Goodbye London, Hello Rutland.

What a time we have had. London, London…What can you say. This is a busy, busy place with people, history, opulence, wealth, poverty, eye-popping architecture, ancient artifacts, and the ever present people milling about. We spent one day exploring expensive shops and trying to understand how one could have so much money you would buy a £479 Parker pen at Harrods of London when a dozen of my pen-turning friends make pens just as nice for much less money.

Yesterday we hired John Renwick a ‘Blue-badge guide’ to give us a tour of London and show us what it would have been like for Cathy’s grandmother (Mimi) who lived here from 1895 to 1910. To become a ‘Blue-badge guide’ you need to have immense training and pass a whole whack of exams. Our guy John surpassed any test we could have given him. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of recent and ancient London history and gave us a most entertaining tour lasting nearly 6 hours as we toured the area where Mimi grew up until 15 years old when she came to Canada.

My ability to retain 1% of the stories John shared with us is anything but encyclopedic so you will have to be satisfied with a perusal of the gallery at the end of the blog.

Today we left London and traveled by train two hours north to the Rutland area. Here we were met by Richard and Belinda, cousins on the Drabble side. At this point in the story you have to close your eyes and try and pictures a fellow in jeans and a cowboy hat driving a 1936 Rolls Royce up to the train station to pick up the Canadian Cousins.

What an amazing welcome to this glorious part of England. Thank you Richard and Belinda for an amazing welcome, fantastic walk around the local lake and a delicious pub meal. I can hardly wait for the next two days.

Here is a photographic sampling of the last couple of days including London and our walk this evening. Click on a picture to start a slide show. You can use the arrow keys to move through the slideshow.

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