Friday, 30 June 2017

Epsom Surrey.

Epsom clock tower.

Yesterday I decided  to get brave and head off alone towards Epsom in Surrey. Not the namesake Epsom in Auckland.
The reason was I wanted to visit Lakeland for a couple of items on my shopping list from home. Success with the tap adaptor I wanted, it was reduced because of damaged packaging. No problem as it would be coming out of the packaging to be packed in my suitcase anyway.

I also wanted to check out the New Zealand Easiyo sachets that I was aware they stocked. At home I always make my own yoghurt and planned on doing the same here.  Unfortunately they were all in boxes of 5 of the same flavour. So back to the drawing board at Holland and Barrett where I can buy individual sachets. The flavours are the same as at home and the price is similar (if I was earning GB£'s instead of NZ$' S). Something I haven't seen at home are the choice of making smaller containers in the same Easily maker.  Must look for those.

Wandering around this country village, I even shouted myself to a panini and coffee, before finding the place to catch my bus back to Tracey's.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Nonsuch Country Fair.

Believe it or not we're in London.

Sunday and Tracey and I decided to catch a couple of buses and visit the lovely village of Cheam. Our plan was to visit the local country fair. First we wandered through the lovely Nonsuch Park, where lots of the locals were picnicking in the grounds.

Nonsuch Mansion House has links to Henry VIII
Tracey at the entrance to the garden.

We made the most of the lovely afternoon and wandered through the park to the fair.

Every fair needs a Merry Go Round
Giant Zorb balls are fun in the pool.
What? Pink coloured from beetroot juice.

We spent some time wandering around and taking it all in. You do get to see some sights at these places. We decided to treat ourselves to lunch and I had my first pork pie in seven years. Don't fret Derek was not one of the best.

Not your usual colour for a UK postbox.

Heading back to Cheam we passed this gold coloured postbox painted to commemorate a gold medal won by a local athlete at the Olympic Games 2012.

The Harrow the local public house in Cheam.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Friendly March!

From left Julie, Dot and Mick

I recently spent a wonderful few days with Julie, Mick and Pam in March, Cambridgeshire. It was hard to believe that nearly six years have passed since Derek and I rented the apartment off them after selling Narrow boat Gypsy Rover and waiting for our Autotrail motor home to be built.
Doesn't time fly?

Gypsy Rover at Mick and Julie's March 2011

Our apartment where we lived for nearly a year is to the right of the picture. We enjoyed our time in the area and it hasn't changed a bit. Except for the addition on a beautiful set of gates across the driveway for added security and I needed a code to enter.

2017 Mustang! Is that me behind the Wheel?

Once in a lifetime for me!

Mustang steering wheel

Julie and Mick have just had their 30th Wedding Anniversary and confirmation of their vows. Unfortunately although invited it was a couple of weeks prior to my arrival. What did Mick give Julie as a wedding anniversary present? None less than a 2017 Mustang. Scarce as hens teeth. Now, how could I turn down an offer to sit behind the steering wheel? I would never again get the opportunity.  I'm sure my husband won't be buying me one for our anniversary in a couple of months.
After a great visit Mick and Julie drove me to Cambridge in his new electric/diesel Mercedes to catch the bus back to London. Might as well see the countryside from a different angle.

Across the field from Cambridge bus stop.

2 hours later and I was back in London. The photos are only taken from the bus but give you an idea.

Unfortunately the light as we passed Big Ben was wrong but never mind there will be another day.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

London and beyond!

Not what it looks like! But Tracey's dining room blind.

I felt quite proud of myself on Thursday travelling from Tracey's home in Carshalton Beeches to March, a total of about 4 hours by bus and train.
First a 5 minute walk around the corner to hail a bus to take me to Sutton Railway Station.
As  the bus pulled into the station I received a text from Tracey as to whether I was on the bus. Texting a reply I spotted her across the road, she had popped out of work for a couple of minutes for a breather just to make sure I found the right platform for my train journey on the Thames Link into St Pancras International.  

Here it was time to cross the road to King's Cross Station for my next leg of the journey to Peterborough.  Unable to spot my Virgin train on the display board I had to ask at the help desk to discover the train was bound for Harrogate.  How was I to know that Peterborough was an intermediary stop on that line?
Travelling north I saw several fields with rows upon rows of solar panels. Hundreds of them. I must do some research and find out what they are.

Twenty five minutes later and we arrived in Peterborough where I had another twenty minute wait for my train to March.
Now I knew March reasonably well from living here for about 9 months a few years ago when we sold Nb Gypsy Rover so I knew my last leg of the journey on shanks pony would take me about 40 minutes. Brilliant hot sunshine with a temperature of about 24 degrees made the journey hard going.  It's going to be worse on Sunday with temperatures forecast to be in the 30's. Who says it doesn't get hot in the UK?
I had a great welcome at Mick and Julies, our landlords for 9 months in 2010 -2011 before taking delivery of our Motorhome Gypsy Rover.

Lovely welcome at Julie and Mick's home.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Auckland and on to London

Mary and Tony dropped me at the airport for my evening flight to Singapore. All checked in with a lovely surprise at my seat.

Lovely welcome from Air New Zealand.

Travelling on the new Dreamliner aircraft I was most impressed with the service, comfort and food.  I can see why Air New Zealand won the coveted Best Airline award this week for the 9th consecutive year.  I had a great window seat with an empty seat alongside and a beautiful new aircraft.

Arriving early morning in Singapore I had 6 hours to fill in before my flight to London Heathrow. Plenty of walking and window shopping in the meantime.

No sign what this symbolised at the airport.
Changi Airport looked empty but it was deceiving.

Leaving almost on time my flight on Singapore Airlines was no comparison with Air New Zealand. Admittedly I was unable to select my seat and ended up in the second to last row. 

The flight was the most turbulent I have ever travelled on and the Captain had to ask the cabin crew to be seated a couple of times until it settled down.  I believe the back of a plane is not the best place to be in these circumstances and would have been much better over the wing where I am normally seated.
I was most disappointed with Singapore Airlines, the service, food and comfort were no comparison with Air New Zealand. I don't think I am being biased either. Thirteen and a half hours later I arrived at Heathrow absolutely shattered after having no sleep.

I was pleased to find Tracey and Paul at the airport to meet me. A coffee was on the cards, thanks Paul, before we drove the half hour to Carshalton on the Hill where Tracey lives.
Emptying my suitcase I was rapped to find the two glass breakables I had taken over to Tracey had remained intact. Thank you for the great packaging Derek.

A great sleep followed and I am now ready for my new adventure.

Monday, 5 June 2017

London here I come!

Muriwai Gannet Colony.

Yesterday morning Robin and Jenny kindly took Derek and I to Palmerston North for my flight to Auckland and then on to London.

I will be staying with my sister Mary for a couple of days before flying out to Singapore tomorrow evening. Today being a nice day my sister suggested we do out to the Gannet colony north of Auckland out by Murawai beach.

A lovely drive followed and we spent a couple of hours at the beach despite only a few gannets in residence.

A few Gannets only here.

You can spot the nesting sites of the birds.

On our way back to the car we spotted these men flying off the side of the hill and trying to catch the wind. They would run down the steep slope on the cliffs overlooking the beach and just launch themselves into space.

Launched into space.

Heading for the beach.