Joined April 2018 Message
  • Day139

    Back home in Manly

    December 15, 2021 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    Just thought I should add a short post to get the map back to Oz. An uneventful and easy trip back on Emirates after the usual chaos and frustration in security…the Australian government declaration that it was fraught filling in online was not looked at, either leaving the UK or arriving, and on arrival here we had to fill in the usual paper arrival card, and were handed a paper telling you to isolate and get tested!! All very vague - they don’t have any idea how and where people are going, which is good, but why pretend there are rules?? People waiting to greet people at arrivals were hugging and cheering!

    Being almost midnight by this stage we got a taxi within a few minutes, and have been hyped and unpacking, with a celebratory G and T- after an 8 hour sleep on the plane, and it being morning in the UK we are not sleepy yet…but it is GOOD to be home, our family is close (except for the La Jolla contingent) and our view is still beautiful.
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    Adrienne wilson

    Welcome Home. What wonderful adventures you have had.

    12/14/21Reply
    Anne Byrne

    Great to hear you are safely home again. What a fantastic trip!

    12/15/21Reply
    Carolyn Anderson

    Welcome home to beautiful Manly

    12/16/21Reply
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  • Day136

    Last day in the UK, our escape is over

    December 12, 2021 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    It is Sunday evening. This time tomorrow we will be on a plane. And our departure should be smooth I hope - have done the government form, and yesterday had our covid tests. That was an ordeal - we had appointments, but that proved to be a joke as when we arrived there was a mile long queue of people all waiting, and with appointments…such hopeless organisation and it meant that we all had to stand in line in the freezing cold and drizzle for about an hour and a half. We got SO cold, it was quite frightening…but you have prepaid your £80 each and have to have a test, so everyone waited…ghastly. We were kept sane by 3 Irish men behind us in the queue who were in Liverpool for the football, and while they didn’t want to be late for the match were so good natured and funny. They needed tests to get back to Dublin! The good news was that we were negative!

    Then we had more trouble as first we planned to have some tapas at our favourite place - but when we arrived, shivering and desperate to warm up, there was a sign on the door saying closed due to a flood. So we decided to cut our losses and get a bus back to Omnia’s…but waiting at the bus station for ages (still in the cold) finally someone came and told the waiting crowd that our bus had been rerouted due to road closures and we’d need to pick it up somewhere else…we had no idea where that was, but a friendly woman knew and we followed her - quite a long way, thank goodness we had a guide - and eventually got our bus…

    From then the day improved, we warmed up gradually (took ages to feel comfortable - it would be ironic if we get sick from queuing to get a covid test)…and we went out to dinner at a really nice restaurant that we had enjoyed last trip. North African/French food, lovely flavours and combinations. Our last celebratory dinner. So a good ending.

    Today we met a friend of Omnia’s for coffee and brunch, lovely, then back home to pack. It is easy when you pack to come home as no decisions necessary, just pile it all in. So off to bed soon, and tomorrow morning off to Manchester airport. We leave about 1.30pm. Back in Sydney late Tuesday evening. The end of our great escape…we are so lucky and appreciative to have done this. And I think our timing was also very fortunate..when we arrived Europe was open and fairly normal, and also UK. But now it is winter and they are getting a bit worried again, so we are probably leaving at the right time. So lucky.
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    Anita Marovac

    Bon voyage as you start your jouney homeward bound. What an adventure you two have had! So happy thtat we were able to see you at

    12/13/21Reply
    Anita Marovac

    In the early stage ❤️❤️

    12/13/21Reply
    Denise Allen

    Have a safe and comfortable ride home.”

    12/13/21Reply
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  • Day134

    Back in Liverpool for the last few days

    December 10, 2021 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    It is now Friday afternoon. Yesterday morning was a beautiful clear day in York, and we spent it walking round more of the walls, and another visit to the Minster (as our ticket lasts for a year!). Then we had a final walk round the narrow cobbled streets - it was still very cold - even with longjohns, 5 top layers, gloves and hat it felt cold!

    So we made our way to the station and caught the train back, arriving about 3. It was a rather fun train as unlike the one on the way to York, this one had a group of women who seemed to be going to a hens party…they were very festive anyway…(or maybe on the way back)…and there was a lot of chat and laughter.

    We popped into our favourite Tapas bar in Liverpool One (our equivalent to TapaVino!) and had a glass of Rioja and some tapas before getting the bus back to Omnia’s. We feel quite familiar with Liverpool and environs now (just the little part we know..). Good to see Omnia and be warm. She is better, just a little husky still.

    Today Amr went to the pool to swim and I went too and we walked back…our exercise for the day. This afternoon we go to afternoon tea with Judith, lovely almost 90 yr old (who came with us to one of the concerts)…and tomorrow we have appointments for our pre flight covid tests. There are over 50,000 new cases each day here, so let’s hope we’re negative!!! Had an email from Emirates with tickets and confirmation so it’s all happening!! Will probably write once more before we leave on Monday.
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    Olivia Sertori

    Looking very snug

    12/11/21Reply
     
  • Day132

    A day in York

    December 8, 2021 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 3 °C

    An excellent day, despite adverse weather - this is December in northern England - so not complaining! We started well..just cold and cloudy, and we found a great serious coffee shop that makes Amr standard coffee…and wonderful bagels. After that, we walked along the walls, which are intact in several sections, and had a lovely view of the city as we walked. By the end it was a bit drizzly, but we had reached an end of the wall where we crossed the river - the Ouse - but it must be a different Ouse from the little trickle of the Ouse that had seen everywhere in Olney, as the map showed it did not go near there, and this was a wide strong flowing river! And having crossed the river it led straight to the York Minster. We spent a long and wonderful time exploring this amazing building, now beautifully restored and immaculate looking. It has wonderful medieval stained glass and structures, with Roman ruins underneath as there is also a strong Roman history here.

    When we emerged finally from the Minster it was properly raining, not just drizzling. We persevered for a while but retreated into a cafe and had coffee/chocolate and an almond croissant, then went on through the small quaint and picturesque streets, the Shambles, markets. The rain eased, though it still felt really cold. We had a final coffee at Amr’s favourite coffee place and retreated to the hotel, having booked movie tickets for 5 pm, cinema just opposite the hotel, and by 5 it is dark, cold and wet and too early for dinner! So a good compromise. But the movie C’mon C’mon which Amr said was highly recommended (with Joachin Phoenix) I found terribly self indulgent and didn’t think was great at all…but they had very comfortable chairs and it was warm, so not complaining! (Have to mention that Amr did like the movie..)

    Then at 7.30 went to an Italian restaurant just nearby which looked (and was) good, and had a lovely dinner. Now back and cosy and warm!
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    Paul Farrell

    That is a stunning little town isn’t it?!!

    12/9/21Reply
    Ira Kowalski

    What a great spread.

    12/9/21Reply
    Ira Kowalski

    Wonderful light filled space.

    12/9/21Reply
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  • Day131

    An interlude in York

    December 7, 2021 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌬 5 °C

    This morning was cold and rather bleak…I went in the bus with Amr to the pool where he swims in Wavertree, and we planned to walk back which we did yesterday and then have coffee at Childwall where Omnia lives. Well it was very cold and windy and rainy when we started to walk so we relented and caught a bus back - a bit of a defeat, but there is a limit to discomfort!!

    We also were going to get a bus to the station for the train to York at about 3pm. But Omnia, who is still not 100%, but getting a bit better, offered to drive us to Lime Street and we accepted…we were very early for our train and were able to catch the earlier one which arrived at just after 4pm. The train was the Transalpine Express, not all that express, but it did go over the Pennines and the scenery was just beautiful. During the 2 hour journey we saw such varied weather - from grey and cloudy, sun peeping through, a rainbow and pouring rain just before we arrived at York. By 4 o’clock it is almost dark, the sun sets now at 3.45…so weird as you feel it is much later than it is. But miraculously it wasn’t actually raining when we arrived, and we walked the 9 minutes walk from the station to the hotel in relative comfort!!

    Checked in and relaxed, had our complimentary drink 🍷 while we watched Pointless on TV in the bar! A good wind down. Then we rugged up and ventured out to have a first look at this town. We are just outside the walls and the old city, perfectly placed. We look forward to seeing it all properly in daylight, but it looks wonderful and with Christmas lights and decorations. Ended up having a fab dinner at an Indian restaurant near the hotel. Indian food in the UK is SO good. And it was quite a cheffy place, just delicious.

    Funny thing is that here in the north it is often quite difficult to understand what people are saying…I catch snatches of conversations and while I know they are speaking English, can’t work out what they are saying… just can make out the odd word, not the whole sentence. I even thought some were German tourists, till Amr said no…! Funny.

    Anyway, now off to bed, and a proper discovery of York tomorrow. We are all set for our departure on Monday. We have gone through the ordeal of filling in the Oz government form for returning to Australia…requires much concentration and info…but they are done and submitted successfully!!
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    Carolyn Anderson

    Enjoy York - a beautiful city

    12/7/21Reply
    Ira Kowalski

    Glorious Christmas Lights.

    12/9/21Reply
    Olivia Sertori

    How beautiful! Glad the return forms are all sorted

    12/9/21Reply
     
  • Day129

    Finally a wet experience in Liverpool

    December 5, 2021 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 5 °C

    It is now Sunday. Friday was a quiet day, the usual walking etc…but yesterday we had booked to go to see the Lucian Freud exhibition (you have to “book” to go to everything these days, but you could often do it on the spot if you hadn’t) at the Tate Liverpool. Omnia had an all day online conference, and Amr and I caught the bus into the city.

    We did some shop wandering as our time slot was 3.30, and it was already turning into a rainy afternoon. We only had our puffy down jackets (non rainproof) as didn’t anticipate being out in the weather much…by the time we made our way to the Tate, on Albert Dock, it was definitely raining and extremely windy, and it was quite a long distance in the open.

    Very glad to be in the shelter of the gallery, and we loved the exhibition. So then we had to make our way back which was when we had our worst storm experience…by then it was pouring with rain and the wind was so strong you could barely walk. We had to meet Omnia who was driving in, and we were going to have dinner at a Lebanese/Mediterranean restaurant with friends who we had met before on our last visit.

    We got back to the big John Lewis store and sheltered there as too early to meet…I was just soaking - wet pants (had worn my velvet pants which absorbed the rain, instead of my walking pants which would have dried very quickly) and generally damp all over! We had a rather bad coffee/chocolate in the store cafe, and went to meet Omnia.

    It had miraculously stopped raining by then, just wind, so told Omnia we’d meet her at the restaurant and walked the 17 minute walk following Google’s directions…still battling wind and a few raindrops…got there a bit early and they were still setting up our table so we decided to have a drink at the Irish pub round the corner, as we found the restaurant didn’t serve alcohol. Very therapeutic! Warm and noisy and full of a crowd watching the football. Then back to the restaurant and a lovely meal.

    Poor Omnia has got laryngitis and is very croaky, but says she feels ok otherwise. (Not Covid!). We are getting getting ready for our return and have to fill in a government form which I know will be a fraught experience…logging in, giving many details and submitting. Has to be done more than 72 hours before departure (but not more than a week Amr found out after trying to do it today)…Maybe tomorrow it will work. On Tuesday we go to York for our final excursion, for 2 nights, return on Thursday.
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    Ira Kowalski

    What a day you both have had! Fighting the elements and Lucien Freud, who is one of my very favourites. Csn't believe you are coming to the end of your marvellous travels. Rosie, you will have to continue your posts from Manly.

    12/5/21Reply
    Hartley Cook

    Enjoy York. It’s beautiful

    12/6/21Reply
    Anita Marovac

    Oi

    12/6/21Reply
    Anita Marovac

    I don’t envy the soaking and strong winds, but apart from that you have a way of focusing on the positive.

    12/6/21Reply
     
  • Day126

    More Liverpool life

    December 2, 2021 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 3 °C

    Nothing much to report since the Monday trip to Chester…till today when we have just been to another gorgeous concert. Tuesday we had dinner out with a colleague of Omnia’s, very nice and last night I cooked a roast chicken…it has been cold, but not as cold as the snow day, but mostly still in single figures.

    However, today was a beautiful clear and sunny day - most of the day anyway, a little drizzly later this evening. So Amr and I have been walking along the track a lot. Many trees came down in the big winds and we have had to clamber over them, but now they have mostly been cleared up and today we went past as a team was felling some trees in anticipation of the next storm (Amr took a video of it for Jaxon and Sonny)…

    Tonight was a highlight. Before the concert we had a wonderful early dinner at a restaurant The Art School, right round the corner from the Philharmonic hall. It is highly rated and hard to get a reservation but Omnia managed to get us in at 5.15 in the cellar, which is literally the cellar of the building, and we found it had much more atmosphere than the proper restaurant upstairs (and the same food)…One funny thing, there was that a whole group of people arrived all carrying bags (we found out they were party bags, with wine chocolates and goodies)…we asked what they were and one young man gave us one saying the recipient hadn’t turned up…very friendly, but the organiser of the whole do was obviously miffed and kept making comments (we made friends with her, she was a bossy but heart of gold mother hen)…and we assured her that we were flying back to Oz and couldn’t take it etc etc …we discovered later that they were actually finishing their dinner there, having overstayed their time in the private room upstairs!! Anyway, it was a fun time…and then the concert was magical…a Mozart piano concerto (no 24) and Dvorak 7.

    Still keeping fingers crossed that the 72 home iso won’t change for the worse before we return in 10 days…
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    Anita Marovac

    Love reading of your enjoyment 🥰

    12/4/21Reply
    Ira Kowalski

    Yes, me too.

    12/4/21Reply
     
  • Day124

    A day in Chester

    November 30, 2021 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    A lovely day. Woke up to cold, and still light snow lying round. Put on longjohns for the first time and took gloves and hat, as we knew we’d be walking outside round Chester. And it was just as well, my hands ached even in gloves…but we had a gorgeous day. Got the train, about 40 minutes from Liverpool, and arrived soon after 10. No snow in Chester, but it felt almost colder, or maybe it was just because we were exposed.

    Anyway, we walked round the very charming streets, many timbered houses, a beautiful cathedral, city walls round the whole centre - originally a Roman fortress, and was also a busy port. It is on the river Dee. We walked right round the walls, saw the Roman garden and bath ruins, the amphitheater (which is now really chunks of stones), and the huge cathedral. Had to thaw out for refreshments from time to time - for lunch we had a Yorkshire pudding wrap filled with turkey, vegs and cranberry! We got a train back at about 4. It is pitch dark by 4.30 (sunset just before 4), so always feels later than it is.

    Came back and had a nice dinner with Omnia, and watched a great series she had recorded - Professor T…really good. And we have also watched the latest series of Grantchester, and Shetland!! Lots of good British viewing!
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    Carolyn Anderson

    Love the bare trees

    11/29/21Reply
    Rosie Marzouk

    Aren’t they beautiful..they went from autumn to winter almost overnight with the high winds (that brought many trees down)

    11/29/21Reply
    Olivia Sertori

    I love the beanie

    11/29/21Reply
    Hartley Cook

    Isn’t Chester beautiful?!

    11/30/21Reply
     
  • Day122

    Snow in Liverpool

    November 28, 2021 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌙 0 °C

    Just a very quick entry as it’s 11 pm and I forgot to write, but want to give summary of last few days…yesterday we went to the Fantastique concert with the Liverpool Philharmonic, with lovely dinner before, just opposite the hall.

    Today was COLD, about 1° felt like -3° said the app, and then it snowed lightly…enough to look a bit white…Amr and I were walking and realised the odd light raindrop had morphed into snow flakes. It is said to be the coldest day of the year, as usually it isn’t like this in November and December …must be global warming setting in…

    Today we went to a movie House of Gucci, long but good…recommend…and tonight had a lasagna that I cooked, cooking therapy. Hope all this new scare doesn’t change our return plans…will wait and see. Tomorrow we spend the day in Chester.
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    Ira Kowalski

    The Three Graces, awaiting Pan's flutes.

    11/29/21Reply
    Ira Kowalski

    How wonderful - SNOW!!!

    11/29/21Reply
    Ira Kowalski

    That looks absolutely yummy.

    11/29/21Reply
    Olivia Sertori

    Nothing beats your lasagne!

    11/29/21Reply
     
  • Day120

    Living in Liverpool

    November 26, 2021 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌬 5 °C

    Just checking in but nothing much to say…we are chilling and having a quiet and relaxed life here with Omnia. It is cold, and it has been raining - even unto very fine hail while we were driving today, but never lasts long, and we have been able to walk without a drenching! But I think I may finally get out gloves…my hands were freezing today.

    Today I had a therapeutic time cooking a chicken curry for tonight…so long since I have cooked. And will make a lasagna for Sunday. Tomorrow we go to a concert…great programme…Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique being the highlight, and an early dinner before. Will next report on Sunday.
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    Anita Marovac

    Now your life sounds more like ours 😜

    11/26/21Reply
     

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