Tales from a Motorcycle Saddle.

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Abigail's Page 56


May/June 2019  Part 2 of 3

Welcome back to the Saunders photo album. I hope you are still liking the new format. If not please tell us why!

On this page: Holland WITHOUT ME! Seven go to the Cotswolds and Nanny's 80th birthday.


Mum and Dad went off to Holland on a coach trip and Nanny came to stay to look after me. We think it was a case of role reversal as I was told to look after her! The full story is that for an 80th birthday treat Mum booked a five day trip to Holland, mainly to see the Kuekenhof gardens with Nanny. Unfortunately she pulled a ham string a few times and in her words, "The pain was evil." She decided to pull out so Dad went instead. He was looking forward to being at home with me for five days and it wasn't until someone said "Don't you want to go away with your wife then?" that he felt less disappointed. Oops!

The Keukenhof Gardens claim to be the most beautiful spring gardens in the world. They are only open in April and May each year which is when the 7,000,000 bulbs that are planted every year bloom. See below and make your own minds up. I think Mum tried to photograph each one.


One of Mum's close ups again.

The theme this year was Flower Power, with everything from hippies to (fake) VW campervans on display.

Below, I think Dad is admiring the coach they travelled on. He was quick to point out that it is a 13.7 metre coach, not a 12 which used to be the norm. We really needed to know that, didn't we? The booking Mum made was only possible because of a cancellation but a bonus was that they sat at the front left side which gave a great view of the road and the driver's controls. Lucky Dad! He did say that he is glad he no longer drives coaches.

Their hotel room was on the sixth floor behind the wide windows. Dad did say to Mum, "Help! I'm on holiday with the Hawthorns!" The Hawthorns is the rather upmarket retirement home near where we live and where Dad worked as a mini coach driver for a couple of years. He's so rude!

A night view from their room looking towards the railway station.

The leaning Tower of Amsterdam Dad called this. Many buildings lean because of the reclaimed land they are built on. To impress people, the lower floors have tall windows and have smaller ones on upper floors to give an impression of height. This trip to Amsterdam included a canal trip which they both loved. The city was very busy and rammed with bicycles whose riders never slowed or gave way for anyone - except trams perhaps, Dad said.

Forget street entertainers, this dredger was providing compulsive viewing as a canal was dredged. It picked up a portable crowd control barrier with two bikes locked to it amongst other rubbish. Guess how many bikes and cars they pick out each year. Answer: 20,000 bikes and 5 cars.

Look closely at this photograph. Mummy with her clever camera managed to capture the bubbles from a street entertainer, two pigeons, plus (so Dad says) where he buys all his watches. Hmm...

I assume you have heard of the blue painted Delft pottery. Well, I hadn't until on this trip Mum and Dad visited Delft. This is the Delft factory. It's all produced using hand techniques - and a big oven. Dad got very worried when Mum asked if he had brought his credit card. (Bang went my nil balance - Dad)

Mum and Dad loved Delft as it was just as interesting as Amsterdam but quieter. Here, Mum is modelling the Aran wool cardigan she made herself.

I think they are hoping to go next year to the gardens with Nanny and me, by car and with Grandad's wheelchair for Nanny. Time will tell.

Right then, enough about them, let's look at us. The Cotswold Weekend. Mum and Dad have an Australian friend called Michelle who I've met a couple of times before. We arranged a weekend away in the Cotswolds where Michelle joined us in the caravan for two nights and we also spent time with friends Paul and Sue who live in that area. (Paul was their Best Man at their wedding.) Also joining us for the Saturday was another friend Lynne, who Paul and Dad had not seen for many years. I hope you are following this. A picture paints a thousand words I'm told so look below.

From the left, Mum, Lynne, Dad, Michelle, Sue and me. Paul took the photo. The connection between Dad, Paul, Michelle and Lynne is Oak Hall, where they were volunteers. Remember the magnificent double decker coaches that Dad (and Paul) used to drive all over the continent? That's right, four out of the seven spent a lot of time reminiscing, leaving us to talk amongst ourselves. (It wasn't as bad as you make out - Dad.)

We did several walks including this one to Church Enstone. Normally we are more interested in what goes on inside the building than the actual building itself, but this one had had a great deal of work done inside including these mosaics.

Go Go, little Action Lamb!

Paul and Dad take up the rear of one of our walks, but can anyone explain what the zig zag line is on the ground behind them, because we can't?

The End...

... of a busy but enjoyable weekend.


Now for Nanny's birthday. A few days before her 80th birthday she treated some family and friends out for a Sunday lunch at a lovely place called 47 The Street. That's in Rayne by the way. This time Mum is missing as she was the photographer.

After lunch they came round ours for the afternoon with another one of my great aunts and uncles.

Mum made this cake and topped it with images printed onto an icing sheet. Clever!


And that's the end of my Page 56. On Page 57 we go to the BCDO weekend and the Isle of Wight where the caravan goes crunch on a ferry ramp. I bet you can hardly wait! (Don't answer that.)

If you have any comments on the new format please email Dad at timcathabi@gmail.com

Love from Abigail.

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