December 2016 - January 2017
  • Day30

    Bangkok

    January 12, 2017 in Thailand ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    I am sad to report that I really didn't take in as much of my private tour this day as, even in business class, I didn't get enough sleep the night before.

    My private guide was charming, knowledgeable and passionate about her heritage and explained the history and purpose of all the many individual buildings within the Grand Palace enclosure.

    Hopefully the guidebooks I brought home will help jog my memory.

    After a month of UK temperatures I found Thailand too hot and muggy even though it was probably about the same as Brissie today. Being ratshit tired didn't help.

    However, please enjoy a few snaps.
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  • Day27

    London, the last few days.

    January 9, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    After Essex, most of what I did and where I went were no photo places but here's the report.

    Sunday I spent the entire afternoon in the British Museum with a very distant cousin on my mum's side. Had a ball.

    Monday Jenn and I visited a small 'museum' known as Denis Severs House. Google it as its a bit hard to explain - a sort of living still life art installation which has recreated rooms in the family home of Hugenot silk weavers over various generations and circumstances.

    Monday night we saw the musical Rent which had been on my wish list for 20 years.

    For my last day in London we saw Charles Dickens' house. A residence he occupied for a few years when first married is furnished almost entirely with his actual furniture. We also saw the original, handwritten, first draft of Oliver Twist.

    The last museum I dragged my poor daughter through was The Museum of London which traces the history of the city from before the first humans to the 2012 Olympics.

    I'm composing this in flight en route to Bangkok where the last adventure awaits.
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  • Day27

    Essex

    January 9, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    Friday after shopping we cought the train down to my daughter's young man in Chelmsford where they have a charming little cathedral. They shouted me dinner at one of their favourite pubs and it was delicious.

    The next morning we headed to Colchester where, in the garden in front of the police station is the remains of a Roman Christian church.

    The museum housed in the old castle houses some very fine pieces from Roman Britain. The Abbey Gate is pretty much all that remains of St John's Abbey built just after the Normans arrived and destroyed by Henry VIII.

    A lot of Colchester is quite modern, but the Dutch Quarter sees some very well maintained old houses dating back to when QE1 allowed European weavers fleeing religious persecution to settle there in the late 16th century.

    The last picture, of one of these houses, is now a quilt shop!
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  • Day23

    Greenwich

    January 5, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 3 °C

    Today was a big day as there is a lot to see here, we didn't get to all of it.

    First up was the Cutty Sark which is almost all original then onto the Royal Naval College.

    The major showpiece here is the Painted Hall which was closed for filming but the chapel was open and breathtaking.

    Next The Queens House, designed by Inigo Jones. No longer a royal residence it houses some major works of art. Displayed are all the iconic portraits of monarchs and military heroes that crop up in every documentary on tv. Very special to see them in person.

    I probably didn't get the most out of the Royal Observatory as I was exhausted by then but I did learn there was an Astronomer Royal called Bidell......

    For the return journey we caught a riverbus rather than back on the rails, which I always enjoy, and gives you a different perspective on the city.
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  • Day21

    London Sightseeing

    January 3, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 3 °C

    I started the day at the re-created Globe Theatre. I did the tour because you end up learning more, and while you could see the exhibition, access to the theatre itself was by tour only.

    Our guide was ok, but if I'd waited for the next one she was much more theatrical than my bloke. Oh well.

    Over the Millennium Bridge for a spot of lunch and onto St Paul's where again I went round with a guide who was fabulous this time. Such a shame you can't photograph the inside, but I do get it.

    So amazing. It's all been cleaned since I popped my head in the door back in 1985 and they say it is even more dazzling now than when it was first finished.

    I was lucky enough to be under the dome, in front of the pulpit, when they had afternoon prayers and that was very special too.
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  • Day20

    Mapledurham

    January 2, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 4 °C

    For hundreds of years my grandmother's people worked the land in this area and lived in cotrages even older.

    Special thanks to Sue Cann for opening her home to me for a photo shoot and Jane Bowen for digging out village school archives.

    Cottages are where some of the great, greats lived and my gran's little brother won the Bishop's Prize at school in 1902. I know it sounds ridiculous but Three Chimneys Cottage seemed to bring the past alive and I felt quite overwhelmed.

    Again in the churchyard our ancestors modest graves were too old and worn to read, but just being there was magic.

    Steve from sho4travel then drove us back to London for my traditional Chinese Takeaway birthday tea.
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  • Day20

    Midsommer Murders

    January 2, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 2 °C

    Allmost impossible to choose just 6 photos from this amazing morning.

    Steve picked us up from Jenn's London house and we drove in luxury with our knowledgeable guide around just some of the fairy tale villages where the series is filmed.

    I could not have spent my birthday in a more perfect way.

    After a wonderful pub lunch we then retraced some ancestral footprints.
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  • Day19

    Llangollan

    January 1, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 3 °C

    Well the trip up to north Wales from Salusbury in thick fog was a bit harrowing but well worth it.

    We are staying with Jenn's boss's parents and its a proper country house party; my room is huge.

    Yesterday our host took us on a lovely drive in the morning and in the afternoon we took the steam train through the Dee Valley. I felt like I was on my way to Hogwarts.

    I don't really want to leave today but needs must as there are further adventures booked for tomorrow.
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  • Day16

    Stonehenge

    December 29, 2016 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 5 °C

    On the bus at 7am we were there, inside the stones, to see the sun rise just after 8. Our archaeologist guide explained in great detail

    We walked around the adjacent landcsape to look at burial mounds called barrows and the area where the folks who built stonehenge had lived.

    The we walked up the avenue from the river toward the henge on the route taken by our distant ancestors.
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