An EasyJet flight meant restrictions and I had Christmas presents to take back for my family!
And what I wasn't prepared for, was the pre allocated seats they now issue.
It's so much more stressful flying these days, even more so when the seats are apart from those you are travelling with!
Em isn't keen on flying at the best of times, so you can imagine how delighted she was when I realised the only seats free happened to fall across the aisle, next to where I was wedged between a rather large couple!
At last I could relax, bags through and a reasonable seat with my daughter.
Our luck continued when we picked up our little bog standard hire car, realising it was a beautiful little pale blue Cinquecento!!!
A couple of nights with my sister in Sussex before collecting my eldest daughter, Lauren and heading for the Midlands.
I am always delighted to return to the place I grew up, as much as I couldn't wait to leave all those years ago in a plight to see something more of the world!
Basing myself with my parents meant I could help with stacking their wood delivery, something I have become a dab hand at having lived in rural Italy for so long!
As well as visiting dear old school chums and my other family from my first marriage, people whom I still hold close to my heart.
We all had a terrific week-end as by chance two of my nephews arrived and my sis which made quite a party together with family friends Daniele and Michael.
Daniele promised to send me a copy of her mother's Tarte Tatin recipe so I was thrilled, ever hungry for new recipes especially those passed down within a family!
She also told me not to worry when I make it for the first time because the original Tatin sisters, who ran a hotel restaurant in Lamotte-Beuvron at the beginning of the century, apparently dropped the tart hence it ended up upside down which made them and it famous!!!
I always enjoy time with Daniele.... she is great company.
|View of the back field from my bedroom at home.... a frosty morning!|
The house is full of very fond memories....nights of camping out at the bottom of the garden, carrying down piping hot jacket potatoes with lashings of butter and salt and the home where we frequently dipped our jam jars into the pond under the beautiful gigantic Weeping Willow, or so it seemed then.
The place where I looked after Montmerency, Mish's beloved mouse when she was away with the Guides!
I didn't particularly like the smelly thing but there wasn't anything I wouldn't do for my dear friend...the same today!
I found Barclay in the same great spirit as always, an independent free thinking slightly eccentric gent whom I love.
|Rear garden at The George Stamford|
|Mum and Dad outside The George|
Then we walked our lunch off taking in the view across the River Welland which had reached an alarming level!
And of course.......... made a visit to the book shop!
|An elated Georgie with week old Ben!|
Before I left England I was lucky enough to meet with darling Georgie, Em's old friend from when they were small and Dave and have a cuddle with week old Ben.........their beautiful baby!
|Not forgetting Ben's totally adoring father Dave!|
So delighted to see them!
Literally, as I was leaving Market Harborough, I popped in to see the Gilbert's.
A wonderful aladdin's cave of crockery, bake wear and everything else you would ever want for your kitchen!
I am collecting this lovely Cornishware from their shop, Cornish Blue.
It was first produced in the 1920's by T.G. Green in Church Gresley, Derbyshire and has become a British Design Classic.
It is said that the colours reminded a T.G. Green employee of the blue skies and white-crested waves of Cornwall...................my little bit of England!
Thank you for enabling me to take the photographs and for the trip down memory lane!