Highlights from the last few days in England centre on Leigh-on-sea really.
We spent a happy day in the sunshine and sea vistas of our former English home base. Leigh-on-sea is on the coast, about an hour out of London heading east towards Southend-on-sea.
We walked along the cockle sheds that run parallel to the rail track so that we could walk to the Broadway/high street via our old house in Victoria Rd. I was delighted to see that my front garden at Victoria Rd is still looking good.
We were impressed with the way the Broadway is looking - Adam's haunts (pet shop and factory shop) are still there but a new Costa Coffee has replaced the corner newsagents and there are more upmarket clothing shops.
The Grand, where we stayed for two weeks in 2004, has closed up. In fact we were told that this happened a year or so ago. A pity, because it's an impressive building and could be again but it would cost an arm and a leg to restore it to glory.
Of course there are three compulsory stops for us - Fives, Wimpy's for lunch and the bookshop/tea shop for afternoon tea. Fives did not let me down - I picked up a few CDs that I have searched for in vain throughout Scotland, Paris and the big guns in London over the last three weeks. Sadly though Fives, like all book and CD shops at the moment, is also struggling to keep afloat and they told me that they will need to make a decision at Christmas whether to close or not.
Wimpy's is still a great stop for us. Eddie has remarried and his wife is expecting a baby so he wasn't in the shop when we called in, but Nick cooked our meal and one of Eddie's daughters served us! Nick, of course, immediately asked after Jade and Samantha (actually so did the Fives' owner where Samantha did some work experience).
I'll add the photos when I get back to Al Ain, inshallah.
Unfortunately Jacky got one of her headaches yesterday, her first for ages, so we stayed in the Shire and I watched some rugby - warm up games for Scotland and Ireland, England and Wales before the world cup. Pretty ho hum stuff. So was the Arsenal warm up game I watched last night. We lost 1-2 to Benfica.
On last night's showing we will struggle to nudge our way into the top 5 of the premiership. Today is the charity shield game at Wembley which I'll watch on TV this afternoon - Man City vs Man United in case you didn't know (or care).
Love and peace - Wozza