Lovely weather for ducks.

Today is our last day in England, and when we woke up, it was again pouring with rain and decidedly chilly. I’d just got out of the shower, when hubby suddenly appeared, and grabbed the camera. He’d spotted a Mallard duck on the roof of the shed, and thought I might like a photo for my blog.

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We then wondered what Mrs Mallard was doing up there, and decided that she must be surveying the garden to see if it was a suitable mating ground. Sure enough, she flew off and returned with Mr Mallard. She had a little swim around the pond to try out the water temperature,

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and reported back that it seemed rather nice, and that she approved their choice of location.

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He was then ordered to investigate underneath the conifer, to make sure that there was plenty of room for their nest, which he obediently did.

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So it looks as though once they’ve set up house and got busy under that bush, mom-in-law’s little pond could be the setting for a very happy duck family scene. I was reading that a female can lay as many as twelve eggs, about half her body weight. I guess we human females have it quite easy in comparison. πŸ™‚

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I have a lot of sorting out and packing to do before we leave, so please bear with me if I don’t manage to visit your blogs for a few days. When we get back home, I’m sure things will return to normal.

This is NOT Florida weather.

And “POOF!” just like that, I was whisked out of my lovely warm life in Florida, and deposited at Heathrow airport in freezing temperatures, and with gloomy grey skies overhead.

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After picking up the rental car, we set off on our way to hubby’s mom, who some of you may remember, will be turning 100 in August. It started snowing, and the outside temperature was registering -1 degrees centigrade.

We drove through several pretty old villages on the way, and past umpteen ‘Olde English’ pubs, which are more numerous than even the churches.

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The winding country roads seemed unending,

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but, after an hour’s drive we finally arrived, and by now the snow was coming down quite fast.

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Mom-in-law was so pleased to see us, but unfortunately was feeling a bit under the weather, so hubby promptly took her off to see the doctor, who diagnosed bronchitis, and prescribed medication which we hope will work very quickly.

Her garden is always so pretty, and even in winter it still looks like a fairy tale scene. The little black cats and fairies on the lawn, seem to be immune to the cold, and stay outside in all weathers. πŸ˜‰

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The front garden even had a couple of brave daffodils poking through the hard ground. Can you spot them?

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Tomorrow evening, we’re going to the theatre to see a production of Coppelia, as some of sister-in-law’s ballet students are performing in it. I’ll try to get some photos, if it’s allowed.

Hubby tells me that with the wind chill, the current ‘real feel’ temperature is -12 degrees, with a 24 kph wind. Not my kind of weather at all. As I type this, my feet are like two ice blocks. I think I’ll wear socks in bed tonight. πŸ™„

 

 

Safe landings in the land of my birth.

Hi there, from beautiful West Sussex in one of the most beautiful parts of the English countryside.

We had a really enjoyable flight over, if one can ever describe eleven hours overnight on a plane, as “enjoyable.” πŸ™‚ The food and service on SAA business class is always great, and the beds, whilst not exactly pillow-top, do afford a few hours sleep at least. Our South African pilots have to be the best in the world, and always give a very smooth landing; I hardly felt the plane touch down on the tarmac.

We arrived early at 6-45 am, and were out of the airport and off to the car rental, in record time, just the time it took to walk through. There was no queue at passport control, our bags were waiting for us at the carousel, and the Alamo bus, was standing outside the door. What a pleasure! The sun was just getting itself into gear as we chose our hire car, and although it was only 8C, there was not a breath of wind, so it felt quite mild.

Then it was off on the back route, through the lovely country lanes.

It was far too early to go straight to my mom-in-law’s, as she was only expecting us about 11am, so we decided to stop off for a cappuccino, and chai latte, at a TESCO’s cafe en route. The cappuccino was MEGA, but hubby wasn’t complaining. πŸ™‚

We sat for a while reading the morning paper,

and then, after buying a pretty orchid and some Ferrero Rochas, we carried on with our journey through the narrow, winding country lanes. Mom-in-law was all smiles and hugs, and so delighted to see us. She’s an absolute marvel for a lady of 99-years-old, living alone in her double story house, and very sprightly indeed. Her autumn garden was looking really pretty from my bedroom window early this morning.

There are black cats, fairies, and even a toadstool.

A family of Meerkats stand guard next to the pond, to frighten away the birds who come to feed on the goldfish.

Today the weather is dull and rainy, so I’ve had to stop congratulating myself on bringing the South African sunshine with me. My sister-in-law has just visited and brought delicious pastries to have with coffee for ‘elevenses’, so it’s a good job we hadn’t eaten breakfast. This afternoon, we’ll brave the rain, and go into town to see what we can find. Chat again soon, when I get the chance.