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Monday, 29 October 2012

The Pedalogue arrives

On Wednesday, the 22nd of August, my dear blogging friend, Leslie, arrived in Liverpool,  to fulfil a long promised plan to say hello to me and our wonderful city.
I was so excited, Leslie was all I had imagined, and more !
 She is an amazing lady and has the most engaging smile, along with a most delightful and interesting personality.
We met at The Albert Dock, on the spectacular Liverpool waterfront.
 Leslie had her dear friend, Kathy with her, as her travelling companion. They had been travelling around South Wales, catching up with family and friends.
As many  of you know, Leslie hails from Vancouver on the west coast of Canada, she is a retired foreign laguages teacher and has many interests, including, photography and reading, She still teaches students, privately in her home, I guess this may fund her travel activities!
Like many people who live in British Commonwealth Countries, she has many forebears in the UK, and is very proud of her heritage.
She loved The Albert Dock and spent a lot of time looking around it. The dock is just part of the regenerated docklands of the city.
 It is now a thriving tourist area and has many good restaurants, hotels etc.
There is The Beatles Exhibition, a great favourite with our Japanese visitors, who flock there in their thousands to pay homage to their favourite 60's group.
There is also The Tate Modern Art Gallery along with the Liverpool Maritime Museum..... so much to see and do, but I digress...
We met for dinner at the bustling, Italian Restaurant, Gusto, .....
.
 Gusto by name and Gusto by nature.
Italian waiters swivelling around the tables, taking orders, pouring Chianti and flirting with the ladies, young and old!
The kitchen is in the centre of the restaurant where one can watch their particular choice of fare being prepared....
 Needless to say, in central position,  is the ubiquitous, Pizza oven.....
.I'm sure they don't need central heating, in the Restaurant, as the heat emanating from the oven, must warm the cockles of many a heart !

We  talked and talked and talked, exchanging tales of familes and friends, travels and amusing anecdotes, whilst, enjoying the typical, rustic, Italian food and wine. We had various pizza breads for starters, then, went straight into the mains....
 I can't quite recall what everbody ordered, but Leslie and I had a delicious Risotto each and Darling Trubes enjoyed  a hearty Salmon and seafood Tagliatelli,  I think  Leslie's friend, Kathy, had lasagne.....all the fare was declared delicious, I passed on dessert but I know Leslie enjoyed a very chocolatey, gooey  concoction, drizzled in Nutella. I settled for my favourite, a shot of luscious creamy, espresso..... All in all...delicimo!
I wish we could have spent more time together, but those few precious hours will be cherished in my heart and memory  forever....
Thank you Leslie, for taking the time to visit us in our beloved City, I look forward to the time when we can meet again, as I surely know, we will !

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Count your blessings


2012 started quietly after spending Christmas with our eldest daughter, Kirsten and family, down in  Bramley, Surrey.
  It was a wonderful , particularly spending time with our darling grandchildren, Molly, aged 7 and Freddie, then aged 5. Kirsten and Dean made us so welcome, we went to a Carol service and crib blessing in the village church, then, most of the congregation tumbled over to the Jolly farmer pub, directly opposite the church, for a bit of Yuletide cheer.
Delicious Christmas dinner ensued the following day, lots of fun with the children, playing with their new toys.
On Boxing day there was a party at Kirsten's for friends and neighbours, so a good time was had by all.
 We motored home the day after to spend some time with our middle daughter Ingrid, her husband Mike and two grandchildren Olivia, almost 6 and Christian 3. our youngest daughter Astrid and fiance Ian joined us to celebrate our second Christmas, which was equally as enjoyable as as the first
January and February came and went and instead of March roaring in like a lion, it meandered in like a  frolicking spring lamb. From all accounts we had the hotest march on record, the thermometer reaching great heights.
We were fortunate enough to have booked a holiday in Northumberland and stayed at a delightful inn called The Coach House at Crookham, recommended by  a blogging friend Cherie. Visited many places of interest including Bamburgh Castle, Craister, a delighful little fishing port, where we visited the Smoke House and purchased some juicy North Sea kipper to bring home.
On May the 25th our darling youngest daughter, Astrid married her love, Ian, at The Rookery Hall Hotel, in mid Cheshire. It was a most moving occasion, in a pretty setting, amisdst the rambling hills of the Cheshire countryside, Our four grandchildren and two of Ian's nephew were flower girls and mini groomsmen, very well behaved too I may say! Astrid looked gorgeous and young ian most dashing in his morning dress. Such proud parents all round.
After all the merriment and laughter, in July, my dearest  cousin Joy, passed away, very suddenly.
This hit me like a sledge hammer, she was more like a sister to me, we virtually grew up together.
I miss her so much...RIP..dear Joybells..
This brings me up to August....it was said that,  'August is a wicked month', but it wasn't for me because I met a very special blogging friend, who had travelled all the way from Vancouver for a grand tour of the UK, I know many of you will know who I am talking about...... Watch this space....yes,  Anne, as Welshcakes would say, 'patienza' there's more to come !  

Shaky and Silver Linings.