Sausages and Cemeteries (Day 186)
So lovely to spend time with the family, even when it does involve sausages and cemeteries.
After a delicious breakfast of homemade granola, a lovely chat with Kate our host plus borrowing their Lonely Planet's Guide of South America, we drove back to John's. There we found George and Laura basking in the sun ready to go for a walk.
I suggested going to Arnos Vale as I'd seen that there was a May Fayre. Off we went to this Victorian Garden Cemetery, it is very similar to Abney Park Cemetery that we often would walk through when living in Stoke Newington, This one a tad bigger at 45 acres compared to 31 acres of Abney Park.
As well as a resting place for the dead, it is a hive of activity. A much used Cafe; talks given on various subjects, weddings take place, various fitness classes (Kate, our host, runs Hatha Yoga classes here once a week), wildlife tours and even murder mystery evenings. Lots going on for kids and families, including Den Building and Fire Skills Workshops. What a fabulous setting that seems to be used to the full. As John said "At least it's not dead place" Oh dear!
We didn't take much notice of the May Craft Fayre, our boys and girlfriends are saving and we aren't buying "stuff", plus there were some hungry people amongst our group and we certainly didn't want this to turn into "HAngry"! We found a popup stall @Sausagenius who was marketing their sausages extremely well such as Toulouse Basquer: subtly seasoned with garlic, white pepper and nutmeg after a 12-hour white wine marinade. The Cider and Apple was a popular choice, and Tim went for the Pepper Pig - ah, poor Pepper Pig; probably gives a few wee ones' have nightmares from this!
Off to the Cafe for our usual flat whites and shared cake then for a stroll around this beautiful tranquil haven. I love walking around places like this, imagine each person's history, seeing the chosen quotes on the headstones, as well as finding hidden trails amongst the foliage, hearing the birds sing and forgetting that we are in the midst of a city. I have since discovered that the cemetery has a free discovery trail map. It will be nice to pick a couple up and leave at John's for him and his friends to explore.
On our walk, Pickle, a brown cockerpoodle came bounding up. He was like a cuddly friendly bear and loved being tickled. Perhaps he should have been called Tickle instead. The owner seemed embarrassed that he wasn't on a lead, we didn't care - he was a joy.
Later Laura and I popped into the local supermarket for lunch while Tim was busy cutting the grass and pruning some of the overhanging bushes. We had a lovely relaxing picnic in the garden before George and Laura headed off to catch their coach back to London. A while later, John returned from dropping them off and picking up his girlfriend Georgia, who'd been up in Leeds for the weekend. So lovely to see her. Despite our journey back being for a sad occasion, it has been such a delight to see our boys, their girlfriends and the rest of the family.
Later, there was a knock on the door. Tim opened it and there was Alan, an old friend of ours who lives in Stroud, so not too long a journey. So lovely to see him. We caught up on news. Alan is a genealogist and we love hearing about the talks he gives around the world about various family heritage. So often there are people in the audience who turn out to be one of his 7th cousins! We also had a laugh testing him on remembering our blogs which apparently he diligently reads most days.
A relaxing dinner later with him and Georgia (John had gone off up to Birmingham for a conference) eating Pasta. Now, as you know, every day is a school day and Georgia informed us that you should never drain your pasta, just spoon it out as you then get the salted water as a good flavour...or something like that.
It was time we got back to our Airbnb and Alan kindly gave us a lift back. Another end to a delightful day.