April 25: London to Abingdon

Breakfast was no better, with my poached egg now 2 days old! Thankfully Claudia, one of the air stewards was most helpful and made Dave and I coffee! That was a great way to wake up. Our luggage was delayed coming off the plane but once we had that we could go and sort out a new sim card as our Vodafone one is sitting at home! We collected a 4 door diesel Kia from Europcar and headed from Heathrow  Maidenhead on the M4. We then changed direction to Cookham and drove through Cookham looking for a specific house. We then went on our way to Marlow on stunning narrow country roads. We crossed an amazing bridge into Marlow. We then headed to Henley on Thames and after driving through we then stopped in Nettlebed at the White Hart Hotel for coffee. We crossed the Wallingford bridge into the old town before arriving at Anne in Abingdon.

After having coffee with Anne and Evie, and a shower Dave, Anne and I went to Millets farm stall where we bought asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke and rhubarb for dinner. We then went to a quaint pub called Rose Revived for lunch. Anne and I had cider and Dave had Abbot Ale. For lunch Anne and I chose pulled pork wraps and soup which I think was chicken. Dave had a BLT on multigrain which came with tomato soup. After lunch we went into Abingdon and walked past St. Helen’s church and the alms houses. Sadly it was raining and there are no photographs. We then went to the museum which was really interesting and includes the last MG to ever be made in Abingdon.

We came back to Anne and relaxed with coffee and yummy biscuits Dave found at Millets. We took a look at the river behind the house and I found one of the 5 Easter eggs still missing from the hunt last weekend. Evie took me to see her house which is perfect! Then it was time to prepare dinner. We had roast chicken with honey roasted parsnips. A potato and houlimi bake I am going to try at home as well as artichoke puree which was divine. I love the vegetable and will look for some seeds. I pan fried the asparagus and made a rich gravy. We had Vergenoegd wine with dinner and an apple and rhubarb crumble for dessert served with clotted cream and custard!

Dave showed Anne, Stuart and Evie some photos from home and after more wine it was time for bed. We had a truly brilliant evening!


April 24: Cape Town, Johannesburg, London

Yesterday everything that could go wrong did! We had an attempted break in at work at 5:45 which meant Dave had to go to work very early. Thankfully our guys at work could put the glass back in themselves as it had been very carefully removed. This is the third time but now we have a beam facing downwards which set off the alarm. The frame has been rivetted in so hopefully this will deter a repeat attempt. No sooner had this been sorted out than disaster struck at home. The company delivering stone had a brake failure on their truck which took down the wall and gate and fence. Thankfully our builder was available and he came over and bricked up a new column himself, using his foreman as an assistant and our gardener as his labourer. The gate was put back in place, albeit it off its track for the night and today the gate will be placed back on the track. It will however need replacing, together with the motor. A blessing in disguise as I really did not like the gate at all!

Last night we packed and this morning we got gate keys to both the boys who are house sitting for us. We got to the airport and faced a short but slow queue to check in for our flight to Joburg. The flight left half an hour late and we experienced a lot of turbulence. The meal I was served was fantastic. Cous cous salad starter. Chicken roulade and steamed vegetables as a main and a carob based florentine for dessert which was divine. Dave had pasta with meatballs which looked great.  We landed safely, collected our luggage and were offered free bag wrapping from SAA which is part of their service for Premium clients.

We are now sitting in the SAA premium lounge relaxing before our flight which leaves at 8pm tonight. The showers are great in this lounge and Dave and I had a bit to eat before boarding our flight. The meal on the plane was not good. The dishes were premade days in advance and the only fresh item was Dave’s dessert which was dry! My steak was good and made a welcome change from fish. Both Dave and I managed to sleep but the plane was extremely cold.


Wales and England

This year Dave and I will be visiting England and Wales from the 24th of April to the 6th of May. I hope that you enjoy following us on our journey.