On the 5th March we took the BA flight to UK and arrived on a cold morning 20C less than we when we left Muscat! After picking up the hire car we headed to Jane's in Uckfield, where we were greeted by Jane,Isla and our new grandson Leo. He is gorgeous and we took it in turns to hold him, making sure that Isla didn't miss out on the hugs.
After Jane had given us bacon butties and coffee, we spent the rest of the day catching up with family gossip and after dinner we headed to bed for an early night to catch up on lost sleep.
Over the next days we spent time going out with Jane and Isla taking, walks, doing some shopping, having pub lunches and visiting animal playparks. For some of this time Isla had to attend her pre-school, but we were able to walk her there and back.
Of course during our stay saw us helping with the preparation for Isla's 5th birthday party with costumes to make, cakes to bake and bouncy castles to order!
Isla had two parties, the big one with all her liitle friends, where she got loads of pressies and a small family one with family.
Needless to say eventually we had to leave and no one could avoid the emotional goodbyes, so lots of tears and hand waving saw us on our way to Devon.
The trip to Devon was mainly to check the house and sort out a list of maintenace repair issues with the Agent. We stayed overnight in a pub and took advantage of the good food and hospitality.
The next morning saw us heading up the road to Nettlebed to stay with Mathew & Sophie, but on the way we stopped in Reading to stock up with clothes, golf accessories and other odds and ends, before arriving at Matthew's late afternoon.
On the following day we were taken to see their new boat on the Thames and went for a quick trip, before picking Harry & Tilly up from School.
During the following week we stayed with them, gave us the opportunity to see Harry at his rugby school and take and pick up Harry & Tilly from their school. It was also an opportunity to relax and read, between family activities.
Howver, the big highlight of our stay was to celebrate Jo's 65th birthday when we spent a lovely day by opening presents before taking the boat down the Thames to Henley, where we docked for lunch at a pub on the side oft the Thames. Of course this was also an opportunity to celebrate mother's day, which was on the same day.
To avoid waking up the house in the early hours to catch our flight home, we stayed at an airport hotel the night before, so we said our farewells to everyone in the morning as they left for work and school, leaving the house to Gus and Arthur.
Overall the weather was kind to us during our stay, with most of the days being sunny, although cold.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay with everyone but as usual the time passed too quickly.