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Is there such thing as a "normal routine"?

overcast 14 °C

As our last visitors checked out of the 'Fool 'em Flat' Noel, I headed north to Oxford for a "surprise" birthday party for David Gibbs (Highland Park) whose lovely daughter Victoria, was organising. Noel and I hired a car and headed to a National Trust manor along the way called "Waddesdon Manor" a late 19th century in the style of a 16th century french chateau. The manor was built for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to entertain his guests and display his vast collection of arts, furniture, carpets and enormous collection of french porcelain. It was all too grandeouse for us wee poor kiwis in Fulham still it was a gorgeous sunny day and we enjoyed the Houghton homemade ham sandwiches in the victorian garden.

We managed to arrive in time for David and Sue Gibbs' 'surprise' entry to the hotel at Shillingford, where we dined on fine red wine, seafood and pork, it was lovely to see David and Sue and meet their extended family, who made us feel extremely welcome.

We arrived back to London to be greeted with fantastic news that Noel had secured a job with a Danish/UK engineering company called Ramboll Whitbybird based off Oxford Street near Tottenham Court Road. The job is in the finance department and it will involve some travelling to Dubai. Poor Noel, had a slow start to working, as it had been 5 long months since he had sat behind a computer desk and put his brain to use, and he had to get used to the open plan office, 50 colleagues working alongside each other, and not a lunchroom in sight! The poms here seem to sit at their desks all day long, and not take any sort of breaks at all, Noel decided he needed to enjoy his homemade vegemite and cheese sandwiches whilst endeavouring to complete the daily suduko. God, how he missed his old workmates at Eurolift last week!

And the luck of the Irish shone down upon Elsie as she was fortunate to secure a staff recruitment position as a consultant in Holborn, the heart of the legal district in London, with potential to set up a Legal desk and recruit staff for legal firms, whilst also securing solicitors firms to use the recruitment company. The company is called Parkhouse Bell and already Elsie has started chatting up prospective business contacts in the local pub! Hey, its called networking - Go Elsie!

We have met some more interesting people here, we met a lovely couple, Elise and Fraser Devere from Fielding way, who are neighbours and we entertained them with Elsie's famous lasagne, chocolate cake and cheap red vino (is there any other sort?) and we ended in the tiny kitchen all night eating wining and dining - great fun, a typical kiwi party in the kitchen!

We have more friends arriving from New Zealand, the 'Fool 'em Flat' is really busy, one of Noel's great golfing buddies, Teva Loos, is arriving this weekend for a game of golf with Noel, and following we have Moundie (Ian Mound) arriving for a 10 day visit, so there will be loads of entertaining and fun times ahead.

This is written the day after the disappointing loss to France, and I hesitate to even mention the rugby at this point, but Noel and I, together with our friends, Wanda & Glyn from Godalming, took a "Beige Brigade" bus tour to Cardiff for the event. We have never ever seen so many kiwis bonding in a foreign country ever, quite honestly, there were 1,000's of us there all wearing our supporting black and Cardiff was inundated with kiwis and the frogs everywhere, Cardiff had an electric carnival atmosphere, the town was alive and every bar in town was bulging at the seams with rugby revellers in every corner. The beer flowed like water, the tongues were wagging, there was a real sense of party fun in the air, colours of black, blue and red everywhere......fun and frivolity and great excitement ahead...

The bus trip home was very sombre indeed, very few words were spoken, tears flowed, hugs galore, a very bleak and sobering atmosphere, the black garb seemed appropriate, everyone in mourning, and the grieving and the pain of a loss to the french was overwhelming.

Enjoy the photos, keep up the comments, we appreciate news from home, and hearing from you all, Noel and I cant believe its 5 months since we left you all behind.London_sig.._07_009.jpgCardiff___.._07_012.jpgCardiff___.._07_019.jpgCardiff___.._07_025.jpgCardiff___.._07_033.jpgCardiff___.._07_042.jpgCardiff___.._07_051.jpg

Posted by houghts 06:37 Archived in United Kingdom

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