Thursday, August 30, 2018

Returning to Dear Old Blighty--1, Home Base Cambridge

We didn't mean for so much time to pass after last visiting Dear Old Blighty.* We went to a Christmas extended reunion in 2007, when Nicholas was just one year old. This is what we all looked like then:

We snared decent fares for a nonstop flight to Heathrow. Flying nonstop was fantastic!

We had an amazing trip. Everything went well, with just one exception...a fall I had in London (more on that later). 

The requisite Portland airport carpet photo, with Jane Austen in tow
(my first conversation with Mike was about Jane Austen,
so she has a special place in our lives...
and Chris enjoys taking her places and putting on an English accent!

Waiting in the airport

Clowning around with the statue of former Oregon governor Vic Atiyeh

On the plane
(nonstop Delta flight to London!)

I've gotta say--those in-flight entertainment systems
really make the overseas flights go more quickly!
The best film I watched (of about six) was "Marshall"
(about Thurgood Marshall)--I highly recommend it!)
After an uneventful flight, we landed at Heathrow and had to lug our heavy carry-ons through the enormous airport. (We did only carry-ons because Delta charges $60/bag on economy flights now!) Then we went to the car rental place, which always takes longer in England. And finally, poor Mike had to drive 2 hours to Cambridge after our red eye flight. It always amazes me how he can do this!
Relaxing in Cambridge the afternoon of our first day,
in my sister-in-law Kath's lovely back garden!

My mother-in-law, Olga

The prodigal Brit!

So wonderful to see my sister-in-law again!

Kieran with his cousin Victoria

The lovely guest room where we stayed many of our evenings in England
Our first few days in Cambridge, we took it slowly as we got adjusted to jet lag. The second day we attended a concert in the Cambridge Botanical Garden, which sadly was pretty yellow and dry because of the ongoing drought and hot weather.

Apple tree descended from Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree

The flora and fauna around the water features were the greenest!

The wheelchair for Mike's mum helped her get around to keep up with her grandchildren!

Beauties in the garden!

These wooden greenhouses reminded me so much of Harry Potter!

Who is that urchin behind the leaf?

Greenhouse sisters

Forcing Victoria to pose by the Victoria lily pad!

Love my new iPhone 8+ camera!

Waiting to hear the music

The prosecco grandma!

So very civilized when you can order a Pimm's Cup
from the bar and drink it on the lawn!

Closeup of my yummy Pimm's!

Cool tree

Sweet boy I found in the garden! :)

The botanic garden cat!


First time to eat mushy peas, and I actually liked them!
These chips were too mushy for me, though.

Jane among the flowers

Watching "Mamma Mia" in preparation for the "Mamma Mia Here We Go Again" movie
Lunch at Wagamama in Cambridge after shopping and wandering

So nice to spend lots of time with my oldest in England,
since we don't see much of him when we're home!

My yummy noodles!
We saw the first of three shows in Cambridge. "Six" is a musical about the six wives of King Henry VIII. It was great feminist fun, an all-female show (including the band). After leaving Cambridge, it moved onto the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and now it's on the West End. We all enjoyed it!

*During World War I, "Dear Old Blighty" was a common sentimental reference, suggesting a longing for home by soldiers in the trenches. The term was particularly used by World War I poets such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.