2001-01 (JANUARY, 2001)

Paris, France

Louise and I took a wee jaunt to Paris for a night and a day with work. Not amazingly interesting but we got to travel First Class on the Eurostar.

Hampton Walk - London, England

Andy and I went for another walk out of our book of routes around Greater London.

This one began at Hampton Wick station and from there headed into Hampton Park (also known as Home Park). This park abuts the grounds of Hampton Court and we had a very pleasant meander past the Long Water on our way to the Hampton Court gates. From there we made our way back to the main road and found a wee establishment for our lunch stop. The walk continued across the road, into Bushy Park. After straying somewhat from our designated route, we made it out the other side and down to the banks of the river Thames. The river was in heavy flood and the ferry boat was not running, so we had to improvise the last section of our walk by making our way along the near-side bank (instead of the more interesting far bank). The route finished where it began, at Hampton Wick station. Lovely.

Chipstead Walk - Surrey, England

Louise, Richard, Andy and myself jumped in the car and drove to Chipstead (near Banstead) to take advantage of a glorious Winter's day by doing a walk from one of Louise's walking guides. The route around Banstead Wood was gorgeous (lots of good photos!) and we all enjoyed the stroll immensely.

Sir John Soanes Museum - London, England

Mike, Sian, Marianne and I went on a little field trip to my all-time favourite museum in London. If you haven't been there, you're missing out. Brilliant.

Andy's Leaving Do - Dublin, Ireland

Well, the weekend we had been planning for so long finally came and went off!

The occasion was a family gathering so that Andrea's extended family could bid her farewell as a group, before she disappeared to the Southern Hemisphere. Bobby, Stephen Swift and I had planned a Treasure Trail as Saturday's daytime entertainment and it was a great success. Five teams of four or five people followed a devious route around the city - answering questions, collecting items and taking photographs as they went (as well as supping the occasional pint, if time permitted). After a wee break, we reconvened for an evening meal, the judging of the Treasure Trail and the prize giving.

We all had a fantastic time and I was very touched to be made so welcome. Now we're hoping to turn it into an annual event (with the next one being in Sydney, of course)!