Education and what it can mean

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit another Catholic school in East London. The journey from Chelmsford was a real trip back to the past especially when we drove through Ilford, Manor Park and Forest Gate. Road names remain but so much has changed. 

We passed my old secondary school, the entrance door still familiar and the wall that cocooned us girls from the outside world still in tact.

We continued to drive down a road that I used to walk to the tennis courts, and to the Church where we celebrated many a Mass.


All this made me realise how fortunate I had been to have had a top class education, that despite my humble beginnings, my parents gave me the best start they could. I loved school and in the main,  academia suited me. This was a springboard for me and most days I am thankful for my language skills, my mathematical ability and my knowledge of the world and history.

Not everyone has these opportunities, or the support to make the most of them. For some, school and to conform, are not happy bed fellows, but we need to find a way to engage, support and encourage these as they deserve. 

One of my favourite songs is ‘different corner’ by George Michael, and I often reflect on the choices that my parents, myself and my husband have made. My life could have been very different but I have been lucky and I appreciate all that has been done for me.


The school I visited faces so many challenges: gang culture, poverty, immigrants, and inner city anxieties, but there was such a positive vibe within the school, a real determination to achieve and be the best you can be. It was a delight, but it’s tough I’m sure. 


I returned home and we all went to the polling station together to vote, and I recanted about my day and my journey, appreciation of where my family live, the opportunities that they have had and continue to have! 

Getting older…

Over the last few months, probably three years, I have struggled with fatigue, weight gain, changes in vision, and most recently tinnitus. 


I have had medication for high blood pressure for 18 years and for an under active thyroid for 7 years.


A few weeks ago I decided to make changes. A trip to the doctor means a blood test today-joy!


More frightening has been BP readings twice a day for a week. Erratic and too high. These have been given to the doctor  so with the blood test results should give a clearer picture.

Opticians and dentist yesterday and my eyes may be being effected by my medical conditions! Tishbapoo!


I have started to monitor what I’m eating and a conscious effort to walk more. This can’t be a fair weather change either. So far I’ve lost 6lbs, but a fairway still to go to feel comfortable. 

This getting older is a state of mind and I will do all I can to keep me healthy and to enjoy my life as I reach the grand age of 56! Although the morning aches and pains take longer to dissipate, I intend to grab what is ahead of me and enjoy to the fullest! Making small changes can make a big difference. 😉💕💕

Homeward bound

After a night in a warm room we were woken at 8:32 this morning. This left little time for showers etc and as it was miserable outside, we made our way to breakfast, which was again, very good! 

A meander through the streets of Bakewell meant buying cheese, beer and treats for home!

We returned to the hotel, packed and we were on our way.


The scenery we have seen on this trip has been so beautiful to behold, even in ☔️. There are so many more places to see, we have just skirted round and through them!


Our final stop just had to be a cake shop, Patisserie Valerie, at Cambridge services. One last hurrah for us both. Satiated, we carried on and Debbie dropped me off at home at 980 miles from when the journey began.

Joe was just leaving as we arrived, but a window tap and bibib attracted his attention to turn round. Hugs all round then Debbie left to get home too.

I unpacked, watered the garden and took some photos

This last week has been so good,so good,so good (sweet Caroline), I’ve been inclined …. to drink too much, eat far too much, and laugh (you can never laugh too much!).  I am blessed with great family and friends and I am lucky to have the opportunity to do things like this, and the means too.

Wonderful memories made and also a wanderlust to visit more of our beautiful ‘green and pleasant land’

Final Day 

The ultimate goal of our road trip was to attend the Final today at Murrayfield, and so it was, Saracens v Clermont Auvergne. 

I even purchased a rugby top for the occasion! 

The weather forecast was poor and we left North Berwick on foot to catch the train to Edinburgh Haymarket. Drizzle became quite heavy rain, the first for 6 weeks.

We decided to have lunch at a favourite of ours Omar Khayyam and it didn’t disappoint.

Whilst eating the cloud broke and blue sky was seen! A walk to the stadium ensued where we met a variety of fans along the way. There were the French, Irish, Scots and English. I have always thought of Rugby fans as more convivial than football but today that perception was shaken. 


Match underway and it swung from looking tight, to a Sarries romp, then back again. There was very flowery language from a particular young lady behind us and I can’t quite get my head round why people pay so much to be rude about other teams and just not enjoy the spectacle. A possible red card was discounted and some missed kicks and all square again. Just before half time though, a full cup of beer ‘fell’ from above onto primarily a Warriors fan,  the lady was drenched, and other people beside and in fronted her too. Very poor show! 


The second half had a few thrills and spills and a nervy time led to final whistle on a Saracen win 17-28! Hugs all round amongst the staunch fans at another final. 

We watched the presentations and commiserated with Clermont and their fans. We then took our leave to return home, and to celebrate with tea and biscuits!!


Tomorrow we pack again and make our way to Bakewell as we approach the final leg of our journey! 

Day 5 to North Berwick

Miles completed yesterday  over 140. After our comfortable stay at Ugiebrae in Seahouses, where nothing was too much trouble, we enjoyed our pre ordered breakfast. Poached eggs on toast and creamy mushrooms on brioche: another wonderful breakfast.

A stop at Bamburg Castle for a photo or two and we continued on our way

A couple of other stops but the weather began to close in!


We arrived in North Berwick in good time, enjoyed a cuppa then a light lunch of cheese, pate and crackers. 

A quick shower and titivate and we left for the station. We arrived in Edinburgh Waverley where a stiff walk up the Royal Mile to our meal destination. Over 30 Saracen fans were to break bread and enjoy the delights of middle eastern food: falafel, bone leaves,kebabs and flatbreads. All washed down with a variety of alcoholic imbibements. Dessert was Turkish delight and baklava, really sweet treats!

Cabs were summoned to take us to Murrayfield to watch the EPR Challenge Cup Final between Gloucester and Stade Francais. To be honest a lacklustre game with the French team winning 17-25. At least I saw Sergio Parisse score a try though! 


A good journey home on a dreech night, a cup of warm milk and some neurofen as I’m not feeling brilliant and hoping for a Saracen win tomorrow, especially as I have my new shirt to wear! 

Treehouses to Seahouses

We travelled 102 miles to Harrogate and didn’t have to travel very far for breakfast. Just along the road we found Hoxton North: modern with a great vibe and fab food



Breakfast demolished we checked out, took a cheeky photo by a flash car, then we were off to Alnwick. Playlist was very 60’s, 70’s with the Beatles featuring. So many memories, emotion never far from brimming over, but joyous too.


Alnwick Gardens were bathed in sunshine and we took advantage of as many photo opportunities as possible. The poison garden tour was well worth it, interesting and informative ( maniacal cackle, whilst rubbing hands)

A cuppa and cake was now needed, and we had some company! 

We continued round the gardens and made our way to the treehouses. 


Such a lovely place and the third visit in eight months! 


Seahouses, not to see houses, but a fishing village on the coast. Not quite as expected but a bracing walk to the harbour certainly built up our appetite for fish and chips. 


Replete, we walked back to ugiebrae where we are staying tonight. Comfortable twin room, with all required accoutrements! 

The pleasure of beautiful surroundings, sunshine, and laughter is infinitesimal. 

Tomorrow and the delights of Bamburgh, North Berwick and Murrayfield beckons 🏆🤗💕

Cambridge – footlights

Day one of our road trip and our first destination is Cambridge. 


Only 45 minutes from where I live and the sights to behold are wondrous! 


A trip up the M11 and we arrived at the trumpington park and ride. Sustenance required and we chose too quickly an establishment to eat. Fare was okay but nothing more. 


We took in the sights of academia wandering round the little nooks and crannies, whilst avoiding the rampant cyclists! 


The walk was excellent and a return trip is definitely on the cards.  A great cup of coffee at bould brothers and we were sufficiently replete to make the journey to Debbie’s cousin Kate, where we had our accommodation for the night. 

Hospitality excellent, great food, wine and company


Guess who came to dinner! 

Just simply wonderful!