Sunday, October 19, 2014

Visiting the Cousins in Needham Market

Every time we've gone to visit my cousin, Ann, we go out of a different train station as we never seem to stay in the same part of London. This time the British Rails journey planner said to take the train out of Stratford, so we did. It turned out that Liverpool Street would have been a better station to leave from because we ended up stopping there first and I'm pretty sure they have washrooms! The Stratford station was quite large and modern, except the washrooms weren't open due to vandalism. One of the employees directed us to the mall across from the station, so we headed that way.

The mall was nice, but the washrooms didn't open until 10:00 so we slithered into a coffee shop and used theirs.

The platform for our train was outside. You can see how many people were waiting. 

The train ride through the countryside was pleasant, as always. And here I am with my Dad's cousins, Dot and Ann. It was really nice that this time Dot, her son, Tim, and his partner, Irene, were able to come to Ann's and we could all be together.

Dot had a treasure for me. This was a letter that my father had written to her parents in 1958. It was so nice to see Dad's beautiful handwriting.

And inside, an even better surprise. It was my birth announcement! I never knew what time of day I was born or how much I weighed and now I do. So special...

We went to the Highwayman restaurant near Ann's. The food and service once again were great. On the left from front to back: me; Dot; Irene; and Dot's son, Tim. On the right, Andrew (Ann and Arthur's son); Ann; Arthur; and Jim.

It was a fun meal and so nice to see everyone. I think Dad would be so pleased that we've maintained contact with his English cousins.
We stopped at the Needham Market lake to feed the ducks and geese. We went there last year as well and walked around the lake. It's very pretty and many people were enjoying it on a Sunday afternoon.

This lovely fluffy swan floated in for a photo...

Arthur was the only one brave enough to feed the swan. Pretty as they are, I don't trust them!

The Lady of the Lake...

This duck was enjoying the sun...

We went back to Ann's and had a chance to chat, but all too soon it was time for Dot, Tim and Irene to leave, and us shortly after. Big hugs to Ann. She is the reason we now know so much about Dad's side of the family. Forever grateful!

Tomorrow, we're planning to take in the Changing of the Guard, Round 2...

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