Saturday, June 30, 2012

Eli - master of disguise

A career in the Secret Service awaits!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Hickman's Trip to England

I hear the drizzle of the rain
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls

So wrote Paul Simon. (Obviously he visited Cholderton Youth Hostel as well)

We’ve just returned from a 3 week whistle-stop tour of England. We took in umpteen counties, towns and villages and showed Audrey and Eli and Amy ‘the mother country’.

I’m not sure how to write this post without it becoming a dreary list of all the places we went to things we did and people we met, so here goes anyway. It’s (possibly) worth recording this as things get lost in the haze of time and perhaps sometime in 2019 we’ll be discussing where we visited during our visit in 2012. At one point I’d planned to keep a daily journal and update the blog in chronological order but things got slack along the way.

London – Camden Markets, Big Ben (ok I know technically it’s the Tower of Westminster), Trafalgar Square, Houses of Parliament, London Eye, Natural History Museum

Wolverhampton – Molineux Stadium (obviously), Bantock Park, Cotwall End

Henley – Jubilee street party, diamond jubilee beacon lighting

Newbury (briefly) Craven Arms pub

Cholderton YHA (with Charlies farm rare breeds farm)– Intech Science Centre, Salisbury, Stone Henge and Lacock

Much Wenlock (home of the modern Olympic Games), Much Wenlock museum, Blists Hill (Ironbridge Gorge museum), Wenlock Edge, Severn Valley Railway, Ludlow Castle

London (again) Lion King, Duck tour (all terrain vehicle)

It was nice for me to be back in the UK. Odd at times as some things had changed radically in the nearly 5 years since I’d lived there and others stayed the same. It was also odd being a visitor in your ‘own’ country and for the first time being responsible for showing others round London whereas typically I have always relied on others to guide me round.

Audrey and Eli coped well with the heavy itinerary and started each day with a perky “Where are we going today?”. I think 3 weeks was pretty much their maximum though and they were glad to come home. The 26 hour flight both ways actually turned out to be not half as bad as I had anticipated. I had imagined the worst before we set off, but both Audrey and Eli were really good apart from a few 'moments'.

Thanks so much to the many many people who showed us such kindness while we were in England and people who travelled (literally in some cases) hundreds of miles to see us. Sorry too if you’re reading this and we didn’t get to see you, or only saw you for a few fleeting minutes – come and visit us in Canberra and we can have a longer catch-up!

Sorry too if you hoped that by now I’d have “gone bush” and be talking in a broad Australian accent with Steve Irwin shorts and Mick Dundee crocodile skin jacket. Give it another couple of years for that. Here's some pictures....