2018 England pics – Part 3

Last Saturday we had a great gathering to celebrate my mum’s 80th birthday. Here are some of the best pics.

Mum with my cousin Angela and her husband Jim.



My brother Mike, his wife Jeanette, and their children Stephen and Ellie:



Mum and her school friend Marg Smalley (they’ve basically been friends for 75 years!).



Mike and I with our Auntie Carole:



Marg Smalley, Mum, Auntie Carole, Jeanette, Uncle Alan



Marci and me with Carole and Alan


And here’s the birthday girl on the day of her actual birthday (Sept. 16th):


Finally, a pic of Marci and me on the train as we began our journey home.


2018 England pics – part 2

There is a nice bird watching centre (Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre) about half an hour’s walk from Mum’s place, on the shores of Rutland Water. Sadly I didn’t take my really good camera to England this year so couldn’t get close enough for really good pictures of the Rutland ospreys or indeed much else, but we saw over thirty species on our visit on Sept. 4th. These pics will give you a flavour of the place.


Gatherings of family and friends were of course a big part of our trip. My cousins Dave, Andy and Annie came to have supper with us on Sept 6th but we forgot to take a photograph. The next day we had lunch at Gates’ Garden Centre with some of my Mum’s cousins. Here are a couple of pictures of that occasion.


The next day we had a gathering of long-time friends – Steve and Alicia Palmer, Jan and Mark Barnes, and Marci and me. Steve, Jan and I were in high school together. Here’s the group pic:


On September 10th and 11th we had a visit in Leicester with my Auntie Carole and Uncle Alan. While there, we had a nice walk in Bradgate Park, which contains the ruins of the home where Lady Jane Grey lived in the 16th century. Here are some pics:


We also got to visit Leicester Cathedral, where my dad was ordained deacon in 1965 and priest in 1966. Unfortunately it has now rather been taken over by the tomb of King Richard III, whose body was discovered a few years ago and was interred in a rather dominant position in the cathedral, between the high altar and the celebration altar. Still, the place has sentimental attachments for me and I was glad to see it again. We were met there by our friend Lee Francis-Dehqani and had a very enjoyable coffee with him afterwards.


Next up: my mum’s 80th birthday party weekend!

2018 England pics – part 1

So we just got back from a three week visit to England, helping my mum celebrate her 80th birthday and also seeing lots of family and friends. I’ve posted a lot of photos on Facebook and Instagram but none here, so am going to post a few highlights over the next few days.

This first picture was taken from the plane as we were approaching Calgary on the afternoon of August 27th. A good example of why I love prairie scenery even though I rarely get to view it from this angle!



We got to fly on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Calgary to Heathrow – and a very comfortable ride it was too.



Here’s a pic of Marci and my mum out for coffee on our first morning in Oakham (where my mum lives). My mum rarely goes out for coffee by herself so we gave her lots of opportunities!



For the last eleven years, on my visits to Oakham, I’ve made a habit of attending daily Morning Prayer at All Saints’ Church. Here it is.



And usually, after Morning Prayer, comes coffee at Caffé Nero!



For our first week or so the weather was very warm. Here are a couple of pictures from a country walk we took.




On Sept. 3rd we went to visit John Clare’s cottage in Helpston, the village where this great poet was born and lived for the first forty years of his life. It was a great day for me as I am a big fan of his. Here are a couple of pics:



Marci and me sitting in the garden at John Clare’s cottage.


Next up – bird watching at the Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre.