Lady Helen left her travelling companions for a few days and flew to England to spend time with her dearest friend Jennifer.
On Wednesday when she arrived they went straight to the garden centre where they enjoyed a delicious baked potato stuffed with tuna.
That first day it was a tad chilly but the rest of the time was warmish.
On Thursday Jen had to work so Lady Helen spent a chilled day alone at her house, reading and watching British TV!
On the Friday it was a half-day for Jen so she went with her and walked around the town
taking photos and enjoying the canal with its barges, shady trees and water birds.
She had breakfast at a wonderful coffee shop called Epicurus. She told the owner that he was better than Starbucks. This flattered him no end as he’d worked at Starbucks a few years back and was delightful that she appreciated proper coffee.
When Jen knocked off they went shopping at Milton Keynes. Lady Helen wanted to buy three pairs of denims at Marks and Spencer – black, white and blue – as they
sell them at the correct leg length. She also wanted a white shirt and was convinced she would have no trouble getting them there but Jen said. “No way – they’re not as good as they used to be. Everyone’s complaining and shopping elsewhere these days!”
But she did manage to get one pair of perfectly fitting blue denims but no white shirt! So they checked out a few other stores. Just as they were about to give up Lady Helen spotted a shop that looked like it specialised in men’s shirts but the window poster was of women in shirts too.
The shop was staffed with a few very dapper young men who assured them that they did indeed stock lady’s shirts in this speciality store. The range of shirts was awesome and the quality fabulous so Lady Helen ended up spending a good deal of her budget on three well fitting, button up, long sleeved shirts in white, blue and pink and white stripe. But because she bought three she got one free! So instead of three pairs of denims and one shirt she got one pair of denims and three shirts. She could live with that!
On the Saturday they had the most beautiful walk at a nearby wetland – not many birds on that day but the wild flowers were beautiful.
One cannot visit England without enjoying at least one pub lunch so on their last day together they headed to they headed to a stunning place next to the canal. The weather was pleasant so they started with drinks outside before moving to their indoor table.
Lady Helen ordered sausage and mash and veggies and it was really good. The New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was excellent too.
In the evening Jen drove her to her “luxury” airport hotel. As it turned out the Quality Skyline Hotel was miles from the airport and required a taxi ride to get to it! The quality bit was also a misnomer. The hotel was shabby and the bathroom tiles were cracked. The place was in a dodgy part of town and its restaurant wasn’t open because it was Sunday!
Thank Goodness she’d had a good lunch because there was no way she could risk life and limb by venturing out in search of an eatery.
But on the positive side it was clean and the TV worked. The staff were kind and woke her in time to get a taxi to the airport for her early flight back to Naples.
She was in good time for her flight and enjoyed an excellent coffee and croissant at Jimmy and Bennie’s.
Lady Helen had caught a bus from Salerno straight to Capodichino Airport in Naples but upon arriving back she found that there was no bus for several hours and her next option would be to take a train. Not having her darling husband’s travel panic to deal with she managed to find where to catch a bus to Napoli Centrale – a most uncomfortable ride as it was so full. This bus dropped her off quite far from the actual station and so Lady Helen
followed a guy who looked like he knew where he was going and 5 minutes
later found herself in the right place. Now to get a ticket – She joined a queue where she met two young, Spanish girls. They told her that the ticket cost 17 Euros. That didn’t sound right so she went in search for a cheaper fare and after asking a few people found the machine for Tren Italia.
She looked blankly at the machine, turned to someone next to her to ask for help but was met with a blank stare! “No Inglese” Suddenly a youth appeared at her elbow and in clear English offered to help. He showed her exactly what to do and directed her to the correct platform. She thanked him profusely. And then he very politely asked if she could spare him some cash. He looked so neat and tidy she couldn’t believe he was a beggar – he was not Italian. She handed over a few euro with a smile on her face. He’d certainly earned it!
Lady Helen now had the right ticket, knew where to get her train and could relax for an hour before departure. She returned to the Spanish girls and gave them instruction on how to get a cheaper ticket – only four Euros! They were most grateful.
She then parked off on a bench to drink a refreshing sparkling mineral water and got into conversation with two American woman of her around her own age. They’d just been on a cruise and now wanted to go to Rome for two days and then fly to Barcelona. They were
trying to go online to book flights but the ‘free’ wifi was not working. Lady Helen had data on her phone so searched for them and gave them all the details. This had taken some time and suddenly she realised she had 5 minutes to catch her train, bade them farewell and dashed to her platform. Once settled she read her Kindle and became so absorbed that she forgot to check the stations but something told her it was time to look up and as they pulled into a station she was surprised to see it was Salerno! Then as she stepped out of the carriage the Earl was right there to meet her! What a look of relief registered on his face. His wife was safe!