Saturday 18th December

Woke to more snow falling, so we made a quick getaway from the B&B in Ashbourne to our next destination Cannock.

Packing at AshbournePacking at Ashbourne

driving Conditions worsened as we went along

temperatureAnd the temperature went south with us!!!

The snow by this time was falling pretty steadily and heavily with a thick covering on the roads.  Although Cannock was only a short distance away, with careful driving it took a bit longer, however we still turned up at our hotel by 11.30am.  We were very warmly greeted by the staff, made comfortable with tea and coffee whilst we waited for out room to come available.  Spent the day relaxing and watching the snow fall!  Roy did venture out to get in some nibbles for us to have for lunch.  We had dinner at the hotel, which was very mediocre, before retiring for the evening.

Sunday 19th December

Another short drive to Sutton Coldfield where we were to meet up with cousins (on Bernice’s Dad’s side of the family).

road 1Residual snow from the previous night

We got to our Hotel (Moor Park Hall) which was set amongst a golf course and in beautiful surroundings, looking especially gorgeous all covered in snow.

hotel 1View from golf course of the hotel

golf courseThe golf course, closed for some reason.

We made contact with Veronica and arranged to meet at her place at 2pm.  It was with a little nervousness that we trudged through the snow to the front door, but once we met Veronica, her husband Vic and son Tom, we felt instantly at home.

veronicasVic and Veronica’s house, well snowed.

Although Bernice had not seen Veronica since she was 4 years old, after much talking and genealogy discussed, the years disappeared, and lots and lots of talking took place.  We were very well looked after and Vic cooked the most delicious roast of pork for dinner accompanied by a vast range of beautifully cooked vegetables and condiments.   We left Veronica & Vic’s after a lovely afternoon and evening of recollection, comparing notes and Bernice trying to figure out where everyone fitted into the family tree.  As we left in the car the temperature was only minus 8.5 degrees!

Monday 20th December

Back into Sutton Coldfield initially to look through the shops before heading off to Veronica’s to meet up with her sister Susan and husband Martin who were braving the conditions to come and meet with us.  Again we seemed to hit it off almost instantly and it was as if we had known each other all our lives!  Lots more talking of family, placing people into the family tree, comparing notes and looking at pictures.  Then it was to talk of New Zealand as Susan and Martin are heading to New Zealand in January as one of their daughters’ is living in Auckland…yes siblings, they will be calling on you!!

the girlsThe three girls all reminiscing and sorting out who is who.

Another wonderful day spent with extended family, and yes, it is amazing how certain family traits extend through the generations.

Back to our hotel to digest all the information.

Tuesday 21st December

Up and off to return towards Cambridge and to St Neots to Ken & Hilda’s.  However, we were going via Bletchley Park as Roy wanted to visit the museum there.  After driving through some very heavy snow, we arrived to find that the road into Bletchley Park was completely snowed in and closed.  Bugger, so it was time to head back to Cambridge to return the car.  Car returned we caught the bus back to St Neots and Hail Weston, after fighting not only the Christmas traffic but traffic snarled up due to road conditions.  However, it was not too long and we were back in Hail Weston with Ken & Hilda.  Hilda had prepared a delicious dinner for our return and we spent the evening catching up.

Wednesday 22nd December

Roy went off into Cambridge for the day, as he was pacing around like a caged lion.  Bernice stayed at home to deal to domestic matters.

CambridgeCambridge well snowed

round churchRound church built in the mid 12th Century.

Thursday 23rd December

We bade farewell to Ken and Hilda, and set off on the train to London.  Yes, we seem to have managed to avoid travelling when lines are down, snow is bad in other areas and general disruption.

woolly rugThat beautiful woollen rug left on the seat is actually snow.

We arrived in Kings Cross and made our way to Alex’s office to leave our luggage whilst we wandered the town.  Alex’s Office is right in front of the Gherkin so is in the middle of London.

the gherkinThe gherkin next to Alex’s office.

We went to the Spittalfield Markets and had a look around the area before it was time to meet up with Alex and head home to her place.  Then we went into Westfield and to Wahaca for a delicious Mexican dinner, collected a few groceries ready for Christmas Dinner before returning for the evening.

trees at westfieldXmas tress at Westfield.

two happy punterstwo punters awaiting … dinner

mexican 1… which duly arrived

Friday 24th December

Its Christmas Eve, woke this morning to the news that Sarah (Bernice’s niece in Auckland) had given birth to her third son, a few weeks early but ok and yet another Christmas baby, welcome Finn Bradley Webber.  In our immediate family we now have 24/25/26/30/31 December covered!!

Roy went off into London for the day whilst Bernice and Alex had other things to attend to – Christmassy things that we cannot divulge here just yet!  But we returned to the flat to find that we had no power. Brrr, it is supposed to be put back on by this evening, and it had better be otherwise it will be a raw Christmas dinner for us!

Footnote:  Power resumed, calls made, Love Actually watched.  Merry Christmas everyone.


2 Responses to “Families”

  1. Family reconnections | The Vanninis' Manoeuvres Says:

    […] on both sides of the family. We had also met up with Sue and her sister Veronica last time we were here, and as well Sue and her husband Martin had visited us in NZ in […]

  2. Bletchley Park | The Vanninis' Manoeuvres Says:

    […] Part of our journey was to make a trek to Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes and as we were visiting family up that way it was an opportune time to set aside some time to visit. We had attempted to visit Bletchley on our previous trip to these parts which was thwarted by heavy snow and the roads were blocked, you can read about that trip here […]

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