Posted by: glenswatman | May 7, 2010


I meet Mum at The Festival Hall for lunch in the café.  It’s really busy and I can see why as it is
pretty cheap.  We are on the move again
and walk to The Grove School to catch the bus to Telford, £2.55.  What we don’t realise is that it is really
the school bus, full of kids and doing the country run to drop them off.  It takes 1 ½ hours but we do see some
interesting places en route.  At Telford bus
station Netty & Stacey are waiting from us talking to Katie who is with Ebony
(Netty’s granddaughter).  Stuart also
arrives so we have a quick catch up. 
Netty & Mark are getting married on 1st May but by the
time we had the invitation we had booked our trip to Hungary so will miss the
wedding.  We have invited them out for a
nice meal and they have chosen a pub down in Ironbridge.  Driving down by the river we realise we had forgotten
what an attractive area it is.  First we
stop for a drink at the riverside pub of The Woodbridge which on a sunny day
would be superb with tables on the riverbank. 
It is really nice to go into pubs and not be met by a smoky
atmosphere.  Next we go to The
Shakespeare where we take Netty’s recommendation of the sizzling platters which
are excellent. 



Stacey & Netty are out at work but Mark is off and asks if we
want to go anywhere.  Whilst backpacking
I have damaged my computer power pack so he finds a universal one on line and
says we can pick it up at Maplins.  The
Toshiba original replacement is over £70 but the generic one comes in at £44.99
and also has worldwide adaptors and chargers for phones so a good deal all
round.  He knows we are also considering
getting a waterproof camera but comes up with an alternative of a special bag
to put our existing camera in.  At £11.50
it has to be worth a try.  Netty &
Stacey both finish work at lunch time and we sit out in the garden which they
have made really nice with a gazebo and seating area.  We get to see more of the family when Netty
picks up grandson Aiden who keeps us all entertained.  Kevin calls round to pick up the cigarettes
that I have forgotten then Lauren and Macca come to pick up Aiden so a busy
evening rounded off by the Liverpool match on TV.  Take the easy option of take away fish and
chips and they are delicious.



catch the bus down to Newport.  Carol is
home so we drop the bags then walk into town. Its St George’s day today and
Pete is organising the first Newport celebration of the event.  We arrive just ahead of Paul & Elaine to
swell the crowd for the mayors opening speech. 
This is followed by the beginning of the “mile of pennies” where people
are encouraged to line up the coins along the pavement to help funds for the
Newport carnival.  Another attraction is
a kind of treasure hunt.  First you have
to find the 24 shops that have a special “Newport coat of arms” in the window,
in each shop is a picture of a feature within the High Street and a
number.  The next part of the challenge
is to locate the feature and write the location by the number.  It is really fun as we go into shops and
courtyards we did not know existed, meet up with people we know and get a bit
of exercise as well.  At 12.15pm the High
street is closed and St George and his 2 knights appear and begin a parade
through town culminating in a battle with the dragon and saving of the damsel
in distress.  St George was being
interviewed and accidentally said “damson in distress” at which the damsel
herself says “well I feel like a bit of a damson in this dress”.  In the evening Paul & Elaine come down
and we send out for a takeaway and spend the evening reminiscing, catching up
on news and having a bit of a laugh.



Pete runs us to Drayton where we begin the challenge of sorting out
of bags.  When we leave we need clothing
for England before we fly out, Hungary, England when we get back and anything
we want for Australia.  Mum heads off to
the hairdressers and Netty calls round for a chat.  Mum brings back fish & chips for lunch
but we have to say the ones at Telford were better.  Take Mum for a short walk around the park
opposite in the afternoon but it is quite painful for her.  In the evening we pop round to Netty & Ian’s
intending going out to the pub but when Netty sees Steve’s red Crocs she
suggests we stay in for a drink, can’t understand why!



joins us for a late breakfast and to drive us to Telford railway station.  Kevin & Sandra meet us there for a quick
chat.  Our ticket was booked with for £11 and that is for
the 3 trains and the underground.  We
have to make a connection in Birmingham and on the second train we hear what we
think is a spoof announcement.  The
obviously gay guy is talking about the car with the snacks and bar and suggests
that if you are feeling sickly you should go along and buy some fizzy drink
which will make you burp and feel better! 
The London underground is quite busy as today is the marathon and many
runners are trying to get home.  In
Hitchin Margaret and Peter are waiting to drive us to their home – the Rollason
Retreat!  Margaret is a great cook and we
really enjoy the roast pork dinner followed by key lime pie interspaced with
catch up chat.



morning passes with Internet time and exchanging info.  Margaret has a fruit and veg patch and the
forced rhubarb she serves for lunch is so much nicer than the ordinary
stuff.  We walk into Hitchin in the
afternoon to pick up a few things and enjoy seeing all the old buildings.  In the evening we leave the lads at home
whilst Margaret and I go country dancing – a good way to burn off a few
calories from all the delicious food we are eating.



Margaret has suggested a day out so we begin by driving to
Bedford.  En route we pass two enormous
sheds at Cardington inside which hot air balloon were built during the
way.  The River Ouse runs through Bedford
and has nice walks alongside.  Peter
can’t walk too far so stays in the car. 
It is a lovely day and perfect for exploring.  There are some magnificent beds of tulips in
the gardens with many different varieties. 
One the river we see people practicing boating including a school
group.  Swans are nesting and one is good
enough to stand up and show us all the eggs. 
We go to “The Danish” camp for lunch further up the river then return to
do more of the walk.  A really nice day
out.  To top it off, after a delicious
meat pie we have a choice of 3 homemade desserts, bread & butter pudding,
key lime pie and cake – an easy choice, a bit of each.



We all get up early and Peter drives us to nearby Luton airport for
our flight to Hungary.  We booked on line
with Wizz Air £63 each return and have already done on line check in.  Luton airport is still relatively small and
easy to navigate.  We are amazed to hear
announcements in Polish but when we see that 4 out of the 11 flights on the
departure board are to Poland we understand why.  As a budget airline you have to pay for anything
more than 1 bag weighing up to 10kg.  It
says they are very strict on this but no one weighs our bags and before
boarding I take out my small backpack with things we want en route such as
sandwiches.  Food and drink is not
included but sold on board at a high price. 
Also to keep costs down the seats to not recline but are adequate for
our 2 ¼ hour journey.  Having taken off
on time we land a little early at 11.15am (1 hour on) in Budapest HUNGARY.  Our friend Henk is waiting on the terrace
waving when we walk to the terminal. 
With no luggage to collect we are through in minutes, pick up money at
the ATM (Forints 280 = £1) and are quickly on our way.  When Henk offered to pick us up at the
airport we did not realise he has a 300km 3 ½ hour journey to do it.  Luckily the new motorway to Pecs opened this
month so it is an easy journey.  Once out
of the city we seem to drive for hours past flat countryside and farming
land.  We catch up on news during the
journey and arrive in the village of Ibafa around 3.30pm.  Klara also has not changed much since we last
saw her 6 years ago.  For the last 10
years they have been spending summer at the house in Hungary then winter
working in Holland but this year they have both retired and moved here full
time.  We see many improvements to the
house and are soon sitting out enjoying the sunshine. 



Whilst it is great to be with our Dutch friends again the underlying
reason for our visit was to go to the dentist. 
We are booked in at the hospital with Dr Toth (the Hungarian word for
death).  She is a very nice lady dentist
who quickly checks me out, agrees I need 2 crowns replacing and sets about
doing the groundwork, removing the existing crowns, making moulds then sending
me off with the bare stumps.  She gives Steve
a quick check and as he does not need crowns she will see us both tomorrow to
deal with the simple stuff whilst the crowns are being made.  We’ve put money into a kitty for groceries so
call in to pick up the things we all like. 
By the time we get back it is really hot so we are happy to sunbathe in
the privacy of the garden.  The house
opposite has been bought by Henk & Klara’s daughter Joany and her husband Frank;
he is there at the moment doing some jobs so we call round.  Most of the houses in the village were
originally smallholdings.  The houses all
run sideways from the road, have big windows facing the garden and small high
ones at the back giving the people behind privacy.  At the far end of the house there are the
buildings that were originally used for animals and down from that the
field.  This makes for great conversion
opportunities and whilst Frank’s house is essentially finished the garden needs
work and there is potential to convert one of the outbuildings.   The good news is that the houses come cheap
as does labour which is the big attraction to the area along with the climate
hence many houses in this and neighbouring villages being owned by Dutch,
Belgians and Germans. 



takes us back to the dentist at her village practice in San Lorenzo.  Here we are the only patients.  First she gives me an injection to numb the
area of the filling, does the same with Steve then sends us out to wait for
about 10 minutes.  My filling is at the
bottom so I opt for a white one which takes a long time as she builds it up in
small layers using a sort of laser heat gun to seal each one.  Steve’s is at the top so he has the normal
silver version.  The white one costs HUF
6,000 (£21.50), the silver one HUG 3,000 (£10.75) and my crowns will be HUF
16,000 (£57) each so much cheaper than in England.  Back at home work is in progress in the
kitchen as they are having the boiler moved up into the attic to make more
space in the kitchen.  Two men spend the
morning doing the job and including parts the total bill is only HUF 15,000
(£55).  It is very relaxing here as no
one rushes to do anything so we really feel relaxed and enjoy Henk &
Klara’s company.





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