We'd only been in the mother country for a couple of nights before we set off on a typically over-ambitious trip to catch up with friends and family around the place. First stop was Manchester to see Sacha, Jon and Alfie which was a pleasure. They've got a great place and luckily they have Sky so I could watch Arsenal beat Chelsea while I was there.
Then we continued up the M6 to the Lake District for what was possibly my favourite day of the whole trip. When I was growing up I used to get up to the Lakes 3 or 4 times a year and it was one of the first things M&I talked about on the night we met. The weather was perfect and Keswick was just as I remembered, so we all enjoyed the walk down to Derwentwater and trips to Ye Olde Friars sweet shop and The Old Keswickian
chippy. The next morning we drove over Honister Pass to Buttermere which was absolutely beautiful - there are some lovely shots on the Flickr site
Forward to Edinburgh, where we spent 3 happy days with my aunt, uncle, cousins and nieces. Edinburgh is my favourite town after London, and it was great to have a few days to wander around and take in the vibe. B1 was particularly taken with Kessie the cat.
Final stop was Durham, to see more family. It was so important to us that (a) my family got to see the Bs, and (b) B1 got to know my family. She has such an incredible capacity to remember people that she is still asking about people a good 2 months after she saw them, and remembers who gave her which gifts. By combining regular trips to Blighty with video-conferencing, we hope that the kids will grow up thinking of my side of the family as an integral part of their lives just as much as their Player counterparts.