Manchester, 21-23 April: Fish & chips dinner at Travelodge, on our last evening here. We've had much more interesting food on the previous days, but a malfunctioning SD card meant I've lost all the pix so far... :-(((

Nottingham, 24 April: My birthday. Margaret & Pat took us out for a dinner at Pitcher & the Piano, a beautiful church conversion in Lacemarket. We had grilled Scottish salmon, steamed cabbage and some of Pat's mashed potatoes. The drink was Silver Angel, a champagne cocktail with mango & passionfruit - very refreshing. Many thanks, girls :-)
© Margaret Graham

© Margaret Graham
Later on in the hotel bar (which we had to ourselves - only way they could allow us to smoke inside!) Champagne flowed late into the night, into Usako's birthday (and the bartender's too.)

25 April: Crepe with tomato, mushrooms & fried egg for breakfast, before catching our train to London.

Dinner at Fishworks in Primrose Hill. Squid sauteed with garlic and parsley.

Skate with capers & black butter.

Later on: UsaKousa enjoying M&S pink champagne & berries (and a birthday card from Alyson.)
London, 26 April: Kousa's birthday. Ricca gave us this beautiful portrait of us, made with dried flowers, as a joint birthday present.

© Ricca Kawai

© Dave Hodgkinson

And Mark, Ricca's boyfriend, cooked us all a beautiful sea bass dinner - unfortunately I'd forgotten my camera, so this one was taken on Dave H's Sony mobile.
Bournemouth, 28 April: Very sunny and hot day. While lounging at our hotel's poolside bar before flying to Glasgow, we heard a sudden, loud splash. It was two ducks landing on water, where they seemed to relax for a long time, unafraid of the strange dolphin giving them a funny look.
More to follow in Part 2...