One reason for visiting England when I did was to see Daniel. As you may remember, he is one of Alan and Lynne’s sons. He moved to Sydney about twelve years ago and blazed the trail for his two younger brothers to move to Oz and NZ. He likes to visit his parents and see old friends in ‘Casvegas’, as they call Castleford! I can understand why.
Via the internet and telephone I arranged to visit when he was there and so spend two days at ‘ Villa Bateson’. I took the train there via Leeds. Alan and Lynne met me at the railway station. They hadn’t changed since seeing them last August.
Walking into the house is always like coming home. What memories it has and for so many years. Daniel arrived after me and we had a warm welcome after about six years of only e-mail contact. He looked really well and fit – perhaps because his hobby is surfing. It helps that he lives near Sydney north beach 🙂
Cup of tea and lots of catching up on news before we ‘dressed-up’, got into the car and headed east to Alan and Lynne’s favourite restaurant. It was an abbey in the Middle Ages, then became a Manor House before being converted into a hotel and restaurant. Wonderful old building in fine gardens and with oak furniture, open coal fireplaces and leather seats. Here is a photo of us in front of the entrance.
When you enter, you are led to a leather and wood panelled waiting room. There you may have a drink as you peruse the menu and decide what to eat. Your waiter later returns to take the orders. When they are cooked, he/she returns and leads you to your table in the dining room. Only the finest silver and china on the table! After dining you may return to that room, or to the bar, for coffee and a brandy. Very nice indeed, and thanks to Alan and Lynne for their generous hospitality.
Next day I spent some time with Daniel and took some photos of him including one in front of the house. You may note ‘my bedroom’ in the top right of the photo. The bed in that room is at the head of this blog, with the sign that I had gone to Berlin. It all happened there! There is one shot of him with a new sign = Gone to Berlin AGAIN! and of him posing in front of mother’s car. Very nice to spend that time together.