it's hard to believe it is already the middle of may. sadly i have booked my flight back to vancouver for the 31st of may. my cruising adventure has been an amazing and memorable experience but i think i am ready to go home. it gets very tiring living out of a suitcase.
since my last blog i have been to stay with my turkish father and his family in southgate, and spent a week with my arcadia friend tony at his home in cheshire. tony and i were on a tuk-tuk in colombo, sri lanka only a few weeks before the terrorist attacks. i remember passing the hotels that were targeted.
southgate is very near to wanstead where my godmother lives. it was nice to see my father and my half sister and brother again. i thought it was 2014 when i was last here but it was october 2013. i was fed tasty mediterranean meals prepared by my sister rose and drank turkish coffee. my fathers wife azmiye showed me how to make dalmates with wine leaves and kafir yoghurt from scratch. my father had brought lots of plump black olives back with him from his winter
home in cyprus. his family used to have orange groves in cyprus when he was a young boy. he is from a family of 11 children.
because i couldn't see the musical billy elliott
rose and i decided to see the MJ musical thriller
instead. it was at a theater in piccadilly circus in the west end of london. we didn't realize the london marathon was on that sunday so the tubes were extremely busy. the show was excellent! the MJ dancer was a spot on look alike and had all his moves perfected. there wasn't any story line to the show, just MJ's music over the years but very well done. it made me want to get up and dance!
later that week rose and i booked ourselves into a traditional turkish bath. wednesdays are ladies only. first we had a soak in the hot tub then into the sauna and steam room before our bath. my bath lady was a large turkish woman. she had me lie down on a warm round marble slab in the middle of a heated room. rose was across from me with a different woman bathing her. first she exfoliated my
entire body with a rough cloth and then poured warm water all over me. it was quite rough at times. i think a layer of my skin was removed. next she covered my body with mountains of bubbly soap, washing me down and massaging at the same time. then a final bucket of water poured over to finish. the entire bathing process was about 20 minutes. afterwards we were told to go into the cold room for 2 minutes to close our pores. brrrrr..... there was ice on the floors! a swim in the pool to top it off and 2 hours later we were sipping turkish tea in the lounge. i've never felt smoother. in keeping with the turkish theme we went for a turkish meal afterwards.
the following week i was invited to see cheshire with tony. he lives in the village of tarporley. i took a virgin
train from london, euston to crewe. at the station i had some time to spare so i had an hour to people watch.
you can see all kinds in london. on one of the tubes i was on a black man boarded the train ranting and preaching something about
truth and lies while walking up and down the aisle. the passengers that were half asleep didn't even open their eyes. and the ones glued to their phones paid no attention what so ever. it was like the man was invisible. it must be a common occurrence for them. i could tell who the tourists were. we were the only ones watching in amazement and in a bit of fear. the man then finished with some tap dancing and passed around his hat. no one contributed.
tony was a wonderful host and tour guide. he took me to see the old 16th century walled city of chester. another day we drove around north wales. don't ask me to spell the names of the places we visited in wales. i can't even pronounce them. we spent one night in the lake district, meeting some friends for dinner then touring around the lakes the next day. the native sheep to the area are called herdwicks
and they have grey and brown wool instead of white. beatrice potter started the organization to keep them from going extinct. i wanted to see wordsworths home dove cottage
in grasmere but of course it was
covered in scaffolding and will be reopening in april of next year for wordsworths 250th anniversary. so we walked around the village instead and bought some famous grasmere gingerbread to snack on. we sat in the church graveyard by the wordsworth family plot and ate our warm gingerbread. the weather was cold and drizzly which is common for the lake district.
cheshire is a beautiful county. where tony lives in tarporley it is all small country lanes. i think may is the perfect month to visit england. everything is so green and fresh looking. all of the baby lambs are in the fields and the forest floors are covered in bluebells. tony's home the cottage
was old and quaint, part of it dating back to the 1800's. my room overlooked a field with cows and sheep. i loved it. we ate at old country pubs and drank homemade sloe gin which tony had made. i had my favourite sticky toffee pudding
whenever it was available. it was a really nice break from busy london.
so now i am back in wanstead at my auntie val's. tomorrow rose and i are doing the hop-on-hop-off open bus tour
i better bring my brolley.
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