February 18th: England, Home of Simple Pleasures

Warning: Airport lounge alert. 

Thanks to the combination of a full price economy ticket, several thousand airmiles and cash for airport tax we currently find ourselves in the Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow Terminal 3.  In the lounge they have unicorns, baths full of wine and a Piers Morgan dartboard.  The staff float around on pink clouds offering manicures, exotic eyebrow extractions and black puddings.*  Other than not actually getting on the plane, there’s no better way to start a plane journey for somebody who continues to be terrified of flying.  But I now have my way of dealing with this (not for public consumption on a blog).

Many thanks to all our friends and family who looked after us or came to see us over the last couple of weeks as we completed our mini-tour of the country (for those considering a visit to England, I would highly recommend our route of Olney–>Woburn Sands–> Olney–> Worksop–>  Southport–> Liverpool–> Banbury–> Olney–> Peterborough–> Epsom.  Worksop optional – hen parties only).  For some we know you changed your schedule to take holidays or “work” from home, and we really appreciate it.   We didn’t get a chance to see everyone so will definitely try to do so next time we’re back, whenever that might be.

I’m ridiculously tired and as ever, returning to Shanghai with mixed feelings. If nothing else, I need to get back to Shanghai to protect my waistline after nearly two weeks of pies, curries and other British delicacies.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve discovered that at my age, simple pleasures are the best.  The day after landing, we were sat in The Bull in Olney, me with a pint of British bitter, grinning like an idiot.  We’ve done little else than drive to see people, eat and drink with people, then drive somewhere else.  It’s been exhausting, but worth every single lost hour of sleep.  And with a mini-keg of beer on offer at the O’Grady’s and a never ending beer fridge on offer at the French’s (in addition to housing some lovely people), Olney still feels like home despite having other people currently living in our house.

*Some of this paragraph may be inaccurate.

Olney on a Cloudy Day

Olney on a Cloudy Day

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