Category Archives: England

Sweet memories are made of this

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My heart skipped a beat earlier in the week when I walked into the 6th formers’s room at school and saw this:

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It was my son’s highchair when he was a baby and we brought it with us when we moved here 18 years ago.  It was special to us because we bought it at an auction for only £7 at a time when money was tight.  It had been painted white, but we stripped and beeswaxed the wood and it looked like new when we were finished with it.  I had completely forgotten that DH had taken it to his classroom for drawing purposes and it hit me all the more as our son has now left the nest and lives quite happily and independently.

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Of course, this is the type of dining chair that could also be turned into a play chair with real china coloured beads, which we washed and polished with so much love and care a bout 23 years ago!  And it still looks good today, even if it has been painted and crayoned over in the Art room.

Did any of you have something similar when your kids were young and did you pass ot on to the next generation?

Adventure Overland & Travel Show, Stratford Upon Avon, 25-27th September 2015

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Our MotorhomeFun basecamp at the show

Our MotorhomeFun basecamp at the show: making friends enjoying a meal

I am going to take a little break from documenting our summer road trip to share with my faithful readers this lovely event that took place this weekend at Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, England.

View of town from show grounds

View of town from show grounds

We were cordially invited to attend this event by the motorhome365/motorhomefun community, which we joined online earlier this year, and we had been looking forward to it even since we got the tickets a few months ago and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

A nicely converted 4x4.  It's got adventure written all over it

A nicely converted 4×4. It’s got adventure written all over it

This is a major national outdoor show for all kinds of alternative travel and holidays, including motorbikes, 4x4s, trucks, unimogs, RVs and any other type of vehicle you can think of. I was awe-struck by the multitude of innovative design and imagination gone into producing these magnificent and cool methods of transport for just about any kind of need. It really is a case of ‘any which way you can’ to make your dream holiday/trip/adventure/trek a reality: if it had wheels, it was there. I had never seen anything like it and, once again, my camera was working overtime trying to capture all these vehicles transformed into some sort of comfortable home on wheels for the brave, the spirited and the adventurous.

This unimog caught my eye

This truck caught my eye

And how about this one for humour?

And how about this one for humour?

Dare you get closer?

Dare you get closer?

More inspiring set-ups

More inspiring set-ups

And this one?

And this one?

Take your pick

Take your pick

Really spoilt for choice!

Really spoilt for choice!

And there is wild cooking too!

And there is wild cooking too!

You'll be safe up there from snakes!

You’ll be safe up there from snakes!

Apart from the vehicles themselves, we were also very keen to meet face to face all the wonderful people we have met over the last few months on the motorhome365 forum and it was lovely to put faces to names and have a proper conversation. Meeting people online and having virtual friends is all very well and good, but you can never substitute the pleasure of seeing them in real life and having a laugh sharing experiences over some food and drinks.

The faces behind the forum chat.  Nice to meet you all!

The faces behind the forum chat. Nice to meet you all!

Ready for the communal meal

Ready for the communal BBQ

Various activities were organised by our friendly hosts – David, Sylvie, Nigel and Pamela – for everyone to join in and I particularly enjoyed the BBQ and Jacobs/American table to which everyone brought a dish, either savoury or sweet or both to share, as well as Sunday morning Bacon Butties and coffee, cake and chat sessions. It all went very well and a good time was had by all, with the added bonus of some magnificent weather that couldn’t have been more perfect for the occasion.

Meal in full swing

BBQ meal in full swing

A very well equipped base for us all to enjoy

A very well equipped base for us all to enjoy

A sneaky peep inside

A sneaky peep inside with delicious food on the tables

I must also mention there was a prize (nice bottle of whisky) for the motorhome that had travelled the furthest to get there and, guess who won it? Yes, you’re right: yours truly: 150.625 miles (241km) from Bognor Regis to Stratford’s Race Course, with good old Adonis at the wheel. I’m so proud of him for driving all that distance in heavy traffic after a hard day’s work! He more than deserves that bottle and I’m sure he’ll enjoy it soon enough.

I loved the inside of this RV.  Thanks Sue for showing me around!

I loved the inside of this RV. Thanks, Sue, for showing me around!

More wonders!

More wonders!

And they just keep coming!

And they just keep coming!

Getting bigger!

Getting bigger!

Enjoying a walk with Beano round perimeter

Enjoying a walk with Beano round perimeter

An alternative kind of town!

An alternative kind of town!

You just have to love this!

You just have to love this!

I am already looking forward to next year’s gathering!!!

And it was sunny, warm and with blue skies!

And it was sunny, warm and with blue skies!

Day 3 of 5-Day Challenge Photo

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Migrating geese at Climping Beach, West Sussex

Migrating geese at Climping Beach, West Sussex

For the third day of my 5-Day Photo Challenge I’ve chosen this picture of migrating geese (might be Canada geese) at Climping Beach in West Sussex not far from our home.

I’ve chosen this picture because I’ve always been fascinated with bird migration in general, as these amazing creatures travel thousands of miles every year, crossing entire countries, continents and oceans to breed and rear their young. I think I am even jealous of their freedom and ability to go wherever they please without getting lost, as my sense of direction is not so great, although it has improved over the years, especially since I am the navigator during our travels in the motorhome. To summarise, this picture speaks to my heart: travel and freedom and… what is beyond that horizon?

I would now like to nominate Steven Saysell (are we related?) from Sayvan Photography at https://thisthatandwhateverelseicanthinkof.wordpress.com/ for this challenge. Steven is another keen traveller and photographer based in Ontario, Canada and he never fails to delight his readers with his stunning shots.

The challenge is: Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.

Pagham Harbour, West Sussex, Sunday 17th May 2015

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Pagham Harbour

Pagham Harbour

As we have now sold our Elddis Motorhome and won’t be going away again until early July, missing out on our May half term holiday, and taking advantage of the glorious sunshine, we thought we would just drive to this beautiful natural wildlife sanctuary, which is only a few minutes from our house.

The bird watching hut at harbour entrance

The thatched bird watching hut at harbour entrance

Looking towards the village and church

Looking towards the village and church

We used to come here often when we first moved to Bognor Regis on our long Sunday walks with our son followed by a drink in a local pub, a habit that, sadly, we have neglected of late, sometimes due to the awful weather but also to the always rising beer prices. But the sun was out with a vengeance today, first time this month, and I just couldn’t wait to get out there and soak up all those important sun rays and enjoy a stroll in this very special local jewel.

A natural pool for wildlife

A natural pool for wildlife

It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve seen this natural harbour, it always looks marvellous at any time of year, not just because of the gorgeous landscape of the wetlands but because of the wading birds that live here or come to visit at different times of year, like little egrets, herons and ringed plovers. It really is a treat for bird watchers and walkers alike and we are very privileged to live so near such a special place.

A heron in the bushes!

A heron in the bushes!

A swan and a heron in flight crossing right in the middle of the picture

A swan feeding and a heron in flight crossing right in the middle of the picture

Another swan leading the cows to the water!

Another swan leading the cows to the water!

I really believe the cows were following the swan

I really believe the cows were following the swan

The site is now managed by the RSPB and more information about location and special events can be found here: http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/seenature/reserves/guide/p/paghamharbour/about.aspx

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Pagham Harbour 006

Pagham Harbour 005

A beautiful field full of buttercups and Pagham village in background

A beautiful field full of buttercups and Pagham village in background

Plant life is also stunning here

Plant life is also stunning here

Geese Migration, Climping Beach, West Sussex, Sunday 22nd February 2015

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A magnificent sight!

A magnificent sight!

Continuing with our relaxing walks on a Sunday morning on this gorgeous West Sussex coastline, we were lucky enough to witness the most amazing geese migration, which, to our delight, came in wave after wave completely by surprise and flew right over our heads!

Here are a few shots of the beach near Littlehampton and the mesmerising geese.

The forerunners (or should I say forefliers?

The forerunners (or should I say forefliers?

Closer!

Closer!

And closer!

And closer!

Going...

Another wave!

Going...

Going…

No, wait!  Another wave!

No, wait! Another wave!

Saying Hello!

Saying Hello!

And stopping for a much needed rest

And stopping for a much needed rest

And the sleepy beach groins witness are quiet witness to this beautiful sight

And the sleepy beach groins are quiet witnesses to this beautiful sight

Let's go back along this peaceful shore

Let’s go back along this peaceful shore

 

Dell Quay and Chichester Marina, West Sussex, 1st February 2015

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Chichester Marina

Chichester Marina

We won’t be travelling in our motorhome until the Easter holidays, so we thought we’d take advantage of the dry weekends we’ve been having here in the south of England and enjoy the beauty of our surrounding area. Then I thought I could share this most charming of natural harbours with you all, just in case you feel like paying us a visit.

A grey Dell Quay to begin our Sunday walk and the tide was out!

A grey but serene Dell Quay to begin our Sunday walk and the tide was out!

Looking back to Dell Quay pier and pub

Dell Quay 

Waiting for the tide to come in

Waiting for the tide to come in

Further on our walk and you can see Chichester Catheral in the backgroudn through branches

Further on our walk and you can see Chichester Catheral in the background through the branches

Last week, we ended our long walk around Dell Quay at the marvellous Crown and Anchor pub, which is typical of this area, where we had a refreshing couple of pints of real ale. We liked it so much that we booked a table for lunch today, as pub was heaving with customers and by the time we left there were no tables available. I am very happy to report that we were absolutely delighted with the service and the food (local Sea Bass and Plaice served with mushy peas, thick-cut chips and Tartare Sauce) and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. Must do this type of thing more often…

Enjoy the photos and thank you for reading!

But today was a much brighter day!

But today was a much brighter day!

But today was a much brighter day!

And the local birds were enjoying it too as we spied from the hide

A large flock of geese

A large flock of geese

And a family of swans

And a family of swans

A welcome sign after a long and thirsty walk

A welcome sign after a long and thirsty walk

And we were ready for lunch

And we were ready for lunch

The patio

The patio

And the beer garden right on the quay!

And the beer garden right on the quay!

Canterbury, 3rd January 2011

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I just love this sign outside campsite

We spent the morning shopping in this lovely old city and I bought my own copy of Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’, which I really look forward to reading.  It’s funny because there are different versions in various English styles, from the ‘almost impossible to understand’ original to more modern interpretations, so I bought one in between.  We also bought new kitchen scales at half price and some presents for Peggy from the Cathedral’s shop (a very pretty candle holder and an angel Christmas decoration based on the stained windows pictures), which I think she’ll appreciate.  I also bought a delayed guide to the Cathedral, so I’ve been reading about all the art works we saw yesterday, but now I’d like to go back, as we missed the crypt and the outside of the building because it was getting late.

The Old City Centre

1500 buildings in city centre

Historic Building of Kent

We are off for a Moroccan meal tonight and tomorrow we’ll be driving to Bexhill, on the A259, which will take us all the way home!  Weird that this road passes outside our house!  I must rush off now, as we don’t want to miss the bus, as there won’t be another one for another hour.

Festive lights in city centre

The Cathedral at night

As we arrived in the city early in the evening, we decided to have another look at the cathedral in the night light before going to the restaurant  and what an experience that was!  The Cathedral’s illumination is just a sight to behold and it gave us the feeling of being in another world.  We felt a bit naughty walking around the cloister and felt like playing hide and seek in all those nooks and corners, with their eerie archways and vaults.  It was just like going back in time, all the more special as we were the only ones there!    We also heard the choir practising and stuck our ears to the locked door to enjoy this beautiful music that could have come directly from Heaven.  I could have spent all night exploring this magnificent monument.  I wonder what secrets it holds!

Evening illuminations

Perfect place to place hide and seek in the cloisters

Intrisicate arch work in the cloisters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, the meal at the Azouma Moroccan restaurant was absolute superb, with a shared starter of assorted samples from the menu, followed by lamb kebabs and tajine . I highly recommend it if you are ever in Canterbury.

Fab meal at Azouma Moroccan restaurant