24 September 2009

Good Friends, Good Food, Great Time!

On our way down south to Cornwall we stopped off in the Midlands to spend a night with our long-lost friends AJ & Vic and their two little blondies. AJ and Vic live in a "small but beautifully formed" ancient cottage in a picturesque village, where everybody knows everybody, and the milk still gets delivered in glass bottles. It's easy to see why they have not returned to NZ when they are living here in this storybook place.

AJ negotiated with my friend and bridesmaid Maya to get a night with us on the way down south (we are very popular, yes in hot demand, us!)

Maya warned me what to expect. Complete gorgeousness, exceptional hospitality, and homebaked everything. We were not disappointed!

Owing to the fact that Scrag had woken up at 3am (long story) and then raised the rest of the house from slumber with his loud singing, we decided, what the heck, lets just pack up and leave for AJ & Vic's house at 6am. Which meant we arrived at their place at about 9.30am - slightly early! Hence we got to relax and hang out with them in their stunning English cottage garden, and enjoyed a leisurely feast for lunch in the sunshine.

I am talking freshly roasted chicken, jacket potatoes and sliced ham, homebaked bread just out of the oven, a more-ish salad with roasted capsicum and heavenly home-made dressing... topped of with a home-made apple and blackberry pie to die for. I am talking handmade pie-crust, homegrown apples picked off their tree, hand-picked blackberries. And this was just lunch!! Heavenly.
After lunch had settled we all went for a walk to pick up Mini AJ from school. There we spotted a real live Lollipop Lady. And I was amazed to discover that 3pm school pick-ups are the same the world over. It was a strange feeling, being an outside observer. Watching mums standing around chatting with other mummies as their kids ran around. Apart from the funny way of talking and the brick buildings everywhere, I could have been in Auckland.

Dash immediately made himself at home by kicking his football around, which drew an instant crowd of 6-year-old boys. I am constantly amazed at how quickly and beautifully kids make friends. No need to stand on ceremony, don't wait to be invited. Just bowl on up and start playing.

So of course the daddies joined in. No need for fancy expensive gadgets. All you need is a round ball.

Watching AJ race around (competing hard-out with the kiddies) brought back flashes of some long-forgotten memories of this good pal, back in his Auckland days. AJ is a hard case, and a legend in some parts for his crazy adventurous nature. If they ever make it back to live in NZ we hope they will choose Auckland as their place of residence! You can never have too many people like AJ & Vic around. People who are funny, relaxed, good company and just all-round great people.

Here's Princess with Mini-AJ and Mini-Vic. Two gorgeous lovely little kiddies that our lot took to very well indeed. Mini-AJ seemed to like me a lot :) - he came back for three big hugs when we were leaving. Seemed to think we were his cousins because we are from NZ like his Daddy. Bless!

The one night we spent at their place felt like a full weekend (We wished it could have been longer). It was a lovely start to the holiday... and if they're ever back to show their kids NZ, we have promised them a place to stay.
Can't promise homemade bread and pie crusts though; that's a bit beyond my skills!
Click for the next part of our Journey: Of Beaches, Cider and Cream Teas (Cornwall)

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PaisleyJade said...


Widge said...

That lunch looked and sounded amazing!!! Glad you are having a great time :)

Gail said...

Oh my goodness that lunch sound fabulous! New standards set Simone! How will we cope!? challenge accepted.

Andrew Jansen said...

Hey that's our table, on your blog!
Simone it was wonderful to have you guys come through. It was as much breath of fresh air, and a blessing for us.
You have inspired me to try blogging you know. I've been dablling a few months, but keeping it to myself. However
http://adabbleatblogging.blogspot.com/ includes a small feature movie of your visit. Footage is spectacularly poor.
You missed the festival, the blog also points you to some photos I took of that event the day you left us.
Much love, Andrew and Victoria

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