Sunday had been forecast awful weather wise so it was a very pleasant surprise when it turned out to be a beautiful hot sunny day to visit London.
We’d made arrangements to see an old Pfizer colleague of mine Peter Ranwell and his wife Anne after he’d heard about my retirement and our plans to move to Wales on Facebook. We’d had so much fun together in Pfizer/Howmedica IT over the years and our wives had met before, so I suggested we meet up for lunch at “My Old Dutch” in High Street Kensington.
After parking up in Egham station we caught the train to Richmond, then the tube to HSK. We arrived at noon just when Peter phoned to say they were in the “Prince of Wales” pub (how apt!) next door to the restaurant so that’s where we met up.
45 minutes later and 2 pints of lager for the boys and 2 white wines for the girls, we sat down in “My Old Dutch”.
This pancake house is where Debbie and I ate the night before our wedding back in 1990 so it was lovely to go back especially in such good company.
The pancakes there are huge, we all chose savoury washed down with a bottle of vino tinto and we had a great time reminiscing about old times, as well as catching up on news such as the impending move, grandchildren, Australia, and work/retirement plans.
Nearly 2 hours later we parted with invites for them both to come and stay in High Willows once we’d settled in. Fingers crossed, I do hope they can make it if all goes to plan.
Next we took the tube to Waterloo which was incredibly hot as there was a lot of disruption on the District line and necessitated 2 changes before we met up with Alex and Emily just outside the Jubilee line exit next to McDonald’s.
We then followed them to the Southbank centre terrace overlooking Thames with some live music below that was a cross between the theme from “Close Encounters” and constant Zulu Bongo drumming. There was a gorgeous breeze and superb views as captured below.
After drinking some soft drinks to rehydrate in the heat with me smelling what I thought was garlic snails and almost getting my appetite back. We then walked along the Thames to sit in the park next to the London Eye and talk “sans drums” before all too soon catching the train back to Egham.
Given Alex is suffering with a delicate stomach at present though, I took every opportunity to remind him James was cooking Jamaican hot chicken tonight, what a cruel father I am! I have to say though when we got through the front door at home around 7pm, the smells wafting through from the kitchen were such that even if my ulcer of 25 years ago had come back, I’d have risked it!
A really great day thanks to some great company.