The main reason we decided to return to Whitstable only a year after our departure was to see people we’d grown so fond of, and to keep those friendships kindled. Our reunions with the people we know and love in this small corner of the world have made us realize that we absolutely made the right decision to come. The kids remembered things and people, so could get excited about places and faces. We were so happy to see those that made us feel welcome here during our year-long stay.
For our first night back in Whitstable, our lovely friend Christina invited us to her house for dinner. She cooked us a feast! Various fruits, juices, cocktails, and crunchy bits for appetizers, a pasta course, and delicious organic roast chicken! It was divine. We enjoyed a sunny afternoon and evening in the garden with Christina, her husband, her gorgeous daughters, Aoife and Orla, and then Cassie and her husband came to join us as well! A very memorable evening.
Charlie and Flora had so much fun playing with Aoife and Orla. They rode bicycles around and around the garden for ages, and then Flora and Aoife played dress-up.
Did I mention cocktails??? Forever more, when Christina and I get together, there will be Prosecco and Chambord cocktails. Delish!
The kids table.
Dress up time!
They played this game where they would marry each other and act-out the wedding(s). Pretty darn cute.
Nothing much cuter than sweet little English girls in summer dresses and hats. Sigh.
The next very significant reunion: meeting baby Lisa! Wonderful friends Tim and Emilie were expecting when we saw them last, at our house in Washington State! They have been through a lot with their adorable little girl, and though we had “met” Lisa via Skype, we were very eager to get our hands on her! She did not disappoint. A cuddly, coo-ey, sweet, delicious bundle. We met up for a concert by Caritas Chamber Choir, the group I sang with during the spring before we left England (friend Tim still sings with them). We passed some time before the concert at Brown’s Coffee House, which has become a favorite spot in Canterbury. What a happy baby!
St. Peter’s Church, where the concert was held. This is where I rehearsed with the group when I was singing with them. Wonderful little church!
Couldn’t believe how well Lisa did during the concert! Aside from a few small coos, she was very quiet and content!
The next reunion: our lovely friends from Hey Diddle Music class.
The kids’ wonderful teacher, Anita, is one of those souls who seems to be doing exactly what they were made to do. She is wonderful, and so good at engaging the children (of many ages!). We miss her.
We attended this class twice while we were in town, and after the first class, we had a picnic lunch with friends Stanley and Peter. (Later that week, we had a lovely afternoon at their house in Whitstable, but that’s for another post.) The kids were SO excited to see Stanley! He had grown and it was fun to see him look a little older, and a lot more talkative.
After lunch, the kids had a lot of fun throwing things into the sea.
There have been other reunions as well.
I reconnected with two yoga teachers, one of whom I consider a mentor and a deeply significant presence in my life. It was a very meaningful reunion, and one that will continue to affect me in the coming months.
Brad had a very productive meeting at the University of Kent with his colleague, Sally, with whom he worked during our year here.
I was happy to jump in at the last minute to join my Whitstable Choral Society friends in a concert of Mozart and Puccini at Canterbury Cathedral. (There will be a post on this event as well…)
And there are reunions to come. We will see some of our London-based friends this week.
We are SO wonderfully rich in friends.