It has been a couple of busy weeks since we moved into our new flat (apartment to us Kiwis). I forgot how much is involved in moving to a new country (it has been thirty years since I last did it) and the idiosyncrasies of each country add to the challenge. At least here the language isn’t an issue.
We have also had our first visitor which was very exciting. I had an early morning drive to London Heathrow Airport to pick up our daughter Lauren. She hadn’t been to this part of the UK so we took the scenic route back via Bath and Cirencester.
As any Kiwi knows a flight from the other side of the world leaves you feeling a bit second-hand when you get off the plane so the first port of call was a cafe in Bath, that still wasn’t enough caffeine and I remembered from a previous trip that there was an excellent cafe called Colonna and Small’s Specialty Coffee. Lauren was impressed and had enough of a caffeine fix to continue.
We drove through the back roads so that she could have a look at the picture perfect villages and countryside. It’s nice to be able to show people where you live even if you aren’t a local and it is such a different experience to the normal stop in London that most Kiwi’s do.
The next day we went to Oxford for a few hours and I think the town warrants a further visit. There were tourists everywhere but the sense of history you get wandering around is impressive. We had a nice lunch and dropped Lauren off at the train station so she could continue her Northern Hemisphere advertures.
The settling in process also means getting to know Cheltenham and surrounds a little better. I have had a couple of trips into Gloucester for different reasons and while it isn’t as pretty as Cheltenham it does have some areas, and attractions that are worth a visit. I spent a couple of hours wandering around Gloucester Quays and would recommend a look in the Antiques Market there. Lots of interesting stuff from local art, old toys, old tools, military memorabilia and the normal antiques you would see in a store. The Quays area also has a Maritime Museum where they were filming part of the upcoming Alice in Wonderland movie. It looked like what I would imagine a dock looked like back in the 1800’s with four sailing ships tied up, horses towing wagons and they even had machines producing fog. From a photographers perspective this area also has some very interesting derelict warehouses that make for good pictures.
Cheltenham itself is a lovely town, with lots of cafes, pubs, restaurants, a thriving event scene and it is so compact that you can walk everywhere.When talking to the locals they all mention it is a great place to live so I think we have chosen well. Rather than tell you about Cheltenham I thought I would just post a few pictures.
Hopefully by the next update the UK Government have officially told me I’m allowed to stay and I can start looking for something that will contribute to the household income.