Time to say good-bye.

Alexander is looking forward to driving us back to Chemnitz.

These past few days have been incredibly busy ones. Now we’re sitting on packed suitcases. It’s our last night in England and we’re anxiously listening to the storm ripping through the yard. The shipping forecast has issued a gale warning for Humber and Thames and Dover with rough or very rough seas. Hopefully it will spend all its force tonight so that we will have a nice and calm crossing tomorrow.

Christmas at the McGuinness’ was wonderful. We took a wonderful walk along the Monsal trail. It is a walking trail along a disused railway. And as of this year they have opened all the old railroad tunnels. It’s fun picturing old steam engines edging along the hillsides in the peak district. But beware, don’t touch the walls in the tunnels or you’ll be covered all over in soot. The kids loved it.

Just like they loved the Buckingham hotel where we stayed once again, after we had already spent a few nights there last summer. It’s just lovely with all its quirkyness, the clashing floral wallpapers, the movie star themed rooms, the wonderful breakfast. This time our room didn’t have a name, however. We didn’t mind so much because last year we stayed in “Damnation” which was opposite of “Crafty Shag”. I guess you get the idea of what a lovely place it is.

Back from Buxton we spent our days gradually getting our stuff in order and packing, unpacking and re-packing. Now we are ready to go back. There is much we didn’t write about: geocaching, the visit to York, new vocabulary we’ve learned, the boys’ Christmas party at school, British food, British television et cetera et cetera. and all the nice people we have met while we were here.

Thanks so much to Dan and Carl, Gráinne, Jochen and the kids, Barbara, the teachers and staff at Lincolnshire Montessori, Tracey, Bill, Ellie and Luke, Maddy, James, Sam and Katie and Claire. Thanks to Eleanor and Kevin our wonderful landlords and thanks to their sons for letting us use their Wii. Thanks also to the wonderful staff at the Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre Café on Plough Hill for serving us chocolate cake although we had already had one that week. All these guys made our stay here special with their helpful tips, the lovely pick-up time chats and their friendliness in general. Thank you all.

Walking across a field in the Peak District


Waiting for the train that won't come at an old disused train station on the Monsal trail


Entrance to an old railway tunnel on the Monsal trail


Old railway bridge, now open to walkers and cyclists


the highly recommendable Buckingham Hotel in Buxton


we were quite lucky to keep our being from Germany a secret

before we left we filled our empty water bottles with the magnificent Buxton water straight from the well


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