Sunday, 29 November 2009


For those of you who don't know we have moved from Birmingham to Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire.

Jon had been commuting to London during August and part of September for work until we found somewhere suitable to move to. Sawbridgeworth is the answer!

'Sawbo' as it is known by the locals is a really beautiful small town of approximately 8500 people and 13, count them, 13, pubs! The town is 27 miles from London and 15 miles from Stansted Airport so the opportunities for travel are very good. The nearest sizeable towns are Harlow to the south and Bishops Stortford to the north.

Our house is in a barn conversion which has been turned into 4 houses. The building backs on to the River Stort and our neighbours have their narrow boat moored at the botom of their garden! We are in the middle of the building with and open plan upstairs with exposed beams throughout. Downstairs are two bedrooms and a bathroom.

We love it, the location and the fact that we only use the car very occasionally.

The local area (East Herts & Essex borders) is also beautiful with lots of tiny villages. We can walk along the river to Bishops Stortford ot to Harlow and enjoy exploring the coutryside when we get the chance. Some of the nearby villages have some interesting names!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Another trip to Edinburgh

31st October 2009

Elaine's friend Jurg has been in the UK touring with the Cape Town Opera Company where he plays a policeman in Porgy and Bess. We decided that we would go and see the last night of the production in Edinburgh so we booked tickets and a hotel room and looked forward to spending some more time in Scotland.

When we arrived at our hotel we were delighted to be told that we had been upgraded to a suite with views over Edinburgh Castle! The bathroom itself was bigger then most hotel rooms we have ever stayed in and came with a gigantic jacuzzi!

We spent an enjoyable evening taking full advantage of our new found luxury!

On Saturday morning we met Jurg on the Royal Mile for coffee before heading off to walk around Calton Hill to enjoy the view over Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth. Elaine and I even managed to find room to stand on top of the trig point together to get a better view!

As Jurg headed off to get ready for the day's matinee performance we went back to the Royal Mile to meet another of Elaine's childood friends, Pieter who lives in Edinburgh now with his Scottish wife Gillian. We had a lovely few hours in the local cafes and bars before saying our goodbyes and heading back to the hotel to get ready for our first opera!!

A quick wash and change later and we were sitting in an Italian restaurant over the road from the Royal Festival Theatre. We ate up and took our seats just before the curtain came up. We thoroughly enjoyed our first experience of opera and it appeared that the rest of the audience did as well judging by the standing ovation at the end. On a personal note we thought tht Jurg was very convincing as a 1970s SA policeman and looked very comfortable with a gun in his hand!

And so the curtain fell on another enjoyable visit to this fabulous city. By Sunday evening we were back home happy and tired.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Sutton Coldfield Braai

29th August 2009

Well, it now seems traditional that we blog once a month so here we go with November's edition of catching up!!! Seriously once we get back from SA we will get online at home.

Thanks to their being a small dry window in the traditional British summer we decided to have a bit of a braai at my mom's house.

Elaine and my mom constructed a fantastic loose brick structure over a couple of hours the day before. They were very proud of their efforts right up until the moment that they realised it would have to be moved so as not to set the house alight!

Preparation hit full speed about an hour before our guests arrived, 'west coast salmon', boerewors, marinated chicken and steaks as well as a hue pile of braai broekies were lined u and ready to go!

The food was 'expertly' cooked by Jon and devoured by the hungry mob! As with all good braais there was still a mountain of meat left over for the following days - nothing tastes so good as cold braai meat!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

She's gone again!

Well that's the last I'll see of Elaine until Christmas day!

Elaine flew out of Heathrow this afternoon on a nice non-stop BA flight to Cape Town. We spent an hour in the coffee shop in the fantastic new terminal before she eventually had to go through passport control and leave me in the cold and wet! I think it was the lure of the tax free shopping that got her through the gate!

I follow on Christmas Eve with a far longer flight via Istanbul, oh well at least we will be together on Christmas Day. Then it's only two weeks until our wedding!

Can't wait. Safe landings in SA Elaine!