Back in the UK

26th October 2014 - 24th February 2015

Four months in the UK, the longest stretch in quite some time. With six small people and other family to keep up busy, not to mention a couple of monumental events, the time seemed to fly by.

The six grandchildren certainly helped occupy our time. Our first task on arriving home was to adjust our house to more comfortably accommodate six occupants on a regular basis. Three long, tiring days of flat-pack assembly were required.

There were trips to visit friends in Macclesfield, to the Dr Who Experience, in Cardiff and to school plays, amongst other things that kept life lively until Christmas.

Alderley edge with our intrepid granddaughter and friends

Christmas Play Season

Dr Who Experience


Second Christmas

We were invited to a family Festive Sweater Party, at a cousin's home at Christshospital School and had the opportunity not only to spend fun time with relatives but also to visit the amazing boarding school for ourselves for the first time.

From Horsham we went on to Maidstone for a visit with Christine's Aunt and her cousin's family.

Family tree?

One of these Santas is a cousin

The first of our monumental moments came on an inauspicious dark drive home when we both came to the realisation at exactly the same moment, as is so often the case, that we wanted to bring our beloved “Anju” back home to Cardiff but didn't want to make the necessary Ocean passage across the North Atlantic. We duly investigated and made a booking for her to be loaded on a freighter in Fort Lauderdale and shipped aboard to Southampton.

Cruising friends of ours, Pat and Liz, from the Southampton area had done the very same thing a few years previously and we contacted them for information. As a result we were invited to visit with them for a few days to check out the area where the boat would be offloaded. Later we made contact with neighbours of theirs who also had a dock at their marina long enough for Anju and she was invited to tie up there on her arrival. It seemed like the fates were in agreement with our plan!

Visiting with Pat and Liz in the New Forest

The second monumental event was when, after four years of work, admittedly not continuous, Christine's first novel, “Resident Alien” was published in paperback and Kindle formats under the pen name of Christine Taylor Rees.

Much help came from her friend Fiona who read through it twice and offered some fine suggestions as well as spotting typos. Daughter Jo-Ann's partner Daf provided the wonderful cover design.

It was such an exciting moment to receive the proof copy, which was ordered on a Thursday night. It was printed, bound and shipped from South Carolina to arrive by Tuesday lunchtime. Impressive!

Get your copy on Amazon now!!!!

Now time was flying by at frightening speed with our plan to return to Florida and work on Anju, in preparation for her trip. We did manage to fit in some keep fit, swimming two or three times a week for a mile or more and hiking the glorious countryside around our home and we needed it after all those Christmas parties.

Sugarloaf looking gorgeous in the snow

The light at the end of the tunnel?

Those guys look like they have a picnic, let's get them!

Spring was approaching fast. We even managed a sunny picnic atop of Table Mountain. The bulbs were coming through, this was the latest we'd been home in quite some time.

Before we left, we rounded up a group of friends for a farewell Tapas night at our place. Maybe the next soiree would be aboard our boat in Cardiff if things went to plan......

Spring is sprung....

Tapas Night

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