Friday, 29 April 2011

Another day, another god-daughter...

Wednesday saw a 3 family trip to Stockley Farm park as we said goodbye to one set of friends (including on eof our God-daughters) and moved on to another set, this time in Chester (and with yet another of our god-daughters).

Thursday involved a trip to the local pool, meeting up with yet MORE friends, including yet ANOTHER god-daughter, who came over to Chester for the day to see us. (Thank you!)

 And today, well, what would we have been doing this morning but watching the Royal Wedding on tv of course! We hung on in Chester in time to catch the historic balcony kiss (both of them) between the prince and new princess and then high-tailed it back down to Abingdon to Granny and Grandad's to arrive in time for the traditional bun throwing event which is Abingdon's way of celebrating Royal occasions. Basically the Mayor and co. stand at the top of the town hall (sadly on this occasion covered in scaffolding) and hurl buns down at the starving populace (us).... We (Granny, us and Aunti T and her girls (two MORE god-daughters) were rather too far back in the crowd and had to share 2 buns between 8 of us, so just as well that we'd brought some marmite sandwiches for the kids and we had a nice vegetable chili waiting for us at home.

These wonderful British traditions... how will we cope with setting off back to Tanzania tomorrow night??

p.s. in the interests of avoiding gender discrimination, we do have one God-son, whom we saw earlier this holiday. In fact, we've managed a complete Full House this trip. Hurray!

p.p.s Thank you to F for this lovely shot of Kitty and K enjoying the cherry blossom on tuesday!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Having a LOVELY time with old friends 'up north'. Catching up on God-daughter after an 18 month absence and meeting new baby brother!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Christos Anasti

Happy Easter! We've had a lovely day celebrating at church, dying and decorating eggs, meeting long-lost relatives and generallyh having a happy time in the garden in yet another day of blissful summery weather. Hard to belive this is England in April.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Fun in the spring sun (with cousins!)

Two sunny - even hot - days in spring sunshine have been great - out and about, playing with cousins. Here are some photos, first from Harcourt Arboretum yesterday where the peacocks were feeling frisky, and today from around and about in Abindgon.

Sometimes the driving needed a little extra work...

Bluebells were fantastic!

Oh to be in England, now that spring is here...

And today...
Sweetie shop was one of the plans from Tanzania

Tickles were high on the post picnic agenda!

The Mancub is particularly ticklish!

And was fascinated by the working of the lock!

Grandad found the bunny girls more fascinating...

Whilst Kitty and cousin just enjoyed each other!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

And from our other correspondent...

There are fewer pictures, since I didn't have the camera. But Mama B managed to miss out the all important 'deterntion at immigration' story of her trip to Brussels that saw us all reunited 20mins after saying goodbye for a few days. The problem this time, though, was in leaving UK - turn out trying to pass Kitty off on my passport doesn't work. Whoops - Kitty's passport was back in Abingdon... So we managed a last evening together in town with old friend M who has been absent for many years:

Happily, Grannie and Grandad combined with friendly French immigration officer saved the day - G & G drove to London with errant passport, immigration officer suggested he had detained Mama, Mancub and Kitty at immigration so they had tyo go on the next available train instead of the one they were booked on! So rather better than trying to leave Tanzania a few days ago when the first officer thought it was too hard for him and called over five more. They then sucked their teeth and said I was a naughty boy, and they had to get the really fat officer to come down and see us. Finally, he arrived, took letter and passports away and nothing happened. Until the plane was about to leave and someone from the flight company came down and started telling them all to get on with it and our passports were stamped and then we were whisked onto the plain, just in time! Hurrah!

Still, having finally sent the rest of the family away, M and I went off for a meal, and I checked into my hotel. Monday saw the conference starting and lots of fun talking about science again - a rare treat in Tanzania! The conference dinner in the evening was all very posh - I learnt that the Royal Society used to be the German Embassy and had lots of fun catching up with other academic types I've not seen for quite a while. Tuesday had me talking nearly at the end of the day (you can see what it was all about here and a few other places if you lik, as once again I'm upsetting a few folk. Most interesting talk goes to the one on parental care and the evolution of sex. Covering why not be incestuous (lots of plants are, of course - only we call it selfing), and why have sex with males it certainly prompted some discussion... My talk was fine but not quite so entertaining I suspect! StillI eventually managed to escape and meet first another old friend for an icecream in the park, then Uncle J for a meal and last night in London. All very nice - lots of people, lots of talk and lots of fun.

Impressions of London - well, more bicycles than when I was there before. Rather remarkably clean too - but I'm not sure if that's just in comparison to Arusha or memories of London some years ago. But certainly more flags (probably temporary - someone told me there's something Royal happening soon), and more roadworks too.

Today has been a full on commercial shopping sadness day. But quite successful all round (even I bought something!) and a useful day if nothing else... Oh, and we got the obligatory British fish and chips in for the evening!