Had an amazing time at my cousin Julie's. A lot's happened since my - Real family 'Fathers for justice' story. Julie, her hubby and sister Alice went to Cyprus to see their dad.
Then by a real stroke of luck found their eldest missing half brother Mick - another emotional journey especially for Mick who is almost my age. He and his wife have now also booked a holiday to Cyprus as well.
Through all of it, Julie has been a star - found we really get on and have been in touch ever since. She is my kind of person, somebody you don't have to mind your P's & Q's with. Kept promising I would go and visit but after my bout of flu took the bull by the horns.
Saturday up with the larks dashed out to catch the tube - was completely taken back when not only the Victoria Line was closed for engineering works but most of the other lines as well. Always say I'm a silly mare at times - should have checked before travelling. Thinking about the time of the train from Victoria, dashed over the road to borrow twenty quid from my friends shop and jumped in a taxi. Actually missed my train but because of road works around Victoria they allowed passengers on the next train without paying any penalty
Journey took less than two hours - got off and there was Julie smiling away. It was like we had known each other for years. What a marvelous place she lives in. The beach nearby and Arundel Castle the principal home of the Duke of Norfolk was just a short drive away. Just love old worldly places - Arundel was a real picture book place - some real posh shops and expensive houses.
Spent several hours touring the castle - except for Buck Palace haven't been inside one that's actually lived in. The old part was as expected, we climbed up and down all the towers. The stair wells are so narrow, can't imagine how anybody a bit over weight can manage the winding stairs. Something I'd never given a thought to before - some boys were having a good laugh at the open historic tube toilet in the top of the tower walls - bit cold for 'bums' in the winter and where did the crap all drop on to.
Over at the main part of the castle where the family live, by some fluke the guest bedrooms were open. What an eye opener - wondered how anybody nowadays can manage in those historical bathrooms. The height of the beds, even I would would have to jump to get on them - no wonder they made some special steps for Queen Victoria when she visited the castle.As we were leaving just had to go to the loo. Cubical doors were the wooden barn type. Was in fits laughing when two elderly ladies commented with relief that at least the visitors toilets were modern.From the Castle it was tea in an old fashioned tea/coffee shop - just the basics none of the modern Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte or Mocha stuff. Reminded me of the Agatha Christie films. Being with Julie was a laugh a minute - no point wearing my eye makeup, it kept coming of with laughter tears.From there was a quick stroll along the sea front then back to Julie's house. Her hubby cook up some lovely nosh for us - ate until I was stuffed. With her two sons still living at home what a fun house.Couldn't get over how quiet it was in the evening - quite unnerving for those of us who live in London. Sunday we went to see her sister, my cousin Alison - she was so pleased to see me. Can't get over how much she resembles my own sisters. Then out of respect we called on her mum. The rest of the time flew past. Bit sad to have to leave. Got home almost midnight. Not unusual in it's self but the complicated journey because of the tube network's downtime made it very tiring. Will I go again - hope so - that's if they want me.