Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Greetings from the UK

This post is coming to you from the wilds of Ipswich, Suffolk. Alan and I have been in the UK for about 10 days now. We couldn't mention it before as it was meant to be a suprise for Alan's sister Tracy - it was her birthday yesterday. We pitched up in a bar in Ipswich on Monday night and just happened to be there when Tracy and Paul walked in...

Rewinding ten days or so, my Dad picked me up from Heathrow and I went over to Gloucestershire to see my folks while Alan went to Cambridge and Sheffield to do some work.

Pictures/video in this post are all from my phone; there's plenty more of course but they will have to wait until we're back in the US and I can edit my pictures properly.

It was great to see my family and friends again back home. I spent Monday with my mother and we had a nice girly day out around Stroud and Nailsworth, before going to our mutual friend Cherry's house for a delicious roast dinner.

I stayed with my Dad, who took me to Cosford RAF museum last Tuesday. Here's a German Messerschmitt ME163 Komet rocket plane at the museum:



Dad dropped me in Sudbury on Wednesday which was really good of him - it's a 3.5 hour drive each way and it was lousy weather too. I stayed in the Mill Hotel in Sudbury, outside which is this lovely millpond:



Sudbury church, in the middle of town:



Meanwhile, my boss Nic was very generous and took me flying in his shiny new SportCruiser! We flew up to Bury St Edmunds on Thursday morning on a 40-minute flight, and flew again on Friday morning, south down to Mersea Island and then up the East Coast to Felixstowe, where this video was taken (that's the dock below us) and then back west to the airstrip; about 1 hour 15 this time. Great stuff.

video

Friday night, Alan and I reconvened in Bury St Edmunds where we stayed with friends Paul and Sarah, and we also met up with Peter and Kate. Many beers were sunk and we spent a very good weekend there. We also saw Richard in the butchers' and our old neighbour Charles in his finance shop in town so it was great to catch up with them too.

Here's Bury St Edmunds cathedral with all the flowers out in the Abbey Gardens.



On Saturday, we went to Flying Legends airshow at Duxford. This was very good as always. Here's a clip of the finale, in which they fly a big formation of aircraft.

video

So Paul drove us to Ipswich on Monday and we return to the beginning of this post... Tracy was suitably surprised in the bar and we went for a nice meal at Mizu's, then back to Tracy and Paul's lovely new house. They've had it for a while but it's the first time I have seen it. Or their cats, for that matter - Fergus and Bonnie who are both very cute.

Tracy and Alan's folks came down from Scotland for the day as well, so we had a big party and barbeque in the back garden. A lot of beer and wine was demolished, naturally! And here we are on the morning after which we're all taking nice and slow.

Alan and I are in Ipswich for one more night, then we go down to London for the day, before flying home on Saturday morning. See you back in the USA!

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