Going Home!

Ok so I’m British. Well actually I was British until I became an American Citizen just over 10 years ago, but every time I step off a plane onto Italian soil, I feel like I’m home. My next trip to Italy is coming up soon, and this time I will stay for three weeks. Who knows, I may never leave!



Washington Dulles

Here I am sitting in Washington Dulles airport. I have to sit in this dowdy place for another three hours. While I am here I can at least share some more photos. Yesterday I took some time to myself while Lester and Jo went to the National Gallery. I wanted to pursue my other hobby…photography, so I took the tube to Tower Bridge and wandered.

Houseboats on the Thames

The area surrounding London Bridge has changed since we left sixteen years ago. There are still a few houseboats, but the area has been built up and looks very classy.

New buildings across the river from the Tower of London

I wandered around for an hour or so just enjoying the view and snapping photos. The sun was actually shining, although there was still a cold wind.

Tower Bridge

We all met back at our hotel and collected our luggage from storage ready for our final night in a hotel at Heathrow Airport. I will blog about this hotel on my other blog, as I think it deserves a ‘Horror Story’ review.

We did spend a pleasant evening with our friends Gail and Graham, who we last saw in Paris in 1977. When friends live so far away, you see them when you can, and enjoy their company to the full when you see them.

Now here we are in Dulles Airport, awaiting our flight for the last leg of the return journey.

Back to work on Friday!




Still sharing photos from our fun in Chiswick. I do miss my friend Julie a lot!

Great day in Chiswick

Today Lester met an old work college Dave Brown, while Joanna and I walked across Hyde Park and into Knightsbridge. We wandered around Harrods looking at all the things we couldn’t afford to buy. We sat in Harrods Chocolate Bar and had a cup of tea and a chocolate fondue, into which we dipped fresh strawberries and marshmallows. Yum! We wandered around a little more and then got the tube to Covent Garden, where we met Lester and wandered around Covent Garden Market. I bought myself some trinkets.

Couldn't resist!

We walked back through Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, up Regent Street, along Carnaby Street (which Joanna had never heard of) and back along Oxford Street. All in all, today we probably walked ten miles, or so my feet tell me.  We worked up an appetite for a fabulous Chinese meal at a highly recommended Chinese Restaurant close to the hotel. The food was delicious! In fact it is the best Chinese food I have eaten since I left England sixteen years ago. We stuffed ourselves. Funny thing is though, I went to use the bathroom in the restaurant and for the second time in two days, found a man undressing himself in public. This time he was Chinese….what is it with people stripping in public in London? At least this guy was clean!


After dinner Joanna and I walked back down Oxford Street so she could spend her remaining fifty pounds in the H&M Store. I was pretty exhausted by this time, having been out and about since ten o clock this morning. Money spent, we returned to the hotel, and to the lounge for a night-cap. Now, exhausted and with cases mostly packed, I am posting my last but one blog. Tomorrow night we are staying at a hotel at Heathrow Airport, where some friends from Hanworth will be joining us for drinks…..yes party until the last-minute. Then I need to come back to the US for a rest. Roll on next May and Mexico, when I can have a real vacation!

Bought some new gates for my house



North Yorkshire – More Photos

Richmond Castle


View from Richmond Castle


Enjoy the North Yorkshire countryside with me.

Richmond – North Yorkshire

Joanna found her Castle

Felt a little worse for wear when I got up this morning. Wine and tequila will do that to you….soon recovered though, and after a light breakfast and lots of tea, we went around to see my brother and his family in Grantley Court. Bill is a hoot, Joanna just loves him. He is a little like Jack Nicholson in more ways than one. I don’t have a photo, but will try to get one.

After a cuppa with family, we set off on our trip down memory lane. We stopped for a ‘pub lunch’ at ‘The Shoulder of Mutton’ in Middleton Tyas. It was delicious. From there we went to Brompton on Swale and visited the resting place of my mum and dad.  ‘Phoebe and Wilf’. We drove to the little bungalow where I lived from 1967 to 1977 and stopped outside so Joanna could take photos. Brought back lots of memories and hasn’t changed one bit!

After Brompton, we drove up to Easby and walked around to ruins of the Abbey and of course took photos of the old church where Lester and I were married, and where Joanna was christened.  I am sure the Reverend Stegall is long gone, but I remember him well.

Next to the little market town of Richmond, with its cobbled streets. Just lovely. Joanna loved it and remembers little bits of it. We went into Richmond Castle, where Jo purchased a gift for someone…..can’t say anymore in case he reads the blog!!! We took a lot of photos in the castle. The countryside around there is gorgeous. Next we stopped off at the ‘Black Lion’. If any of you have read my ‘Guy at the Bar’ novella, you will know my story ends in the ‘Black Lion’.

We drove home the long way, via Catterick Garrison, which is where Lester joined the army and was stationed with the Royal Signals. It was a lovely (chilly) day, but the sun did shine. Tomorrow? Back to Richmond to visit my old friends Sue and Ian.

Richmond Castle

View of the Folly from Richmond Castle






Northern Reunion

Another reunion - my nieces and their family

After a day of relaxation and acclimatization, we were picked up by my niece Adele, her charming husband Ken and beautiful daughter Abbie. Although we had never met Abbie or Ken before, we felt at home with them right away.

We sat at the ‘Beefeater’ drinking wine and passing around old photos….everyone keeps telling Lester he hasn’t changed a bit.  His hair is shorter, but other than that, he really hasn’t.

Pretty soon we were joined by Michelle, her lovely daughter Laura, and her handsome son Sheldon.

It was an evening to remember. We talked about old times, laughed, cried, hugged and just enjoyed being together again.

The evening passed in the blink of an eye, and all too soon we were in a cab and on our way home. I still have the memories though, and the photo’s. Hopefully we will be better at keeping in touch now.

We have done so much over the last few days it is almost overwhelming. I am very glad we decided to make this trip. Still one or two hurdles to cross……but I am up for it.

Today? Maybe just a ride out to visit old haunts…..and go to the places I have been writing my books about. So when I say old haunts…I mean it literally!

Oh, and just in case you were wondering…..YES IT IS RAINING!

High Times in High Wycombe

My friends the Dollies and my family

We arrived tired and jaded in Heathrow. It was a long and tiring flight, followed by a long wait for a rental car, as Hertz had let ours go to someone else. There was a shortage of cars due to the volcano eruption and flight cancellations within Britain. People had to drive instead of fly.

We had a very sweet Scottish customer service representative, who eventually secured us a car, which was lucky for her, as after traveling for 24 hours, my patience was growing THIN!

We made our way to our friends Mick and Sharon, in High Wycombe, who left us a key so we could let ourselves in and catch up on sleep, which we did.

After four hours sleep and a good shower, we were refreshed and ready to go. It was nice to meet their son Justin for the first time, and then fabulous to get together with Sharon and Mick again after over twenty years.

We were given a tour of the beautiful countryside courtesy of Sharon in her open topped BMW. Sorry no photos here, but the memories are in my head. Joanna and I enjoyed it tremendously.

We stopped and bought English fish and chips……yes real English FISH AND CHIPS, and then washed them down with our beverage of choice. Wine/Guinness/lager/whiskey, we all chose different drinks. We then spent hours going over old photographs and reminiscing old times and showing Joanna old photographs of her parents (us) and their friends (The Dollies) from the early eighties.  Good times!

Now its time to go to bed in preparation for the next step in our journey. Dinner in Birmingham tomorrow night with Lester’s sister Monica. It will be fun! This is going to be a fun, but exhausting trip.

Check in tomorrow for the next installment!

My next story set in 1982 Germany includes my good friends the Dollies and will be released at the end of the year.