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  • Day4

    Worcester

    May 2 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    On Sunday we had booked to attend the sung service at the Cathedral a short walk over the river. It was very well organised and the first live singing we had heard for over a year. It was a beautiful sunny day for a wander round the city centre afterwards, including Sidbury where great grandmother Flo lived when she met her husband Joe, before returning for lunch, via Bute Villa where my great grandparents moved to from Bolston Rd.
    In the afternoon we took a drive to Fladbury, beyond Pershore on the Avon, where we found the path to the spot where I had painted Cropthorne Mill with my granddad in the early 70s. There was time to do a slightly different view.
    On the way back we stopped in Bath Road by no 9 where great aunt Pat & Bill lived, and walk by The Limes, 14 Bolston Road where my granddad grew up and 109 Bath Road where his friend Chris Walters lived ( they had consecutive army numbers); Chris Walters was killed on the Somme in November 1916.
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  • Day2

    The Malverns

    April 30 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 5 °C

    We had arranged to meet cousin Julia and Chris near where they live in Great Malvern for a chat in the park by the buzzard statue. It was a long overdue chance to catch up. Then we visited Elgar’s grave Nr Little Malvern, a very peaceful spot. We then parked where we could walk up British Camp. Great views all round. After lunch we visited Old Colwall where there’s a memorial to Cpt. John Millard Lett who was killed in action on 22 March 1918 fighting alongside my granddad. Turned out the memorial is handwritten and in the vestry.
    We drove back along the Jubilee drive to park near the Wyche cutting and walk up the Worcestershire Beacon, 1395 feet. Again the views were stunning and could see as far as the Bristol Channel. Our journey back took in Castlemorton Common where some cousins had a rustic farm, Upton-upon-Severn and Stanbrook Abbey, now a hotel, where my grandparents met seemingly.
    We got back in time for an evening stroll past the cricket ground (Essex had been playing) and view of the Cathedral in the evening sun.
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  • Day17

    Travelling home -just

    March 18, 2020 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    We made it to a quiet airport, little traffic. Another beautiful day in paradise. SL closes its borders at midnight amid the crisis measures to deal with the virus. Our journey looks to be ok but who knows what we will find when we land at Heathrow?Read more

  • Day16

    Last Full Day

    March 17, 2020 in Sri Lanka ⋅ 🌧 29 °C

    Another beautiful sunny day! The air clear after yesterday’s storms.
    Last proper breakfast as we have to leave 06.30 tomorrow. We will miss the fresh tropical fruits.
    We are checked in for the flight home despite all the uncertainty. We hear all incoming international flights stop at midnight tomorrow!
    At breakfast we learned of the need to register our presence in Sri Lanka. First we walked a half mile to Selyn an excellent craft and clothing shop run by a friend of Savi. We had some difficulty finding a tuktuk on the way back which is unusual but seems to be part of the wariness.
    Dropped off our purchases and then got a driver to take us to the police station. Turned out he is the chef at Ceilao Villas! It was a fun ride as they generally are. He was very helpful and eventually found the right place and we duly sat under a tree with two policemen who filled in a register. Midway he asked why we had come, to which I replied we were told to. At the end he asked how we were. Duty done we returned to the house and had a spot of lunch which the driver/chef prepared.
    A little pool time followed before Chris & Savi picked us up for afternoon tea at the Galle Face Hotel. Hugo was in his element. Very special and followed by cocktails at sunset.
    A fitting end to our trip. Wish we could stay as the virus continues to wreak havoc in the uk by all accounts.
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  • Day15

    Day with family

    March 16, 2020 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    A quiet night in our lovely room. Excellent breakfast. Chris picked us up and showed us where he used to work and lunch when he lived in Colombo. We arrived and were greeted by old friends from Savi’s family. So nice to see them after two and a half years.
    A really tasty lunch was served and later we walked up to the local temple for a spot of sketching.
    Then back for a dip in the pool and intension to visit the temple together. Just as we were leaving the heavens opened with an almighty thunder storm and power cuts. All that would pacify Hugo was a performance of the Gruffalo and Gruffalo child with Nanny narrating and Chris and Myumi doing the actions. We left in darkness and there was a large tortoise in the drive! but thankfully the hotel has full power and cooling.
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  • Day14

    Ceilao Villas

    March 15, 2020 in Sri Lanka ⋅ 🌙 29 °C

    We breakfasted a little late with many wedding guests in good form. Heading north to Colombo we passed the Galle Face hotel before turning past official buildings, lakes and many new developments calling at the gem museum and a souvenir shop. We stayed at Ceilao Villas on our last stay, a very individual former private house tucked away down a side road near the ministry of irrigation. It has changed a little and now boasts a restaurant: 47 Spice.
    We chilled in the afternoon enjoyed the pools then tuk tuked to church, only to find all services cancelled. An early meal at Asylum near Independence Square and stroll back by the Ministry of Irrigation.
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  • Day13

    Wedding Day

    March 14, 2020 in Sri Lanka ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Excellent night. We met for breakfast then entertained Hugo while Savi (bridesmaid) went to get ready. I painted a picture of what I hope is the Barn House (wedding venue) for Ransi and Rakesh later. Turned out not to be, so now they have a painting of a wedding venue where they might have wanted to be married. No idea where. Power? of the internet.
    Then it was down to the pool and a snack lunch before preparations begin in earnest.
    We all caught a coach at four for a 30 minutes drive to the venue with ever tighter corners to negotiate. On arrival we were greeted with a fruit punch which was delicious and welcomed. Gin or arak cocktails followed. The wedding ceremony took place outside with Savi one of the bridesmaids and consisted of a speech by the chief bridesmaid, a reading of the Little Dinosaur and vows/rings. The official part took place on the table to the side.
    There followed more cocktails, welcome ice cream and snacks.
    We then went into the barn which was highly decorated, many flowers and joined a table of locals. Guests were from many countries and were all very friendly.
    Speeches were fun, food excellent and the drinks flowed. Dancing ensued and continued till midnight when coaches eventually arrived to transport us back to Blue Water. Hugo was exceptionally good throughout and great dancing moves, finally falling asleep outside in the warm.
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