We left off on the 22nd after a wonderful cousins day. Thursday the 23rd Hurricane Doris visited England but we started the day not realizing it would disrupt things.
After a lovely breakfast and chatting time Philip, Gillian, Denis and I started off to a local National Trust site. It was a Georgian Home that had been restored after a terrible fire. We arrived and it ws pretty darn blowy outside but we paid the admission and headed into the house. We were given these printed sheets that guided us through each room. As we got to the second lovely room the head person came along and told us they were closing the house. We could quickly walk through but they wanted to close up in ten minutes. Well, we actually ended up seeing all the rooms but very quickly. They were concerned about trees blowing over or things coming off the roof that might injure someone. So, that was quickly over and done with. Was lovely and now on the list of things to do when we visit again.
On the way back we stopped at a garden shop that also had a cafe and ate lunch. It was good and of course more chatting time. We looked around at their shop which had some lovely items.
Back at the house we had tea and then got ready for dinner at home. Gillian cooked a wonderful meal which we all enjoyed and continued conversing. We have a great time with them talking kids, travel, politics, life in general etc. When we first met 50 years ago we got a long almost instantly, and I am so glad we did not lose touch over the years. It was such a good visit and we got to see so many other of the cousins from the William of Southampton line that every day was special and fun.
Friday we were up and ready to head for the train which left from Winchester at 10ish. It was a nice ride up to Birmingham with a very quick switch to the train to Liverpool. It was sad leaving but lovely memories for sure.
We arrived in LIverpool and met up with Barbara Reid and her son Ian. Ian had kindly driven to pick us up and then we took a bit of a tour around Liverpool. Got to see Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, the Liver Building, the docks, several parks etc. We stopped and had tea at a cute little shop. Ian and Denis were talking running and we were all talking politics and Barbara and I talked family – we both love family history.
Back at Barbara’s after a light supper cousin Ann and her husband Ian and daughter Sally came by for a visit. Last time I saw Ann and Ian they were living in Scotland but now they are closer to family which is nice. Barbara and Ann are first cousins of the Wallasey line of Laughlands. It was a great and lively visit. Plans were made for Saturday to meet some other cousins for late lunch.
Saturday we took our time. Ian Reid came and picked up Denis and they went to a Park Run which Denis really enjoyed. He is going to do another one this coming Saturday.
Barbara’s grandson Eddie came and chatted away with us. Told us all about his time working at a camp on California a few years ago. He was going to spend the afternoon at the rugby club. Then at one the three of us went to the restaurant to meet the others. I had eaten there with Hamish and Mary and Barbara before. We waited and then along came Ann, Ian and Sally, then Ann Costelloe, and then her brother Niall and his husband David. This whole group are the grandchildren/great grandchildren of John Laughland the brother of my gr grandfather William. There were many sons in that family and they were all tailors living in Kilmarnock so at some point they left to start shops in various cities. It was a very good time.
After a very late lunch we just had a light supper and visited and chatted away the evening. Sunday morning Ann and Ian came to pick us up and take us to Chester. It is a very old city with a fabulous cathedral and bells which were ringing all afternoon. After tea we walked along the city wall, you can walk along the top of the wall. Then walked by the river, and saw some roman ruins, and then back to the car. It was a lovely day and we enjoyed ourselves greatly. I also had a good visit with Ann.
Back at Barbara’s her son Ian and his wife Tess came over and we had a great visit with them. Ian had picked us up and gone to lunch on Saturday but we had not seen Tess yet. Good time. Then we had a little supper and watched a film about the Isle of Mann. Now I want to go there. My Dad lived there at some point during their time in England between 1915 and 1924. Next time I am going to take the ferry over to Douglass and check it out. Maybe they have school records about what he did there and how long they were there. They had lived in Liverpool during that time as well and Sheffield and London. More research to be done for sure.
This morning we were up and packed and ready to go by 10 when Ian came to get us to drive us to the airport. Hopefully Barbara will get a rest after all the folks stopping by and visiting. She is an amazing woman and one of my role models for how to handle aging. She is tough and just keeps going. She goes on tours, weekend outings with friends and travels to visit family. Did I say she is almost 90. I want to be like her when I am that old.
The flight today went well and we arrived early in Dublin. Got the bus into Dublin and got off across the street from the hotel. After resting a bit went for a walk and had dinner at a pub that had live music. It was fun. Nothing like Irish music. Gogarty’s Pub in the Temple Bar. Then we walked around and stopped at the Tourist Office. I think we are going to go to a play and possibly a story telling tour. Both evening events. Something different to do.
So our Irish adventure has begun. We are very excited and also a bit torn since this means our time away is drawing to an end. Let’s hope we don’t go home to a blizzard. We already have ordered hockey tickets for the weekend we get back. Don’t want to get stuck in Boston.