Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Tuesday, 31 December 2019

The end of 2019

Before we enter the next decade I like to take a few minutes to reflect on the past year. Although the Christmas season started well, illness within the family spoilt some of the planned festivities. A mixture of flu (daughter and sil), sickness virus (son and granddaughter) caused havoc with plans. Christmas day was illness free and  I had a relaxed but festive day with my son and dil who stayed with me until they returned to Leeds on Saturday to then become ill. Everything went downhill on Boxing day when my daughter was hosting for the family. Her 5yr old couldn't stop being sick. The 2yr old's temperature had now risen to 39 deg and my daughter began to feel unwell. I went over early to help and somehow we managed to get a meal on the table for those well enough to eat it. The following day was worse as it was obvious my daughter had flu and her husband was also unwell. Fortunately my granddaughter had stopped being sick and just needed to rest. After sorting them out I took the youngest grandchild home with me as he needed more looking after and his mum and dad weren't up to it. With some relief I returned the 2yr old to his dad and his other grandparents yesterday whilst I had a day off to go and visit my brother and his family in Hampshire. It was so nice to be in an illness free zone. As a consequence of my Florence Nightingale impersonation I have not had time to catch up on any blogging or photographing a suitable New Year's Eve photo. I took these of Eros at Piccadilly Circus just before Christmas. Usually, at this time of the year, the statue is surrounded by security hoardings to prevent damage by New Year revellers.
2019 has been a mixed year but mainly good. The inevitability of aging means more loss this year -  a dear friend who I first met 47 years ago and an elderly aunt with whom I shared many happy family moments.
Travel is a big part of my life in retirement and this year I travelled more in the UK than abroad enjoying a number of previously unknown UK highlights which were on my bucket list. I was able to wander around the Isle of Man,  explore the  Eden Project, jump on the Giant's Causeway, visit the Isles of Scilly and find my way around The Hermitage, St Petersburg. I enjoyed another long distance walk with my wonderful walking companions around a section of the South West Coast path. Another notable event was spending a couple of fabulous days with Andrew and R from Melbourne. My 'Above the Underground' challenge continues. I did better this year and managed to visit and post about 20 stations. Of the 270 different stations on the underground I have now photographed and written about 113 of them. Still a long way off completion but as long as my legs keep moving I aim to complete this challenge
As another year ends so a new one begins and I am hoping it brings with it some hope for the future of our planet and stability for our political situation. Thank you to each and everyone of you who read my blogs and take the time to write your wonderful comments. To all my friends who I have met on my travels and I know follow my retirement adventures via my blogs - may I wish you all a happy and healthy 2020.


Monday, 23 December 2019

2 days to go

I realised whilst I was looking after my 2 grandchildren for the weekend that my grandson already had  the toy I had bought him for Christmas! So this morning I decided to go into London and have a look in Hamley's toy store for an alternative.
 Pixies and elves were dancing outside.


 The windows were very festive.



 Fortunately it wasn't too crowded.







 The store has five floors packed with toys. A child's paradise or parent's nightmare which ever way you want to look at it.



It didn't take me long to find another present. In fact it was difficult to restrict myself to just buying the one.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Street decorations

I'm sorry I haven't read or commented on any blogs this last week but technology let me down. A new router has solved the problem so I will try and catch up with all your news.














Here are a few photos of the decorations in a few Central London streets.  Hope they give you a sense of London at Christmas time.


























Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Covent Garden

Out and about looking at Christmas decorations, I really liked this setting outside Covent Garden.



There is also a small skating rink there.

























These are the decorations inside the market. I am pleased to say they are not new as I have seen them on previous years. Good to know recycling is happening everywhere.







A decorative Covent Garden restaurant  




Couldn't resist this decoration outside the Transport Museum.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Christmas tree ideas.

If you are decorating your Christmas tree this weekend and want to do something different, have a look at these. The first five can be seen around Covent Garden.  The others were part of a Christmas tree festival in St Mary's Church, Westerham, a small village in Kent.
( The photos were taken with my phone so not the best quality.)








I liked this one very much.







Monday, 2 December 2019

Sunrise over St Mary's IOS



On my last day on the Isles of Scilly I went to watch the sunrise.  I should have flown back to Newquay yesterday but the airport here on St Mary's was fog bound. Being a small aircraft, weather conditions must be just right, so flights are often delayed or cancelled. I had been warned it might happen so made arrangements to spend another night on the island knowing the weather would be perfect for flying the next day.
























Then it was back to the B and B for breakfast before leaving for the airport. I have loved my first visit to the Scilly Isles and I have a feeling it won't be my last.