Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Still out of Cyprus: more travels and an induction

No, not the induction of a baby...

But let me first backtrack a few days for those who have avidly been awaiting an update to our UK travels.

Naturally we played some Settlers of Catan games with Daniel and Becky and their friends while in Carlisle. And a game of Ticket to Ride. And on the Monday afternoon we also managed an afternoon of Absolute Balderdash, which is rather like an extended, widened version of the original Balderdash... although we talked so much there was only time for one round:

They had been sent home from their office early, due to extreme high winds, so Euan had to check email from time to time. Hence the computer.

On the Tuesday, we had arranged to drive to Glasgow to meet the daughter of one of Richard's friends, who is studying there. The drive took about an hour and three quarters and was punctuated by quite heavy rain in places - really the first we had seen since arriving, which I suppose is not bad for the UK.

We did see a rainbow too, for a while. I have always loved rainbows:

We were quite surprised at the number of wind farms we also noticed by the side of the road. The windmills did not seem to be rotating all that fast:

However, on Scottish hillsides I can imagine they provide a useful extra source of power. We saw some quite close too, and were awed by their size, but I didn't manage to get a photo then. Nor did I remember to take any in Glasgow itself, where we enjoyed meeting our friend's daughter and sharing lunch. Glasgow seemed rather an attractive town although it was remarkably difficult finding anywhere to park!

Our visit to Carlisle came to an end all too quickly, but Daniel and Becky had taken ten days' break so, happily, we didn't need to say goodbye to them when we departed on Thursday. The plan had been to leave around 11.30 and have a picnic en route, but the weather was extremely cold (well, so it seemed to us) and getting ready took longer than we had intended, so in the end we ate a cold lunch at their house, and did not set out until nearly 1.00pm.

Richard's GPS application told us that it would take us a little over two and a half hours to reach my brother's new home in Derbyshire, but that assumes driving at the speed limit all the way. However, we thought that we might be there by about 4.00. I had emailed with our earlier plans and said we hoped to be there between three and four.

However it took much longer to get out of Carlisle than we had hoped, as there was a lot of traffic around, and then in various places along the way we had to slow down again. We had planned to stop at a service station for coffee, and thought we might call to let the family know we would be late, but had not seen anywhere particularly appealing; by the time we left the motorway it was already nearly 4.00.

The route was attractive, but the roads were winding and were evidently going to be at least another half hour. So we stopped at a suitable looking establishment which advertised coffee and tea, and attempted to phone my brother.

Alas, the region was not in a mobile phone reception area. We tried all the phones we had with us, but they all said the same thing: 'no signal'.

So we had our hot drinks quickly:

Then Richard wrote a text message to be sent as soon as we reached a more urban area. Which he did... but apparently nobody heard the beep so it wasn't much use!

It was almost 5.00 by the time we arrived at my brother's new Vicarage, just south of Sheffield.

Four other family members were there so it was a nice reunion. Living in Cyprus, we don't see my brothers and their wives very often.

Peter and Candy only moved to their new home a couple of weeks previously, but they had it well organised with plenty of space for visitors to stay. And had provided a sumptuous cold meal for us to share in the midst of their busy-ness. After we thought we had eaten all we could, a rather yummy looking cheesecake appeared:

They told us it came from their local supermarket, but it could easily have been home made. It wasn't the only dessert, either. Three of us were asked to cut them up, and Richard caught us in action, concentrating on this important task:

Afterwards, those of us who had been travelling had a quick wash and change into slightly more respectable clothes, and we then walked the short distance to the old church building. The reason we were all gathered was to be with Peter for his induction as team Rector of the parish. I couldn't take photos during the ceremony, but did take this one beforehand:

It was a formal service, but only took an hour in all; Peter smiled throughout, and the bishop gave an interesting talk, although unfortunately his microphone was not working so I doubt if anyone behind the first few pews heard any of it.

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