Visiting Sheila and on the walk with my Father and AmandaIn the kitchen with Roger
Jake, Oli, Susi and Cord
Shopping with Amanda
The 4 of us and the 5 kids together
The four of us, Daddy, Eladio, Susana and I caught an Air Madrid flight to Gatwick on Friday afternoon and were met there by Amanda and Oli in the pouring rain. There was a slight hitch in that Amanda couldn’t find her car for about half an hour! Oli was looking gorgeous and it was so nice to hug her tightly after 2 months of not seeing her.
We got to their lovely new home in Surrey to meet up with the rest of the family - I must warn you this is a “blended family” (like Los Serrano in Spain) in that Amanda and Andy were previously married and both bring 2 children each to the marriage, Cordelia and Jake and Johnathan and Jane respectively. Unfortunately Johnathan who is at University couldn’t make it. Cord is 17, and Jake and Jane are both 16. It had just been Jane’s birthday and we were witnesses to the wicked presents she had been given. I went up to our bedroom to get the camera and realized the bed had a huge bulge in the middle. I sort of thought there might be some bedding underneath and pulled back the duvet. And what did I find? Yes, a blown up naked man doll with a huge erection! I howled with laughter and brought him downstairs to join the party – see the photos. The trick was played on me by Jake and Oli. Thanks kids! The “doll” – a present to Jane for her birthday was called Roger! You can just see Roger to the left of Jake in the kitchen picture above. You are not getting a full blown picture as it is too rude!
The evening had started off on a good note, so we then started on the wine. We had taken over 12 bottles as a contribution for the weekend – Andy and Amanda are heavy wine drinkers !! – but unfortunately one broke in Susi’s suitcase and you don’t have to imagine the smell and clothes. Amanda prepared a beautiful lamb casserole and we all sat round their lovely wooden table in their gigantic kitchen.
Saturday was a day crammed with activity. First we went to Guildford for some quick shopping – M+S and Boots of course. At M+S Eladio, the girls and I bought loads of yummy sruff for Saturday’s lunch as our contribution to the food. So we had prawns, Orkney crab meat, pate, mackerel, raspberries, avocado salad, plus lots of lovely ham and smoked salmon Amanda had. This was not washed down by wine as this time as I wanted to avoid a siesta in the afternoon. Instead we went for a beautiful Autumn walk with the dogs. After the walk the kids stayed behind to watch Breakbone Mountain (is that what it’s called - Oli corrected me in a comment, sorry it's Brokeback) and we went to see Amanda’s mother, Sheila at her new residence – a wonderful block of assisted flats for the elderly in Aldershot which actually resembled a 5 star hotel more than anything else! It had just been her 80th birthday but she was blooming.
From there we went back to Amanda’s place to find Susi crying her eyes out over the film but more than ready for another shopping spree. This time it was to their local Sainsbury’s to stock up on Christmas fare – crackers, Christmas pudding and all the other trimmings. Then it was time for dinner again and we started on more wine. Amanda served a lovely recipe of Jamie Oliver (a well known young English chef who is quite a celebrity) – crusty chicken with garlic, beans, chile and tomato – I got the chile, thanks Amanda.
This morning we got up early to have a family breakfast. We had to leave at 12 for Gatwick but managed another family walk with the dogs – Poppy and beautiful Rosie – along lovely Surrey autumn leaf lanes. The good byes were emotional but happy because of the great time we had had. Oli was leaving just after us to catch a train from Guildford to Falmouth with loads of changes. The journey was going to take her at least 8 hours. We will be seeing Oli quite soon though as she will be back for Christmas on the 9th December.
It was a bit of a rush to Gatwick and even more of a rush at the airport with no time for duty free shopping unfortunately. I nearly cracked up at customs when I saw the man was called “Roger” like Jane’s doll.
The flight back was uneventful but unfortunately upon arrival 2 of our suitcases were missing. Fortunately they have been traced and will be delivered tomorrow lunchtime.
Thanks Amanda, Andy, Jake, Cordelia and Jane for a great, great weekend.