Travelog

The frost has arrived

The frost has arrived

Oct 31, 2018

Suzannah has been saying all year how much she is looking forward to a cold winter. The idea of a cold, English  Christmas is how we both feel Christmas should be. This week we got one step closer. The frost has arrived. We have been waking up to sparkly white grass and putting extra layers

Read more
The English Aga

The English Aga

Oct 30, 2018

An Aga is as quintessentially English as a cream tea or a thatched country pub. But until this trip I had never really been on first name terms with one. I had boiled the odd kettle on my sister-in-law’s Aga but never actually cooked on one. Until now. Our first housesit in Devon had a

Read more
Sunday Lunch Off round two

Sunday Lunch Off round two

Oct 29, 2018

Time for  our Sunday Lunch Off round two. Last week, when we decided to walk to Yardley Hastings for Sunday lunch, we had a problem. There are two pubs in Yardley Hastings. The only decent thing to do was to have a Sunday Lunch Off. Last Sunday it was the turn of the Red Lion

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more