We have been to Richmond, near the home of Kew gardens, a lovely town on the Thames River. Virginia Wolf once lived here, as do now, other well know writers, actors and musicians.
We spent the day with friends and took a walk along the Thames, which when out of the city itself, is a very lovely river. There are lots of small islands, boats, and of course birds, many ducks and geese to feed, herons, egrets, seagulls and naturally, pidgeons! (I really want to cook and eat a wood pidgeon one day...more on that later.)
John and I really enjoyed the company. We feel a bit at a loose end here in the UK. As beautiful as it is, we have not really found our feet yet. It has proved to be somewhat hard to make new friends, odd for a pair like us, who will talk to anyone! My volunteer work has at least given me the opportunity to meet more like-minded people, but John has been immersed in work and apart from the very welcome, enjoyable visits from old friends, it has been a bit flat socially.
John has however, found a choir to investigate, I am toying with a couple of local groups to join, or at least look over. (They will need to look over me in return too!). One is the local allotment group, another the local bee keeping group. It has always been a dream to keep bees. I will let you know how I get on. Keeping them now is not really possible, but maybe one day?
Other news is JOBS. I have a new one at a property management company. At the moment my days off from the garden centre are being spent at the new office with the two other women who make up the company. There is a lot to learn and it will be some time before it is under my belt, but so far it is interesting. I will really miss the garden centre. It has been wonderful. The days off during the week have been a big bonus too. Now the hours are a lot longer, the pay is better but there is some flexibility. My days at Standen are not yet over.
The girls had their grandmother here from Japan two weeks ago. She brought the sun with her and it has been shining since. It has also been extremely cold at night, but all over the countryside there are flowers blooming, birds and other wildlife are stirring and the days are getting longer.
Now it is half term and the girls are in Whitley Bay, John's home town with his parents, who have stepped into the grandparent role wonderfully. They spoil the girls, who love visits up north and who now have three new 'cousins'.
Between us, John, Adam and I have been painting and the living room is almost done. It may be that we never really get this house feeling the way we want to, but we are getting closer.