Finally had a chance to get a break. June 11th, flew to the UK from Oman to meet Nora coming from Canada.
Had a fitting for the Ascot Morning Suit, rented a car and drove to Bath for 3 glorious days of R & R. This included a brilliant tour of Bath given by an older gentleman who obviously loved the City. Then a comedy tour, Bizarre Bath, a 2 hour comedy trip around the streets of Bath, highly recommend this. A leisurely stroll along the canals of Bath and a not so leisurely stroll through the woods surrounding Bath followed when I got lost.
We then drove to the Cotswolds, where we found a lovely B & B in Stow on the Wold. The days in the Cotswolds were spent walking about the countryside and eating in our favourite pub, the Queen's Head in Stow. Shanda managed to find her Ascot attire in Stow,
June 14th I managed a train from the nearby village of Kingham to London for a visit with Chris Fox, the Executive Officer for the Liberal Democrats. We had an hour together to discuss politics and anyone who knows me, knows I had a great time. This was arranged by a mutual friend in Muscat, John Passmore.
June 16th we departed The Cotswolds and drove to London to prepare for Ascot. Ascot was June 17th, Ladies Day and the Gold Cup race, attended by Her Majesty. Ascot was arranged by my good friend, Arthur Millholland, who has Box #215.
We bet all 6 races that day and Shanda managed to pick the winner of the 2nd race to everyone's delight. A great time was had by all.
June 18th was the Bush Theatre in Shepherd's Bush to see Like a Fishbone, "A remote valley. An unspeakable crime. A prominent architect is commissioned to design a memorial to the victims." Enjoyed it immensely.
June 19th lunch with Art Millholland at the Grenadier's Pub, Tucked away down exclusive Wilton Mews, on the corner of Old Barrack Yard, the patriotic Grenadier is painted red, white and blue. A bright red sentry box tells you, if you hadn't guessed, this is a pub with a military history. The Duke of Wellington's Grenadier Guards used it as their mess. Inside it is small, dark and cosy; the ceiling coffee black, the walls dark panelled. The bar counter has an original pewter top, maybe the oldest of its kind.
June 20th was Ramy's birthday, spent in beautiful Holland Park, Holland Park is about 22 hectares (54.36 acres) in area and is considered one of the most romantic and peaceful parks of central London. The northern half or so of the park is semi-wild woodland, the central section around the ruins of Holland House is more formal with several garden areas, and the southernmost section is used for sport.
June 21st off to Dahab and 5 days with Kate, our dive instructor daughter. Dahab, Nestled beneath the shattered mountains of South Sinai, on golden sands and above warm, marine rich seas, Dahab, Egypt is famous for its chilled out atmosphere, fantastic all year season, its breathtaking scenery and some of the best scuba diving sites on earth.
Kate and Nora will dive and I will make sure the financial integrity of the local bars is secure. A dirty job but it always falls to someone.