Nicky & I are sitting in Queenstown airport waiting to board the first leg of our flights to U.K.
Monday 22 May
We've been in UK a week. The first couple of days were spent getting used to time zones etc., then we went to Wales. The Tylers were having a meeting with Chris's solicitor. We then went back to Alex T's place before heading to Haverfordwest and St. Davids to see Chris.
Chris is doing well & enjoying his refurbished house, especially the "bar" with pool table & darts. We were up until about 01:30 playing pool and darts.
On the way back up, Nicky managed to catch up with Jude Bull.
Caroline took delivery of her camper-van at the weekend. They're catching the ferry to Dunkirk on Wednesday, so Nicky went to Lichfield today to spend tomorrow helping Caroline get the van ready for their tour of Europe. They should have a great time.
Friday 26 May
Nic & Caroline set off yesterday & spent last night in Ypres.
I've spent the last few days trying to get a bit of work done. Yesterday Doug & I went for a bike ride & today we got out on Curber Edge for a walk, and ended up at the bottom of some of of classic routes on Froggat reminiscing
Sunday May 28th
Riber Pealings went to Bletchley park yesterday. It's a great museam of the work done there to break codes during the war. The recent film "The Imitation Game" has brought it to popular attention for the work Alan Turin did there. He was just one of the genius's that were there though. The visit was great. They have reconstructed a working "Bombe" - the machine that was used to help break the daily code used by the German's in their "Enigma" encrytion machine. The logic involved was extremely complex even when explained in the simplest terms to people with that sort of mind like me and Doug.
Nic and Caroline are making their way South in Europe in Caroline's flash campervan. Nic has sent a couple of photo's to me. I'll post them here as I receive them
Wednesday June 7th
Sorry for the gap in updates.
I've been trying to get a bit of work done whilst in UK as well as getting out and about a bit..
Last week Doug, Jude an d I went to Bempton Cliffs near Bridlington. It's a great place to see seabirds. We spent about 6 hours wandering along the coast watching gannets, razor-bills, puffins etc.. Jude's amazing bird spotting ability even saw a Peregrin - it was very distant, so no photo's but through Jude's scope it was very clear and great to see. I really enjoyed seeing the puffin's especially.
On the following Sunday we went to Donington Park to watch some motorsport - it was Superkarts and Mini's. Doug borrowed his neighbour's guest pass, which he has a marshall,. We were a bit later arriving than we'd intented because we had a slight navigational error, but as we got out of the car a lady jumped out of her car and gave us two free tickets. Doug paid for one ticket at concession price and we all went it. It cost us £12 for four of us for the whole day. We had a fantastic day too and ended up not leaving until well after 6pm
Slapton Sands is the site of Operation Tiger which was a big allied exercise to train/practice for the D-Day landings. There were all sorts of mess ups, including the British on the beach firing live rounds at the American landing craft. In all, approaching 800 allied soldiers died in an exercise. There's an old Sherman tank that's been dragged up out of the sea as a memorial to those who died.
The weather was pretty rubbish by the time we got onto Dartmoor, so we had a short walk onto Haytor.
Douglas & I had a little trot around exploring a bit more. We found a granite quarry & then further down the hill the Granite Tramway. It was used to get the granite off the hill . Horses would pull empty wagons up the hill . Gravity would take the full ones down with the horses behind to control the speed.
The were even points and sidings to allow uphill traffic to pass downhill traffic.
Thursday 15th June
The day after our trip to Slapton and Haytor we went west into Cornwall to a few miles from Lands End to see a play at the Minack Theatre. It's an open air Theatre overlooking the see. It's a fantastic location. We saw a play called Tristram and Isolde which is an adaptation of an old Cornish tale. It was excellent - very funny & brilliantly performed.
After the play we went for a quick look at Land's End as Douglas and I had never been before. It's a bit odd, but nice bit of coast.
Next day we were off back up to Riber, so after a leisurely start to the day we went for a little walk alongside the River Exe which conveniently took us to The Turf - a lovely country pub that you can't get to by vehicle. Walk, cycle or boat are the ways to get there. A pleasant beer and walk back, then head off back to Riber.
Alex, Freya and Gideon came down to RIber for the weekend and Robert (Hayes) and Vickie came for tea on Saturday night, so it was good to catch up with them.
Wednesday, we went off down to Fran's and had another good evening with Rhian's mob and Paul and Fiona who had also come over from Skibereen.
Well, nearing the end for me. I'm sitting at the departure gate in T3 of Heathrow airport. I'm flying to Melbourne for a few days with Mike & Carol, then back to NZ on 21st.
Nicky is with Caroline in Rome. They have just arrived there, having made their way through Europe over the last few weeks.
Saturday 24th June
Well I've been back in NZ for a couple of days. It's a little cooler here than in Melbourne, though it's still relatively mild for this time of year in NZ,
Didn't do a lot in Australia. I enjoyed spending time with Mike and Carol. We had a couple of shortish walks and good meals and watched some great rugby (Scotland beating Australia!). I was flying out on Wednesday and catching up with Gwyn (Nic's cousin) on Tuesday evening. Gwyn lives in Melbourne itself where as Mike and Carol live in Clifton Springs , south west of Melbourne. We spent Tuesday in Melbourne. Cities aren't really my thing, but it was interesting to spend the day wandering round (we'd gone in by train). There's a great area of alleys with mostly food outlets, and some interesting street art. We also went up the Eureka Tower - 297m (I think). Great views including Albert Park where the F1 races.
It was also good to catch up with Gwyn - if only for an evening.
Nicky and Caroline are making their way around Italy. They're currently in Venice for a few days.