We spent time in England over Christmas, visiting relatives and friends and generally having a good time. My sister put us up to start with, and over Christmas we had a delightful time staying with friends in Wimbledon.
Here are just a few pictures to capture some of what went down. We took Mum out to lunch at Titchfield Mill, an old Mill beside the river Meon. It used to be a farm shop of sorts and Mum remembers buying foodstuffs in bulk there before it was converted. It is now a modern pub with proper food and real beer. We got out after an excellent meal and a drink, for about 11 quid a head too, which I reckon is pretty good value these days.
The Meon looks like a scruffy little stream in the picture, but I have fond memories of it. It flows from the mill, on into Titchfield village, and then joins the Solent at Hill head. As a teenager I used to walk from home, join the river at the downstream edge of Titchfield and follow it down to the sea, and then walk back via Beach Road and Posbrook Lane into Titchfield and on home from there.
Farther upstream the river crosses what was one of my favourite biking routes, and it was my habit to stop and spend 15 minutes or so, staring into the stream. Faith to continue while nothing was happening was rewarded by sights of fish and bugs in the water, as the eyes became accustomed to what they were seeing.
The period over Christmas was spent in Wimbledon, and a walk on Boxing day in the icy conditions yielded an opportunity to climb what I was assured is "The Climbing Tree", and also to slide about on the frozen pond.
Here's a couple of extra images for free: an unusual Christmas Rose plant, being almost pure white; a present from the Mayor's wife, and my new great-niece Isobelle. What a cutie!