Our trip to England - 2003

On the 3rd September we left Menden for England. We had a three and a half hour journey to the ferry port of Hoek von Holland, where we joined the boat to Harwich, England.

First port of call was Eastwood, Leigh-on-Sea to see Birgit's aunt and family. Birgit's aunt also married a British soldieer...must be a family thing ;-) It was only a short stay as we had to travel to Tewkesbury on the friday, which is a 257,8km/160miles journey. It took us 4 hours to get from one place to the other. It was the longest I had been in a car for one journey for a long while since my MS started.

On arriving in Tewkesbury - where we went to Ian's and Judy's - we were given a big welcome by all the family and a hotmeal and of course a beer to go with the meal. If that is the welcome you get in Tewkesbury at all times, I will be back ;-) (No threat, but a promise!!!)

This weekend had been arranged in the summer when Ian and others came out to Germany for the re-union of our old regiment 50MSL Regt., which was held in Menden and was enjoyed by most of us. Ian, Pete Payne and my brother Jerry staid with us. These were wonderful weekends, as we had not seen each other for years and there was a lot of catching up to do.

                                        the motley crew...hihihi

We cought up on things in the timed old fashioned way of gathering around a table laden with beer and food...of course. Whilst in UK this somehow found its way from our car directly onto the patio table and it certainly did not take us long to finish 30 bottles...well one night anyway...

Birgit got talked into baking Potato pancakes, a very German speciality, called Reibeplaetzchen over here. Everyone enjoyed, but they do make ever so thursty.... more beer was needed. Ben, Ian's son only got two of the pancakes, so BEN, when you come over here, you will get some more, I promis... as I am sure it will be Bibi's pleasure to spoil you lot during your visit. We are looking forward to seeing Ben and Laura with their old folks here at Christmas.

After the weekend in T. we went to Andover, to visit my mother for a week, during which we had a relaxing time. On the day out we had, we went to the Hawk conservancy just outside Andover. They have two flying displays a day, a very relaxing way to spend a day out.

On the friday of that week we set off to the ferry which would take us to the Isle of Wight, where we had booked a cottage for one week. The cottage we stayed in is situated in a tranquil rural location, overlooking the cliffs of Braiding and Sandown on the south of the island.


The cottages are called Borthwood Cottages, Sandown, I.o.W.

Each cottage, there are three of them, is designed for the disabled and can take up to six people. I h ad no problem getting around in my wheelchair as the layout is well thought out.

In the morning the only thing to be heard is the sound of horses galopping around in the fields and the owner's highland cattle in their fields close by.

Whilst on the island we went to see my twin sisters Marian and Barbara with their families....

                     the girls..

The actual reason for our trip to the island was my mother's 70th birthday, which we celebrated in style in a little pub at East Cowes. Of course we had a few outings while we were on the island, after all it was my home for a while, many moons ago... One cannot visit this lovely island without seeing the Needles or the coloured sands at Alum Bay. We also visited the pearl centre and the tiger sanctuary, where Bengal tigers are kept.

  sleeping tiger....

After this rather enjoyable and relaxing week we took my mother back to Andover and left for Germany the day after that. This time we travelled from Dover to Calais and then through France, Belguim, Holland back home. This time the car was laden with English goodies...jam packed to the hilt. After all we had loads of shopping lists, before we went.

I sincerely hope it was not the last time we have been!!


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