Back in West Wittering

Trip Start Jul 02, 2012
Trip End Oct 04, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, August 18, 2012

On Friday afternoon Michael and I caught the train back down to Chichester to spend the weekend with Matt, Julia and the children.

Feeling like old hands (having done this once before!), we waited at the top of the platform for the train to arrive so we could be right at the front and choose the seats we wanted. Little did I know that there had been a hold up on the line so our train was running late and it was a different train that pulled in to 'our' platform. 

Having settled in our seats, I casually asked another passenger if this was the train to Chichester to which he replied "no, this is going to…." – might have been Timbuktu?  Eek! 

In a flurry of bags, we tumbled off that train before it pulled out of the station and took us who knows where and walked/jogged/pretty much ran all the way back down the platform to ask an official where our train was.  Turns out it had changed platforms, in a different area of the station and it was there now, ready to go.  Double eek! 

This time we did run, and hurtled in to a carriage with all our luggage as the whistle blew and the doors closed smoothly behind us, leaving us looking wide eyed at each other not sure whether this was a laughing moment or not.  Phew!  Matt in his true understated way replied to my text telling him what had happened that it was "all part of the fun". 

Another easy ride out west and Julia picked us up at the station again to take us back to Speedscroft, dinner, ice creams and stories for the children at bedtime.

On Saturday morning we took two cars (boys in the Porsche, girls in the Volvo) down to Petworth, a small village in West Sussex known for its antique dealers.
After breakfast at a delightful little shop on the main street, we wandered around the cobblestone streets exploring.  As we we're admiring a particularly old house, a women came out the door and so we started chatting to her and before we knew it she had invited us inside to have a look through!  It was amazing to see the construction from more than 400 years ago.  The walls were crooked, the beams were sagging and nothing was level.  Matt (being 6' 3) had to watch his head as the ceilings were so low.  The garden went a long way back behind the house and had all sorts of corners and treasures hidden amongst the rambling bushes.  Henry liked it so much he declared "I really like this garden, I'm going to buy this house". Nice!

After popping in to the church and the servants quarters of Petworth Hall, we found a lovely  little sweet shop and ordered ice creams which were prepared around the back in a Mr Whippy style van.  We also met a lovely couple who had a border collie cross who reminded us of how much we miss Jasper.  They were lamenting the fact that their dog was 18months and still "full of beans". We were able to reassure them (?) that Jasper started to lose a little of his puppy-ness by the time he turned 2!

We did some shuffling in the cars and Matt and I raced off in the Porsche although that was short lived as we hit the traffic of half of London who were making the most of the forecast of the hottest weekend of the summer to go to the beach.  We wound our way around the back roads trying to avoid the worst of the traffic jams but still took nearly 3 times as long to get home as it did going the other way.

Later in the afternoon we biked down to the beach which was very wise as the queue of cars stretched for miles and were only inching along.  Julia told us about friends of theirs who had left the beach to drive the mile back to their house and it took the TWO hours...crazy!  The tide was a long long way out which was probably just as well given the thousands of people on the beach and so we had a lovely time paddling through the puddles and chasing the seagulls.  
It was a lovely evening so once we got home again, Matt fired up the BBQ and we enjoyed another great feast, haloumi being our new favourite BBQ food!

On Sunday we went down to the beach early to beat the crowds, Matt picked up some pastries and we had a nice time down the far end of the beach (known as dog beach because you're allowed to walk them at that end).


As we were leaving, I noticed a birdcage beside a campervan and upon further investigation we discovered a family who believe in ALL members to the beach - they were happily set up down on the beach with a parrot, cockatoo and a rabbit.  When I remarked on the fact that they bring the animals, they shrugged and said they had considered bringing their cow and donkey as well!

Once again it had been a lovely time down in the countryside and Matt dropped us at the station, wondering how he was going to get home as we drove the entire 10kms to Chichester alongside a constant stream of cars inching their way to the beach.  Later that night when Julia dropped Matt to the train at 9.30 (via the back roads) and then came home the direct route, the traffic was inching back home from the beach in a similar fashion.  Not my idea of fun!

No dramas getting on the train this time and we raced back to London and then tubed home to hear the happy news that while London basked in it hottest weekend of the summer, NZ had thumped Australia in the Bledisloe match...woohoo!

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Rebecca on

so cool about the Petworth house!

Mum on

Loving the news and photos x

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