Monday, November 26, 2012


Always nice to arrive home, even after fantastic holidays. Even better when greeted by such beautiful blooms on one of my outdoor pot plants.

Such a long flight from England, left 9am on Sunday morning (Australia time - 10pm on Saturday night in England) and walked in my front door about 1pm this afternoon.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Goodbye England

I somehow think that we won't be sorry to be going home, just gets dark a bit early for us. The rain was constant today but luckily no disruptions to the trains so we came through to Heathrow without a hitch. We returned the car early and then went to do our last bit of Bath shopping. There were crowds everywhere, avoid Bath on a weekend.
The photo is the only one I took today, from our B&B window this morning
Happy Birthday to MBS, it is your birthday in Australia but not in England yet.
PS Nicole said I should mention just how wet we got today BUT my coat was fantastic!!!!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Out and about in Bath

Walked down into Bath morning to find the river even more flooded. The pic on the left is yesterday and the others this morning, looks like a few people could be stranded!
We walked up to the iconic Royal Circle, just had to go see this as I have always associated this with Bath, just had to go there.
After that the day was free to explore the market and Bath's little shops, had a great time but we did get a bit exhausted from all the browsing so ended up spending a couple of hours in the spa (thanks to Jill for giving me bathers, otherwise I might have been arrested OR had the place to myself - now that is a thought).
Enjoyed champagne and pizza at The Real Italian Pizza Place and then home, it seems so late when it gets dark at 4:30PM,,,,,,,,, Noticed some fantastic reflections in the water on the way home. not fantastic photos but the reflections were great. The water is on the flooded cricket ground.

Friday, November 23, 2012


You may think I have done no sewing in the last couple of weeks. Well not so although I admit not much. I have been working on another of the redbrolly Wish Quilt stitcheries.

Goodbye Cornwall

We left Cornwall this morning after a fantastic stay at Haybarton B&B, from the first welcome by Blair and Jill's friendliness and delicious breakfasts, our lovely  room - I could go on but would recommend a stay in Tregony at their lovely B&B without hesitation. On hearing I had forgotten my bathers, Jill found a pair for me to bring to Bath so that I could go to the spa, just how kind is that, we loved our stay in their beautiful Cornish farmhouse!

Weather not good today. Winds were very strong and apparently Bath has been experiencing more than usual rain. Everything flooded and looking like our train may not be running, hopefully everything will settle down before Saturday!!!
The local cricket field is flooded so lucky not the cricket season at the moment!

Before arriving in Bath we visited Montecute House which, despite the National Trust app I downloaded, telling me it was open we could only visit the grounds. Loved the wibbley wobbley hedge!
Once in Bath and registered in our hotel we went down to the Christmas Market so that we could see the lantern parade, very exciting, then had a lovely Moroccan dinner before wading back to the B&B. I have to say that it is getting dark very early now, 4:30pm today!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Land's End

Started out early this morning and drove straight down to Land's End. The weather was pretty blustery and started to rain as we wandered around the cliffs. Very wild and rugged.

Next stop was a special request from Nicole, the engineer coming out in her and we had to visit the Levant Tin Mine where the 1840s steam-powered beam engine has been restored. We seemed to have almost free range of the place, no one was there so we wandered in and out of the buildings and around the site. Hard to believe they were mining under the sea, approx 75 fathoms deep I think (not sure if I remember that right!).

Back across to the other coast to the Minack Theatre, carved in the cliff  face by Rowena Cade for theatrical performances. What a task, pretty sure it must have been a labour of love! Also had lunch here where we needed to try a Cornish Pastie...
St Michael's Mount was next on our list, unfortunately nothing is open in November but we did look at it from the mainland, so like Mount Saint Michel in France.

St Mawes was our next destination and for this we needed to go to Feock and catch the King Harry Ferry. A bit of an experience!

St Mawes Castle was built by Henry VIII as an artillery fortress and looked remarkably well preserved. Couldn't go in of course but wandered around and looked across to Pendennis  Castle and Falmouth.

Last stop was into Truro to visit the fabric store that Jillian (our hostess here at Haybarton) had recommended and yes I did buy a small bit of Christmas fabric. Now sitting by the fire with a cuppa and cake!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gloucestershire to Dorset to Cornwall

Monday 19th November
Left behind the Cotswolds and Trinity House where our stay was very enjoyable including cups of coffee in the kitchen with Zelie, a wonderful hostess.
We set the GPS (lovely lady - have to keep on the right side of her) to go to Stonehenge as our first stop but on the way saw some signs for a Roman Villa, our lovely lady did not like that one bit!! but we persevered and were rewarded with the most amazing mosaic floors and interesting story of Chedworth Roman Villa, found in the 1800s and preserved from the time it was found by a very forward thinking land owner.

On to Stonehenge where I was VERY glad to have my warm coat, I remember going there before in Spring and it was so cold and it was very cold again today. Unfortunately you can't get near the stones, I would love to be able to touch them. What an engineering feat to have constructed this so many, many years ago. Just a magnificent, awe-inspiring sight.

Salisbury Cathedral was next on our list. They have installed a new font since I was last there in 2004 and it has the most amazing reflections, especially of the stained glass windows at the back of the Cathedral.

We wandered around for a while before heading off on the last leg of our journey to Bradle Farm where Jillian was waiting with a welcoming committee of two friendly labradors (mother and child) and a terrier. Jillian had a lovely cup of coffee ready for me, very welcome after the drive through the rain and the dark, led by the lovely lady over spectacular roads, just sad it was too dark to see the views. Gets dark very early! No internet so will publish this tomorrow

Tuesday 20th November

Well our good luck came to an end today; rain rain, rain. Mostly travelled but we did walk up to Corfe Castle and go out to Kimmeridge Bay and Kimmeridge Village, setting off to Cornwall after 10:30am.

The drive was interesting to say the least with a few diversions for roads closed and lots of flooded roads  and narrow roads but we made it to Haybarton via Launceston and Mevagissey.

Blair and Jill greeted us with cake and tea and now settled in by the fire. *happy sigh*

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cotswolds done and dusted or GPS is only as good as the operator

Well what a fantastic day! Clear blue skies but of course that meant it was a tad chilly. 

The car windows needed a good old scrape before setting out to our first stop of Bourton-On-Water. We went for a lovely walk along the canal and on the way back drooled in shop windows, luckily nothing open so no money spent.

Next stop was Upper and Lower Slaughter where we had coffee and cake, went for a long walk along a foot path through the fields and generally enjoyed two lovely Cotswolds village, although I did feel sorry for the dogs when I saw the thickness of the ice on the dogs' water bowl.

Can't name all the places we visited and walked through today but one highlight was Anne Hathaway's cottage. The GPS decided we needed to go to places not at all where we had thought we were going but it was all good and such fun.
Finished off the day with a lovely meal at The Fox, Lower Oddington! Just a taste of the Cotswolds but a fantastic day, even walking to the Fox in the dark with a torch for about 1 mile each way, have to admit is seemed shorter on the way back with a very nice bottle of red consumed at dinner!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Goodbye London

Friday 16th November
Nicole had a full program for the morning so I went shopping up Oxford Street and managed to find a couple of jumpers to buy even though I was looking for bathers for when we go to Bath! I am so stupid I forgot to bring mine. I had a lovely lunch in Piccadilly Square and then went for a wander through the National Museum in Trafalgar Square before going back to the hotel to find MBD.

Nicole wanted to see a squirrel so we went for a walk across town to Hyde Park, past Christies Auction House and Xstrata London office. Well did she see squirrels, they were everywhere and so bold too. We walked back to the hotel via Oxford and Regent Streets where the Christmas lights were a great attraction.

Saturday 17th November

This morning we were up bright and early to pack our bags and make our way, like Paddington Bear, to Paddington Station to board the train for Oxford. Not exceptionally pleased there as we had to wait for over 40 minutes for the hire car people to come and pick us up despite 2 phone calls. Then when we got to the depot the GPS that had been requested was no where to be found, so our first stop was to buy a GPS!!
We decided to go to Blenheim Palace as it was (sort of) on our way to our first B&B. I went there in 2004 when I was in England before so have now experienced it in both Spring and Autumn. It is hard to believe that people live in such grand places. The grounds were just magnificent as I remember and where, on my previous trip there were masses of bluebells, there are now masses of fallen leaves. I don't know how I do it but guess what!!!! There was a Christmas Craft Fair in the Palace so I had a fantastic time looking around that as well BUT didn't buy a thing, how restrained was that. Our new GPS and Nicole's marvellous driving skill brought us safely to Trinity House, Upper Oddington where Zelie was waiting with coffee and cake. We were made feel very much at home and our room is very comfortable so we are looking forward to our stay here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Back in London

Tuesday 13th November
Walked over to Waterloo Station to catch the train to Axminster where Maureen and Denis were going to pick me up for a stay in Lyme Regis. I quite surprised myself by managing to find the right train at the right time and found a fantastic seat.

After a lovely lunch Maureen and I went for a walk around Lyme Regis. Since my very quick visit in 2004 a lot of work has been done by building up the beach so that the boathouses can stay all year round and work along the sea side with new facilities available.

Wednesday 14th November

The next morning we set off for a day out sightseeing. We drove along the coast to Chesil Beach where I was fascinated by all the little fishing tents along the beach. Quite a few people there fishing although I didn't see too much action!

Then on to Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens. What a lovely place, first established in 1765, the gardens have had a lot of work done to them since a big storm in 1990 and are well worth a visit. Interesting cafe and shop as well as a garden packed with different flowers and trees.

This is the view I saw from my bedroom window when I woke up this morning, how good is this!
Wednesday night we went to the Axminster Guild Hall to see a local production of Anything Goes. Maureen did all the costumes and they were fantastic! Such a lot of work with running repairs done this afternoon where I was able to help with a bit of handsewing on a beautiful beaded evening dress.
Thursday 15th November

Maureen and I went down to Axminster where we had a coffee at the famous River Cottage cafe. Took some photos of me entering and also of some of the books on sale. It was also market day apparently happens every Thursday, I did manage to resist some very beautiful curtain material. Went to the local fabric shop where I wish I had taken photos as it was absolutely crammed with all sorts of goodies.
Arrived back at the Haymarket Hotel around 5:30pm after once again negotiating my way from Waterloo Station to find Nicole had been given some lovely flowers and a gift from the Hotel for her birthday. How nice is that!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Flying solo

Today is the first day of Nicole's program so I was left to my own devices. I managed to get myself to Waterloo Station and pick up the pre-booked tickets for my trip to and from Axminster and our trip to Oxford all without any problem whatsoever! Amazing!

I navigated myself back to Embankment station and hopped on a train to Kew Gardens. Well what a treat! The autumn colours are just spectacular, what a time to see the gardens! I walked in the rain for about 3 hours, went through the fern house and the temperate house (largest surviving Victorian glass house), climbed the 108 steps up the Xstrata treetop walk (apparently someone overloaded the lift last week) but the view from there is just superb so well worth the climb.

Inside the glass houses there was also a bit of a climb as they both had walkways all around the buildings.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Just when is this birthday?

Well technically in Australia it was today but currently in England it is tomorrow! Well we celebrated anyway. Happy 40th (oops I don't think I was allowed to say that lol) birthday to MBD.

Thanks to family and friends who helped make this day special, Nicole had fun opening cards and gifts from Australia. Happy birthday, Nabs.

London - day 3

Well what a beautiful day, almost tropical. We set out reasonable early for a long walk today along the Victorian Embankment then on the Thames Path, right down to the Tower of London. The riches amassed there are incredible. We walked the walls, defended the Queen and had a great look around.
Back once again to Piccadilly for a walk along Regent Street and a bit of a look in the shops. Nothing purchased by me except for a bus ticket! Of course there was the obligatory march, this time by the Salvation Army.

I took this photo especially for Sue, so she could see how London is treating us. Taken about 10am this morning and the day lived up to it's promise.

The Salvation Army band marched past on Regent Street, about mid afternoon.

The Tower of London, we managed to escape with our heads, unlike so many others.

The walk along the embankment was fantastic, although there were so many more energetic people running past us. PS It is really the 11th November but the blog is on Australian time!!
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