Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Huge Thankyou and a Goodbye

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The time has come for me to renew my blog membership for the following year and, since I have been greatly dissatisfied of late with WordPress tablet app, I have decided that I am not prepared to pay the $90 for a service that has given me so much grief in the last few months.  I have thought long and hard about this before making my final decision and the most painful aspect of it is the thought of losing touch with some of you who have shared my journeys and adventures with me in the last 5 years.

Blogging is a marvellous way of meeting people from all over the world and to share our experiences, thoughts, musings, joys and griefs and I have come to consider some of you as very dear virtual friends and I loathe the thought of losing you.  I can’t begin to tell you have much your visits, likes and comments on my blogposts have meant to me and it has always been a light at the end of the tunnel for me in the depths of winter, when my spirits are usually very low.  Nevertheless, my departure from this site doesn’t mean I will stop following you, as I have also enjoyed reading about your lives, observations and experiences and I will not stop following your blogs, which I find most interesting, inspirational, entertaining and pleasing.  It just means that I will have to find another blogging site that works a lot better for me and my particular needs (and, dare I say? temper!!!).

So finally, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for having been such good sports and supportive followers.  I want you to know that I value your virtual friendship immensely and that I look forward to reading all about your future adventures and experiences.  Best of luck to you all from a blogging friend and ‘hasta pronto’ (see (read) you soon).  💖💖💖

Wooden sculptures in Bersted Park, Bognor Regis, West Sussex

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Bersted Park Community Centre area

 

 

For the last few months I have been enjoying my afternoon walks with Beano admiring the beauty of these new sculptures that have been installed in the last year, funded by Berkeley Homes and created by local artist Simon Groves as part of a community Art Project.

 

This new housing development is only a couple of hundred meters from my house and the land where it stands has been totally transformed in the last 5 years, from farmland to housing.  It would be fair to say that, although we didn’t welcome all the noise, dust and traffic problems from the building of the new site, the end product is rather pretty and it has definitely been an improvement to the area, providing affordable homes to young families.

 

The first sculpture I come across on my walk is the one of 3 egrets perched on a pole and it stands on a little island in the large community pond where a couple of swans nest every year quite successfully.  We all look forward to seeing their cygnets in early summer and they have had as many as 7 chicks in the past!  Such a joy to see!

 

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Egrets on the island where swans nest

 

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Swans nesting on the bottom left corner among reeds

 

The second magnificent wooden sculpture I come across is a most original sofa that looks very much made out of leather from a distance, so much so that when I first saw it, I really thought someone had dumped their unwanted furniture there and felt most outraged!  When it became clear what it was, I remember having a good laugh with other neighbours and dog walkers saying that a coffee table and TV might follow!!!  Needless to say we are still waiting.

 

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The comfy sofa, but where is the telly?

 

 

Next on my walk is this superb bench decorated with various carved insects, worms and other superb creatures.  Just look at that dragon fly!

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Beautiful intricate carvings on this bench by school

 

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More amazing carvings on the other side

 

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From a different angle

 

Then we come across this exotic plant that looks like a palm tree.  Again, look at the detail in the wood carving: simply superb!

 

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An exotic plant

 

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Close-up of head

 

Next is this football and cricket combination by the sports field.

 

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Football and cricket rolled into one

 

 

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A better view of the cricket bat

 

Finally , we finish our sculpture trail walk with a representation of The Sword in the Stone right by the new Community Centre and play area.  Isn’t it just wonderful!

 

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The sword in the Stone seat

 

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From the back, showing play area

 

I hope you have enjoyed your walk with me: I know I have and do every afternoon!  Thank you for coming along.

Pulborough Brooks, West Sussex, Sunday 1st May 2016

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The charming Pulborough Brooks

 

We made the most of todays’s warm and sunny weather and decided to go and do a spot of  bird watching at this lovely nature reserve run by RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) in the Arun Valley and South Downs National Park.  We are very furtunate to live within half an hour’s drive of this most charming location and our RSPB membership entitles us to free entry, another good reason to come.

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The lovely Jupps View at Pulborough Brooks

 

We spent just under 2 hours following the various trails to different hides from which to watch a number of wading birds, such as lapwings, herons, coots and egrets, one of my favourte birds.  We also spent some time listening to the enchanting nightingales, but unfortunately they did not make an appearence for us today, although we did manage to see a couple spotted flycatchers at one of the pods, a first for me!

 

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Island with shellducks, lapwings and coots

 

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An egret

 

Of course, there were other features to attract bees and other insects to the site and to encourage children to take an interest in Nature.  I particularly enjoyed the Bugs’ Hotel and the Solitary Bee Shelter!  I had never seen one before: just wonderful!

 

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The Bugs’ Hotel

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The Solitary Bee Shelter: Magic!

I was thrilled to get a close-up picture of an Greenfinch and a Long-tailed Tit , even though they may seem a bit blurry (need a better zoom lens, I think).

 

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An obliging Greenfinch

 

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A Long-tailed Tit

 

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this tranquil and beautiful corner of West Sussex and I hope my readers will enjoy the pictures too.  Do come and visit if you are in the area.

 

St Germain de la Coudre, Orne, Tuesday 3rd November 2015

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St Germain de la Coudre

 

No matter how small a place is in France, it always has something different and wonderful to offer the visitor.

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Attractive bridge by motorhome aire

 

We have found another lovely free aire at this pretty village on the D7 slightly north west of La Ferté-Bernard, right by the little stream and pretty bridge with easy access to the shops and restaurants. The aire has a borne for water and electricity, but it is out of order at the moment, maybe because the area is under renovation and they are still laying gravel in the aire, which is by a brand new recreation ground for football, basketball, tennis, etc, as well as a children’s playground. All in pristine condition, very clean and tidy.

 

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Motorhome aire at St Germain de la Coudre by new sports grounds and stream

 

As usual, we went for a walk around the village to get our bearings and we admired the quaint old houses and the stream going under some of them. We wondered if they ever get flooded in heavy rain! Still it is a charming little place with a very good boulangerie, which has won a golden award in the last 2 years and where we’ll get our baguette and cake in the morning.

 

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Quaint old houses and a stream runs under them

 

It’s back to Broglie tomorrow for Beano’s check at the vet’s and Le Crotoy on Thursday.

Wissant, Pas de Calais, Tuesday 1st September 2015

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Attractive Rugles

Attractive Rugles

We arrived at Wissant’s aire early enough this morning to be able to pick and choose a bay for our day and overnight stay, which is quite a luxury here these days, as the last couple of times we tried, it was absolutely packed and we ended up in Escalles or Audinghen, but, as it happens, there were only 3 other motorhomes on our arrival at 11 am. I am very pleased about this because I really enjoy our walks on the wonderful beach and it looks like the weather is brightening up a bit after a very wet day yesterday at Le Crotoy.

motorhome aire at Rugles

motorhome aire at Rugles

After La Fresnaye-sur-Chédouet, we travelled just a little further north east to the very attractive motorhome aire at Rugles, right by the park and the old water mill, which was free and also provided a free electricity hook-up and water, which is very unusual indeed! It was a hot day again and we enjoyed strolling along the old village and park, although we were slightly disappointed about the fact that most of the shops, including the butcher and pizza takeaway, were closed so I ended up making a Spanish omelette after a quick visit to the local grocery store, which was open, fortunately.

Water mill in background at Rugles

Water mill in background at Rugles

Looking toward the village from Rugles Park

Looking toward the village from Rugles Park

From Rugles it was only a short drive slightly north west to Broglie, where we spent all day Saturday and Sunday and, luckily, the weather remained sunny and very warm and we were able to eat outside and walk Beano along the Charentonne river to the lovely old water mill. On Sunday morning, there was a car boot sale by the aquatic gardens and we went to have a look, but there wasn’t anything of particular use to us.

Quaint Broglie

Quaint Broglie from Aquatic Gardens

Broglie

Broglie

Broglie

Broglie

Feeding the ducks in Broglie

Feeding the ducks in Broglie by aquatic gardens

The wonderful motorhome aire at Broglie

The wonderful motorhome aire at Broglie

I took Beano for his Pet Passport check at the vet’s on Monday morning and we left Broglie just after 9 am for Le Crotoy, which we so much like and always makes the end of the holiday that little bit more pleasant. The weather turned nasty again though, raining most of the morning and early afternoon, but it cleared sufficiently to allow us a long walk along the bay with Beano, where we can safely let him off the lead so that he can enjoy a good run to his heart’s content.

Beano's walk on the Bay of the Somme

Beano’s walk on the Bay of the Somme on a bleak summer’s day

We went for another seafood meal at Le Saint Pierre restaurant on the seafront and, as always, we were most impressed with the quality and freshness of the food, as well as the friendly and efficient service.

A very wet Le Crotoy, but beautiful all the same

A very wet Le Crotoy and motorhome aire, but beautiful all the same

I’ve just been for another walk with Beano on the newly built promenade at Wissant, but I hadn’t been there very long when a young gendarme approached me on his bike and told me the dog wasn’t allowed on the promenade and that I had to walk ‘in the street’. Very surprised by this, I got off the promenade and started walking on the road, following another dog walker a bit further on, but to my astonishment, the gendarme came cycling behind me again and said the dog wasn’t allowed there either!!! I felt most indignant about this and took off to a side street and started walking back to the aire without having been able to take any pictures and cursing under my breath at this most ridiculous of rules and I fear that until Beano and I develop the ability to fly, we won’t be going to Wissant’s promenade ever again!

The tide was right up and there wasn’t a patch of sand available, but I bet dogs won’t be allowed there either now that it has been all tarted up. I still think this goes absolutely against the wonderful and relaxed French attitude of ‘laissez faire’. Quel dommage! 

And so it ends a wonderful holiday that last lasted for 8 weeks and 4 days and I feel I am ready to start all over again, but it is home tomorrow morning and we’ll be back on the road again on 23rd October for 2 weeks for our autumn half-term break.

Bognor Regis Carnival, 7th June 2015

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The leader of the Carnival

The leaders of the Carnival and Dolphin Marching Band

I can’t believe it’s been a year since the Pirate-theme carnival in Bognor Regis during which we got to mingle with the one and only Jack Sparrow! I was really looking forward to this year’s event as it has been taken over by the Bognor Regis Carnival Association and I had an inkling that it was going to be even more special than last year. Well, I am delighted to say I wasn’t disappointed and the whole event proved to be a great success, all the more for the weather being sunny and warm, just perfect for a celebration such as this.

Alice in Wonderland float

Alice in Wonderland float

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It was wonderful to see so many children from various schools and performance groups taking part, looking so proud and having such a marvellous time, some even came from nearby towns such as Littlehampton and Hastings. I always find this type of thing very heart warming, as I know how much this means to them and their families.

Our neighbours from Hastings

Our neighbours from Hastings, Hastings Coastal Twirlers

Being a seaside town, we just have to have pirates, which I love, and they were jolly and merry and put a smile on everyone’s faces, as did the Super Heroes on bikes, ranging from Batman and grumpy Hulk to uplifting Buzz Lightyear: simply superb!

And the Pirates arrived!

And the Pirates arrived!

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Getting everyone dancing

Getting everyone dancing

All the Super Heroes together on their bikes

All the Super Heroes together on their bikes

But I have to say that my absolute favourite was the Bognor Regis Swimming School float, with all the children dressed up as characters from The Little Mermaid film, which still holds a big place in my heart as an all-time feel-good movie , with great characters and songs.

My favourite float: Bognor Regis Swimming Club and The Little Mermaid theme

My favourite float: Bognor Regis Swimming Club and The Little Mermaid theme

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One of the things that keep me going through the winter in the UK and helps me keep my sanity is my weekly Zumba class in one of the local schools and I was very pleased that our group was asked to take part this year. Here are two of the lovely instructors who make it all possible and keep us fit and healthy, Clare and Linz. We had a 25 minute slot that had to be cut short to 13 minutes due to some other events running overtime. Still, it felt great to be part of it.

Clare and Linz, our Zumba instructors

Clare and Linz, our Zumba instructors

Here are a few more photos of this happy occasion. I hope you like them and that maybe some of you can come and join in the fun next year.

Our very own Queen!

Our very own Queen!

And local Lightbulb celebrity!

And local Billy Lightbulb celebrity!

Local school performers

Local school performers

Local school performers

Local school performers

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Robin Hood float

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seaside float

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Littlehampton Queen and Princess

Littlehampton Queen and Princess

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