Thursday, 28 July 2011

We Are Family.

It's a question of where to start when it comes to my flying visit to Aberystwyth. Despite my reservations the meal was a complete success and everyone got on famously. It was almost as though we'd never been away from each other. There was catching up with what everyone was doing now and a walk down memory lane causing hystercal laughter.

Let's start at the beginning.

We travelled in two cars and at different times as Laurence couldn't get time off and was working until midday. Andrew chose to travel with Laurence so Peter and I set out straight after lunch and headed for......Reading. Yes I know it isn't the most direct route to Aberystwyth but Peter had arranged to pick a second hand car park on the way, with the plan being that we continued around on the M4 and approached Aber from the south. This plan was abandoned when we hear of the fire closing the M4 tunnel so instead we followed the M4 to Swindon and cut across country. It was a great journey and so much more interesting than the M1, M6, M54 route we normally take. The best bit was the lovely Elan Valley leading to Devil's Bridge, it was surprisingly free from the usual tourists and we zoomed along until a close encounter with a sheep slowed us down a bit. Even so we arrived around six, Laurence took the M1 route and arrived three hours later.

Wednesday was the day of the lunch and I'd done a brilliant job of keeping everything from Mum so as not to spoil the surprise, as far as she knew she was just going out for a quiet lunch with just the four of us. Then Wendy arrived at the house with Nick and Charlotte and that bit of the surprise was over but we did manage to keep John a secret until we arrived at the restaurant. The only person missing was my niece Gemma who was unable to get a baby sitter so eleven of us sat down to lunch. The food was lovely but the portions were rediculous. Each plate held enough to feed me for a whole day. Why do restaurants do that? They must waste far more than they gain. We met at one but it was gone three by the time we paid the bill then we all went to the field next door for a group photo.

After saying our goodbyes we returned to Mum's house so Laurence could pick up his things and head back home. After he left we took Andrew down to the sea front where he spent a happy hour swimming while we sat on a bench eating ice cream cones. For once the weather was fantastic, usually we trundle along the prom leaning into the wind and trying to hide behind an umbrella.  We ended the day with our traditional chips out of paper on the prom. I haven't eaten so much in one day since Christmas and I went to bed totally stuffed but really, really happy.