Exactly a year ago today I went to Bath to meet some ex work colleagues and as Mr. HCB had said the weather was going to be good today, we decided to go to Bath again - and he was right.

We left on an early train and our first stop was the Bertinet café just outside the station.  Mr. HCB didn’t feel like having a cake and besides which, he had had breakfast, so it was left to me to do the honours and the almond croissant was very tasty, washed down with a good latte.

Then off to the Apple store, where I had one or two questions that were answered by Nick before weaving our way into the city centre.  I loved working in Bath, and although I left work eight years ago, I still enjoy going back.  We called in to see Nikki and Jo, two of the nicest people I worked with, and caught up on all that had happened in our families.  Jo’s daughter, Izzy, was with her at work and as she says she wants to be a photographer, I have said I will go back in the next couple of weeks and take her out on a photo shoot.  I even suggested she joined Blip, so we will see.  

There is so much to see in Bath and when the sun is shining it makes it so much better -  the mellow Bath stone looked wonderful today, everywhere we looked.  It was interesting that both Nikki and Jo both said how well we looked - so we told them that retirement is wonderful, we are very contented and are never bored.

We went up to The Circus and then on to Royal Crescent - two famous places in Bath, passing the Jane Austen Museum on the way;  we didn’t go in, but I took some photographs for a friend who lives in Pakistan and who I know is keen on Jane Austen.  It’s just a shame that there are so many cars parked around Royal Crescent, but I guess there aren’t that many garages because many years ago, people didn’t have cars, but were chauffeured.  

Mr. HCB knew there was a bookshop quite near the Royal Crescent, so he was happy to browse in there whilst I wandered around but sadly he didn’t find any Channel Islands books, which was what he was looking for.  I chatted to a lovely lady who was also waiting for her husband, but couldn’t go into the shop because she had two rather large Labradoodles, Rosie, the brown one and Zeus, the black one that belongs to her son.

We then came back to the Assembly Rooms for a quick lunch - not the best we have had, but Mr. HCB suggested stopping later for coffee and cake, so that’s what we did at The Bath Bun, a little café in the city centre and then had a wander around the Abbey and its environs.

We intended going back to the station in time to catch the 4.15 train, but when I saw a couple taking a photograph of the wonderful umbrellas and asked if they would like one taken together, we stopped and chatted to them, so 4.15 came and went, but it didn’t matter.  It turned out they also came from Swindon, but are originally from Hong Kong and we found out they were Christians and go to a Church at Freshbrook on the other side of Swindon.   Charmain suggested we meet up for a coffee sometime, so I think I may ask Amy, who is also from Hong Kong, and who comes to our Church, if she would like to come too.

We loved the umbrellas and when I took my last photograph looking down from the station, I was telling Mr. HCB that when I was working here ten years ago, I watched the “new” Southgate Shopping Centre being built - it is now a vibrant and colourful shopping mall, with lots of buzz and some great shops.

We have had a great day in Bath and then met a lovely lady from The Gambia on the bus coming home.  I was telling her that when we were first married, we knew a young man named Phoday Jarjussi, who was a friend of our Minister’s son, Neil.  They both used to visit regularly to have meals with us and play board games - no computer games in those days!  

In 1969, Apollo 11 was the first spaceflight to land humans on the moon, and as most people know, Americans, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin actually walked on the moon.  When Phoday went home and told his father, who was the Chief of a Tribe in The Gambia, he told us that his father beat him for talking such nonsense!  I was telling her that I had found someone by his name working in London and had emailed him, but had had no response, so she said she has plenty of friends in London, so will ask them.  With our Golden Wedding next year, it would be great to make contact with him again because we had such great times together - I wonder if we would still recognise each other?

All in all, a great day - we have met so many lovely people and it was a joy to be out in the sunshine, but I couldn’t pick one photograph, hence the collage.

“There is nothing I would not do
     for those who are really my friends.
I have no notion of loving people
     by halves,
          it is not in my nature.”
Jane Austen

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