Koromiko newsletter 2005 and some of 2006.... Home
Summer in Britain
After leaving Pakistan, I flew to the UK. Chris arrived in London straight from New Zealand on the same day. After a couple of days in London, it was up to Lincolnshire for me, and to Exeter for Chris (to see his seriously ill father). I was going to be working at Banovallum Vet Group again, and was staying with friends David and John in Hemingby. David had stored my 1981 Citroen Dyane in his barn, so I arranged insurance (the MOT had already been done), and set off for Mum and Dad's house in Yorkshire, prior to picking up Chris from Harrogate station on Tuesday evening. Unfortunately, although my insurance certificate had made it to Wetherby, I'd left my MOT certificate in Lincolnshire, so couldn't get a tax disc till the following week....Oops!
On Wednesday morning, Chris and I headed up the A1 to Kelso on the Scottish borders (sans tax disc!). Filling with petrol in Jedburgh, a police car pulled up to the next pump, and four policemen got out. A nervous moment, but they failed to spot the missing disc!
The reason for our trip to Kelso was the World 2CV meeting. The last I'd been to was in 1985 at Cheltenham, which attracted 800 cars. This was substantially bigger, with 2600 cars from all over Europe, in an amazing variety of colours and custom jobs. A friend, Rob Moller, joined us on the Thursday. The only problem was the weather.... Of all the weeks in all the year that could have been chosen, the last week in July was the worst possible. It started to rain on Thursday morning, and didn't stop till we left on Sunday! The campsite (in the grounds of Kelso Castle) became a quagmire. A great shame, as it could have been a much more fun week with some sunshine!
After that, I started work in Horncastle, and worked solidly till leaving for California in mid October. I had a few weekends off, and the summer was fairly good once the 2CV camp was over. I returned to Scotland for a long weekend at the Edinburgh Festival with Chris, who had been working the month selling tickets for the festival. I stayed with Chris in a fantastic inner city apartment (one of those beautiful old stone places), where he was staying with a friend. The weather was great. We visited the Scottish Parliament, climbed Arthur's seat, and saw three shows. My favourite one was a gay comedy duo called 'Topping and Butch', which I can thoroughly recommend (but don't sit in the front row- I got sprayed with cheap aftershave!). We also visited the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, which are excellent.
I also had time to visit family, and saw Jane, Jan and the kids twice, and amazingly saw mum go on a mountainbike ride around Rosedale in the North York moors. The kids (Nicholas, 8 and Lara, 6) were amazingly good at mountainbiking - Nicholas left Mum far behind!
I also caught up with several friends around Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, and entered a mountainbike race in Wensleydale and Swaledale with Andy Millman. We didn't do too well, but the scenery was wonderful, and I wondered why I don't go to Swaledale more often.
At the end of summer, I made a decision to sell my trusty old car, Felicity the Citroen Dyane. David wasn't sure he'd be able to store her in the barn for more than one more year (as he may be renting out the farm), and I was thinking about either not coming over to England in 2006 or coming for only a month or so. Also, my NZ 2CV was in the restorers, costing several arms and legs, so the money from the sale would come in handy. Felicity was duely advertised , appearing in the 2CVGB magazine after I left England. Being a 'Cote d'Azur' (limited edition), I was able to get almost as much as I paid 5 years earlier, from an enthusiast who bought her sight unseen. Big thanks to Pete Abbott who fixed her up mechanically for the sale (fixed the crankshaft oil seal which had been leaking all summer), and David (who looked after the car and documents after I left). Without their help, selling her while abroad would have been much more difficult!
Thanks to all other friends, family, and work colleagues who helped my trip run smoothly and enjoyably.