Posted on 2012/12/02 22:25:47 (December 2012).
[Sunday 2nd December 2012]
We went out to Hertfordshire today to visit Chie's friend Akiko-san and her family, who live in a village near to Hemel Hempstead. Despite this only being about 20 miles or so out of London we spent a long time getting there and back again as we seemed to be rather unlucky with trains today. Even the tube to Euston took an age as there was some problem or other on the Victoria line, and the Euston to Hemel Hempstead trains were late in both directions, some sort of signaling problem. The train on the way back was also horribly overcrowded, with people standing in every available inch of space, as some earlier trains had been cancelled outright. This was an interesting experience with a buggy, although luckily Erika slept through it. I have to admit though on some level I was slightly glad - whenever we go out into the country from London I suspect there's always a subtext of "why don't we live here?" and seeing how hellish the commute can be helps to answer that question quickly and definitively.
Anyway, trains aside, we met Chie's friend Akiko-san, her husband Gavin, and their two children Maechan and Kojikun. We started off with a pub lunch at the Swan in Ley Hill (technically in Buckinghamshire rather than Hertfordshire) - wherein the standard disappointment of Sunday pub lunches ensued - the vegetarian options being pasta or risotto (it's almost never something involving roast potatoes) - but at least the pub had a reasonably pleasant interior, with a big open fire and lots of exposed beams. After that we popped back to their house briefly, before going out for a walk in the fields surrounding their village. It was definitely on the chilly side, but a good opportunity to get some fresh country air.Then back to their house again for a warming cup of tea and some very nice chocolate cake Akiko-san made before eventually heading back to London.
In the evening I made a strange sort of dinner, attempting to do something like bubble and squeak with leftover mashed potato and swede from St. Andrew's Day. We didn't have any cabbage so I attempted to use spinach instead. It didn't really work, but was just about edible with some chilli sauce.
samusou dakedo suteki na tokoro ne.
Erika chan hotondo kubi ga
Posted by yoko at 2012/12/04 02:03:19.
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