We boarded a plane drenched in clear skies and sun we landed in what can only be described as a colour – grey. Landing in England is like someone’s sucked the colour saturation out of life. Thankfully I’m starting to see more blue!
We’ve been back in the UK for just over a week now, although it doesn’t feel that long as we haven’t actually been at home that much.
We arrived back on Thursday morning and as soon as we said hello to everyone and dropped our stuff off we were straight out the door again to the shops! The reason we came back was for my cousin’s wedding and as I’d lost a load of weight – I didn’t have a suit that fit. I bought a grey suit from River Island that was okay but nothing special. It was good for a backup if I couldn’t find anything else before the wedding on Saturday.
Charlotte had found this amazing “Rustic Shed” on Airbnb (not sure how it can be called a shed though, it was bigger than our London flat!). It’s based about 10 minutes away from Sandwich – the place, not the food (unfortunately) – which was perfect as the wedding’s reception was taking place over there in The Bell Hotel. We decided to go up a night before and leave a couple days later so we could take our time and enjoy the area. The shed was incredible! It had everything you’d need, an awesome kitchen with breakfast bar and a really comfy sofa which pulled out into a bigger-than-a-bed sofa bed that faced a huge TV with freeview and stacks of DVDs.
Debs, our host, was bubbly, friendly and pretty much me if I was a woman – she was into photography, gadgets, super enthusiastic about everything and an all round really nice person who was easy to get on with and had the coolest little dog.
The best part for me about staying there was the morning views – coming out of the bedroom there’s a big window overlooking a misty field where horses play. There’s some decking with a picnic bench right outside. Eating breakfast there was a highlight (I couldn’t not have sandwich).
I’d recommend going there, meeting Debs and staying in an awesome flat overlooking horses playing in the field.
Anyway – back to my suit shenanigans. On the way up to the shed we naturally pass by Lakeside, a massive shopping mall just off the M25. We popped in there because I still wanted a better suit, Charlotte still needed a dress and they’ve got a good food-court. We got there, browsed a bit and then decided to split up and reconvene after we’ve got what we needed so we could enjoy the rest of our time there at a leisurely pace.
One hour later, Charlotte found her dress and I had turned into the girl. Still trying on suits, still rushing around and then I ended up in Next. Their suit department was massive. I found a really nice dark teal suit that fit perfectly so I reserved that, ran to the car, returned my River Island suit, went back to Next and almost bought the wrong suit! The suit I liked I asked to be put behind the till for later, an when I asked for it back the girl brought back a vivid blue suit. She said “was this the one”, and I was all like “yup” and Charlotte was all like “Are you a moron? That’s a totally different colour and 6 sizes too big” to which I replied “Oh yes, this isn’t the right suit”. The til girl realised her horrible mistake, begged for our forgiveness and of course rectified the problem.
With a suit and accommodation sorted we settled in and then the next day went to Alexi and Kathryn’s wedding. Getting there we must have passed more than 6 churches in the space of a mile and ended up in the wrong one! Luckily we had a few minutes to get to the right one and made it on time to see the bride walk down the aisle (I wish I could say the same for my folks!). The wedding was traditionally English and was beautiful, as was the reception and everyone looked proper dapper. Towards the end of the night some greek music blasted through the speakers. You know it’s good when Zorba the Greek drops and everyone is dancing and clapping and trying to keep up with it.
The morning after the wedding we had breakfast with my family at the pub where they stayed. Getting all the family together in one place at the same time is becoming a rare treat so it’s always enjoyable, especially as the immediate family grows bigger and bigger. After that we went for a walk around Sandwich with Theo, Anna and the kids. It’s a really pretty place and super friendly.
We got back to the shed and Charlotte and I did what we do best. Put on some comfortable clothes and kicked back with our terrible food haul from Tesco (and by terrible I mean amazing), some meat and veg from a local farm shop and watched TV and films for the rest of the day/evening/night. That was pretty great.
On the way home we stopped by the pretty little seaside town of Whitstable (famous for it’s oysters) and took a walk along the pebbled beach and got a 99 flake. Then we went into town – oyster shells everywhere – browsed the boutique shops and left for home.
So now we’re back home about to head out to Hastings and Charlotte’s birthday is coming up on Tuesday and I haven’t got her anything yet. I don’t even have a clue.