The students’ paintings were amazing. Lady Edna chose eight honorable mentions, a best in show and three other prize winners. Champagne bottles were presented, with hastily prepared QE 2017 ribbons. I was totally out of voice and energy ( Pete said I was also out of Nice !) so Peggy stood up to give praise and thanks.
That evening the ship moved carefully through the busy shippings lanes of the English Channel, pulled into the Solent in the early hours of the morning, and we were home…..
Misty architectural and boatyard shapes, cold calm water, broken reflections, a million small ripples, birds in silhouette dipping and skimming, ferries churning with a white wake streaming out behind, and all the rest in fifty shades of grey. England in May.
We could see familiar shape of Queen Mary across the Southampton water, and with packed suitcases we trotted down the gangway, and gave this QUEEN a royal wave. Elizabeth….is history!
If you think two complete voyages around the world would change us, so did I!
However Pete’s brother Charles was poised to pick us up, and by mid morning we were drinking coffee in his daughters kitchen, just like regular people, and that night we slept on an air bed in the dining room. With some hesitation, he showed us the disaster he has made of the Drayton home we had so liked a year ago, then drove us to see Liz in West Tytherley. Her charming home was built in 1420, extended in 1600 and used to be the home of the Singer Family (sewing machines) If you would like to stay with her, do call months in advance…..Farthing Corner is an award winning, popular B and B.
On the way to Heathrow, we met John at the Jovial Sailor. Well chosen for us, and, long ago, for the crew who left their sailing ships at the docklands in London and needed an alehouse break on their cross country walk to a new vessel in Portsmouth.
Our choice … a fast afternoon flight to Washington. A similar route across the Atlantic four months ago took us a whole week!