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Lucy French’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 29 Oct 2008

Location: London, England

MapWell it's been an eventful couple of days. Firstly I spent a glorious weekend with an old friend of mine from my Glastonbury days - Ali, who now lives with her husband Graham in Chesterfield. As usual it was wonderful to catch up and do lots of talking, plus she's a fabulous vegetarian cook and I must admit it was mesmerising watching her just throw something gourmet together (including dessert) at the touch of a whisk! Anyway a big thanks to Ali for the wonderful food, the fabulous walks and of course the fabulous shopping (ps my sister loves her earrings)!

We shopped in the very picturesque town of Bakewell, where she used to manage one of the resturants there before she became a registrar (that's similar to a marriage celebrant). We also walked to a lovely stone circle on top of the moors as well as talk non stop.

I love how catching up with all my old friends has been so easy - as if I haven't been away at all.

Anyway after Chesterfield I made my way to Stratford on Avon, but it was too full of tourists so I carried on to the Cotswolds where I stayed in the venice of the cotswolds - Bourton on the Water, where the river runs through the ancient village.

Next it was Westonbirt, a famous arbouretum, before making my way back to the outskirts of London via the M4, but unfortunately I wasn't to know that the whole country was about to be dumped with slush and snow. You can imagine my surprise as the sky became darker (at 3.00 pm) and the rain turned to sleet, and you couldn't see far in front of you, that I thought I was driving on the roadway to hell. You don't want to be driving on a motorway in the UK at the best of times, but certainly not under such treachurous conditions. Well I held my breath most of the way and somewhow made it to Hounslow where I stayed in the grottiest B&B - can't tell you how it made my skin crawl. Of course there had to be a reason why it was only £40 per night (for London that is)! Anyway the following morning I gingerly got back into my hire car for the final drive into London to drop the car off. I made it completely unscathed, except for one wrong turning and probably an illegal u turn. By the time I got to Europcar, my legs were shaking. You try driving through central london in peak traffic, it's no picnic I can tell you.

Anyway I'm now with my sister maggie and we have just come back from a brisk walk around Regent's Park and environs and now we're off to BAFTA to see a screening of a new film starring Colin Firth, who will be there in person. It's her birthday so we are doing it in style.

I'm here for one more day before flying off to Lake Como on Friday.