Back in May, we flew to the UK for ten days with Ryanair. The name of this budget airline may not ring a bell for anyone outside Europe. Most of us have a love/hate relationship with it, loving its occasionally ludicrously cheap fares, but hating the hoops you have to jump through to make sure they don't charge you for extras. And hating, hating their Machiavellian web site where, in order not to buy insurance from them, you have to tick the box artfully hidden in a pull-down menu of destinations.
Anyway, we got a good rate, booked one piece of luggage to go in the hold and very carefully weighed our hand luggage. Anything over 10 k and they come at you with sharp instruments.
It turned out that seven of the 10 days we spent back in my homeland were some of the sunniest that the UK had all summer. There we were, in sweaters, sitting outside a pub near Cambridge, swigging shandies and chomping away at our chips, when suddenly one of us (me) said: "Bit hot, innit?" So hot in fact that I had to borrow a T-shirt that same day and, subsequently, spend a tenner on summery wear at the charity shops that now abound in Bury St. Edmunds. I mean, abound. There must be seven or eight of them.
We had a gorgeous ten days with the family. The first Saturday we were there, we trotted off to the farmers' market held every week at Wyken Vineyards just outside Bury, returning with a fine haul of cheeses and chutneys.
Some days later, we spent the day with my eldest niece Sarah who lives near, and sometimes works at, South Farm, which is among the UK's favourite places to hold wedding receptions. Here's South Farm: