Bank Holiday Weekend in Banstead

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We travelled down to Banstead today to meet up with good friends Richard and Nicki. What made today different was that we decided to do it all by train (given the poor journey we had back last time by car!).

Whether it’s a sign of getting a bit older, or simply the thought of the generally heavy road congestion and plethora of speed-cameras nearer our destination – just thinking about avoiding taking the car this particular journey, was relaxing in itself! It may be only 100-or-so miles by road, but it’s two-and-a-half hours at least, behind the wheel! πŸ₯΄ So, not to be recommended!!!

A rather spruced-up Victoria Station (since we were last here)


OK, our journey may have required TWO changes of Train – Finsbury Park and Victoria Station, but it still felt good to NOT be staring over the top of the steering wheel for the journey! We arrived at 10.25 and Nicki met us at Sutton Station – and just 15 minutes later, we were sharing coffee at theirs and planning our weekend tasks.

Yes, it’s mainly a social get-together, but we’d also offered our services helping them around the house – but especially in the Garden

Whilst Richard concentrated on emulsioning the kitchen, we three headed for the front garden aka ‘the jungle’.

There was plenty of work needed here but by lunchtime, we’d made a small dent in it – with plans to completely remove the neglected foliage. The weather was not on our side. Not only was it freezing cold, every so often, it chucked it down with rain! Yuk! πŸ˜•

Cheese for Lunch! πŸ‘πŸ˜Š
Significant Progress! πŸ‘

2.45pm: Back to work – and another couple of hours graft and we’d made some significant progress.

4.00pm: We might have done more, but the rain showers that had come and gone all day now turned into a downpour…

5.45pm: We soldiered on in between the rain, but in the end, the rain beat us – and so we downed tools and called it a day!

Lamb! Minted! 😁

7.25pm: All that hard work was rewarded with some yummy food! Specifically, Nicki’s mouth-watering Lamb and her Mint Marinade!

8.25pm: Movie time! Courtesy of Netflix, we settled down to State of Play (2009) starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck. It turned out to be excellent! But towards the end, I could feel my eye-lids drooping!

11.00pm: zzzzzzzzzz!


Not surprisingly, we slept incredibly well, and after a quick breakfast, we were ready for today’s challenges!

First job was to finish off the front garden – and that required numerous trips to the local Dump!

Three Trips!

1.45pm: We ploughed on, and with Lunch on the horizon, by 1.45, it was ‘job done’!

2.05pm: Celebration Lunch!

Mexican Feast! 😍

3.20pm: Suitably fed and watered, we said our farewells and Nicki then dropped us back to Sutton Station for the 15.38 slow train to Victoria. Richard joined us for part of the journey as he was heading for Crystal Palace.

6.24pm: Home! An excellent journey, with all train connections working as they should! We felt a real sense of achievement this weekend and of course, it was great to catchup with our great friends – and help them out too! The stress-free journey there and back, has convinced us that this will be our preferred method of travel for future visits. Three hours door-to-door with an opportunity to doze, is an opportunity too good to ignore! (I must be am getting old!) 😊

Easter (2019)

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Heckington’s most famous attraction – the eight-sail Windmill

This year, we spent most of Easter with Denis in Heckington.

Good Friday

We left home fairly early (8.15am) and there was hardly another car on the road. As a result, we made record time and arrived just before 9.45.

We’ve got plans to catch-up with Bev too whilst we’re up here, but that’s tomorrow, as we’ve got plenty of jobs to do for Denis in the Garden to keep us busy today!


And it looked like we had perfect weather for it! After a quick coffee, we got to work. Our two major chlenges were…

…paint the newly installed fence panel…

… and (my speciality!) jet-wash the patio.

So, whilst Ann sorted the fence, I got stuck into the delights of a Patio that hadn’t seen a pressure-washer for a good few years!

Three hours later, it was ‘job done’ – the Patio had never looked so clean and in Ann’s case, all the fence panel needed was a third (or maybe a fourth) coat.

Easter Saturday

Another hot day forecast – this is turning into a very atypical Bank Holiday weekend!

Scorchio (again!) 😁

We had a lie-in until the impossibly-late hour of 7.15am! Another day, another two challenges presented themselves – the shower attachment and (because it’s Heckington) a wildly unpredictable interweb signal of any kind (unless the wind was in the right direction). In fact, the strongest signal was actually in the bathroom, but juggling a mobile in one hand and the shower head in the other, was clearly not an ideal strategy! ☺

We somehow survived and spent the morning sitting out in the Sun soaking up the glorious sunshine!

11.00am: Time to get Denis ready for our Lunch where we’re catching-up with Bev too! Bev had booked The Swan Holme nearby, and after picking her up, we headed for our 1 o’clock table.

Swan Holme Tavern, Lincoln

We were super-early (12.15) but we were seated without a fuss. Service was brisk and we were soon tucking-in.

Score Draw! Gambles 2 : Palmer 2

1.45pm: After our feast, it was back to Bev’s for teas and coffees and to catch-up with neighbour, Lynne.

2.30pm: Time for goodbyes and then we headed back to Denis’s to appreciate the remaining sunshine!

3.30pm: Back at Denis’s where Ann re-organised the Kitchen and Utility Room whilst Denis took on the role of Observers!

5.00pm: Time to catch the last of today’s Sun and put another coat on that fence panel – will we EVER darken it down? (it’s now had about five coats!)

7.25pm: The Sun went down and it turned a lot cooler – so we retreated to the Lounge and watched a bit of TV for the rest of the evening.

Easter Sunday

Scorchio again (again!)

8.35am: With another hot day in store, our plan today was to complete a few more of the smaller tasks in the Garden.

The extra coat we’d put on the fence panel last night, finally (finally!) seems to have done its job – it’s toned-in nicely!

9.15am: First job today is to turn the soil and plant ‘a crop’ of sunflower seeds


10.30am: Statutory tea-break!

10.55am: Final job of the day was to prepare the legendary ‘Gambles Dahlias’ ready for planting on our next visit…

Job done!

11.30am: A quick vacuum, strip our bed and then prepare Lunch for Denis – and we’re done!

Our work here is done!

12.45pm: Lunch is served! πŸ˜‰

1.25pm: We said our goodbyes and had one of the best runs home ever – 1 hour 15 minutes.

2.30pm: With the car unpacked, it was a quick cuppa, washing on…

6.00pm: …and then dinner in the Garden. I can’t recall the last time we had so many hot days in a row over Easter! πŸ‘πŸŒž πŸ‘πŸŒž πŸ‘πŸŒž

Easter Monday

Ann went off to her volunteering morning at Kelmarsh Hall, whilst I caught-up with my reading. Tonight, Conor dropped by to have Dinner with us.

All-in-all, this has been a superb Easter break! Weather-wise, it couldn’t be beaten with wall-to-wall sunshine from Good Friday right through to Easter Monday! 😁