30 October 2008

"W"All fall down

Whilst we were away we had an agonised phone call and photo from Annette, who had promised to check the house in our absence. This is the photo:

Quite obviously, the Turf Wall that I had been building had partly collapsed into the road, caused I suppose by not being strong enough in this particular area to support the amount of infill required to make it almost vertical and straight. Annette was left with the problem of deciding what to do about it. Fortunately someone stopped and offered some cones as a warning; this offer was gratefully accepted. Annette got Clive to come along as soon as possible and between them, they managed to clear everything from the road so that traffic could pass with no trouble. The following photo shows how well they did:

On returning home, I cleared all the loose turf and soil , as shown in the following photo, and decided to go to Plan B.

What was Plan B you may ask? Well I didn't have one so I thought that I had better come up with one quickly. More news to follow, when I have some.

In the meantime, many thanks to Annette & Clive for their hard work. Why does everything happen when we are away?

13 October 2008

89th Entry Reunion

On Friday 10th October we left the Mepham home for the Ramada Hotel at Pembury, just outside Tunbridge Wells.

As the event had been organised by Mick, it was only right that we should spend both Friday and Saturday nights at the hotel with everyone else. After booking in - what a great room - Mick ensconced himself in the Bar area of the hotel and waited for the others to start arriving. I spent some time with him but also went for a walk to the local Supermaket whilst Sue and Maria went off to Tunbridge Wells for some retail therapy. An evening meal was part of the deal and we had been allocated a separate Dining Room so we all gathered for a meal and chat, renewing acquaintances and, in some cases, making new ones.
Saturday dawned fine with the promise of a glorious day. Once again, I decided not to go on the shopping trip with Maria and Sue and settled for a meander around the local Garden Centre in between meeting those members who arrived on the Saturday.
The evening get together proved very successful, with the staff looking after us very well.

Maria with Sue Mepham.

Anne & Gerry Klippel with Virginia Dalgleish.
Roger Gulliver looking on and the fit brigade dancing.

A good night was had by all with enough people dancing to justify the Disco. My efforts to dance all the way through "Tiger Feet" only went to prove that I am not as young as I used to be - I hope nobody had a Video Camera running!!
I cannot remember what time we went to bed, but we were up in the morning in time for breakfast followed by a very brief AGM. We look forward to meeting everyone again next year in Southport.
Having said our goodbyes, it was back to White Cottage where Jane & John Baker and Virginia & Dag Dalgleish joined us for coffee and chat. When they left, we spent the rest of the day relaxing in the Autumn sunshine.
The following morning, after a leisurely breakfast it was time to say goodbye to our hosts and make the long journey home. This proved to be a fairly easy journey with no problems.

Many thanks to Sue & Mick for entertaining us so well and we look forward to being able to return the favour.

10 October 2008

Hever Castle

After the busy Wednesday, we had a leisurely breakfast and then set off for Hever Castle, the childhood home of Ann Boleyn. The weather was superb, allowing us to wander around the grounds in comfort. The following photos show one of the many huge trees, the Castle and Maria & Sue framing a very interesting background!

Photo Detail

Having spent some time exploring outside, including the Water Maze, we then looked around the house, which is very interesting with some very small and steep stone circular staircases. By the time we had looked around, we all should have been experts on the Tudors but I fear that old age and a fading memory has meant that I remember very little.

08 October 2008

Visit to London

October is the month when we usually have our 89th Entry of RAF Halton, Reunion. This year, the reunion was organised by Mick Mepham near to Tunbridge Wells in Kent. We were lucky enough to be invited to stay with Sue and Mick before the event of which more later. We travelled up on Tuesday 7th October to their "cottage" in Crowborough, East Sussex.

"White Cottage" Garden

Maria and Sue had done some prior arranging and had booked seats for "Dirty Dancing" on Wednesday evening so we travelled up to London late on Wednesday morning and then meandered from Charing Cross to Covent Garden where we had a drink after which Mick and I paid a visit to the London Transport Museum, whilst the ladies wandered around looking at shops.
After we met up again, we made the decision to visit the Portrait Gallery; Sue had a particular wish to look at the Tudor Gallery. Having spent some time studying Henry VIII, and his various wives and associates, we popped up to the top of the building for a coffee and a splendid view over the roofs of London. The Portrait Gallery, now free to enter, is well worth a visit, if only to see what these historical figures did look like. It would take days to view everything in any detail.
From there we walked on to Picadilly where Sue had booked a 'pre-show' table at the Criterion Restaurant. This is a Marco Pierre White establishment and it was a real treat to sit in those surroundings and to have a good meal served by staff who seemed genuinely interested in ensuring that the customer enjoyed the experience.
We took a taxi from there to the Aldwych Theatre for the show, which we thoroughly enjoyed despite the fact that it really is a 'girlie' show and most of the audience knew every word. Anyway, the dancing was great and it was interesting to see how a theatre produces a show from a film where some of the most significant action takes action in a field and lake - very clever.
Because of the time, we took another taxi back to Charing Cross in time to catch the 22:45 train back home. A long day but most enjoyable and we really must thank Sue and Mick for doing all the organising.