Apart from the squeakiest floorboards anywhere, plus a noisy push latch on the bathroom door (who designs these things?) we managed a reasonably good night and headed down to catch up with Richard and Betty for our breakfast (included in the room rate).
Richard and Betty headed straight off - after complaining about the car park fee of £4.50 that he had overlooked in the small print, likening the hotel to “about a 1988 vintage Czech establishment”! Maybe a bit harsh, but compared to some of our other stops, not overly expensive considering the two breakfasts and the free Wi-Fi.
We took our time packing and we considered going to the Crich Tramway museum, but as it was cool and misty, we opted to leave it for a sunnier day sometime in the future.
Back to base and as it is our last full day in the UK, grabbed a mini pork pie out of the fridge. You have to grab these treats when you can. (Incidentally, remember my hit list of 8 UK food items? All have been bowled over with the single exception of Cornish clotted cream, but my guess is that on the Air NZ flight tomorrow, we’ll get warm scones and clotted cream.) Then Sue produced a very nice quiche...
The day before flying out means trying to repack and see what can’t be carried or crammed in. At least flying through the USA, the 20kg limit doesn’t apply. Then brother Dave handed over a couple of surprise gifts... Fortunately, the 8gb flash cards and a Kindle cover didn’t compromise the space.
Just as I was well into it, Stewart arrived with Noah (asleep) in his pushchair, so we walked up to Mapperley for the last time on this trip, where we caught up with Manu in a local cafe. Noah woke as soon as the food arrived... Apparently, Noah is happy sucking on a wedge of lemon...
Noah hopped into the Postman Pat van and I couldn’t help but be reminded of Mr Bean’s baby-sitting system. Filed away for the future...
Having said our farewells, almost tearfully I might add, I tried in vain to try and find a gift of some sort for Dave and Sue, but without success, so walked back. I had no sooner returned when Stewart and Manu called in to say farewell to Paula, so we said our farewells again.
Back to the packing. A masterpiece of space utilisation, with car models in their plastic cases, padded out with socks; the almost full packet of Bassett’s liquorice allsorts squeezed into my drink bottle and so on.
Sue cooked a nice chicken stir-fry and had made a tiramisu for dessert as our final meal. My belt was now on the last notch instead of the last but one. I fear that the bathroom scales back in NZ will not be reading the same figures as they were April 30th.
Bed called at 11:15, so that is it again (almost) for the UK. Sad to be leaving, especially the family and friends, who I really miss once back in NZ. With summer (or what passes for summer in the UK) almost here and having sampled some fine warm days and I have to say, very good food, we now head back to an early winter in NZ, but at least we have LA as a stopover and an Air NZ premium economy flight to look forward to, before landing back in NZ. We set off in plenty of time tomorrow for a 4:15pm flight.