Lovely fullday yesterday shops in Hanwell ( Ealing ) in morning, mainly to buy an ingredient I find difficult to purchase in ChCh and more so now the big Asian warehouse is probably no longer operational. No trouble and the price ridiculously cheap compared to what I pay at home. After lunch we walked miles through lovelr rural type land long side the canal on one side and the motorway on the other. Ended up at historic home Osterley Park and manor.Had afternoon tea outside and then walked tolocal pub called Hare and Hounds nad had a few drinks but deciced against eating there after viewing the menu. Not much on offerfor my vegeterian friends. Home to a ovely cooked meal and I am seriosuly considering becoming vegeterian if I can procure the ingredients ( mock meat) that they have on offer here.Today we will train to London and go by boat on the Thames and attend Mass at Westminter.
Its been full on here and I'm now packed up and ready to take Train to London midday.
Been to Winchester for the day Tuesday and picked up Gaies friend who is Swedish and lives in Spain. She was over for a few days and spent 2 nights with us here.A film producer who has a son who now does the same work.She preodused Pippi Longstockings for those of you old enough to remember that TV programme. I know our girls watched it as little ones.She has worked along with her son on Casino Royale the re make of the James Bond movie.Such an interesting woman. We have had a meal out each night she's been here and talked way past closing time, and then continues once we've returned home so late nights aplenty.
Back to Winchester.a lovely city and the cathedral is beautiful. The Beatles wrote a song about it and i've been humming it since I visited.
Had lunch in an unusual cafe and ate Parsnip and Honey soup. Never heard of the combination but it was lovely.
The volcanic ash seems to not be a problem according to this mornings' news. Bit fickle as it will depend on the wind .
May not get the chance to add more. Arrive home afternoon of 3rd June.
Take care all
Last night in Morocco was magic.Snake charmers;performing monkeys street theatre bands musicians.Really unbelievable.The colour and mix of people: Tramps beggars deformed and small children selling
Donkeys,horse carriages, motor bikes all tooing and frooing
Quite unbeliebable;Crossing the street is an experience as there seem to be no rules and the traffic is huge.We wait till a bunch of locals attempt to cross and go with the flow.Its hair raising:
Flight out _pm so after check out of hotel 12 noon we have the afternoon to fill in.Won,t be difficult apart from finding toilets and seating.The airport is very modern and nice if we end up having to spend longer there.
Hope alls well with everyone.Love from here
19th Fr Chris,s tip to send entries in short bursts or you type for ages and can lose it.I have already done so.Tired fro, the exploits so showered and ready to hit the bar,,,,,,,,,,,food and beverages of the non alcoholic type.
19th Wonderful day trip to Essoeria WRONG SPELLING but it is 180 k south of Marakech and on the coast.Beautiful place.So interesting.Fish by the tons it seems so knew I would have fish for lunch.Interesting market place and not the pressure to buy that Marakech has.I am what could be called saddle sore from that wretched camel ride.I will never forget it. Had 3 French girls,2 Scots, and a family of four from Norway with us so that added interest. Interesting the whole long drive.Diverse lqndscapes
;Olives for miles and Roses would you believe under plastic a lot of the time
Bear with me on this wretched keyboard.Paid q driver to take us all over the place. Marvellous and we have seen so much. Had forty fits when I thought I was getting on camel to have photo taken but Micheal Jqckson took off .Gaie behind on Madonna who brayed the whole time for its baby who was named Sophia Loren.Petrified I dont mind admitting but have photos to prove ho w stupid a woman in her 70s can be. Lunch at lovely place qnd time spent in centre of town with ,*markets abuzz with every race colour and creed.Scqred to show any interest in goods as they drive you mad to buy.We do hqve the excuse we have limited baggqge room thern they give you a demonstration on how to roll up a cqrpet smqll to fit in bag::::::::::I dont think.
I pinch myself to think I am here. Tomorrow we will go on orgqnised tour to the coast: Food for breakfast intereing a nd plentiful. Polite smiling friendly staff: Tomorrow more news as the internet is free and in nice surroundings of hotel:
Monday 16th May. At home day today. Walked to the village ( township) before lunch. Posted some mail and had a cup of tea at Waitroses and bought the paper to tackle the x word. Then the dreaded packing.Only taking small carry on bag to Morocco so had to think carefully about what to pack. Could be tempted to buy the odd top or two over there.
Reading up on the place and it sounds so nice and can only hope there will be no disturbances. The IRA have issed new threats so London is on alert anyway.Where is anyone safe these days? DEAL. Completely different foremat. Strange. The audience HAVE to wear black!! It is not nearly as enjoyable as the Aussie version we watch ( well some of us have better things to do)
Gaie knew someone who actually appeared on thre show and gave her the inside info. It is filmed in Bristol.
Well, may not get to add until return from Morocco. Arrive back very late on 21st so will be at least 22nd before I get to write.
Take care ...........
SUNDAY 15th May.
Mass this morning. Confess to leaving before the last hymn as Mass was already 70 minutes long. Gaie was picking me up as family were all arriving for lunch. Home for coffee and when all were assembled we went for a long walk ( as if I need any encouragement to eat) Coolish and the papers are saying the summer has ended. Seems April was the best month.
The lunch was lovely and mussells dish went down well as did Gaies Chicken dish and salad.
Tomorrow we plan to stay put as have to sort out clothes for Morocco and we are limited to take on baggage. Thought I'd get away with light clothes but Tracy tells me we need to have something warm to put on at night as it gets cold.Whatever, we will be travelling light. Fly from Bristol Airport and the trip is about 2and a half hours long. Hotel looks nice from the photos.
Just hope and pray there are no incidents while there. Mind you, one could be in a supermarket and get beheaded...........What an awful story that was .
So, thats it really.......for now and probably nothing until our return 21st May.
SATURDAY 14th May. Just in from Western Super Mare. We walked the lenngth of the promendade. Cool wind but still a nice experience .Gaieshowed me \yatton where \i will catch the train for London on 26th.nce. Wandered around the shops. Have huge cryptic x word to tackle between us tonight. They are challenging and I am getting better at them.
Take care all. End of summer here so the papers say. Supposed to be hail and rain. Oh well.
FRI 13th May.
Home from wonderful day out in Wales.Across the Severn River and stopped at the ruins of an old abbey once the home of Cistercian Monks. Built in 1300. So much of it standing still ( as in remaining) Beautiful really and takes ones breath away to think of the age.
A little further on we stopped at a sizeable town called |Monmmouth and it was quaint with cobble stoned streets and pavements.Had a snack there and visited a market. Interesting things. Coolish day but fine and sunny.
Having a G & T now and half an eye on TV. Lots of game shows and great documentaries. Compared to NZ TV it is wonderful.
Nolene if you're reading this I had a postcard to send you but could'nt trust my memnory with the address. 138A or 158A? P Cards don't have a good record of being delivered. The thought was there.
Coronation St has so much happening you won't believe it. Getting very watchable.
Be well all.
Off to Morocco Tues17th.
Lunch here Sun with all Gaies family coming sort of for Nicholas,s birthday. I am doing a \thai dish and we have the new rice cooker to try out,
Oh.train ticket arrived and off to Ealing ( London) 26th. My friends brother in law is taking me to \mass Sunday ay Westminster.
FRI. YESTERDAY WE WENT SHOPPING.MAINLY TO BUY A RICE COOKER BUT YOU KNOW HOW THOSE SHOPPING TRIPS END. FUN AND INTERESTING FOR ME TO SEE THE RANGE OF THINGS EVEN IF THEY ARE HUM DRUM TO LOCALS HERE.
OFF TO WALES TODAY SO WILL HAVE MORE TO REPORT LATER.
WEATHER CONTINUES FINE BUT NOT THAT WARM. NOT COMPLAINING. IT IS LOVELY. MOROCCO TUESDAY 17TH SO MUST THINK ABOUT PACKING AS ONLY TAKING HAND LUGGAGE. MIGHT HAVE TO BE THE SAME OUTFIT WASHED AND WORN DAILY!!
SAW STORY ON LINE ABOUT BODY SEEN AT PIKE RIVER MINE. I DO HOPE THERE IS NOTHING TO SUGGEST ANY OF THOSE MEN SURVIVED FOR DAYS AND DAYS.POOR FAMILIES NOT HAVIING FINALITY.
WEDNESDAY. Drove to Bristol and went on the ferry which was so nice.Sunny day that only got warmer as we spent the day. Great views of the city and I am reading a book about the area quite by accident. It is set in the 1700's and I bought it in NZ little knowing I was going to be in the area the book is set in.It's great.
Walked thru the city and it so reminded me of ChCh. Lovely green areas and trees. One part in particular was just like Worcester St by the old information centre (Oxford Tce). Made me a bit sad to think of it, because of course it willnot look like I remember it at all now.
Booked ticket to travel by train on 26th to my friend in Ealing.I thought it would be a fast 20 or so minutes but it lasts 2 hours 20 minutes to Paddington Station. I adore trains so will be in my element.The time will rush by.Seems everything is done on line here.The ticket will be in the post tomorrow. Amazing.Don't think I'd trust NZ post to have the ticket delivered next day as this lot promise.
Gaie buys books on line and they are so cheap and postage free.We are ripped off in NZ for books.
Dinner time..so catch up later
TUESDAY. Lovely trip to Clifton which boasts a suspension bridge building started in 1830.A wonderful piece of engineering.We walked across it.The township is lovely and we walked the busiest streets and had coffee and a genuine Bakewell Tart which was warm from the oven.
Been to Gaies book club tonight and that was interesting if only for the reason that only Gaie had read the stipulated book. So funny. However enough discussion to have me wanting to read the book DAUGHTER OF FORTUNE by Isabel Allende.
I'm off to bed. Tired from a busy day out.
Getting behind with diary entries and still havn't managed to post any photos. Yesterday Fran and son Tom who leaves for USA tomorrow came and we went to birthday (Toms) lunch at a place called the Windmill overlooking Bristol Channel. I feasted on Scampi the first fish meal I ate in Guernsey all those years ago ( 1969) and never forgot how delicious they were. Always try and have a meal of them when in UK. Gaie and I went for an hours walk later in the afternoon and enjoyed seeing different points of interest.
Heard and saw on internet that there have been sizeable quakes and so worry for you all having to experience those.How much longer I ask.Hope Mr Jim and other neighbours are all ok. Seen my housesitter at all? He works long days so won't be surprised if you havn't. "Dubai " got on his knee so things are looking up
Take care all
SUNDAY. Mass this morning at the samw church. Very nice parish but 1 hour 15 minutes.!! alengthy homily!!
Went to Gaies daughter Frand and Anthonys house for lunch, but a large roast beef and Yorkshire pudding meal with Strawberry and apple and Blueberry crumble dessert. Yum. Then a lovely walk along little country lanes for the best part of an hour.
Kingston Seymour is the area ( still in Somerset) Such a nice time and lovely home. Really enjoyed the outing and not a huge drive.
Plans for tomorrow include lunch out as Frans son Tom is heading off to the States for some weeks and turns 19 Wednesday, so its a birthday shout really. She and Anthony are dreading his leaving as all parents do when their baby takes flight overseas.
They have a house in France and visit regularly and so after the walk we watched some video pictures of the house and surrounding district. Beautiful. Throw in a boat as well and it all makes for a great life I guess. Nice people who work hard and so deserve what they have.
Lovely drive of around an hour to place called WELLS . Quaint town buzzing with people. Lovely old shops and we lunched on Cornish Pasties which they were cooking as we ordered and came in many choices.Pork an Apple for example ( I ate traditional)
Wells Cathedral is lovely and very large. Started in 1160.Completed 1306.
Lit a candle there and was taken by the prayer that was printed. GOD I LIGHT THIS CANDLE BECAUSE I AM HERE.I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY DON'T KNOW HOW TO PUT MY LONGINGS INTO WORDS.YOU KNOW WHO I LIGHT IT FOR, THOSE SPECIAL PEOPLE OF MY HEART WHOM I LOVE, AND NAME BEFORE YOU.TO LIGHT THIS CANDLE AND LEAVE IT IN THIS HOLY PLACE SILENTLY BURNING, COMFORTS ME.
I SEE IT AS A SMALL SIGN THAT LOVE WILL ALWAYS LIVE ON WHATEVER HAPPENS.AND THAT MAKES ME BELIEVE IN YOU. AMEN
There was a wedding about to start and very posh looking people attending. We were on the lookout for noteables as the town is a location for many movies. Did'nt see any.
Gaies neighbour accompanied us ( she is Welsh born Sri Lankan) NIce lady and interesting to talk with.
Weather was fine and we only just arrived home this evening when the rain started. Been hot and dry and locals want and need rain.
Time I went to bed.Thinking of you all. Be well
6pm. Cribbs Causeway was the place we went shopping at this morning.Large mall. Marks and Spencers such a treat to shope in for variety in all depts. we were interested in. Helped Gaie buy trousers shorts and a top in readiness for her trip to Africa when she returns from Morocco and then Spain.Traveller extrodinaire she is.Confess to not buying a single thing there but did buy a top yesterday in another shop. Had lunch at |Marks and Spencers and then drove on to Clevedon where we met Fran and had afternoon tea over looking the Bristol Channel. Lovely hot day.
Have a G & T beside me and Gaie is slaving away in the kitchen concocting I don't know what but it smells good.Coronation Street tonight.Boy are you followers in NZ in for some surprises. Tomorrow we are going to WELLS. Somehow related to BATH. Have been to BATH before with Tracy and Jim but would gladly go again. Interesting place.
Slept right through the night last night so ready to take on the world.
More tomorrow.Hope alls well there with everyone.
FRIDAY. Shopping trip planned today and meeting up with Fran, Gaies daughter (Saras twin) the only one I have never met over the years. She is a teacher. Same age as Tracy. Been pouring over brochures to plan outings. Spoilt for choice.
Thursday. Walked into township of Portishead and had lunch. What an absolutely lovely place it is.So neat and tidy. Wish I knew how to be smart and add photos to this diary. The news papers are so full of Bin Ladin and make interesting reading. I think Kate and William will be pleased as it has taken the spotlight away from them to a degree.
Have been chatting to my nephew Julian in Tanzanier on Skype and little Ruby blew a lovely kiss. Alls well there.
Struggling with the cryptic x words here as I have yet to get into the mind of the compiler. Between Gaie and myself we make a dent in it but struggle to complete.
Hope all well there.
Tomorrow is another day.........