Travels, Family and Friends part 1

The Fountains in Wroclaw
Carol, Sheena, Adele and John
Cheers Carol ! Wine o'clock
Me'n'Vickie on the boat
Umbrellas at the ready

I left home on 31st August to go to Poland for the World Bridge Championships. It was great to be with all my “bridge friends” again !

The hotel was excellent – I am fortunate to be housed in one of the main hotels, in this case the Radisson Blu, not too far from the city centre.

The only drawback being a 10 minute taxi drive to the venue, which meant two things – lots of waiting for a taxi was the cry of the event) but also meant that you can’t slip off for a 10 minute break in your room for a bit of peace and quiet ! but again, the venue was excellent – the Centennial Hall. There was a massive fountain display every hour in the grounds, accompanied by music and at night it was all lit up like Las Vegas and really was very splendid!

However, the time flew by – the event was successful, always a good thing, and, as I say, it was really good to be working with my colleagues again – Carol, Simon, Marina and myself shared an office, joined by Odile and despite the stresses that are an inevitable part, we all got on just fine !

Wroclaw is a beautiful city with a fabulous centre square around the “Rathauz” or town hall, an area with wall to wall restaurants. We managed to sample a few of them, but not so many as there were a number of official functions and cocktail parties to attend on other occasions. One evening I went with Carol, Sheena, John and Adele and managed to get a picture about midnight ... as you can see the area is buzzing with life and activity even at that hour - though I seem to remember it was a Friday night !

But the bar at the hotel provided us with a great meeting place and some very enjoyable evenings (with wine of course !). Carol joined me for a glass as can be seen in the picture.

In the meantime you will have seen Mark’s blog about his journey south for Oliver’s musical, as a result of which I flew into Stansted where Tim very kindly picked me up and took me to the Colchester Caravan park where Mark and Badger were parked up and waiting for me!  And so our trip began ..

Because I had missed Oliver’s musical, rather to my disgust as I heard really good things about it from the various family members who went along to see it, on the Sunday we met up with him and Nicola for lunch at the Yew Tree pub at Great Horkesley. And very nice it was too. As was the secret we were entrusted with – that Nicola is pregnant. Such wonderful news we are both so happy for them ! It will be officially announced after she has the first scan on 8 October, and as I am writing this after that date it isn’t a secret any more ! I have even seen the scans which are identifiable as a baby and not a litter of kittens, always good news. Apparently he/she is moving rather a lot so has been nicknamed Fidget. It seems it is due on 14 April, so the family can expect to see us around that time !

Next came a visit to Vickie and Mark in Norfolk – we drove up on the Monday and camped outside their Engine Shed for two nights. Vickie had it all planned ! We took a little boat trip into Beccles which was just lovely, and had lunch and a potter round Beccles. I love Beccles, such lovely independent shops and a truly lovely tea room with excellent food. We then got the boat back and returned – unfortunately in the pouring rain, but you can’t have everything and it didn’t spoil it at all – umbrellas were provided and much hilarity ensued.

That evening they took us to one of the local pubs for a lovely early birthday dinner …  it was so good to see them and to see the progress on their home. Vickie is planning to do a university degree and become a primary school teacher and I am really thrilled that she has made this decision, which I am sure is absolutely right for her ! I am very proud of her …

I was also surprised (and pleased) to find she has “gone blonde” which really suits her – I prefer it to the black hair she had until recently !