went off to attend on matters of the house I headed to Marks and Spencer for lunch with Mum and Dad. Not exciting for most I know, but I do miss shopping at Marks and Spencer, as this was just lunch I was determined not to be distracted by looking at everything in the shop. I would find it so easy to shop here, but not today.
We enjoy a leisurely lunch but all too soon it is time to go home for a nice restful afternoon.