We were none too sure about taking the Easter trip we’d planned, given how unwell the Dafter has been lately. Usually we travel to England on the train. But that wasn’t going to be possible. However, after much discussion we decided to go for it – in the car. And we made it! There and back. It was wonderful to see family and friends, and we had fun visiting a few tourist attractions as well. The Dafter traced the route we took:
The morning we left, it snowed! The promised “sneachd an uain” arrived:
We were snug and warm in our car, and had hired a wheelchair in order to make more things possible for the Dafter.
We were amused by this Dr. Who Tardis at the Glendoick Garden Centre:
The snow followed us south, nearly all the way to Blackpool, where we visited a cousin we hadn’t seen in years. It was wonderful to see her again and we were treated like visiting (vegetarian) royalty. We stayed overnight in Liverpool, and visited Croxteth House, which I’ll post about later. We drove through the centre of town on our way out, as a stretch of the motorway was closed due to the snow:
From Liverpool we drove to Cambridge. Sadly, we missed seeing Michael’s mother Norah, bless her soul. But it was wonderful to see his brother and older sister again. The Dafter wanted to put daisies on her grave, and the sun came out for our visit:
Norah would have loved the daisies better than any store-bought flowers.
She’s in a very peaceful corner of the cemetery.
The Dafter needed to rest but her auntie kindly stayed with her for a few hours while Michael and I went into town to explore a bit:
I love how the cattle graze in the middle of the city. It’s probably a good way of keeping the grass short!
After our stay in Cambridge, and a yummy family dinner all together, we drove to stay with friends near London. On our way we went here:
The wheelchair made all the difference, and I will show you photos of the Miniworld in another post.
One afternoon, Michael and I went on a wee tourist excursion in London:
I thought this card was the best version of the current “Keep Calm” craze that I’ve seen. It’s certainly the best version for me at the moment, anyhow!
(Do you suppose those pingpong balls are glued together?) Now here’s a funny thing. We’d brought our friends a vase made by Fiona Duckett (Watergaw Ceramics) in the North-East of Scotland. It went perfectly with their beautiful painting by Willie Fulton, and the objects assembled nearby!
On Easter Sunday I went to the Methodist church and really enjoyed the service. It was good to be reminded that out of darkness comes light. I left feeling a bit more resolved to be hopeful and to trust we will be helped, healed and taken care of. As clearly we are!
When we left London, it was the usual havoc on the motorway. Before the Dartford Crossing, we crept along with the flashing “40 mph” sign mocking us, considering we were all going about 1/40th that fast. However, there’s nothing for it as there’s no other way to get across the Thames:
I was just thankful that we weren’t in either of the two accidents that we went slowly past on our journey North.
After another night in Cambridge, we were pleased to see the “Angel of the North” statue as we came into Newcastle:
And of course we were happy to cross the border into Scotland:
We spent the night in Edinburgh, at the hotel next to the zoo. It was absolutely packed, and everyone there – including some Chinese tourists and ourselves – seemed to be going to see the Giant Pandas.
Only the female panda was on view, and she was having a nap at that, but we had a very good visit – as well as with our son! I will write another post about our trip to the zoo, but will just mention here that it poured with rain the night before, and also just after we left, but was sunny and warm(ish) during our visit.
After saying our goodbyes, we headed for home, across the Firth of Forth:
We were greeted by hailstones and rainbows:
We’re tired, but it’s good to be home. We turned the wheelchair back in today, but have decided to buy one, as the Dafter did actually walk a lot more on our holiday because she had the option of resting in the wheelchair rather than just on the ground. It was wonderful to reconnect with our family and friends. We were spoiled rotten and Michael and I had a real chance to unwind, which was great. Oh and did I mention we ate a LOT of chocolate?!