Last Wednesday (June 17th 2015) my youngest brother Martyn met my Sarasota friends Jack and Donna Chrisman at London Gatwick Airport, and drove them to their hotel in Bristol.
(Martyn met Jack and Donna here in SRQ a few years ago when he was with me for a holiday.)
Jack and Donna were in the Bristol area for the wedding of their grand-daughter Rachel.
The Chrismans were so happy to see Martyn, and to meet his wife Wendy for the first time (she does not fly).
They had a pub dinner, saw the sights of Bristol, ate fish and chips, and enjoyed each other.
Wendy and Donna went shopping so that the latter could buy a lovely hat for her grand-daughter's wedding.
On Friday Martyn drove the Chrismans to Tortworth Court, Wotton-under -Edge, Gloucestershire, the venue for the wedding.
By cheerful serendipity Martyn's route home took him by Bristol Parkway railway station, where he was just in time to meet my SRQ friend and colleague, the Revd. Andi Taylor who is in England for the first part of her sabbatical leave.
(Yes indeed, Martyn and his son Sam had met Andi, her husband, and their sons here in SRQ).
Andi stayed for two nights. She too was given the grand tour of Bristol, and (by another bit of serendipity) she was able to celebrate her birthday with my family members.
This morning Martyn drove Andi out to Tortworth Court, there to hook up with Jack and Donna. For you see, with no advance planning, Jack and Donna, and Andi were each heading to Bath, U.K., the next stop on their journeys.
You cannot get from Wotton-under-Edge to Bath unless my brother Martyn offers to drive you!
And, oh what fun for Donna, Jack and Andi to hook up in Gloucestershire and Somerset, if only for the (45 minute?) drive from Tortworth Court to the City of Bath.
Even better, Andi and the Chrismans got to meet my dearly beloved sister in law Wendy. She is a fabulous woman. So much so that I want to call her my sister, rather than my sister in law.
Wait, there is more. On separate occasions the Chrismans and Andi got to meet my oldest and bestest sister Maureen and her husband Bern. This is cool.
For Maureen and Bern (and also my sister Jean and her husband John) will be visiting me in SRQ next November.
That means that the Bristol/SRQ friendship circle will continue on this side of the Pond.
For goodness sake, these connections are so precious.
Love from John Michael Povey, the tour organiser, and from Martyn Povey, the tour guide.