Well, not exactly express, perhaps; on Sunday morning the roads were seemingly full of Sunday drivers. Nonetheless, the kids were due back and we were to drive over to Stansted airport to collect Keith and Marlene from their 11:50 flight returning from Prague. This would complete our tour of all four London Airports in two weeks. Yeah! The journey went well despite the dawdling traffic and we arrived about 15 minutes before they emerged from the international arrivals area. Fortunately, they did not suffer the same lengthy delays at immigration this time that Gatwick had dealt them two weeks earlier. In little more than half an hour, we were on the road and heading home with some very pleasant winter sunshine to accompany the drive home through the rolling countryside. Keith very kindly bought us lunch on the way at a country pub/restaurant in Cottered and then it was back for some refreshing tea.
Now the serious business of Christmas could begin and, later in the afternoon, Carol and Marlene set about decorating the Christmas tree in the conservatory. Out with some of that bargain Spanish Cava and on with the tacky Christmas music just to give some additional atmosphere and to encourage the ladies. Keith and I were called upon once or twice for some height advantage but we were mainly able to relive the Danube river trip on good ol’ Google Earth while the ladies got on with it. Quite soon, it seemed, we were two bottles down and the tree was done – apart, apparently, for requiring another shopping trip tomorrow to buy some tinsel before the choccies could be put on. Of course!