Devon, London and West Yorkshire
07.06.2010 - 16.06.2010
On our return to Ebford, we spent a couple of days catching up with ourselves again and sorting out MOT, road tax and insurance renewals for the van. The country garden flowers in Judy's garden and elsewhere were gorgeous and Sandi, as usual, was entranced by the lushness of the plant life, and so much clicking was done.
We enjoyed a wonderful meadow walk with Judy and her walking group, followed by a ploughman’s lunch under the trees and home-brewed cider [an acquired taste - not quite Hunter's Gold!] supplied by the farmer.
The organiser, David, mentioned there was an excellent cream tea to be had on a neighbouring farm, which naturally we could not resist, so off we traipsed and had tea in grand style!
Then it was time to head up to London for Sandi’s courses. We camped at the lovely Crystal Palace campsite again, and made forays into the city with bus and underground passes.
The London courses, which took about 1 ½ hours to reach by public transport, were rather underwhelming, and chaotic at times. In general the presentations were simplistically repetitive, particularly the excessive time spent on skin diseases. On the up-side, meeting a few delightful delegates from UK, Holland, & Spain, was relative compensation.
During day-1, while Sandi was occupied, David amused himself by visiting the Tower of London.
We managed to get tickets for Swan Lake that evening, presented "in the round" by the English National Ballet, at the Royal Albert Hall. A real treat for us both.
On the second day of Sandi's course David browsed through the Natural History Museum. The building itself is as fascinating as the extensive exhibits
He then spent a couple of sunny hours in Hyde Park.
On Sandi's final course day, off went solo-tourist David again, this time to the British Science Museum. However, as he was rapidly tiring of museums, he just looked at the fascinating medical history section.
He captured several curiosities around London.
Elephants are all over town! Painted in many different ways, they are raising money for green causes.
We then met up with Buz [old CT buddy, now living in London] for dinner and catch-up in the Chinese quarter.
With anticipated fun on the horizon we headed off for Sandi's long-anticipated 2-day workshop. After a hair-raising 90 minutes crossing London, we emerged unscathed on the A1 northbound for West Yorkshire. By early evening we eventually reached and checked into our farm campsite, which was in a meadow, with six Charolais bullocks [les blondes, those beauties from our Vendee days] grazing next door.
It was lovely and quiet after the hustle of London, and we enjoyed our few days there - in spite of the rustic toilet facilities. We could write a Treatise on Toilets & Travels by this stage!
Sandi's bespoke soap workshop was a delight. The teacher, a really special person, was very willing to tailor the workshop to Sandi's rural soap-making interest.
Learning some new skills was great fun, with David enjoying his new shaving cream, even though it’s a bit gloopy! The next batch will have to be tweaked a bit, but at least it’s all natural and good for the skin, which can't be said for commercial shaving creams and foams.