A catch up post

Days 249-251, Sunday – Tuesday, 09-12 September 2012, Bristol and Brentwood

Last night in Alcaucin was another restless one and I was up before 6:30 and out walking the dogs soon after. Ian arrived back from Jo’s place at 6:45 and we were on the road for the forty minute drive to Malaga airport by 7:00. As always with the budget airlines the check in queues were huge and slow and I seemed to end up in the slowest queue as is the norm !

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But I was in the departure lounge in time for coffee and a muffin before boarding the two half hour flight to Bristol – back to the good old UK. It was a good flight and we departed and arrived early which was great. I took the bus in the Bristol town and was met at the bus station by my daughter Meliesha and one of her kiwi friends Stacey.

It was great to see Mel again and after dropping my bags off and picking up Dicky and Michelle from Mel’s flat we were soon seated in the sun in The Farm pub for the vegetarian roast and a few pints of Bath Ales Gem, a very nice beer and a great change from lager which was the only choice in Alcaucin. From The Farm we went round the corner to the Duke of York hotel and had another beer or two and played a round of skittles which was quite good fun.

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Stacey left from there and after a wee break at Mel’s flat Mel, Dicky and I went into town and visited bar 51 and then Mr Wolfes the bar were Mel works weekend nights. At Mr Wolfes we had far too many 1 pound drinks – vodka and tonic in my case and shared a couple of bowls of very nice noodles before meandering slowly back home.

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Monday was a bit of a slow day, considering how much I drank and how badly I slept I felt reasonably OK. I walked to Bristol bus station and caught the 9:30 bus into London, then a tube and a train back out to my aunt and uncle’s house in Brentwood where I am staying for two nights. They were out when I arrived so I had lunch and a coffee at Starbucks and did a bit of shopping and that was pretty much it for the day. Back home I spent a bit of time organising all the stuff I have, I am going to take the DSLR away with me on Wednesday and also will lend Mel my big heavy Dell laptop while I am in Africa.(I also have a Acer Netbook I use when travelling), but it means humping the Dell to Brighton and Exeter and back up to Bristol.

On Tuesday I got my English bank stuff sorted out and went shopping for gear for the run. I needed new shoes and a decent jacket that I can also use in Africa. I took the train five stops up the line to Romford and visited Snow and Rock as they seemed to have most things I wanted on their web site. It was a great shop and the girl who served me was actually a runner and outdoor person and new her products. So much easier to buy technical gear from someone who knows what they are on about ! I ended up with a pair of Salomon XA3D Ultra trail shoes and a very expensive but very light Berghaus Goretex jacket – I was happy with my purchases.

Tuesday afternoon we went around to my cousin Paul and his partner Helene’s house for a family birthday dinner. I am off to Brighton tomorrow morning and won’t see Norman and June until I am back from Africa in November or December. Another uncle, Jim was also there for my first birthday dinner. First birthday is the start of my birthday week, a lot happening, Band tomorrow nights, run on Saturday and birthday proper on Monday with my daughter. A very exciting week ahead !

We had some great fish and chips from the local chippie and a couple of bottles of Shiraz and I was very surprised by a lovely cake, cards and a gift voucher I can use to purchase things I need for Africa. It was very nice and much appreciated !

Thanks family, for a nice start to my birthday 🙂

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