Cromwell Country

Jun 07, 12 Cromwell Country

Posted by in Cambridgeshire 2012

The area around Cambridge can definitely be described as “Cromwell Country”. His influence and memory can be seen everywhere. Accordingly we immersed ourselves in exploring his historical legacy today by visiting his house in Ely. It was great to walk through the house where this great man lived, worked and planned the greatest political upheaval in British history. The English Civil war shaped the politics and formed the constitutional Monarchy we see today in modern Britain. Before visiting Cromwell’s house the irony of eating our lunch in small pub calld “The King’s Arms”, just down the road from his house wasn’t lost on us !...

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Jun 02, 12 Jubileeee!

Posted by in Cambridgeshire 2012

We’ve arrived in Grafham near Cambridge to spend a week in the bucolic splendor of Cambridgeshire. We’ve got a magnificent cottage right in the heart of the countryside. Determined to celebrate the diamond jubilee in splendor we’ve decorated the cottage to be resplendent in the Guernsey and Union...

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Homeward bound – touchdown

Mar 26, 12 Homeward bound – touchdown

Posted by in Singapore-Sydney-Norfolk 2012

After a round trip of 24,502 miles we find ourselves back in Guernsey. We’ve nearly travelled the entire circumference of the globe in 2 weeks (Earth’s circumference is 24,859 miles) ! 😀 We’ve had a great trip, seen some great things and met up with the family again in Norfolk Island which was soooo good ! Leg Distance Time Guernsey ⇒ Gatwick 159 miles 256 km 45 mins London Heathrow ⇒ Singapore 7,265 miles 11,692 km 12.5 hours Singapore ⇒ Sydney 3,915 miles 6,300 km 7.5 hours Sydney ⇒ Norfolk 1,043 miles 1,679 km 2.5 hours Norfolk ⇒ Sydney 1,043 miles 1,679 km 2.5 hours Sydney ⇒ Singapore 4,004 miles 6,443 km 7.5 hours Singapore ⇒ London Heathrow 6,914 miles 11,127 km 13.5 hours Gatwick ⇒ Guernsey 159 miles 256 km 45 mins TOTAL 24,502 miles 39,432 km 47.5 hours Outward...

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A Festival in a Day

Sep 12, 11 A Festival in a Day

Posted by in Miscellaneous

We’ve been in London this weekend to attend Radio 2’s ‘A Festival in a day’ in Hyde Park … We met up with Julie and stayed in a serviced apartment near Hyde Park. From there we proceeded to ‘do London’ .… Madame Tussauds, the West End show ‘The Lion King’ and finishing off with Radio 2’s live broadcast from Hyde Park on Sunday. The festival was fantastic, although a little damp, but our 2 golf umbrella and 2 smaller umbrellas meant we kept dry under our very own small tented encampment. We got to see some amazing acts like Jooles Holland, Imelda May, Lenny Kravitz, Caro Emerald, James, Blunt, Will Young and Gary Barlow… thankfully the last 2 didn’t spoil the former! … but hey that’s just my opinion I guess …Julie seemed to be pretty hyper about Gary Barlow though … even telephoning TA so she could hear him live over the phone...

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Onward to the Provence …

Sep 03, 10

Today we left our Cornish chalet a day early so that we can travel on to “La Belle Provence” from Southampton airport tomorrow. Again our trusty guide Jane directed us unerringly the 192 miles to our overnight hotel. However not before I put in a slight diversion to Charmouth beach on the Dorset coast when I realised we were passing by it. Dorset’s coast is known as the “Jurassic Coast” because of the ancient Jurassic rocks that make up its cliffs. They’re rich in fossil beds and passing by awakened in me another boyhood passion, collecting fossils. I’ve not done this for a long time now, in fact the last time was probably in Charmouth when on a family holiday about 25 years ago (or more … gosh I really am old aren’t I ?) Anyway we could only stop for half an hour or so but it was fun … Although no new fossils to add to my collection unfortunately....

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Clay Mining

Sep 02, 10 Clay Mining

Posted by in Cornwall & Provence 2010

Cornwall, in addition to its seafaring culture, is well known as a centre for mining tin and clay. Whilst the tin mining industry has all but disappeared china clay mining is thriving. Close to the site of the Eden Project, itself built inside a disused clay pit, is Wheal Martyn, a museum located on the site of two old china clay works. The museum has preserved all of the machinery, drying tanks and buildings exactly as they were when it was in full operation. Roaming in between these industrial relics was a real privilege and extremely interesting. Right next door to the open air park is a working open cast clay pit and we were able to look down on this huge lunar landscape whilst lorries and diggers the size of houses chewed up the decaying granite and assorted rock. China clay or Kaolin is the product of decaying feldspar in granite. The feldspar changes into a fine white powder but, the other parts of the granite, Mica and Quartz stay the same. China clay, in addition to its well known use in fine china pottery, is used in a staggering array of other materials and products: Paper, cosmetics, paint, plastics, rubber and pharmaceuticals to name a few. After the museum we headed on down to a place called Charlestown. Charlestown is the main location where the china clay, especially from Wheal Martin, was exported. It was purpose built just for this purpose and is a perfectly preserved example of an early Victorian harbour … today much loved by film directors filming period dramas. All in all an excellent day out...

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As far as you can go

Sep 01, 10

Today we motored on down to St Ives and then on to Lands End. St Ives is another picturesque Cornish fishing village. However it’s also been an artists hub for a long time and is the location for Tate St Ives. This was our main motivation for going there and being the ‘cultural barbarian’ that I am I’ll let someone who understands what the heck is going on in these types of galleries explain …. Annelies over to you ….. “Interesting tour and great selection of works from Tate Britain as well as an exhibition from Dutch artist Lilly van de Stokker – cheerful looking art, great fun (not at all like Lilly herself according to our tour guide!). Needless to say Robert was unimpressed! ” Following on from our visit to St Ives we went on to Lands End the first (or last depending on your point of view) point of...

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Eden reclaimed

Aug 31, 10 Eden reclaimed

Posted by in Cornwall & Provence 2010

Today we visited the impressive ‘Eden Project’. A trip Annelies has been positively salivating over since we planned our trip to Cornwall, and it didn’t dissapoint. Over to Annelies ….. “At first site Eden looks like an amazing futuristic scene with its big bubble-like biomes nestled into the valley spread before us. We headed for the biggest one first – the rainforest biome – but we were too late to escape the humidity and high temperatures inside. The re-created jungle world even houses a waterfall. Felt a bit like a science fiction setting like “Logan’s Run”. The Mediterranean biome was a little easier to cope with. Both were fantastic. Outside the biomes the global variety of plants and gardens continues to impress us particularly when looking at the comparative images of the site only ten years ago when it was a disused clay pit looking like a lunar landscape. Love the ethos of Eden Trust – ‘Education on our dependence on plants and finding ways for a sustainable future.’ Running this attraction is merely a way to raise funds for its educational and social programmes…. Love it!...

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Childhood revisited

Aug 30, 10

Today we drove to Polperro … a place I last visited on a family holiday when I was about 5 … 36 years ago … I can’t believe I’m that old !!!! Polperro is a delightful quaint Cornish fishing village crammed into a rocky valley that leads down to the sea. Like so many other Cornish fishing villages it’s cute with small alleyways and traditional English inns where at any moment you’d expect a gnarly old sea dog to come staggering out in the garb of an 18th century sailor … enough to set the imagination of a 5 year old (or 41 year old) little boy racing. Whilst in Polperro we also visited a minature village … something that fascinated me when I was 5 as well. Looking at it though I don’t think it’s had a clean or a lick of paint since I last touched it as a 5 year old! After Polperro we drove on down the coast to Fowey ( pronounced I’m told as ‘Foy’) where we took a car ferry across the harbour to the town centre. Whilst here we succumbed to the temptation for a full English cream tea : Sandwiches; Cakes; Scones; Jam; Cornish Clotted cream & Biscuits, and of course 2 pots of Tea. Boy am I gonna have to get back on my diet when I get back! (worth it though 😀...

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Aug 29, 10

Padstow … or the village owned and run by Rick Stein the celebrity sea food chef … or so you’d think when you visit it. Seriously though Padstow is beautiful and was well worth a visit in its own right. However it’s been firmly put on the map by Rick Stein. He owns a cafe, a restaurant, a brasserie, a patisserie and a fish and chip restaurant, all in the village itself. We tried out the fish and chip restaurant and ate them on the sea from overlooking the harbour … they were ‘scrumdidillyumptious’. It had everything you’d associate with a cozy archetypal Cornish village. There were traditional English ale houses, a brass band playing on the pier, the smell of pasties wafting through the air and Cornish ice-cream for sale on every street corner. It didn’t feel false though which made it all the more delightful. Sigh … I could get used to this!...

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