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First off, I’m going to apologise that this took a while. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned so far but I’m not always the fastest at communicating. Ask friends or family of mine and they’ve probably all received an e-mail from me that started with an apology for it’s lateness. This being a couple of weeks late is actually not terrible for me. Last year, having been inspired by Alix, I decided to clean out my inbox which lead me to the discovery that I had e-mails that I still intended to reply to that were over a year old. I try to improve, it’ my one constant new years resolution, but I’m not quite there yet.

Anyway, enough of the excuses, time for the April update. Between getting back from the mini tour I wrote about earlier and flying out of the uK I didn’really do much related to my bike trip. I barely touched my bike and I didn’t buy too much. Thinking back I don’t remember a specific decision to not ride but it just didn’t seem to happen. I was confident that having tested out my bike it didn’t really have any problems that I needed to be concerned about. The next step would have been a tour involving camping, but that couldn’t happen because I had ordered my sleeping bag and mat from the US to save money. That meant that all was left to do was to buy the small number of items left on my list which outside of my cooking stuff meant some socks and bungee cords.

Midway through April things my sister had ordered started arriving and as she was in London working it was the duty of me and my mum to open and test them. First was her tent which was a little smaller than my Vaude Hogan but then she’s not 6’4″ (192cm) tall. When that came me and my mum worked out how to put it up and then had a race where I put my tent up and she put Charlotte’s tent up. It was kinda close because I tried putting the poles in the wrong way round so lost a bit of time but it turns out my tent is faster to throw up… that or we had more practice from our earlier speed assembly tests which had happened with my tent but not Charlotte’s.

When her sleeping bag and pad both arrived I decided it was time to test them out properly. We had blown the pad up in the house and concluded that it had no leaks. I also took a nap on it and decided it was fairly comfortable, but that wasn’t enough. One night at about 9:30 I decided that it was time to try camping so put my tent up in the back garden. Going for an adventure of camping as far away as the back garden felt a little strange but I figured it was an important thing to try out. So, with the aid of the kitchen light, I managed to put my tent up in the dark while my mum blew my sister’s pad up. The pad, sleeping bag and a couple of essential items such as my Kindle and my mums new laptop got put in the tent. I laid round, sent a couple of emails while connected to our home wifi and then watched an episode of South Park. By the time South Park was over I was too tired to read so rolled over and fell asleep quickly. I woke up a couple of times during the night but ended up getting a good nights sleep. Another success.

Outside of trip related things there was a lot of spending time with friends and family. The highlights were going to the Yorkshire Dales with my family to hike the Yorkshire 3 Peaks for my sisters 30th birthday, driving up to Preston with a friend to meet another friend who is in uni up there, spending Easter Saturday in Nantwich at the jazz festival for a pub crawl and getting to see my cousin’s new baby.

My cousin, John and his wife Lu had a baby girl just before Christmas, but with them living and working in Dubai and me being over in Korea neither I nor other family members had seen them for a while so they decided to come back and visit the UK for the week before Easter. Plans were made and we drove over to my grandparent’s house where we spent a wonderful afternoon enjoying the heatwave that Britain was experiencing having a barbeque and catching up. Ellie is very cute and John and Lu both are doing a great job looking after her. The excitement and joy in everybodies faces when they were holding Ellie was plain to see and my grandmother seemed to particularly loved spending time with her.

Video of baby jumping time

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