I am often asked do I like living in England? My answer is generally that it’s great as long as I can leave every once in a while. We have quite a few vacations in Britain, but we often chase the sun during the summer and winter going to places like the Mediterranean, Caribbean or back home to the West Coast of the US or Hawaii where my parents live.
However, this Easter weekend reminded me how glorious England can be in the spring time. The temperatures were creeping up toward the upper 60s Fahrenheit with 75 expected by the end of the week. Warm enough to be comfortable, but cool enough to feel fresh. Very different from the east coast lately. Cherry blossoms, hawthorn and various fruit trees were blooming everywhere in a riot of color by the road side. We explored the Chilterns this weekend, a low range of rolling hills a few miles north of our home and stumbled on a fantastic pub in the tiny village of Russell’s Water called the Five Horseshoes. We sat on a bench overlooking a green shallow valley with sheep grazing below, red kites (a type of bird) above and enjoyed a cold drink. I had the best burger I have had in a long time with a nice cold lager. Perfect.
On Saturday, I took my son and a friend to the Arsenal game in the new Emirates stadium. But it was our first time in the new stadium and even though they lost for the first time in that stadium (Sorry Matt!), it was a great day out. Perfect weather for a football match. Arsenal clearly had better control on the ball, but I guess West Ham had more to play for to avoid relegation and the sea of light blue supporters confined to their corner were almost as loud as the rest of the bright red stadium. On the sullen march back to the Underground station, you can see what an eclectic collection of people Arsenal supporters are. No wonder that even a guy from Utah can be a supporter.
On Sunday, we and our friends had an Easter buffet at Monkey Island in Bray, not too far from Alfresco’s headquarters. How appropriate that we sipped champagne before dinner in the Alfresco tables outside the hotel under bright blue skies. Monkey Island is really an island that was built for local monks to catch fish and was developed by the 2nd Duke of Marlborough as a hunting lodge. For lunch, there was the traditional English carvery with roast beef and all the food we could manage to cram in. Still more chocolate for the kids. The French doors were wide open to a patio that leads down to the river where we can watch the small private boats sail past us on their boats to and from Windsor.
There’s more, but I have to get back to work. There are a lot of downsides to global warming, but every once in a while there are some upsides.