We left for the nearby Warwick the county town famous for its castle late Sunday morning.
Just to give some context; in 2009 I wrote a post entitled Family of the Heart about the history of two very special lifetime friends of Mum's. The Birthday Surprise (2010) and We Went to Wales Today (2011) are two other posts written about this special friendship.
Although we have been married for almost 43 years, Paul had never met Uncle Tommy and Auntie May. I said to Auntie May that if he didn't pass muster it was too late to send him back! :) I needn't have worried. Uncle Tommy and Paul had an instant connection. Once they started talking there was no stopping them.
Auntie May and Uncle Tommy are from South Shields in the north east of England, but their daughter Diane, 5 years younger than me, has just moved for her work as a business analyst, from Holt, in Wales, to Warwick, a mere half an hour from Alvechurch.
After a cup of tea with a delicious slice of lime ginger cake we all set out for the nearby village of Hatton where there is a dry dock and the The Hatton Arms, a pub where we had reservations for lunch.
The weather was glorious; the relationships deep and precious; the surroundings interesting; and the food great!
There was a moment, when we were having our first cup of tea and, as we always do before too many moments pass, laughing out loud about a funny story from the past, that I missed Mum deeply. How she would have enjoyed the laughter, her eyes dancing with humour, giggling at memories shared. But as the bittersweet wave of emotion flowed over me; momentarily, I felt her very close.
Here are some moments from our wonderful Sunday afternoon.
Diane and I chose Coriander Chicken with Sticky Rice. Everyone else had gammon steaks with eggs and chips. All was delicious!