Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my adventures with my family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'm so enjoying this wonderful world of blogging where I have met and made so many new friends.

Please leave a comment when you drop by so I can visit your blog and get to know you too
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Saturday, April 20, 2019

HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION

Holiday apartments
Since 2007 when I retired from teaching we have been lucky enough to do quite a bit of travelling overseas.
In fact we have been every year since then except once after the Global Financial disaster impacted on our retirement funds and once when a medical problem meant cancellation of plans and surgery.
Luckily for us both problems have been righted and we are back on track.
Prior to this we had a trip to New Zealand and a trip to visit Sally while she lived in Edinburgh. Both involved touring around and staying in places for a night, usually at B&Bs. Trips that we enjoyed but found very taxing, unloading and loading the car EVERY NIGHT ! ....and living out of a suitcase , washing undies in the shower .......
This was enough for us to decide that there had to be a better way.


In 2007 we flew to Canada and travelled in British Columbia for six weeks with my cousin and her husband, renting a car. We stayed in holiday cabins and apartments for a few days or a week where we could spread out, wash and cook the many of our meals.

That set the tone for all our further trips.

2008 saw us embark on our greatest trip ever - 14 weeks in England. I was new to booking on the internet and put in hundreds of hours working out where to go and researching, researching, researching till I found a little cottage in a village in our area of choice. In those days these were mostly cottages advertised on the Internet by their owners and keys were handed over in person when you found your target - not always an easy task .
We stayed in  Polruan, Willersey, Winster, Askrig, Morecombe, Royal Tunbridge Wells, usually for one or two weeks and once , in Willersey in the Cotswolds for 3 weeks. From then on we were sold on staying in cottages and apartments wherever we go.

Further trips to France , Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Ireland have continued on this way with continued success often using accommodation from a worldwide site called Home Away. Luckily for us we have had very few problems with these bookings and have been met with friendly hospitality wherever we went.
Lately I have been dealing quite a bit with AirB&B and I am very impressed . For the first time we have the backup of a world wide company- and very good backup it is. Your money is paid to them and passed on to the owners after you leave so there is a mediator if there is a problem. The feeling of security , knowing you have someone to turn to if a problem arises is a great comfort when you are travelling and though our problems have been few, their instant response and backup has been faultless.





We are about to set off again - to Copenhagen and Southern Norway -  and for this trip I have booked everything through AirB&B.

Let's hope it all goes  smoothly.

Cheers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

TOP MARKS

For some time Tony has been interested in photography but recently this interest has grown and, with the purchase of a new mirror-less camera and his participation in a photography course at a TAFE College, his photos are really going up a notch or two.
He has been experimenting with low light photography so his outings have been largely just on dusk.

Recently he drove down to Cleveland Point late in the afternoon to take some sunset photos.
When he arrived he found that he was not the only one with this idea !!


The resulting photos are lovely. 


You can see why the spot is so popular with photographers.


I really love the colours in this one


On another expedition he set off for Southbank in the heart of Brisbane


travelling into the city on our beloved CityCat ferry.


 Southbank Parkland occupies the former  site of World Expo 88 which was held in Brisbane in 1988.
It is a delightful area and greatly loved by the citizens of Brisbane who make great use of its cafes, picnic areas, free BBQs and playgrounds.



One of the major attractions is the free public "beach" - a huge free swimming area with a sandy bottom and beach 


Just the place to cool off on a hot Summer night.



Finally I'll finish with this photo taken just on nightfall while we were recently in Hervey Bay


He is showing considerable talent don't you think ?

Cheers.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

SUNDAY DRIVE

The hot weather we have been having makes me just want to stay inside in the cool of the air-conditioning but today we decided to get out and take a drive ( in the cool air-conditioned car !!) to see the sunflowers.
They are growing in the Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane and about 2 hours later we came upon this field.


As you can see it is very dry and the poor flowers on the edge of the field were showing the lack of water.


You can see how withered the leaves are and the background is pure country Australia - grey-green and brown.



 However as you move further into the crop it gets better and soon there is a sea of happy yellow facing the sun.






 Such a pretty crop.



We were a little early as this was the only field properly in flower.
The rest will probably burst forth in the next two weeks.

On the way home we passed this pretty house in Gatton.


It is built in the typical Queensland style,


set high off the ground to guard against floods but mainly to catch any breezes that may be around.

Wide verandahs and a central hallway leading past a bedroom on each side at the front  to a "lounge" room (living room ) and dining room with kitchen and bathroom in the enclosed part of the back
 verandah.
A very practical design for our climate. You will find many of them in any Queensland country town.

You may remember I posted about "Old Queenslanders"   here  way back in 2010. 
It has been one of my most visited posts over the years.

We were home by 4:30 and it is finally cooler than the 32 degrees it has been all day so I'm off for a cool Aperol Spritz which is our drink of choice in the heat.

Cheers.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

PUZZLED

Once upon a time I did the crossword in the daily paper "The Courier Mail" religiously every morning.
Worked on it through breakfast and most days managed to complete it.

However these days we no longer have a daily delivery of newspapers. Tony happily reads many online and I read none! I am very disillusioned with the written media and find reporting inaccurate and often untrue so I'm content to get the news delivered via the television several times a day accompanied by visuals.

Sorry I got a bit off topic there !

So now I solve puzzles on my phone and ipad.
I used to play a version of Scrabble against several friends and relatives all over the world. It was called "Words with Friends" but the time waiting for the other person to move and the ability for them ( and me ) to use an ap to help them with moves soon made it lose it's appeal especially when lots of very strange words began to appear from obscure languages.

This one is my newest favourite called "Word Brain" and I love it because it is just me progressing through the levels . No opportunity to cheat and no way of progressing until I get the puzzle out.
The only help you get is every 15 minutes spent on the puzzle earns you a hint
of a single letter at the beginning of each word so you do eventually get there.



As you find  the words they are eliminated from the puzzle till all the letters are used up.


It's been very quiet around here since Christmas so I thought a jigsaw puzzle might be an activity that we could all work on.


I chose this one of one of my all time most favourite paintings by Van Gogh.
I thought it wouldn't be too difficult. 
Wrong !
Lots of variations in colour there …..
but after a WHOLE DAY we had only done this much!!


and there was one piece missing !


We searched and searched and finally it was located !!


Since then Sally and I have spent many hours on it.
My back  aches and I'm seeing spots before my eyes .


We're not making very much progress.


So frustrating.

Not one of my better ideas.

Cheers.

Monday, December 31, 2018

FINISHING UP OUR 2018 HOLIDAY


GIANT'S CAUSEWAY

No trip to northern Ireland would be complete without a visit to the Giants causeway.
Entry to this natural phenomenon is free …. but the car park run by the National Trust is 
very expensive !
First you walk about a kilometer along a well made path/road.




Once you come upon the basalt pipes that constitute the feature you are able to scramble over it


with very few restrictions.


there were quite a few people exploring the site the day we were there but I'm sure that it becomes very crowded in the season.






You can see the scale of the columns when tony stand at the base of one large crop of pipes.



Further along the path there are more features to see .
 My photo is using the zoom on my camera came out a little strange but you can still the the size of it anyway.


Then there is the long walk back to the car park.





GAME OF THRONES

There are lots of locations used in the Game of Thrones TV show scattered all over the countryside.

This avenue of trees is called the dark hedges in the series and it is truly spectacular

 

Our two weeks in our little house at Ballintoy were terrific.
This holiday was going just as we had planned ...slow and relaxing.

WELLS

After a short visit with family I Wales we finished up our holiday is the little city of Wells.
Our stay coincided with a Bank Holiday weekend  but we managed to see this little gem without too many problems.


The Bishop's Palace with its lovely building and beautiful grounds


gave us hours of pleasure as we explored 






and then there was the 
Cathedral !!



Spectacular from the outside


and even better on the inside.

The whole cathedral precinct was full of beautiful old buildings



and we wandered at leisure taking it all in.






What a terrific place to end our holiday.
On our last day we grabbed our last Cream tea from the bishop's Palace Tea Room


Pity  we can't get this stuff in Australia. It is WONDERFUL !!!


Another wonderful holiday.

Cheers.