Auntie Gemma and Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Trip Start Jul 20, 2014
Trip End Aug 05, 2014

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Where I stayed
Peter and Barbara's House

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

We got a knock on our door this morning about 8:00 that it was time to get up and there was a pot of tea outside our door.  Since we were almost ready at that point, Peter took it back downstairs to the sitting room.  We had our tea while Peter fixed a cooked breakfast.  Before long we were summoned to the dining room to start with cereal.  I had muesli and Larry had Wheat Bits stuffed with apricots.  Then Peter brought in a plate with poached eggs, bacon, crushed tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms, toast and of course more tea.  Barbara stayed the night at Aiden's as they don't have a bed in the 3rd bedroom.  Aidan just bought his own home and moved out at Christmas time.  He had lived at home until then.  Soon after we finished breakfast Barbara arrived.  Peter called Auntie Gemma and we determined to go to her flat about 11:00 as she had a cleaning lady at her house and wasn't dressed yet.  We relaxed in the sitting room while Peter went out to get some things from the grocery and Barbara started preparing things for supper tonight.

We drove to Stourbridge and soon turned onto Union Street.  The flat where Auntie Gemma lives is on the same part of the street where my Gran and Grandad had their home and just down the street from the Parish where mom went:  Our Lady and All Saints.  Auntie Gemma was very surprised to see me and gave me the biggest hug.  If anyone had told her I was coming she had forgotten, as she had forgotten that all of her siblings are gone including my mom.  It was great to see her.  When we mentioned the reunion tomorrow she asked why she didn't know about it.  Peter asked if she wanted to come and she said yes.  So we are picking her up tomorrow for the reunion.  Of course, we had a cuppa tea and talked for about 45 minutes.  It was bitter/sweet to see her.  She reminded me so much of my mom and I know that in a few days she will have forgotten that I was here.  But I will know.

Next we headed to Birmingham Botanical Gardens.  We toured through the Tropical, Semitropical, Mediterranean, and Arid Glass Houses.  Then we walked through the outdoor gardens.  The highlights were the Story of Horticulture, the Pleasure Gardens, the Shrubbery, the Aviary, the Butterfly House, and the Wildlife Area,   We had lunch about halfway through at the Pavillion of sandwiches and crisps (potato chips).  Then we headed back to Brierley Hill stopping at Tesco's Grocery Store to get cash from the Cash Point (ATM)

When we got back Larry and Peter went into the garden to pick broad beans (butter beans), Barbara worked on getting supper ready, and I worked on the blog.  When we had all finished our tasks we walked to The Vine Pub, formerly The Bull and Bladder, for a drink.  I got a lager shandy which is half beer and half lemonade.  Barbara had a bitter shandy, just the same as mine only with a bitter beer instead of a lager.  Larry and Peter had Batham's Best Bitter made in the brewery on the premises. 

When we got back supper was almost ready.  When it was ready we had beef pot roast with carrots, onion, potatoes and broad beans.  It was delicious.  For pudding (dessert) we had apple pie with ice cream.  Larry and Peter had a Shipstern's Original Bitter from Aldi's.  Barbara and I had an elderflower carbonated drink which was non-alcoholic and lovely.  After supper we watched cricket and TV.

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Toni Koontz on

How wonderful to be able to visit with relatives.

I know how it feels to have someone not remember you - my Mom is getting that way with anyone she doesn't see regularly.

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