Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Arundel Castle

When we lived in Zambia a number of years ago, we got to know Carol and David and their family of three kids. They have remained very dear to us and we were so happy to be able to stay with them during our time in England. They met us at Luton airport and we were quickly on our way to the very south of England, not far from Brighton. A beautiful sunny day to drive through the lush countryside. After dropping our luggage at their home, they took us to a lovely cafĂ© right on the beach where we ate a scrumptious lunch. Leaving the coast, a short drive took us to the restored medieval Arundel Castle, founded by Roger de Montgomery on Christmas Day 1067 during the reign of William the Conqueror. It was build as a fortification for the mouth of the River Arun and a defensive position for the surrounding land against invasion from the Continent. From the 11th century onward the castle has served as a hereditary stately home and has been in the family of the Duke of Norfolk for over 800 years. Standing high on a hill, it towers over the tiny village below. Antique shops seemed to be predominant in this little precinct and we took our time and wandered from one to the next, browsing for that special bargain we might find. Sadly we didn’t make any purchases but it was an enjoyable afternoon. The next day was a ‘catch up’ day for laundry after which we drove into Worthing township to post mail and generally have a look around. A beautiful birthday celebration meal for Louise, prepared by our host (her mum) was a special time for their family, and we were privileged to be included. DH says Carol is the best cook around and her pavlova is wonderful! (I’d have to agree).

Some time ago I had made contact by email, through a genealogy website, with a lady who was descended from the Double family - as DH is. We discovered through corresponding that we had quite a lot in common and have continued to keep in touch. It was most fortunate that she lives only a few miles from Worthing and before leaving Australia we had made arrangements to meet with her. She drove and met us and took us to her home for a cup of coffee and a ‘catch up’ before taking us to lunch to Highdown House, a little gem just three miles west of Worthing and tucked in amongst beautiful gardens. This lovely peaceful garden with views out to sea is a real horticulturalists delight. So many rare and unusual varieties flourish at Highdown that the entire garden has been declared a national collection. Being a beautifully sunny day and after a delicious ‘roast dinner’ from the carvery, we spent time wandering through this beautiful little oasis with its blossoming trees and beautiful ponds and spring flowers.

The road leading to Highdown House

The next morning a bleak wind had sprung up but we received a very warm welcome at the church service we attended which made up for the chill outside. Monday morning we were sad to leave these dear friends. Again we were driven to our next ‘port of call’ - Ipswich.