Joined April 2017 Message
  • Day37

    York. (Its in Yorkshire, funny that.)

    May 25, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    How to cover 3000 years of history in a ten minute walk: visit York. Ancient Britains, Romans, Vikings, and any other shaped head you care to name, they've all called York home. The first 'Christian' roman emperor was proclaimed right here in the 300s. Now the honour continues through a smashing minster and very cosy tearooms. Weather has been brill too, even the shorts saw sunlight.Read more

  • Day36

    Haworth, where Gordon learns something.

    May 24, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    It seems my government school education may not have been complete. Around the 1800s Patrick and Alice Bronte had six kids while he also pumped out sermons to deliver as vicar of the church next door.

    Turns out that literally on the dining table in the next room Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte were pumping out absolute literary classics of the English language: Charlotte's Jane Eyre, Emily's Wuthering Heights and Anne's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

    No literary seclusion for them though. Along the way they buried three siblings and their mother. In the end Dad Patrick outlived his wife and ALL SIX of his kids.
    What a life in Haworth, this little corner of Yorkshire. I'm learning....
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  • Day35

    In family footsteps...

    May 23, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    All my days I've heard of these people. Uncle Jimmy, Aunt Iris... Now we share meal, lounge, heart.
    All my days I've heard of these place names: Bradford, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, the Moors. Now they rise and fall before me, literally up hill and down dale.
    We have visited birthplaces for parents and family, playsites of children now past, gravesides of young and old.
    It's very full of heartfelt wandering and wondering.

    We stayed at a small campsite beside the Cock O The North pub. We ended up staying a whole week here as we gently recovered from all the frenzy of Europe. Jimmy drove us to see lots of family sites. We also hired a car for three days to see Haworth and York and revisit Hebden Bridge.
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  • Day32

    Waking in Windsor. Didn't expect that...

    May 20, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    It was already well after 10 pm as we set off in the camper from the Jon Gomm concert. Only the voice of Ms GPS to lead us to one of only two camper parking sites this side of Greater London. Forty minutes of darkness, rain and 267 roundabouts later we park at our mystery destination. Where are we, it's too dark to tell.
    Morning breaks to reveal our new neighbour is HRH in Windsor Castle (this is her weekender). We are smack in the centre of Windsor, beside the Thames. So we have spent an unexpected day visiting her (castle), Eton College, the odd shop or 86, and walking the banks of the Thames. Quite nice. Tomorrow, Yorkshire to see family. I may be bit quiet in coming days as we spend time with them. Ciao.
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  • Day31

    So good, I bought the t-shirt. Again.

    May 19, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    It was a wonderful end to a long day. Yesterday started on Belgium, then through France to the ferry. (Total Europe RHS driving distance = 3466 kms) . Though back in the UK, it was the end of the day I was looking forward to.

    A concert. A concert I booked tix for in January. Jon Gomm on guitar, live. I last saw him in Melbourne April 2012 and never thought I'd see him again. Just getting there meant driving my 7.5m x 2.3m camper through inner London and through VERY SKINNY bridges to Shepherds Bush, and somehow park it. H was brave. I was laughing with excitement.

    Last night WAS SO satisfying, and even better than hoped. I'm so glad I was encouraged to go. Thanks. Search youtube for Jon Gomm Passionflower to get an idea of what we saw. (Yes I did buy the t-shirt. Like last time).
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  • Day31

    Welcome to Britain. Keep left.

    May 19, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    ... And I do try to keep left in most ways. Ferry load and ride to get here from Calais is just like doing the Spirit of Tassie , just nine hours shorter. It took only a few hundred yards and some adrenaline to unlearn my advanced and seamless European driving skills. We called in on our namesake church this afternoon. Friendly welcome and a personal tour. Good to sense another lively congregation going and growing with the times.
    Tonight is a special treat for me. I bought the tickets months ago when I found the dates worked out. More on this next...
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  • Day30

    Belguim's sunshine coast

    May 18, 2017 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Here's a surprise. We start meandering to the edge of Europe, and behold: beach, classy shops, and apartments on the shoreline. A very familiar formula. The pic with four wheeler pushy is not our main transport : our van's that little white square up the main street. Thank you Belgium for one more lovely gift.Read more

  • Day29

    Brilliant Belgium.

    May 17, 2017 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    It is said the French think they've got life worked out. Well the Belgians actually have : they are just totally cool about it. *

    Brugge is a dine out feast for the eyes and tummy. Medieval architecture is abundant. It missed most of the world war destruction. (Many villages we saw in northern France were pulverised by WW1 artillery. Though well rebuilt, they look disturbingly 'un-old', built after 1918.)
    Canals beckon you toward their waiting boat rides. Green gardens welcome resting spirits. Belgian chocolate also awaits every 13 yards. Lace weaves its elegance. And now, waffles??? Ohh...

    It was a delightful restful day after the earlier emotional challenges of war sites.

    * only a slight overstatement. Their cultural challenges continue began their Dutch and French speaking communities.
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  • Day28

    Honour and Resentment

    May 16, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Such a tangled three days for us visiting WW1 sites. We stopped by ten gravesides or memorials and three museums. Two visits were to honour family members, others were to honour Canterbury Baptist Church veterans who never came home. They are present or remembered at Villers-Brettoneux, Tincourt, Louveral, Vis-en-Artois, VC Corner, Cobbers Corner, Pheasant Wood, Rue Petillon, Croix Du Bac, and Menin Gate. Every life a premature and violent loss. Every one of them a grief for family. Much to process about this.
    They were mostly optimistic and loyal young men. We honour such life as well as the other women, children, and men forever affected by this.
    Yet more than ever I feel the evil of war. I resent it. I resent war also because it only ever starts in people's minds. That is there the real battles are to be fought.
    A few days of this calls for something different; Bruges will do nicely....
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  • Day27

    Lost and found.

    May 15, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    This week we are in Northern France. I have three great uncles buried here from WW1. One I can't find. The other two were brothers (my dad's uncles Albert and Edgar Galloway). There's also the deep connection for Canterbury Baptist Church with this area as eight of it's young men were killed here. Time to dwell on what's happened here, and humanity's reason for being.
    A unique day; until tomorrow (Fromelles).

    We stopped in campsites here - the first night in Albert, and the second night further north just east of Arras.
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