A brief but wonderful visit

7 May 2019

The long awaited visit finally arrived last Thursday evening. I got to Limoges airport around 5pm in plenty of time to get my 6pm flight to Stansted, which took off almost 30 minutes late. Not really what I wanted with an evening flight. A good landing at Stansted, express train to the heart of London, a short journey on the underground and then the last train. Door to door my trip took seven and half hours and was quite tiring. Other than a brief panic when I couldn’t access the internet on my phone at Waterloo station to retrieve a code for my last ticket, it was a straight forward trip.

My daughter met me at the station and we were soon enjoying a few slices of pizza. We were both quite tired that evening so the day ended not long after our snack. I woke quite early the next morning with thoughts of the day ahead. A table at a nearby Thai restaurant had been booked for lunch, something we were both looking forward too. Friday morning continued with glorious sunshine from the start. After a light breakfast and a shower we went out to get some essentials from a local supermarket and returned to get ready to go out for our yummy Thai lunch.

We set off with ample time walking in the direction of the restaurant and along the main road of the town. It was such a beautiful day we decided to go for a cocktail in one of the nice bar restaurants in the town. We ordered our drinks, went up to the terrace and sat in the warm sun enjoying our drinks and catching up. With plenty of time before lunch we ordered a glass of wine each to savour the moment a little more. Lunch was at a restaurant called The Giggling Squid just off the main road in the town. The wonderful aroma of food was very enticing as we approached the entrance. It had a fairly modern stylish but simple interior with Asian staff who welcomed us. We each ordered a slightly different meal consisting of a selection of three dishes and a rice rather like a tasting menu. Nothing remained on the plates and we left with full tummies and satisfied.

Saturday morning started early with an early outing to get fresh bread for a nice breakfast before we headed out for a shopping visit and maybe lunch. We managed to get out late morning and enjoy the morning sun in a nearby shopping centre. Clothes shops and more. We were undecided about eating lunch and began to the make our way back to get the car when I spotted a Wagamama’s. After scanning the menu quickly the mouthwatering dishes were too good to pass by. It had been some time since I last had a meal at one of their restaurants but had good memories of that occasion. We both agreed on it being a great choice while savouring the delicious snacks and trying not to devour them too fast.

The evening was spent relaxing with a glass of wine and light meal in the flat. On Sunday I had planned to make Tandoori chicken and vegetable curry for lunch, a light and healthy but very tasty meal. It was a bright sunny morning as we sat and enjoyed some fresh coffee and toast. I prepared the chicken adding it to a marinade ready for cooking later. The sauce for the vegetable curry had been made the night before and naan bread had been bought from a supermarket. Around 11am we set off to the local pub where we sat in glorious sunshine again sipping a refreshing glass of beer and more chit chat. It was very nice to sit, relax and enjoy a drink together on the last day with my daughter. Time slipped away so quickly and it was soon time to return to the flat and prepare lunch.

Lunch was pretty fast and easy to cook, serve and throughly enjoy, leaving us comfortably full and ready for a lazy Sunday afternoon. The bonus for my daughter was that there was suffcient chicken and vegetable curry for another meal the following day.

This was the last full day of my visit and it was disappearing too quickly. I believe that we had both cherished the time spent together with equal joy. I felt that I had found a better connection during the visit and her with me. We had such fun and laughed a great deal while together. Our humour is quite unique at times and bubbles to the surface when we are together leaving us with great memories of our shared time. I think this has been quite key to our re-bonding over the past couple of years.

Monday morning and a very early start to the day. My first train at 7am taking me on the first stage of my return trip. A less stressful journey as I new exactly where I was going. Well until I got to London and got a little lost trying to find the right train on the underground. Nevertheless I reached the airport with time to spare allowing me time for a coffee and pastry before boarding the flight.

Since my return home in France I have reflected on an extremely enjoyable visit. Sadly there is often a flat feeling after a pleasant holiday. Fortunately the images, experiences and feelings that we part with, leave us with a nostalgia that lingers on.

I received a message from my sister that mentioned she was a little disappointed that I had not been able to get to see her while in England. She did understand that my visit was short but hoped there would be a time when I would visit her. It started to make me think about the possibilities. After sleeping on the idea and consideration of a potential visit I began to research flights. Within two days I had discussed this with my sister and have since booked a trip in July for a week. I will be staying on house boat for the first time in my life!

While the idea of a week long holiday is really nice, I cannot help but be concerned about leaving my precious little Hugo on his own for seven days. The longest break so far. It may be viewed as a silly concern but he has become very special to me and feel that he is very attached to me also. Living on your own and having a cat or dog provides a daily connection with another living being with a shared life. It’s not a replacement for a human relationship but helps a great deal in daily life.

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