A few nights after we arrived in England, we had our first-of-many meetups with old friends. Mike shared a house with Vicky when he studied for his M.Phil in Victorian Literature at Linacre College, Oxford University. Vicky and her husband Nigel live not too far from Cambridge in a lovely, historic old mill house with their three children. Last time we were in the UK in 2007, they were the only ones we saw (being so close to Cambridge). Since then, their oldest son Jacob (and Mike's godson) visited us during his gap year.
We had a lovely evening with them, starting with a brisk walk through the countryside!
|Beautiful old church|
|Nearing the end of our country walk|
|So nice to have three weeks off work and spend time with my family!|
|Chris made friends with Jacob and Joshua and later in our trip, |
he took a trip to Thorpe Park (an amusement park) with them
|Chris and Nick|
|Jacob, who was also a preemie|
|Yummy English BBQ, including potatoes they'd grown in their garden|
|Cuddling under a blanket as the evening got chilly|
|Sweet mother and daughter|
The following day we had most of Mike's extended family over for lunch. Mike's dad had four sisters, and sadly all of that generation is gone now with the exception of Mike's mum and her brother-in-law...and one other brother-in-law in Scotland.
We had a great time catching up with the cousins, and the kids got along splendidly!
|The lunch spread|
|Mike's cousin Kevin with his son Ali, who came to visit us several years ago on his gap year|
|Mike's cousin Paul's wife Sue, with niece Emily and her boyfriend|
|The last of the generation!|
|Lots of table tennis games!|
|Mike's cousin Kevin and his wife Kym|
|The younger set|
|Ali is now an engineer in Edinburgh, |
and he came down to Cambridge for the visit!
When he visited us a few years ago, he was a huge hit with the boys!
|Emily with her boyfriend Will|
|Mike with his sister Kath, our wonderful host!|
|The whole family!|
|Such a sweet couple!|
|Hugh Gilmartin's part of the family (missing four in Australia)|
|It turns out that Kieran is a beet lover, like many others in Mike's family! |
(I am not much of a fan)