Alex’s Birthday with the family

The day started normally without any particular plans apart from to see Kamila, and my Grand Children. As is often the case plans change and Kamila was delayed, but in the process I talked to Elizabeth and Bruno, Kamila’s in laws, and they invited us to a BBQ for the weekend. Unfortunately, Alex and I would be busy, but instead everyone was invited that evening, and I quickly organised a surprise Birthday Party.

I made a trip to our local Waitrose, and both everything need for the surprise, including bunting, cake and all the ingredients for a BBQ.

What fun we had, and Alex, now affectionately know as the Monkeys Uncle, was very pleasantly surprised by the surprise and the company. Alex is a great uncle, and cares for and Loves Quinn and Oscar and off course Kamila and Karl.

We had marinate chicken, corn on the cob, home made hamburgers, salads and off course Birthday Cake. The party poppers went down exceptionally well, only being surpassed by the garden sprinkler, which the kids ran through in the pleasant warmth of the evening. The evening was topped with the kids dancing, asking for songs from The Alexa device and finally playing hide and seek.

Another Birthday – 12 years old – Next year a teenager
Alex with Quinn and Oscar
Bruno and Elizabeth came to celebrate Alex’s birthday , he has overjoyed

Party popping fun – Karl, getting into the spirit of things
Who’s the monster?
Peter Pan – I can fly, I can fly
….and so can Quinn
Oscar enjoying the Birthday cake – overlooked by Mummy
Hide and seek – where’s Alex??
Here he is, I’ve found him…

Dual Birthday Celebrations

The end of Alex’s holidays are fast approaching and even though he doesn’t start school until the 2nd of September, he needs to be back in Tczew on the 20th?

Today we journeyed the 100 odd miles to visit uncle Warren and celebrate his belated 75th Birthday and at the same time Alex’s 12th.

The two hour drive went uneventfully, as always, with our usual breakfast stop at Petersfield McDonalds.

We arrived at 1230 and after spending a half hour talking to Wanda and stroking Freddie, made our way to Enzee’s Ristorante and Pizzeria.

Alex with Freddie
Alex with Wanda and Uncle Warren at their home in Sway

As usual a delightful welcome at Enzee’s with a wonderful starter of mushrooms and main course of beef cheeks on a bed of mash potatoes. Alex off course, had his standard spaghetti Bolognese.

Great company and a great catch up and loads of sound advice for the coming year. Alex is now a young man and definitely able to make sound decisions. Uncle Warren commented how Alex has matured and not only built up body mass in his two months here, but also how confident and self assured he had become.

Uncle Warren, Alex and me at Enzee’s

Long Lost Family Reunion

Another trip to London and probably the last one before Alex returns to Poland. This time we had a very special meeting with my first cousin once removed, I think. His name is Roger and he is visiting London with his wife Cathy for one day, before starting a tour of France, Italy and other parts of Europe.

The reunion came about due to my long lost cousin, Krystyna, doing a DNA check and being matched with Roger, who did likewise through So these things do seem to work.

Before we met up for lunch at the 6 floor restaurant of the Tate Modern, we met Krystyna, and I guided both Krystyna and Alex on an impromptu tour of the Millennium Bridge, the surroundings of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Smithfield Market.

Alex strolling along the Southbank

Alex and Krystyna on the Millennium Bridge, looking east with the city and Tower Bridge in the distance

St. Paul’s

We strolled the 1/2 mile to Smithfield Market and although closed, managed to sense the hustle and bustle. Found memories flooded back as I remembered my Father who had worked here for 40 years and whose life ended here, when he visited this place one last time with his Grand Daughter, Kamila, and regrettably died from a heart attack on these very streets. God bless Boleslaw Wasilkowski.

The streets of Smithfield Market

One of the main entrances the the market

We made our way back through St Barts and the narrow streets approaching St Paul’s and onto the Tate Modern, for our rendezvous with our American/Polish cousins.

Alex and a fountain in St Barts

Alex, in a London Taxi with Smithfield Market in the background

Commemorative statue for the fire fighters who saved London and St Paul’s during the Second World War

Finally arriving at the 6th floor restaurant at the Tate Modern, we met Roger, my cousin and his wife Cathy. Wonderful warm people. We sat and chatted, exchanging family stories, history and jokes. A wonderful meal, together with fine wines and wondrous views of the beautiful city of London.

Family gathering, Roger, Cathy, Krystyna, Alex and me, with the beautiful backdrop of St Pauls

Cathy and Krystyna

Before we knew it time had slipped past and we headed back to our respective homes and hotels. But before we parted we managed to share a Guinness and some Gin and Tonics at a Local hostelry on the Thames. After which Alex and I escorted our visitors to BlackFriars and shared a tube ride with them, making sure they caught the right train. We all hope to meet again, perhaps State side, but will certainly remain in contact. Thank you Roger and Cathy for your generosity.

Roger and Cathy at Blackfriars Tube Station

Alex seems at home, but not sure about Roger

Where’s Cathy??


19th of July 2019

Today we are taking Krystyna to Greenwich. This is one of Alex’s favourite places and we have been here at least 10 times, but each time is different and unique.

We took the train to Waterloo and then our usual form of transport, The Clipper, along the river Thames and through the heart of our wonderful city , London, and into historic Greenwich.

At Waterloo Station on our way to Greenwich

On the Clipper

Alex an Krystyna on the Clipper with the Shard and Tower Bridge in the background

Not the best of days, but you don’t need good weather to have fun

Here Krystyna, want to share

So after arriving at Greenwich by Clipper, we were welcomed by a downpour of rain. The nearest attraction to us was the Cutty Sark. So we entered and were under cover. I changed my Royal Museum membership to family , as this allowed us to take Krystyna in and was cheaper than all the days activities.

The first attraction was the Cutty Sark, as fantastic ship and living museum, with history of voyages across the globe. We couldn’t stay long as we had planetarium shows to attend. We walked through The Naval schools, past the Maritime museum and up the steep hill to the Royal Observatory. The observatory has been here since 1675. It was built with the purpose of rectify the tables of motions of the heavens. It is steeped with history and this is where the Harrison Clocks are displayed. These enabled exact time keeping upon ships and there the resolution of longitude and therefore positioning of locations on the earth. Because of this discovery, the meridian is located here and this is where time begins and ends.

Alex on the meridian, with me to the east and Krystyna to the west. The beginning and end of time

The great Equatorial Telescope

The planetarium shows were amazing and there is much to do and a day is nowhere near enough to see everything. We will undoubtedly return.

As a member I had reserved three free tickets to the opening of the new moon exhibition, celebrating 50 years since man first landed on the moon. It opened at 6 o’clock and we waited patiently outside to enter. #

A truly fantastic exhibition, full of artefacts  from our first voyages to the moon and all the men and women who made it happen. From map builders to rocket designers. This wasn’t achieved in the one decade that Kennedy committed us to, but over centuries af man and woman kind discovery more and more about our own place in the Universe and contributing to the science that allowed it all to happen. BUT ESPECIALLY TIME and the clocks that Harrison built. A very apt and suitable place to celebrate this vast achievement.

Alex patiently waiting for the exhibition to open

The exhibition

Alex at the exhibition

A Portrait of the number one guy – my hero Neil Armstrong

Buzz Aldrin

Alex, pointing out the one of the first accurate maps of the moon by Hugh Percy Wilkins – amateur astronomer and eventually Director of the Lunar Section of the British Astronomical Association

Alex’s contribution the the exhibition

Krystyna’s contribution


Mine and Alex’s finally on display

Finally on the way home on the Clipper after a long and eventful day.


Hampton Court

18th July 2019

The Palace of Hampton Court is only 2 miles from our home and as always the things that are closet to us are the ones we visit the least. With Krystyna here, we decided to take a trip to this wonderful place. The building of the palace began in 1515 for Cardinal Wolsey, and as he eventually fell out of favour with King Henry VIII was transferred to the King ownership in 1529. It has subsequently been owned by many Kings and Queens.

We spent the day viewing the many halls and rooms and off course the gardens and Royal tennis courts, not to mention the Chapel Royal.

You can spend a whole day here and we almost did. A great history lesson for Alex.

We had the most fantastic time, although we should have allocated more time at this wonderful palace. Full of history and amazing live actors and actresses telling the story of the palace. Live fires with meat roast, unfortunately we weren’t allowed to share in the delicacies.

Alex and Krystyna at Hampton Court Entrance

Alex looking very pensive and listening to his audio guide about the Palace

Katherine of Aragon putting her case for queen toward the court 

Anne Boleyn – “The Most Happy” – making her entrance

The two Queens

Alex in the Courtyard listening to the audio tour

Marzipan chess piece making

Alex couldn’t resist joining in with a lolly

Real open fires and the actors cooking actual beef. Our only regret is that we couldn’t taste it.

Horse tours through the grounds of Hampton Court

Live tennis matches at the Royal tennis courts

Alex joining in the fun, on an electric car provided by the palace

How can you possibly make a child carry your bags whist enjoying your new car

A Visitor from Devon

17th of July 2019

So the day has come for the visit of our long lost cousin Krystyna, who very kindly caught the train up from Devon to visit with us. Alex and I set off to Paddington to meet her.

Her train was due to arrive at 1117 and as usual we were at the station earlier and Alex headed straight to McDonalds for a light breakfast snack. Off course we had to meet Paddington Bear.

After meeting Krystyna we headed for the Bakerloo line to get to Waterloo and drop her bags off, but for whatever reason the Bakerloo line was closed and so we caught a London cab and made our way through extensive traffic to Waterloo. I remembered times, when Krystyna Mum, my Aunty, used to take me on cab rides and allowed me to hail cabs, that’s probably why I love them so. We eventually arrived at Waterloo and promptly dropped off Krystyna’s luggage and then made our way to South Kensington.

Alex and I made up a story that I had a client lunch that afternoon and when I would be finished would be free for the remainder of the day, to entertain our guest. However as we walked up Exhibition Road we sprang our surprise and walked into Ognisko, a Polish restaurant where we had pre booked a table on the terrace. Ognisko, which has been here since 1940, was originally ” THE POLISH HEARTH CLUB” , inaugurated by HRH The Duke of Kent, and his family continue to support it to this date. It’s a splendid, embassy styled building.

Krystyna, Alex and I, at the terrace in Ognisko restaurant

A view from one of the balconies of Ognisko, with Imperial College and The Science Museum in the background

After a splendid lunch we walked up Exhibition Road and the turned east along Cromwell road and into the amazing Brompton Oratory. Krystyna, had visited here a year ago with my dear Mother, and now we were here again, but this time with Alex.

It was here that I was Christened, 59 years ago, being held in the arms of my Godmother, Krysia, my aunt and Krystyna’s mother. Who would have thought we would all be reunited and in this most beautiful of places.

Me with my GodMoather, Krysia, in 1960

My Father, Mother and I, on the steps of Brompton Oratory 1960

Krysia, my Godmother, holding me and my Godfather to the right

Lighting candles of remembrance for Krysia, Mother and Godmother

Krystyna explaining how a statue that has been polished by passers by touching.

Lighting candles for Grandad and Grandma Wasilkowski

After a very emotional visit and walk through Brompton Oratory, it was time to move on and a we exited the Oratory. We immediately hailed a cab and in the sprit Krysia’s memory headed for Hamleys Toy store. This was the place that I had been taken to by my Godmother and in keeping with tradition I had to take Alex there and also Krysia’s daughter Krystyna.

Alex pointing out some sights to Krystyna on the way to Hamleys

And finally at Hamleys, much to Alex’s delight

So the day drew to a close, and with much accomplished and hearts and souls filled with memories of past and present, it was time to head home.

Waiting for the tube and back to Waterloo

On the train back to Esher and with liquid refreshment on the way