Family Reunion

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

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Thursday, July 31, 2014

Today we were up about 8:00. Peter made us a breakfast soufflé on toast.  He does all his cooking in the microwave and the soufflé was really good.  Barbara arrived from Aidan's and soon after Maria, daughter-in-law to Auntie Gemma called to say that Auntie Gemma was not feeling well enough to join us for the reunion.  That was disappointing but understandable.

We left about 10:00 and headed to Old Mosely Hall a great house in the country.  When we got there it was closed on Thursdays.  So we headed to Gailey Lower Reservoir to do some birdwatching on the way to the reunion.  We got there and walked the levee between the two reservoirs.  We saw lots of coots, mallards, common terns, mute swans, black-headed gulls and the great-crested grebe.  When we left there and headed to the reunion Peter remembered that he left his money at home so we had to go into Stafford to a Cash Point. 

We arrive at the reunion right at 12:30 and said hello to everyone.  The only ones who were late were Jane from Cambridge because of bad traffic and Tim and Sarah Thatcher who went to the wrong Moat House in Stoke instead of Acton Trussel.  The Moat House is a Hotel and Restaurant right on the Canal with Canal boats going by all day.  I had been there twice before, once with Mom in 19 90 and another time when I was traveling by myself to see family.

We had a wonderful meal.  Larry and I sat with Helen (cousin) and Robert Harper from St. Albans an hour away, and Andrew (cousin) and Jenny Thatcher from Folkstone which is far away by the Chunnel.  I had never met Andrew before.  They came up last night and are staying again tonight.  At the next table were Stephen (cousin) and Jackie Hill, Stephen’s son William and girlfriend Jackie from just up the road in Stafford.  Peter and Barbara Tompkins were also at that table as was my cousin William Hill who came all the way from Llanstephan in South Wales.  At the next table were Daniel (cousin) and Maria Wright and their children Joseph, Helena, Grace and Christopher.  Tim (cousin) and Sarah Thatcher joined their table when they arrived. I had never met Tim before and he is Andrew’s brother.   At the last table were Sally (cousin) Hill Beeson from Great Haywood just down the road, Jane (cousin) Hill Tebbit from Cambridge, Auntie Pat who came down from Manchester on the train, Lisa (cousin) and her partner Christopher and Angela (cousin) from Stourbridge, mom’s hometown.   Larry and I both had the same meal, cauliflower soup, pork fillet with potatoes and vegetables, and rhubarb cheese cake.  Everything was delicious.  After the meal I took pictures of everyone as everyone continued talking and looking at photos people had brought with them.  Then we all went out and had a group photo, except for Bill Hill who had headed back to Wales.  Then we had a photo of just the cousins and Auntie Pat that was set up to match a photo of mom’s family with each of us sitting or standing in the position of our parents in the old photo.  Auntie Pat took the place of my Gran and Peter took the place of my granddad.  Then we added the second cousins to that photo.  It was great fun and over all too soon, even though it was almost 5:00 before we left.

We went to the parking lot and moved our bags from Peter’s car to Jane’s car and headed for Cambridge.  Jane and I did a lot of catching up on the way as we drove through the rain most of the way.  It took us two hours to get to Cambridge.  Jane took us by our Travelodge first to check in and then we drove into the city centre for supper.  Jane and Jake don’t have room for us this time as son, Jim and his wife Sarah and grandson Max are living with them.  We went to the Granta Pub where we had eaten when we were here before. The Pub is where you can get on a punt (boat) and go punting on the River Cam. This involves using a pole to push the boat down the river.  Our cousins, Jim and Ben, Jane’s sons, had punted us on the river when we were here before in 2001. 

We sat on the back patio under an umbrella and ordered drinks first.  I got a lager shandy and Larry got a Bury St. Edmunds Bitter.  For supper we shared sliders and nachos.  It was just the right amount after our big dinner.  Then Jane dropped us off at the hotel and I wrote the blog and went to bed.
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