'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menoffagainorrhoea; me; no kakkuls...

There is so much to get through to share this trip of many visits, that the mid-week mirthdom will have to go on hold for a while. Mind you, there is some mild jocularity today as I tell you...

First, there was the getting on and off buses from Putney to London Liverpool Street Rail Station. It went smoothly enough and only took 1hr20m. Possibly could have got there faster with the tube - but I'm not so keen on underground and anyway, how would I see all the crusty 'burbs interesting places?

That's my door, that red one. First Class ticket booked in advance was only ten quid more than the cattle class. We departed within seconds of schedule. Very good. The run was North and East - perhaps more East than North... aw heck, here's the obligatory map... mine was the hour and a half journey.

My good pal Aitch collected me from Stowmarket and we drove back to her (almost) life-long home in Baylham. You will learn more about the village towards the end of the saga...suffice to say here that it is a true village, with a population of about 260 souls.

Many of the stations in the country have retained their Victorian features. Stowmarket is particularly fine.

Aitch's two nieces and her grand-niece had been staying for a long weekend, so I was able to see them too. I had met them briefly on other occasions, but also know Helen ('Nelly') through her rather fine lifestyle blog. Once little Zoe had gone to bed that first evening, we four big kids played board games. First a few rounds of Cluedo (golly I'd forgotten what fun that is!) and then a couple of 'shopping lists'.

I kid you not. Here's the evidence...

Now is that not hilarious? We even played a couple more rounds in the morning - with Zoe.

The girls departed mid-morning Monday 18th. Aitch and I took the rest of the day to just settle in and do laundry. I should mention here that the weather continued to be glorious. A summer such as has not been had for decades. I took to mowing the grass. A job I have not tackled since leaving my own garden in Sydney seven years ago.

..........what?! Seven years??? Struth...

Anyway, we sorted out our plan of attack for the 19th - that being Aitch's birthday and one of the key reasons for my visit. Tomorrow you will see the main part of our activity, but let me finish this more light-hearted post with how we ended the day - which was in a retro tea-room just over the border into Norfolk in the town of Harleston. It was the idea of Our Friend the Nun. We met up with her, with the 'Kook' and also with 'Teach'. Whilst I had re-connected with the 'Kook' and Our Friend not so many years ago on an earlier visit to Aitch, it is not since school that I had sat with 'Teach'. She had, in fact, just retired from teaching (after a couple of false starts). Here we were, then, the original gang of five from Claydon Secondary Modern School - the tearoom host was more than delighted to photograph us and drop in the occasional reposte to the gaggle of giggly gals who, despite having lived many varied lives, could still find laughter and joy in each other's company. He plied us with copious amounts of hot water to keep topping up our generous teapots, as well as providing us each with tiered stands of delicious sandwiches, scones and cake. We all admitted defeat by the time we reached that top tier and had to take the cake home in doggy bags! We are most grateful to the hospitality of the Yakety Yak Tea Room!!!


  1. YaYa your writings and photos make me feel as if I were right there with you.
    Thank you for sharing your stay away from the Hutch. I look forward to the next installment.
    The tea has my mouth watering
    Hugs HiC

  2. So great to meet up with old friends. Especially if scones and cake are involved.
    But Bertie says he has been once to Liverpool Street Station (in rush hour, en route to Harwich then Switzerland), and has no wish to repeat the experience.
    Cheers! Gail.

  3. I am loving reading about your adventures! It is always so wonderful to meet with old friends!
    I often find after 5 minutes, it is like I've seen them yesterday (and not 15 years ago!)
    Love Barb

  4. A proper afternoon tea. Long time since I had one of those. I wonder whether there is a nice place around here somewhere...

  5. We so enjoy hearing you tell of your travels. As HiC said, it is almost as if we are right there with you. That is such a good photo of you and the gang.

  6. thanks for the idea... you are right cluedo with friends is the funniest thing ever...

  7. your gaggle of giggly gals looks like you were all having a wonderful time, I would love the ride on that train, but never under ground.

  8. Great perspective photo and loving time with family and fun too!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  9. You have wonderful adventures with friends
    Hazel & Mabel

  10. What a delightful read (and photos)! How fun to catch up with friends, and the tea room adventure has my mouth watering and my heart smiling. I'm looking forward to more peeks at your journey.


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