Monday, 30 April 2018

Spring in the UK

The view from the top of Box Hill

I flew into Heathrow on 26th April & stayed with Nicci & family in Ewell, Surrey. It was nice to see them all again but we didn't do anything until the 29th April when we went for a walk around Box Hill, a National Trust area, which is very pretty. The weather was gloomy, windy with occasional drizzle. It wasn't very warm at all!

Justin; Gabe, Nicci & Peaches.

Peaches, Nicci & me.

Me at Box Hill.

Fun in the forest!

Peaches & Gabe.

Ewell Village Pond.

Grey Heron

Mute Swan

Canada Goose

This male Mallard had taken over the
 beginnings of a Coot's nest on this float!

Female Mallard with chicks.

This Eurasian Coot had selected a 
more traditional nesting site!

A pair of Tufted Duck



The walk in to Hogsmill.

Spring in England!


European Robin.

Hedge Accentor

European Blackcap.

Carrion Crow.

European Magpie

Hi from a beautiful spring day in Surrey!

The stream in HNR.

The next few days were poor weather wise, cold & wet! However the 1st May was a beautiful spring day & I had a walk around Hogsmill Local Nature Reserve & into the village. Didn't see anything special bird wise but it was a nice local day out.

The Manly's in the pub!

The 2nd May was all about watching Liverpool versus Roma in the pub & they won! Into the Champions League Final now!

Rene, Billy & me.

Cheshire Oaks! 

Evelyn, Billy &me.

The next day I traveled up to Chester & stayed with Karen's Mum & Dad ( Billy & Rene). Had a lovely evening together, before picking up Karen the next day. Karen was tired but pleased to be back home.

Just to prove it!

The all important ring!
A diamond from South Africa.

5th May was an important day, as I proposed to Karen & the silly girl accepted! In the afternoon we all had a visit to the pub/restaurant where Jamie (Karen's son) works & sat in the garden celebrating.

The meal at Brooks Meadow.

Rene's big day!

Sunday was Rene's birthday, so we all went out for a celebratory meal at the very rural & lovely Brooks Meadow Hotel.

Karen outside the Wheatley Arms Hotel

Our lovely room, complete with flowers
 & four poster bed!

The view from our room.

Karen & Rowan.

Jamie, Karen & Rowan.

Karen & Jamie

An unexpected treat , courtesy of Rowan.

The happy couple!

Our celebratory meal!

Three generations of Gillons!

Mum & son.

Thanks Rowan for organizing
 everything so well.

A walk along the River Wharfe.

Along the River Wharfe.

Rowan, me, Karen & Jamie

We motored over to Ilkley on 8th May & stayed two nights in the Wheatley Arms Hotel. Rowan was there to meet us & had arranged a wonderful room for Karen & I, plus an unexpected celebratory dinner that evening. The next two days we explored the very picturesque town & its surroundings with family & friends. Well done Rowan for arranging everything so beautifully!

Tony & Eileen's house!

Our arrival.

Eileen & Karen

The four of us!

But there was no rest for Karen & I as we caught the train down to Berkhamstead to spend the next three nights with Eileen & Tony. They live in an amazing country house with extensive grounds & we explored the nearby areas on foot with a couple of lovely walks plus the almost obligatory stops in country pubs for lunch!

The back of the house!

Berkhamstead Castle

Karen, Beverley, Tony & Eileen.

Tele-tubbies anyone?

Ready for the off!

We enjoyed a lovely walk along the canal.

Tony, pointing out all the good pubs along the way!

The next day we enjoyed a lovely walk
 down country lanes.

This country church 
was amazing!

The Chess Valley was very scenic.

We walked through some amazing villages.

At the wishing well!

Oh dear!

A great day out.

We saw seven Red Kites during this walk & two Common Buzzard. You couldn't have done that a few years ago!

Bye guys, we had a great time!

Eileen & Tony proved to be amazing hosts & we had to drag ourselves away from this idyllic part of England. 
The river in Chester.

The town is full of ancient ruins, like this church.

The end of the day!

Back in Chester Jamie & I had a day out on 15th May. It was a gloriously warm afternoon & we had a good time.

Karen & her mum.

There are some pretty
 famous names on
 those signs!

Karen & I took Billy & Rene to Formby Hall for the night. It was a pleasant stay amid nice Cheshire countryside & the weather was perfect.

Watching the TV!

Inspiration from Toni!

The 19th May was the day of the Royal Wedding & what a beautiful day it was! We sat in the garden watching it unfold & Toni (my daughter) sent me a wedding invitation of my own.

Nicci, being Nicci!

Gabe caught a frog
 in the garden.

Common Frog.

On the 20th May it was then time to take Karen back. Sad times! I then caught the train down to Nicci & Justin's house. They were all in the garden celebrating my engagement!

Goodbye lovely girl.

As a postscript to this post, I have to report that Karen & I agreed to go our separate ways. We couldn't agree on many things & I want someone to share my life & my adventures with. So goodbye lovely girl & I wish you all good things in the future.

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