Exploring England with Laura

Since our last post, we have done quite a lot. Last Thursday Laura met a friend in London to do some sightseeing and I managed to catch up with Lucy and her little boy Evan. They came here for a play, and Evan was quite interested in Ella. They were both very well behaved and it was lovely to have a chat with Lucy and catch up on all the school/work goss. Then on the Friday Laura and I took Ella to Oxford. We decided to be adventurous and go on the train, so we have photos of Ella’s first ever train ride – how exciting!! Being Ella, she took it all in her stride. We spent the day walking, exploring and shopping. We had a great day, but unfortunately got stuck at the train station for a while when our train was cancelled. We eventually made it home after Adrian, so he came and picked us up so we didn’t have to walk up the hill to our place.

On the Saturday the 4 of us headed off in the car to Bath, as it was somewhere Laura really wanted to go. She said she was happy to do a bus tour down there, but we all agreed it would be nicer to go together. We stopped at Stonehenge on the way and since Adrian hadn’t been either, he and Laura went in while Ella and I had a ‘picnic’ next to the car (which was parked in the fields). We got to Bath at about 4pm so Laura went straight to the Roman Baths while Adrian and I wandered around the town, up the hill to the Royal Crescent, and back again. We took up residence in Costa Coffee where, as always, Ella delighted the passers-by with her gorgeous smile, and then we headed home, stopping for dinner along the way.

On Sunday we had a lazy day and watched the Wimbledon final with Natalie, while eating strawberries and cream and drinking Pimms. On Monday Laura went back into London for some more sightseeing so Ella and I had a day catching up with a few things. On Tuesday the 3 of us went to the shopping centre in High Wycombe, and then we all went out for dinner. Laura shouted us dinner at one of our favourite pubs to say thank you for having her.

On Wednesday Ella and I dropped Laura off at Windsor so she could explore the castle and the town itself while we went to bumps and babes. I had lunch with some of the mums and then in the afternoon we went back to pick her up and show her Eton. Unfortunately the boys are already on Summer holidays, so she didn’t get to see them wandering around in the uniform (full tails suit), but she got the general idea of how big and impressive it is. When Adrian came home from work he was very excited as he’d managed to buy his iPad, which is his Birthday present from Ella and I. We enjoyed seeing Adrian in his element, playing with his new toy.

On Thursday we had another lazy morning and then Laura headed back into London so she could see the matinee performance of Legally Blonde. Like us, Laura has seen a lot of productions, and as much as she would be happy to see some of them again, we recommended she see Legally Blonde. We knew she’d love it, and she did! She then had dinner with some of her friends and got to the station here at about 11.30pm. Adrian and I had our 4th wedding anniversary on Thursday so we had a nice meal at home together and spent the evening catching up on some tele and precious time with Ella. I stayed up so that I could pick Laura up from the station – I wanted to hear all about her day, and that way she didn’t have to walk home on her own.

Friday was Laura’s last full day, so we spent the day doing the usual washing, groceries, playing with Ella etc. I had to take Laura for one last shop at Waitrose so that she could use the zapper! All our visitors seem to love being able to scan the items themselves and then just pay for it on the way out. We like it too coz it’s a much quicker and easier way of doing the shopping. After Laura had finished packing we had salsa con queso for afternoon tea. Laura makes a killer dip that combines salsa, philadelphia cream cheese and normal cheese and is served warm. When Adrian got home from work we finished off the salsa and then had chicken take away for dinner.

Yesterday morning Laura got up and packed the last few things into her bag. I had to feed Ella so Adrian took her to the airport just before lunch time. In the afternoon we had a Birthday party for Adrian. I had invited about 30 people, but only 10 were able to come. I was disappointed as I wanted to have a big party for him, but Adrian loved it as he actually got to talk to everyone and we were able to have everyone in the lounge room, which was much easier than being outside.

Today we went to Mothercare to use some of our vouchers. We bought some more sheets for Ella’s cot (although we probably won’t put her in there for another couple of months) and some more pyjamas since she’s grown out of hers. We also tried Ella out in her jolly jumper. She was quite happy just hanging, but seemed more content to just chew the harness rather than bounce. I think she’s a bit young yet, but it was cute.

So that’s another visitor come and gone from Oz. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Laura and it was perfect timing. Ella had already started sleeping through the night (10-12 hours) so it meant I was able to stay up late some nights with Laura, talking, laughing and playing games. I’m sure Ella will love being able to look back at the photos of her special time with Laura … I know I will.

I posted some photos recently and once we download the latest ones I will put them up too. One of the selling points for Adrian getting an iPad was so that he could edit all the video we take. Hopefully he’ll start doing that on the train to and from work so that you can all see what Ella has been up to. Of course, when she does something new, we grab the camera and she then stops doing it. Staring at the video camera is much more interesting than whatever new talent she has acquired that day. So you’ll have to bear with us.

Anyway, sorry it’s a long one. Lots of love to you all xoxo

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