Snow!!! Spring in England this year. Last year was the warmest on record. Not this year! It's the coldest.
The trip over was great, and I arrived in Birmingham to stay with my cousin, Eve, Wednesday afternoon. I traveled to Birmingham by bus from Gatwick. Although wearing a turtleneck and sweater, it was very cold (no heat on the bus), and I had left my fleece, gloves and hat in my suitcase in the luggage carrier of the bus. I must have been blue, because as I was saying hello to Eve she was taking off her coat and put it on me zipping up both zippers in this very big and warm coat. Although I protested, I was grateful! And she took me home and sat me in front of the fire with a cup of tea. I've attached pictures from my bedroom window the first and second mornings.
I had a lovely time with Eve and husband, Simon. Yesterday, we visited a beautiful stately home and garden (pictured on the bridge) and "back to back" homes in the center of Birmingham built from 1901_1970. They were restored small apartments that shared a common courtyard and bathrooms. Each depicted differnt periods. The first home (1901) belonged to a Jewish family; the father made clock hands. The second home from the 30's had 10 children, and the father made glass eyes for teddy bears and humans. The children shared a bed like a jig saw puzzle with four to a bed The third belonged to a man from Antigua who responded to a job notice but was turned away because of his color. He later earned his way to his own, very successful tailor business. When the National Trust began to restore the back to back homes, he gave the keys to them and walked away. His children were successfullyestablished in the business, and he was ready to retire. The shop was left in tact with bolts of cloth, patterns, suits etc.
Fabulous! He apparently still shows up for the parties perfectly attired in his own handmade suits.
I'm back in London this evening. I will spend tomorrow with another cousin (and goddaughter) & family tomorrow before meeting David and Andrew at Heathrow for our flights to Sierra Leone. Bring on the 90 degrees!!!