We are now back home in China after a few weeks visit back to Blighty and the autumnally freezing cold weather, well to me anyway. I didn’t get to visit everyone that I wanted to due to people working of all things and others having the dreaded flu virus that was going round. Thankfully we didn’t get any of it. I usually at least get a cold after travelling by air but this time nothing.
We stayed in the Southend area most of the first 2 and half weeks due to my daughter and her family going on holiday to Florida for 2 weeks from the 15th of October and this meant us staying around to look after their loopy dog Joey and the cat, they were like Garfield and his dog, but they were no bother and soon settled down without missing their owners. We had a few trips to the local Tesco to get some UK grub for our stay, No Chinese meals so far. We also got in a couple of visits to the local Toby carvery which was most enjoyable for me.
We managed a few local trips to visit old friends, Martin, Bob and my old friends Paul, Sue and Maisie (someone else with a new dog). Slightly further afield to Finchingfield we went to visit old workmates, Helen, Sheila, Chris and his girlfriend, Pete and Stuart, this was on one lunchtime at the local Fox Inn, good to get some British pub grub once again. This was followed later in the day with a trip to Braintree to visit Betty and Roy.
The furthest we got those weeks was to Clacton, to visit James, Jasia, Thomaz and the new entry Elie. I was pleased to see that James has now settled into his job at last after a few strenuous times for him, maybe all the new family additions have helped in that respect.
During this time I had been able to drive my old Skoda Octavia once more and then had to hire a small Citroen once they came back and reclaimed the car. I tried to hook up with friend Jules but she was working on the only free day we had.
Once the family got back from Floriday we were able to travel further afield, the first trip was up to Sheffield to see someone I joined the RAF with Dave Goodrum and his family plus their dog Alice (dogs everywhere this trip!), I was going to meet Geoff Mercer but he had prior arrangements with a caravan! We spent the weekend with Dave and then went down to Southampton way to visit Tom and Di, we had hoped to see Roger another friend but he was another one unable to make it.
Next stop was to see Margaret but I was unable to get hold of her as well, so I thought she had probably gone away somewhere but it turned out that her phone wasn’t working correctly and she didn’t get any of my messages in time, so another bummer there not getting to see her. We decided to go straight to Bicester to the home of Bill and Lil who visited us here in China earlier, they were on their way back from Scotland and weren’t in when we arrived but we got a key from next door and stayed the night until they arrived. The last but one day was the only Chinese meal we had, but at least it was a good edible one. We spend the last two days with them before flying back here again.