Monday, 25 May 2009


I have had a weekend where each activity, or meeting surpassed the one before. It has been absolutely lovely.
I have come back with some of the images in my head, where hopefully they will stay for sometime.
It is almost too much to tell, it won't be believable that I've done as much as I have. So if you thought the list before I went away was exhausting, I can only suggest that you go make a large coffee, cause you'll need the caffeine to keep up here!

Actually I've just written my adventures all out and they go on and on, so I've cut a lot out

The point of my weekend has been meeting old friends, newish friends and total strangers. It has been made up of wonderful conversation, good food and champagne.

Suffice to say that everyone I have been with has made me feel welcome and cherished.
The weather has been fantastic, who'd have thought a bank holiday weekend would have sunshine in this country,certainly not me, as my shoulders are a testament to that fact!

The whole idea of going to London on this weekend was to meet up with Nicky who is visiting with her husband from South Africa. I crashed her 'do' with fellow children's authors. It was difficult to get a lot of her time there must have been at least 20 others there, all wanting to talk to her. But the bit that I did, she lived up to expectations,she is warm and funny and I only wished I could have spent longer with her. So instead I spent my time talking to her delightful husband D, we had a great conversation that leapt from politics to therapy and back again very fast.

Because Kit was in Paris till Saturday evening I had to find somewhere else to stay and I went to the lovely Mei's house where I met Fred her french partner who was so easy to talk to, just as Mei is. But I already knew that about her from my blog parties

The paragraphs above are the abridged version and now I'll get back to my waffling!!

Saturday, was a beautiful warm day so Mei and I went to walk the very famous Kofi,we went to what Mei referred to as their normal walk to the lake. It was a 7 mile round trip!!!We'd forgotten to take water... What was amazing about this walk was that in the part of north London that she lives one way up her road takes you into a busy high street and the other takes you to this countryside walk that goes on forever. You would not know that you were in London, with woods,streams, fields, farms,cattle horses, all so close to the edge of the capitol.

After lunch I set off again to meet up with my cousin and his son. We were going to have afternoon tea. They took me to this utterly amazing place called the Wolsey, it's next door to the Ritz. It is the most amazing Art Deco building that once was a garage sale room for Wolsey cars.... hence the name. I do like to help you out in spotting the bleeding obvious!!!

Afternoon tea in some places in England is a real old fashioned throw back to another era,small finger sandwiches, with cucumber naturally, and smoked salmon. Once these have been eaten, and although they were delicious, they are a forerunner to the main event of warm scones with clotted cream and jam..... gorgeous!! As if this wasn't enough, there were then three small cakes to be consumed each. Thank goodness that Jon's son was still at the age of hoovering all food around him, as I'd never have finished it otherwise.

The only thing to do after this was walk it off, through Green Park down into St James's,down Whitehall, passing the back of Downing St, Up to Trafalgar Square along to Piccadilly to hopefully meet up with Jon's wife, and her mother who was visiting from Canada, and had been taken to Fortnum and Mason's for her afternoon tea. Only to discover they were on their way to find us and were in St James's, so round we went again....

It has to be said that I was getting utterly worn out, and once we'd all met up they had to leave, and I couldn't go to Kit's till 8.30 when he got back from Paris, so I lay in the sunshine in the park for an hour with my boots off cooling my poor throbbing feet.

By the time I got to Kit's I reckon I'd walked 12 miles in one day.....
So I did it all again round Kew Gardens on Sunday with Kit and his delightful, gentle girlfriend, who I met for the first time. I think we walked about 6 miles in total that day.

And the highlight for me of my weekend was sitting in a pub by the river Thames having lunch with Kit and his GF and two of his very good friends, as the tide came in and the sun sparkled on the water. And I watched the boats go by. And the conversation was inclusive of me and I felt that I was as much a part of the day as anyone else. And felt very cherished, when they all wanted me to stay an extra night.

But it was time for home, in the late evening warmth, with the roof down and the warm air blowing through my hair I flew home up the motorway, well it felt like I flew!!

And what I've brought back with me is love that is shared between my family. But also given by bloggers to each other,as yet again the short cuts to relationships are in place when meeting up, that in no other meeting between people would be possible at such short acquaintance.

It is a powerful world that I'm part of and I'm blessed to be a part of it.


Ronjazz said...

It sounds like you are doing some healing for yourself. I admire that; so few of us take that time. If it helps, you just keep doing it, FB. Those of us who follow you here will also follow your example.

e said...

What a lovely posting with wonderful photos. Good for you, Byrd!

Cait O'Connor said...

Your weekend sounded wonderful, so pleased for you.

Helen said...

... one huge cup of coffee later I have read your post ~ and thoroughly enjoyed each and every word. English cream teas are a favorite of mine, sitting in a pub alongside the Thames, driving with the top down all sound heavenly! Thank you for sharing AND now it's time for me to put the top down on my little VW Cabrio!

Lola said...

This lovely post makes me want to jump on a plane and find myself sitting by the Thames with a tall pint of Guinness, across from your smiling face!

So happy you performed some well-earned self-cuddles, Mandy.

Ciao and thanks for your incredibly kind words over at my place, I am honoured.

Angela said...

And soon you`ll be coming here, and I`ll make you walk, too (not ten miles, no no!!) Oh, that sounds like a wonderful weekend. I`ll write you an extra mail tonight!

Val said...

sounds wonderful - glad you got to put your feet up in the park:-)
lovely lovely word pictures feel like i was there. great you and Nicky met up! and then flying home with the roof down.....
where was Trixie all the while?

word veri: flitsy - like a butterfly/like your weekend?

trousers said...

Sounds like a weekend verrrry well spent, I'm glad you enjoyed it - I know there was Amsterdam recently, but it still sounded like you were due for a break - hope despite all the physical effort that your batteries are somewhat recharged.


janis said...

What a splendid holiday! Bravo for you.

Also Lovely Lovely photos! I love them! You are so talented!
Love from your Indiana USA friend!

Lady in red said...

It sounds like you had a lovely time and I hope you gave Mei a hug from me

Barbara said...

I'm exhausted just reading about your London adventures. I love Kew Gardens. This makes me want to go to London!

jojo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mel said...

*happy sigh*

I couldn't wish for more FOR you.

((((((( the byrdie ))))))))

Paula said...

Sounds like a great weekend and Kew Gardens is simply beautiful. And you are right it wouldnt get any better :-)
Hugs across the channel, Paula

miss*R said...

oh my those scones sound delicious! I love afternoon tea like that.. all very civilized.

karen said...

I loved this and the last posts... how great that you met Nicky and D, and great to meet up with Mei, cousins..and the precious family time with grown up kids is just fantastic!

(Did that same London walk just a few weeks back, how long ago it feels!!)

I loved the idea of you flying along with the warm wind in your hair! xx

Fire Byrd said...

Ron, you are just my favourite sweetie.

e, thank you for your kind words.

cait,it was such a good weekend and I'm still basking in it from my rain soaked home!

helen, hope you have as much fun in your car as I get in mine!

lola, It would be lovely to be sitting opposite in any city!

angela, too right I'm going to get it sorted out hopefully this week so I can look forward to our meeting.

val, it was a real pleasure to meet Nicky and her husband.
And trixie is always looked after by Alex. That was the deal when I agreed to have her.

trousers, definately recharged! not that the battery power lasted long once life at home took over!!!

janis,thank you for your lovely words,and for being my friend in Indiana, that's cool!

lady,....course! and I suggested that mei have a blog party so keep fingers crossed!

barbara, Kew Gardens are very special and I can't wait to go again.

jojo, please do not use my blog as a place to put adverts.

mel, you are tinkerbell I'm sure of it!

paula, hugs right back at you hon.

robyn, the waiters were so civilised that it made us all sit up and have good table manners as we wouldn't dare do anything else!

karen.... one of marianne faithful's best songs that.


Walker said...

Wow that was quite the ride.
I'm glad you got to have some fun an experience new and old friends.
It does the soul gppd to be able to go out and enjoy people

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I'm soooo sorry I didn't get a chance to spend more time talking to you - aside from everyone else wanting to say hello, being doped up on Day Nurse did me no favours. But I'll be back in November... :-)

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

And, I should add, it was a total treat to meet you! And I'm so glad you had a wonderful weekend! xx