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London, Ipswich and Points Beyond
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Friday August 20th, 2004

At Last! A Lazy Day (or Gardening in Ipswich)

Bed at the Cliffden was a little lumpy but not bad. Woke up around 6:00 and tried to catch up Front Garden with the diaries. Breakfast is served between 7:00-8:30 M-F and 8-9 on weekends. Went intoG the breakfast room about 7:45 and had our full traditional English breakfast. Egg, big bacon, sausage, beans, mushrooms, tomato and toast. Plus coffee and juice. MMMMM. Had sketchy plans to meet up with the kids over at Matt's but no set time. Had to be out of the room for housekeeping by 10:00 so went over at the time. No life at the Staples residence. We left a note saying we'd be back at 10:30, then 11:00. We took a few pics of his front jungle then took a walk downtown.

The town center is about 10 minutes away on foot. We checked out some shops and got our bearings. Walking around Ipswich is like walking around Walnut Creek. Lotsa fun if you enjoy looking in store windows but really not all that much to do. We walked back and got to Matt's at 10:30. Still no life. Walked around the block for 10 minutes and returned. Still Back Garden no life.. until the note we shoved into the mail slot moved. Aha! Knocked on the door and there were the Matts in the lounge. Matt had to work on this day but didn't have to be there until noon. We all sat around and chatted for awhile, then Matt went upstairs to get ready for work. Checked email on Matt's pooter and Adri made herself breakfast. Once Matt left Adri and Matt decided maybe a nap was in order. Kel and I had other plans. I popped back to the hotel to grab shoes and a tshirt.

Matt Staples is NOT a gardener and his front yard was choked with weeds and a hugely overgrown pyracantha, which made getting to the front door downright dangerous. We went through his collection of implements of destruction (many still in their original packaging) and picked out a hedge trimmer, a shovel, Before Pic some gloves and a broom. We got to work. While Kel trimmed the bush, I pulled weeds. Turns out 90% of his garden is covered in concrete pavers. Never would have known. Chopped, scraped and pulled every plant out of the cracks. Piled them all up on the walkway leading to a little alley between houses that gives access to the back jungle. Took about a dozen loads by hand to the back and created a pile of brush that nobody would ever know was there... surrounded by weeds :-) After working for about 45 minutes, After Pic Cliff, Matt's housemate returned home. We chatted a bit then it began to rain. Moved inside for a bit until it stopped about a half hour later. Worked on the front yard for another hour or so until it finally looked pretty damned respectable. Swept up all the remaining dirt and stuff, put our tools away and considered it a job well done. Why go on vacation only to pull weeds? It was fun and really there was nothing better to do. Besides, we got to play with his little front garden frogs, see a hitchhiking cicada bug, and marvel at how really wonderful his soil was.:-)

From 3:00 until about 5:30 just sat around with the kids at Matt's house. Popped over to the hotel to change clothes and so Adri and Matt could take showers. Walked into town in search of vittles and decided to eat at The Plough, a pub Kel and I ate at in 2000. Great food but way too much.. They offer it in 'Standard', 'Large' or 'King-Sized' portions. Adri and I went for the Large and were still full most of the next day. Kel and I had smothered chicken (BBQ sauce and cheese), Matt the Mixed Grill and Adri had Fish and Chips. Got back to Matt's around 8:00. Watched some TV (Buffy then Simpsons) then Matt got home around 9ish. And even noticed the change in the front garden without prompting. Pretty good considering how cranky he was. (Though he claims it was the lumpy futon made him cranky. Bet ours looks less evil now.)

He made himself something to eat and we all hung out for another hour. At that point Kel and I called it a night (about 10:30). Walked back to hotel and crashed.

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   Last modified April 26 2014 17:37.