It feels like months ago that we were in sunny Portugal but in reality it’s only 6 weeks and we’ll soon be off again to our watery life in Belgium. We leave on 3rd May, my birthday! Nigel was proud to announce after he had made the booking that he was taking me on a mini cruise with dinner for the special day……..Hull to Rotterdam ferry and evening meal in the buffet it turns out! Beats last year I suppose when I was all on my own on the boat in Holland!

Coming home is always a good time to catch up with friends and family and we’ve certainly done that this time. I had a solo trip to stay with my sister for a couple of nights in her new apartment in Huntingdon. We had an enjoyable time, meeting up with a friend from the area, Sue who came to meet us for a walk at Hinchingbrooke Country Park and brought her two border terriers.

From Huntingdon, I drove to Leamington Spa to spend an evening and night with Richard and Aoife and from there next morning met my oldest college friend Jean at Toft Alpaca Farm where we had a good catch up and it would have been rude not to try the delicious home made cake with a cup of coffee or two. Jean introduced me to the wonderful world of Edward’s menagerie a few years ago and tried to teach me to crochet. Well I had a go but my creations were not really up to much……this was my best effort which I finished on our German cruise two years ago and posted to Hattie. I decided after that to quit while I was ahead but had always wanted to visit the alpaca farm so now I have!

Bridget the elephant
Jean (right) and me (centre)
in our college days
almost 50 years ago!!!
Rag week pram race

Still friends a lifetime later in 2011
Jean steering the barge, both concentrating!!
Now planning a 50 year friendship trip…watch this space!
After a couple of weeks at home, and catch up meals with a few friends we then decided to spend Easter in the motorhome in Norfolk, a part of the UK we have not visited before. When we got back from Portugal we had received a Christmas card from another old friend with whom we had lost touch. Her card included a new address so we got in touch to see if it would be convenient to visit. Thus we found ourselves booking a few nights at the Sandringham camping and caravan club site in order to be able to visit Barbara and Ren in Heacham. En route we called in on Pamela, a boating friend from Burgundy who sadly lost her larger than life husband, Angus two years ago. Pamela lives in Tetney, Lincolnshire so we called in on her and we went into Cleethorpes for a fish and chip lunch.

Nigel and Pamela at Steele’s fish and chip shop, Cleethorpes
We can recommend it!!!

On to Norfolk, we caught up with Barbara who we had last seen at my mum’s funeral 20 years ago. Barbara was a vet before she retired and used to practise in Porthmadog where we met on our many caravan holidays in Snowdonia. We had lunch with them and a good old trip down memory lane, then a bracing walk on the beach at Hunstanton with the dogs. It was another chance to meet Sue and her borders again as she lives nearby so that was a good day with all 4 dogs having a whale of a time together on Thornham beach.

Stone chucker in chief with 4 dogs!

Sue’s dogs, Wilson and Persie

A little light lunch
at the Lifeboat Inn, Thornham

Chainsaw sculpture on the
Sandringham Estate

We also had the opportunity to visit Titchwell RSPB reserve where we saw hen and marsh harriers, avocets and godwits, but best of all we noticed the swallows are back…..spring has sprung!!!! Hoorah.