Jet lag is not getting any better – I woke up at 4.30am this morning and I’m getting really tired now. Happily adrenalin and excitement at seeing friends, fuelled with plenty of tea, is keeping me going.
The Apple Tree
We picked up Zahra from her sleepover at Izzy’s and headed out to the Apple Tree tea shop with Sarah and Nick and the girls. A lot has changed in 6 months. The school mums used to meet there on Wednesday mornings for breakfast after school drop off and before starting the working day. It’s been a bijou tea and gift shop since opening. A major extension has been undertaken whilst we have been away and it is now twice the size with an extended menu and larger range of cakes including dairy and gluten free. I ordered toasted fruit loaf and tea with soya – a favourite of mine from here; Rez had a bacon and egg sandwich and Zahra had pancakes. Things that we can’t get in Bangalore.
After a lovely breakfast and non stop chatting and catching up (we’ve missed them too) we had a look around the small gift shop full of beautiful things. Zahra chose a bath bomb to take back with us to Bangalore.
Hollies Farm Cafe
After taking our leave of Sarah, Nick and Izzy at their house we headed off to Hollies Farm Cafe to meet Carolyn, Hannah, Chris, Helen, Sarah and Evie. It was a lovely short drive through the Derbyshire countryside. The views across rolling green fields in beautiful and I have always liked it (makes up for not living by the seaside). Zahra was hugged and squeezed when we arrived – Hannah being the only friend not to have seen Zahra since we arrived back. It was lovely to see and gifts were exchanged excitedly. The girls chatted whilst we caught up with our friends too.
Lunch order was difficult because there was such a choice but I went for a tuna mayo baguette with a side salad and sweet potato chips. Rez ordered cheese on toast – it’s the simple things we miss- but this was the most enormous cheese on toast I’ve ever seen; doorstep size slices of bread smothered in a block of melted cheese. He loved it. Zahra had a jacket potato with cheese and beans and devoured it.
We chatted for hours drinking tea catching up and the girls played together outside – it was like being back home. When it was time to leave (the cafe was shutting after all!) we said our goodbyes. Zahra found it particularly difficult and was very quiet in the car afterwards.
Popping in for a cuppa
It’s perhaps a very British thing to pop round to a friends house for a cup of tea and a chat. We were invited to do so by our lovely friend Donna who popped into see us at the Easter Cafe at church on Saturday. We headed over to her cozy and warm house and enjoyed a cup of tea in front of the fire and chatted, all snug and warm. After an hour we took our leave and Zahra received the biggest bag of presents for us to take back to Bangalore (another 2.8kg we will accommodate in our extra luggage).
After saying our sad goodbyes to Donna we headed over to Aaron and Lynne’s new home for dinner and a catch up with friends who really know what it’s like to live in a non Western country. Roast chicken dinner was delicious and the conversation was easy as Aaron and Lynne understood what life in Bangalore would be like. Cherena and Gladys joined us for dessert (after Rez ran down the road to their house and invited them up). Fresh fruit salad and Swedish Glacé (vegan ice cream) for me – refreshing and delicious. Gladys also understands what it’s like living in a hot country and dealing with animal incursions so it was good to catch up with her too. Zahra has missed Cherena (and vice verse).
At around 8pm, and after saying even more sad goodbyes, we headed back to Chez Dann for Zahra to be picked up for her third sleepover of the trip at Evie’s house. She was very tired but got her second wind as soon as she saw her friend and they had a lovely evening together. Rez and I chatted with Matt and Alex – planning her election campaign, but that’s a story for her blog here: http://independentalexblog.wordpress.com/