Just in case you don't know, Lauder is a lovely village in the Scottish borders. Joanne and I have stopped off here many times over the years. Today the weather is warm and sunny and we're glad to be here.
The last time I wrote - Thursday I think - I was just about to go off and meet my father's cousin Harry Howe for the very first time. We had a lovely visit, lasting many hours. Harry was a scream and I felt like I'd known him all my life. Doris, his wife, is a fine lady. Into the bargain I met their son, Martin, my other 'new' second cousin.
That evening we ventured back to Scole, our base while in Suffolk. Our friends Peta and Martin joined us for an update of The Canterbury Tales, performed in the open air. It was highly entertaining and really, really funny.
The next day we zoomed down south to Dover. In the evening I met up with cousin Jeff and his wife Sue in the famous White Horse Inn. As I expected there wasn't a hint of nervousness or awkwardness. As with Harry there was something in our genetic makeup which made us very relaxed with each other.
Next morning Jeff took us on a guided tour of Canterbury. Amazing! In the afternoon Joanne and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary (at exactly 3.20 p.m.) on the slopes of Dover's famous Western Heights along with Jeff, Sue and a bunch of their very interesting friends.
Sunday morning Jo and I walked around Dover. Come the evening it was time to eat. Sue and Jeff and Jo and I headed back to Canterbury for Italian food.
As Jeff remarked before we parted, our meeting was something of a landmark for both of us. In a sense our meeting had brought our family back together again.
Monday was a mad dash up the road to miss as much of the horrible weather affecting England. We stopped off overnight at - of all places - Gretna!
This is all a bit rushed, I know, and short on detail. I'll see to the detail when I get back. I've got loads of great photographs to show you into the bargain. We hope to get back to Tiree on Thursday.