Hong Kong 🇭🇰

After a flight and fitful sleep we arrived in Hong Kong. After getting our luggage we sourced a taxi to get us to Kowloon where our hotel was.

Our rooms would not be ready until 2pm so we just had 4 hours to kill. There was a shuttle bus and we had a map, so off we went into Kowloon centre to familiarise ourselves.

After coffee and a delightful cake, we read the map to decide what we wanted to do on Monday. Colin asked a few people for assistance and Kevin looked for the trusty tourist information booth!

We knew we would have to get the star ferry over to HKI that evening so wandered along to the terminal. We decided that a Big Bus tour would provide us with a whistle stop tour of everything, with the opportunity to get off, if we saw something we particularly liked.

Tickets purchased we walked back to the hotel ( over 2 miles!).

Colin was particularly amused at the bamboo scaffolding!

Back at the hotel Kevin kindly run a bath for me to ease my feet and weary legs.

All freshened up we got the shuttle bus to the ferry, and off we went to meet Richard, the son of family friends that lives here.

We met Richard and exchanged hellos, kisses and handshakes. At the central terminal we caught a cab up to the Peak. I’m not great with heights, and a twisty, turny journey up was a bit white knuckle for me. Once we arrived we saw the funicular railway and took in some views.

We braved the escalators up to the observation deck. Another few ‘legs turn to jelly’ moments, but the views as the sun set were spectacular!

I borrowed a pen to write a wish on a paper heart and the woman I borrowed the pen from was just so excited as she had just heard her daughter had got engaged. It was so lovely and I appreciated fully just how she felt. We exchanged a few photos of our beautiful daughters and their fiancés. I then tied my wish to one of the lines 💕💕

We went down the escalators and came out and went to the Peak Lookout for something to eat. Great selection of Chinese, Thai, Italian and a Grill option so we all could enjoy something.

I opted to have a Singapore Sling to drink-delicious! 🍸

We hoped to take the funicular railway back down, but the waiting time was 2/3 hours so we opted for a taxi back, which is a lot less scary in the dark!

We said our goodbyes to Richard, thanking him for his time and company. Such a delightful young man, obviously very happy living here, and we will see him again next time he is over in the UK.

Ferry back to pick up the shuttle bus and we enjoyed the cityscape all lit up.

I still can’t quite get my head round that Christmas is 4 weeks away!

On the return to our room a final shot of HKI before bed.

I check Facebook and see this wonderful photo of Joseph and Freddie, and to see that smile of Joe’s makes me so happy!

A couple of stoaters!

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Gold Coast

Today the Magellan Ashes were to start, but our tickets are for Saturday, so what to do?

We have decided on a trip to the Gold Coast. A mere 1 1/2 hours on the train to Varsity Lakes, then 1/2 an hour on a bus to Burleigh Heads.

Is this a syrup?

We arrived just about 11:30 and went for an amble.

We found a drinking establishment and watched a little bit of cricket, but timed it badly as we only saw 3 overs then it was lunch! We watched Michael Slater and KP and his not so erudite comments!

We were enjoying full sunshine, but it was raining back in Brisbane, so as play was delayed we walked further along the coast.

My feet are so sore, blisters on my toes, and pain on my shin, so we walked by the sea. I hope salty water will help!

Walking in the other direction, after another coffee, cake and cricket stop, we found the park with an easy coastal path walk. So beautiful!

It was all I could do to limp back to the bus stop! I watched the sun set as we journeyed home on the train 🚂.

We didn’t much feel like eating, but purchased a cooked half chicken and some mushrooms 🍄, which we had on toast. Delightful!

England score 196-4 for day 1, so here’s hoping that with the early start to make up for time lost today, they will increase that score and we see Australia bat on Saturday!

Phoenix feathers and ashes

This morning we enjoyed a simple breakfast of toast, availed ourselves of the shower and arranged to meet Colin.

We travelled by train to the CBD and walked to one of the Quays to pick up the free river hopper.

We got off at eagle street and stopped for refreshments and an all too indulgent cake for me!

We made our way to the Queen street mall, and I saw a Pandora shop. I popped in and found a charm. It’s Phoenix feathers, which as a Phoenix rises from the Ashes, I just had to have it, as we are to attend a day at the first Ashes series on Saturday. As Nina would say, ‘ it’s a sign’

We walked across the river, in the pouring rain and made our way to the Southbank parklands.

Next stop, a real favourite of Kevin’s was the tourist information!

We are now armed with train timetables, bus info and plan to visit the Gold Coast later this week.

We came across the epicurious garden, where plants, fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown and shared.

Another coffee break required and a chance to reflect, reminisce on our journey as parents. So touching to hear Kevin and Colin speak about their children, and their hopes and dreams for them. The challenges faced and how the bigger they grow, the less you can do to help, except to be there.

We looked at the map to decide where to eat and strolled around a gift shop or two.

We settled for the Beer garden and chose burgers.

This was the best burger I have ever had!

We walked across the goodwill bridge to make our way back to central station.

Just as we are walking up the Mall again, Kevin and I both see who we believe to be an England Cricketer, and we are not wrong. I cheekily ask for a photo, which Jonny Bairstow, England wicket keeper and prolific batsman, agrees to.

He was absolutely charming and we wished him well for the series. Here’s hoping my good luck charm will run off on him and he is successful!

We arrived back at our apartment having walked almost 20,000 steps, but after our chance meeting, the hugest smiles on our faces! 😁😁🏏🏏🏏

Brisbane and sport

Next up was our journey to Brisbane. We had breakfast at the apartment, had a drive round the 🌴 one last time, soaked up the views, the memories and said our goodbyes. We had emergency exit seats on the plane, so more leg room!

The flight with Virgin Australia was short and sweet and we picked up our luggage and made our way to the taxi pick up. We said our goodbyes to Nina and Jay, and I can’t lie, wiped away a tear or two. They had an eight hour wait for their flight to HK.

A short taxi ride and we were at the Annexe Apartments our home for the next 5 days. It has all we need, but not a patch on where we came from, but we are here for a different experience.

We noticed that the Rugby League World Cup semis were on Friday and Saturday-we are occupied at the Gabba on Saturday, so we opted to buy tickets for Friday. The Suncorp stadium is only a couple of miles from where we are staying. So that is two sporting clashes to attend 🤗

We wondered around in the twilight to find the supermarket but no joy, so ended up at the BP garage fie a couple of ready meals 😞but came across these

😂 has to send this to Andrew and Jay!

Hopefully we can do better today!

Cricket  England v South Africa

The reason behind our trip was the cricket match today, and we awoke to get skies and drizzle. 

Breakfast and getting ready took precedence and the drizzle became heavy showers 😞 

As we wiped away 40 minutes a break in the clouds, and the rain stopped so we walked to Cardiff bay station.


We had a lovely walk to Sophia gardens, but on arrival found we were 2 1/2 hours early! 


Once in the SWALEC ground we had a tea and chatted to other spectators.


AB de Villiers won the toss and England into bat. Behind where we were sitting I spied Mike Phillips, a Welsh rugby player, and had to take a cheeky snap


England batted well, with Dawid Malan hitting an impressive 78 on his debut. They got 181 runs from their 20 overs, so a chase was on.

Very few would know all of the players on both sides, but we were treated to a feisty display both with bat and in the field. SA lost the key wicket of AB de Villiers and SA were 19 runs short. England won the series 2-1.

We stayed for the celebrations and presentations.


We had failed to find the time of the last train to Cardiff Bay, so went for a bus, but had to call a taxi in the end.


We picked up a bottle of fizz, some pasta and cheesecake and enjoyed a mini feast.it has been another lovely sojourn with laughter, nature and sport. 

When’s the next one? ☺️😎

Chippenham, Cardiff and Cricket.

Debbie and I left yesterday and travelled to Chippenham. A detour to the Swindon retail outfit resulted in English pounds being spent and a easy ride to our hotel for the evening.

A walk around to find our bearings and a refreshing cider each had to be done. Before we knew it it was time for bed and the comfort of our room at the Best Western Angel  +. This morning our task was to find breakfast and a short walk to Grounded provided that.


A short drive to Calne and to visit Bowood House, the family seat of the Marquess of Lansowne. We felt a rugby connection with Lansdowne Road, and the house is approached from Derry Hill. 

Another interesting fact was the 2nd Marquess was made Prine Minister for negotiating peace with America after the War of Independence.


The gardens landscaped by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown are stunning. Every twist and turn of the paths provide differing vistas to enjoy. The lake with the Doric Temple, the cascade and the House itself just beautiful. The grander rooms of the house were designed by Robert Adam, a prolific interior designer of his time, and the orangery he designed is where you walk in for the tour. No photos are allowed so you'll have to visit to behold the beauty.

We left after a cuppa to continue our journey to Cardiff. We arrived through rush hour traffic and were met by our Airbnb host. The flat is lovely with all amenities and near to shops and bars: handy for the Lions match tomorrow, weather permitting! 

We cooked dinner and watched the cricket being played at Taunton, the second match of three. SA won, setting up Sunday's match conclusion in Cardiff, the purpose of our trip.

We went for a walk in the rain and returned exhausted from our perambulation.

I'll leave you with two pictures