Our final day in England last year included many of the same ingredients as the first one this year but was very different in so many ways. The reason was that it was the first time for my wife’s parents and mine to meet each other. Having only arrived back in the nations capital the night before, we all set off for Kingston in south west London for the big meet up at 10.45am.
Handshakes and kisses were exchanged as English and Japanese customs collided and we made our way through the town centre to the river Thames to take a boat to Hampton Court Palace where we were due to have a celebratory ‘post-Wedding’ lunch at a pub nearby. As we were ahead of schedule we decided to do the palace before lunch rather than after which was the original plan. We didn’t go inside but instead wandered the outer gardens which were free and, along with the Thames cruise, were two things that could be checked off my mother-in-law’s ‘to do’ list.
Before that though we posed for a few group photo’s in front of the Palace which was built in 1514 and was once owned by Henry VIII.
The bridge over the river from the palace took us to the Prince Of Wales pub in East Molesey where we had a lovely lunch together and had a toast for my wife and I.
Another ‘must do’ for visitors to London is to ride on a double decker and that is exactly what we did next, to the delight of my wife’s parents, as we took one of the famous red buses back to Kingston bus station where the next surprise was waiting around the corner.
Despite my many visits to Kingston over the years I had never even heard of, let alone seen the sight that came next. This amazing domino-style telephone boxes art-piece certainly ticked another box on the list of classical London features to see and photograph.
When we stayed at my sisters place last Summer the house was under reconstruction so was a bit of a mess with the dishes lying in the bath and my nephew George‘s room being a makeshift living room and bedroom for all. A year on though and its finally finished and was looking very impressive as we all went back for afternoon tea. As it was my birthday the day before I was given some lovely cards and presented with the new Leicester City home shirt; a nice Puma affair fit to grace our first season back in the top flight for ten years! The pimms went down very well with all and with that we also enjoyed clotted cream, jam and scones as well as a wedding cake.
There was so much going on throughout the day that I didn’t really get too much time to play with George which was a shame but all in all the day was a big success and went better than any of us could probably have imagined given the obvious language barrier and clash of cultures.