Sunday, 23 December 2018

Meeting family in London and a visit to see Matilda

Imogen having her hair straightened with a very expensive straightener

Angels in Regent Street

Less impressive coloured balls in Oxford Street

The week before Christmas my niece from Australia arrived in London with her two small daughters.  They had a few days visiting all the usual tourist places and on Wednesday I travelled to London to meet them.   We arranged to meet under the clock at Waterloo, having told Karen she could not miss it.  I got a text when my train was drawing into the station that they had found the clock!   We decided on a visit to Hamleys.thefamous toy shop in London.  I had never been, so it was a new experience for me.  We found the shop and as there were two 'elves' enticing shoppers into the store, Karen took out Eddy the Australian Elf and took his picture with them.  Eddy is travelling the world with them and has his own Instagram page.   We all enjoyed Hamleys and agreed it must be a wonderful place to work playing with toys all day. Lunch in MacDonalds then off to the Cambridge theatre to see Matilda which we all enjoyed very much.   When we came out of the theatre they were all amazed at the Christmas lights - something they don't have where they live in Australia.  We made our way back to Waterloo Station.


Saturday, 8 December 2018

Visit to Denbies Vineyard, Dorking on a dull day in December

We popped over to Denbies near Dorking this morning to see a photographic exhibition and meet up with members of Cranleigh Camera Club.  The exhibition was excellent.  Before we went in I took a few snaps, although the weather was not really suitable.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

End of Summer trip to Folkestone

We thought we should take a short break before the cold weather finally arrives in the UK.    So we booked ourselves into a hotel in Folkestone last week for three nights.  I know Folkestone would not be everyone’s idea of a fun resort, but we mainly use it as a base to go out and about in Kent.  We have not been to Folkestone for over a year.

Folkestone used to be a busy ferry crossing to Boulogne in France until it ceased in 1991 when a high-speed catamaran (sea cat) operation to Boulogne began.   This offered the opportunity for day trips to France and was immensely popular.  However, sadly this ceased in 2000 and Folkestone Harbour ceased to be a cross-channel ferry crossing.  You can read more about the history of the ferry crossings and Folkestone Harbour here

We have always been able to take a pleasant walk around one side of the Harbour to a small beach, called Sunny Sands.   However, we were delighted to find that the bridge with a railway line that goes right across the middle of the Harbour to Folkestone Station on the harbour which we have always known to be closed off, has now been opened up as a walkway between the two sides of the harbour. It is planted up with low growing grasses and plants and looks most attractive.   The other half of the Harbour, with a lighthouse, has not been open when we have visited in the past.   This is now opened up and it is possible to walk along one side of “The Arm” and up around the Lighthouse and back along the top wall.   A really pleasant and, when we were there, invigorating walk.  The walk starts and ends at the old Folkestone Harbour Railway Station.  The lower harbour wall will have wooden shacks for pop-up eateries, and there are already a few vintage vans serving teas and fish and chips and a bus serving Greek food.  We enjoyed a lovely cup of tea from one of them.    When I was at school in my 4th senior year I went on a school trip by coach to Switzerland and I am certain we got the ferry at Folkestone.  I didn’t remember it though.

Street Art on a wall - is it a Banksy?

Views from our balcony on the 9th floor


 One trip we made was to Dover.    It never was a very bright shopping area, but now it has become really sad.   Many shops had closed down.  Even the Retail Outlet had several units empty.    We did have a pleasant short walk along the harbour and a lot of work seems to be going on at one end of the front.  We can only hope that the town centre will be regenerated as well.



 When we got back from our trip to Dover we took another stroll along the harbour wall.

There are two cormorants here - as I took the picture of them both one put out his wings blocking my view of the other one.

 Each time the tide goes out it leaves the boats in the harbour stranded

Our last evening - a Hunters Moon over the sea

The weather changed as soon as we got home to Shamley Green, so we felt very fortunate that we made the trip when we did and enjoyed some lovely sunny days.