Monday, 29 April 2019

Hitting the tourist trail

If like me you live in the UK, you have probably had a damp and miserable weekend with an extremely wet Saturday. Here, it must have rained non stop from Friday night until the early hours of Sunday, making Saturday the ideal day for all of those jobs that have been put off for a rainy day, but my jobs will have to wait for another rainy day. This weekend husband's sister and brother-in-law  came to visit with the intention of seeing Chester. They arrived late Friday morning around the time that it luckily stopped raining. We had booked a table for lunch in a restaurant at Lower Heswall, on the Wirral, overlooking the foreshore.


That went well and we then had a drive round the top of the Wirral taking in the golf course at Hoylake and what we could see of Hilbre Island on a murky day.


On the way back we stopped off at Parkgate, where we had a walk along a fresh and blustery Promenade.


Then it was home for a cup of tea. So far, so good. For Saturday we had planned to go into Chester, where there are lots of sights to see when the weather is fine, or at least dry.

Saturday started as it intended to go on - wet, cold and windy. Almost our worst nightmare. What were we going to do? Well we took a taxi into Chester and started at the cathedral.


We joined a group of about thirty for a guided tour of the inside of the cathedral. Inside was dry, if cool. Even the guide was wearing an overcoat. He was very good and it was interesting.


I was surprised at the number of visitors to the cathedral on a cold, wet day. Well we were all keeping dry for a time. Outside, after the guided tour, it was still raining and we needed to make our way down to a popular resturant by the river for lunch. In the expectation of the resturant being busy we had booked a table, but we turned out to be the only customers! Lunch eaten, the rain was coming down sideways and we set off to walk around the city walls - well at least part of the way.


By the time we had walked to the Eastgate clock we were cold and rather wet and decided to abandon



the walls in favour of the cover of the Rows.


Now it was time to head home to get warm and dry and for a well earned cup of tea. Then in the evening it was off to a restaurant overlooking the race course for dinner.

And of course as our visitors set off for home, on Sunday morning, the sun came out.

The photographs are borrowed and were taken under better weather conditions than we experienced.


Friday, 12 April 2019

Five to two


In case you we wondering, this isn't about a diet. We were away or five weeks and it has taken me two weeks to catch up with myself. I was going to say catch up with everything, but I don't think that  will ever happen. It is great to go away, but at home, I am constantly behind with everything, or that is how it seems. If or when I do feel that I have caught up, it is just in time to go away again. I am not complaining. There were years when we did not have the time or the money for much of a holiday, when we were renovating the cottage and had two elderly mothers to think about. I would rather stay at home than slum it somewhere cheap and cheerful. We have learnt from past mistakes. Like many retired couples we are now ticking destinations off our bucket list. I know that we have only just returned from a long trip away, but we have already had to think about trips booked for later in the year, which required us to book flights and accommodation, even as far ahead as next January. One hotel that I considered was already booked up for the date that we wanted. Not so long ago we pretty much left it until the last minute to book holidays. We were not so bothered about where we went. It was more a matter of finding somewhere suitable at an acceptable price. Often there would not be much choice. However, that may not have been a bad thing. It simply made the decision of where to go easier. Now we want destinations of our choice often at specific times. So, it is essential to plan and booked ahead.

I  do sometimes wonder if we shouldn't stay at home and get on top of  the garden, but we have been told to travel while we are fit and able to do so. On our travels we often meet like minded travellers, some of whom are much older than us and who are still enjoying galivanting around the world. Recently the husband of a friend has become terminally ill and been advised not to leave the country. Their globe trotting days are over. You never know what might be around the corner. So we shall continue with the travelling and the garden will have to wait.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Dry January


So Dry January seems to be the buzz phrase at the moment. My alcohol intake is not that high that I feel the need to participate. However, I have found January this year to be rather dry and boring without resorting to abstaining from alcohol. Here in the UK the daily news is Brexit, Brexit and more Brexit. Sometimes the problems in Venezuela get a mention, or maybe the goings on in the USA, or the antics of the yellow vests of France. Last week Prince Philip hit the headlines, which made a change, but now that he is back behind a safety belt he is no longer news.

The other issue which is a big yawn is veganism. At the moment every newspaper and magazine sems to have an article about vegan food or vegan cosmetics or something else vegan. A vegan diet must be so boring. Where is the enjoyment in life if you only eat plant material? Sister in law gave us some vegan chocolates for Christmas. They are in the cupboard. We haven't eaten them yet.

Then we come to social media. What did we do before it took over? We read books, spoke to on another, watched TV or went to the cinema, theatre or the pub. I am not interested in Facebook or Twitter. I don't have time for either and I am not interested in reading about the minutiae of other people's lives and I am certainly not going to provide a running commentary to my daily life. Anyway it would be boring like Dry January! I went as far as opening an Instagram account, but it would not work. So that was the end of that.

The weather here has been anything but dry. We have had enough rain to waterlog our garden and on Tuesday and Wednesday we had snow and ice.

Yesterday I had another bum haircut and today I have a stiff neck from the hairdresser's wash basin. So I guess that I am looking for a new hairdresser. In the meantime, we are off to New Zealand to see husband's relatives. Me with a brown paper bag on my head.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Too close to home

Strangely yesterday afternoon I was fretting about the lopsided haircut that the hairdresser had given me the previous day and bemoaning the fact that we had moved to Cheshire from Surrey, where my lovely little hairdresser never seemed to make such mistakes, when I saw the headline on the BBC news website that a man had been stabbed on a train in Surrey. Initially I did not think too much of it. It was Surrey and we no longer lived there. Then husband who is always voracious for news read the report and to our horror it appeared to have happened at what had been our local railway station and what is more the victim had died.


We lived in the attractive village of East Horsley, which is situated between Guildford and Leatherhead. It is affluent, leafy Surrey with nice houses, many of them large. Residents in general are professionals, who commute up to London from Horsley by train, as did my husband for several years.

The incident happened between Guildford and Clandon, which is the stop before Horsley, where the culprit got off the train and legged it, meaning that a very dangerous individual was at large in the area. The police have now arrested someone and hopefully it is the culprit.

Thankfully last night, 200 miles away, we slept soundly. I wonder how many in that area of Surrey were so fortunate.

More information on this story can be found on the BBC news website

Tuesday, 1 January 2019