Up to Edgware

Extreme wind all night long. Part of the fence blew down, and the tiles on the roof above our head felt like they were rattling and shifting. As a consequence not too much sleep.

Off to London to see Mum and Mas, newly sprung from hospital, and the Tobster, newly arrived from Canada. Lorraine and I set off with a song on our lips at 10:30 but the ghastly M25 was virtually gridlocked, and it added almost two hours to our journey. We arrived at The Toby Carvery, where we had arranged to meet, fairly stiff and limping. Mum had sensibly had a couple of gin and tonics, and Toby a beer. Mason was doing remarkably well considering this was his first full day having been released back into the wild. He said that some people on the ward liked to talk more than others.

The Toby Carvery was great value for money, and if you got the special large oval plate you could gorge even more. Toby, gripped by an unnatural appetite, and I opted for this at Mason's prompting. A pleasant meal, apart from mum choking and then choking afresh on the water I got from the bar. But lovely to sit chatting. Our calorie carnival was then augmented by sundaes. 

Then all home to sit by the fire at Mum and Mason's place, where I consumed pistachio nuts, and we swapped presents and chatted for hours. Mason's present was sadly still under the tree in Brighton. Looked at some amazing photos that Toby had taken in Patagonia, and got camera envy looking at the Tobster's new camera. Lorraine's new mobile bluetooth speaker came in handy, and she played the recording she had made of Chiara Beebe's piece on her phone. Mum and Tobs liked it - and it served to remind me that the whole year hadn't been entirely devoted to house move hell.

A bonus was that Romy Face Timed from Japan so we all got to say hello to her too, despite it being the middle of the night after a demanding day with a ceremony for Hiroko. Lorraine and I talking lots about how it was this time last year that we were in Japan. As usual seeing Toby, who we've not seen since then, is just like having seen him last week. 

Then off in the car, a few minutes of ghastliness as the M25 seemed again to come to a standstill on the way home but luckily this was just temporary - and we made it home in half the time it took us to get up to London, which was rather excellent.

Back to our new home, and Pat and Maureen comfy on the sofa, and Claudia bright and chatty this evening, having had a splendid day in Brighton.