After much absence and in an attempt to ‘end’ this right, we are filling in the blanks of our sojourn in the UK and trying to give our readers an entertaining synopsis of our lives for the past 10 months. So here goes…
May 2012 we welcomed with much anticipation, a visit from friends Rick and Dianne Stuparyk. They arrived on May 19 with much vim and vigor, wanting to see London and Paris and our humble abode in Bungay.
They came to our cottage and recovered from jet lag and Rick helped Stan (we all know who was helping whom) finish the kitchen in our workmate’s apartment, of which they were very appreciative. We headed off to the cliffs of Dover on our third day together and on our way visited a pub that was built in 1376 and had the only ‘kings crown’ supporting structure in all of the UK! Rick and Di were stilling getting use to the crazy narrow roads, but by the time we got off the ferry in Paris they weren’t screaming quite as loud.
We spent 4 days in Paris and it was hot, but all the various tourist venues were visited, including the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Why they bothered to put a picture the size of a postage stamp on the 27th floor (okay there weren’t 27 floors, but there were a lot of stairs) is beyond me. As well, once you got there winded, sweaty and perturbed you still had to look over the heads of thousands (maybe even millions) of people who are equally winded, sweaty and perturbed. Now, with all that said, Mona does have a nice smile, or is that really a smile and is that really a she.
In between Paris and London we went to a church in a small town called Blythburgh and Rick and Dianne renewed their wedding vows in a very impromptu but meaningful service. It was a very special moment and we were thrilled to be there for it. We took a trip to Norwich and on our way back our car broke down again. We pushed it to the side of the road and said appropriate things about it. We decided at that point to take the train to London, which in itself was a good British experience.
Our 4 days in London caught the city in preparations for not only the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth, but also for the Olympics to be held in London and vicinity in August. Traffic was busy, but we looked at all the sites and got a general idea of what makes this city great! Rick found a wonderful little haberdashery shop where he bought a fine looking hat that almost made him look suave and debonair. I think Rick would have stayed (mostly to avoid work), but Dianne was a true Albertan and felt the pull of her motherland. Rick and Dianne were very generous with us, leaving a gift that allowed us to buy a Sat-Nav as they thought it would save our marriage (reading a map while driving is hard on our relationship) and a metal detector so we could finance our return to Canada. Our holiday with Rick and Dianne was a highlight of our time here and of our friendship with them.