Europe

Lyveden New Bield

Lyveden New Bield

Oct 27, 2018

This is a story of religious intolerance. It is from a time when religious beliefs were seen as absolute truths and those beliefs affected every part of your life. This is the story of Lyveden New Bield. Sir Thomas Tresham was a Roman Catholic at a time in English history when that was considered almost

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Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

Oct 27, 2018

If, like me, you went to an English boarding school, singing hymns like “Amazing Grace” at top volume was one of the highlights of church services. It did not matter if you could sing or not.  Because everyone else was making such a racket, no-one could hear you anyway. It was not a particularly spiritual

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Round One of our Sunday Lunch Off.

Round One of our Sunday Lunch Off.

Oct 22, 2018

There is something special about Sunday Lunch. Ever since I was a little boy, it was the most important meal of the week. It was the time that we got together as a family. The theatre of the carving and the lining up for your share of “Red Gravy” (the juices at the bottom of

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Castle Ashby Gardens

Castle Ashby Gardens

Oct 20, 2018

As we are staying on the Castle Ashby Estate in Northamptonshire we thought we should go and visit the gardens. So this morning as it dawned fine and sunny we put the leads on the hounds and headed out. The route looked delightfully straight forward on the map, so we left the map behind. Big

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A Very English Birthday

A Very English Birthday

Oct 19, 2018

There are many ways to celebrate a birthday. This time last year we were on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge celebrating Suzannah’s birthday. This year she is having a very English birthday. The first questions that needed to be answered this morning was; “How old do you have to be before you can have

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Legging it!

Legging it!

Oct 18, 2018

It turns out that “legging it” has a rather different meaning around these parts. Today we visited Stoke Bruerne, in Northamptonshire. This pretty little village is right on the Grand Union Canal. It is at the southern end of the Blisworth Tunnel. There is a nice pub called The Navigation and a whole series of

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Exploring rural Northamptonshire

Exploring rural Northamptonshire

Oct 15, 2018

After a few wonderful days being outrageous spoilt by our great mates in Stratford-upon-Avon, we have started a new housesit.  Our three week sit is in a tiny, village deep in Northamptonshire (abbrev.Northants). Where is Northants? Even some of our English friends look thoughtful and have to ponder that one! It is a landlocked county bordered

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A double high tide and Porchester Castle

A double high tide and Porchester Castle

Oct 9, 2018

Around Portsmouth and Southampton there is a phenomena that I have never seen before. There is a double high tide. The tide comes in, goes out a little bit and then comes in again before going out properly. Apparently, it is all to do with this area being half way along the English Channel. All

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Becoming “Live-aboards” for a few days.

Becoming “Live-aboards” for a few days.

Oct 7, 2018

This morning we officially became “Live-aboards”. This is our first morning waking up to the wonders of living on a barge on Portsmouth Harbour. The seabirds are feeding on the rising tide. A family of local swans are gliding by and the morning sun is lighting up the yachts. In the distance, is Portsmouth and

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Learning new things at Knightshayes and Killerton

Learning new things at Knightshayes and Killerton

Oct 5, 2018

You never know quite what you are going to learn when when you visit a National Trust property. Today was all about Ludites, suffragists, suffragettes, ladybirds and a bear. We were visiting Knightshayes  and Killerton in Devon. So stunning walled gardens, very impressive houses, woodland walks and a very tasty National Trust lunch were also

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A Very English Day Out

A Very English Day Out

Oct 2, 2018

We have a long list of “English” things that we want to do while we are here. Pretty close to the top of the list, is lunch at an English country pub. Then we heard about a pub that was only open at lunch time and only accessible if you walked there. How could we

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Arriving in Venice

Arriving in Venice

Sep 29, 2018

Sometimes when we travel, we come across a better way of doing something. It is not always the obvious way. So it is fun to pass on what we have discovered. Arriving in Venice is one of these “finds”. A couple of years ago we were coming to Venice from Milan and we arrived on

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