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!

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Sunrise to Sunset

An early start to catch the sunrise, another stunner.

We made our way to the beach 🏖 to kayak! Me , Kevin and Georgina went in one, and with a little help we were off. Have to say not terribly comfortable so we went back to the shoreline to move seats. This proved hilarious as Kevin ended a over t and in the water!

We tried again more successfully, but this time when we returned to shore it was my turn to end up in the water, as I fell over when a wave crashed in!

We shopped for dinner and lunch and the girls went for a massage, and the boys to play pool

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Refreshed, we all relaxed on the verandah, we showered and got ready to go to one tree hill for the sunset 🌅

It was quite emotional and with live music being played, it was a great experience.

We returned home for a BBQ and a toast for our week together!

Andrew and Lis go home today, but not before a Park 🏃. It has been wonderful to be together and I just hang out, as well as do stuff! There will be tears no doubt, but they will be over in April , so not too long🤗💕

Just taking it easy

After the exertions of yesterday, tides was going to be a little more relaxed. The kids went to the beach after breakfast to tandem kayak and to do paddle boarding.

Kevin and I had a leisurely breakfast and took a walk up the hill to visit the white church we can see from our room.

Weddings can be held here Both inside and out, the views are spectacular!

We returned home to pick up the buggy and stopped off at the 🏖 just as they were leaving. There was an exchange of stories and they all want to return tomorrow!

After a trip to the supermarket, we lunched and then made our way to the nearby pool.

Today it was very hot and this provided a welcome respite.

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to play pool, and we got ready to go out for dinner: Mexican tonight!

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of choice, washed down with beer and margaritas! Churros was a shared dessert with the chocolate and caramel dipping sauces enjoyed!

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found out who had the keys to the buggy and apartment we made our way home.

Today was a momentous day as Australia voted by 61.6% for the legalisation of same sex marriage. Lis wore her ‘love is love’ tee shirt in honour of the result coming out.

Later in the evening we watched the Australian football team beat Honduras to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Daintree Rainforest

One of the reasons to come to the north east coast was to take in a trip to the world heritage site of Daintree rainforest🤗 and this trip didn’t disappoint

We first visited the wildlife park with obligatory koala pictures.

A wander through the rest of the park showed the diversity of this country’s fawna and flora. Highlight for me was to see a cassowary!

Back on the tour us and we drove up to cape tribulation, named so by captain cook on his travels to this part of Australia. Lisa, our guide, was informative, friendly also having lived in the rainforest herself.

We took the ferry across the river and Lisa, having tribulations herself with a door issue, remained calm and resilient. We made our way to the lunch venue, where Kevin and I enjoyed a kangaroo burger!

It was very damp and not clement at all, but all part of the experience.

Next up was a boardwalk, not as high up as I’d hoped (😉) and the heavens opened!

We swapped buses at this point and we stopped at a lookout and an ice cream shop!

Next up was a river cruise to look for crocs, but there were no shoes in sight! So much rain had fallen the night before, river levels were high!

A good journey back to paradise, and we packed for tomorrow. Dinner was a simple affair of 🍕, a walk home and a goodbye to Colin as he embarks on his outback adventure!

We are all up early (I’m waiting for the 4:30 am alarm call, as I write!) for a flight to Hamilton Island.

The land down under 🤗

Jet lagged I’ve decided to write about our travels so far.

We left England after meeting Colin, Kevin’s best friend for over 40 years, where we all flew to HK. Have to say, Cathay Pacific were great and the journey, including 4 hour changeover, was smooth, in fact, we all agree that it has been one of the best long haul flights we have done.

We arrived at Cairns and the prebooked transport was waiting. An hour later we were at paradise links resort and they were brilliant in getting us into our rooms as we were humongously early!

After a change of clothes we made our way to reception and had a big surprise as sitting there, casually speaking to Colin was Jen and Tony, Lis’s parents. We were disappointed that we wouldn’t be seeing them, so this was a real treat.

We made arrangements to meet for dinner later, and we had lunch at a nearby country club, an amble back in the humidity and we all decided a power nap was required!

We met in reception, all feeling remarkably chipper and via shuttle bus went into Port Douglas. We had booked a table at Tin Shed and were sat on a jetty overlooking the entrance to the Marina.

It was a shame it was cloudy, but there was great conversation, laughter, memories shared and good food.

Tiredness started to overwhelm, so we made our way to pick up the bus back to where we are staying. We said our goodbyes, hugs all around, boarded the bus and waved to Tony and Jen.

They are such remarkable people, so thoughtful, such good company, and it was fantastic to see them again, and hopefully again soon! Blessed to have them in our lives: Andrew is so lucky to have their support and love.

The rain is lashing down outside now, so today’s rainforest trip will be very authentic!

Two decades and a funeral


Bev and I have known each other for over 30 years and a recent invite to accompany her to althorp was one that I had to take up.

Weather was set fair and I drove to her home, and we made the journey to Northants.


First stop was to visit the above, then we made our way to the cafe for lunch. Ginger beer and a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich went down a treat.

We wandered through the exhibitions delighting in the photos of Diana, reminded of her charity work, and her legacy. As we approach the 20th anniversary of her death, there has been renewed coverage in the media, only last week the programme with her beloved sons ‘Diana, Our Mother’ which gave a flavour of the fun loving woman she was.

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the ancestral home, with an enthusiastic and informative guide. We then made our way out to the lake.
It is such a beautiful spot and we spent time on a bench reflecting on the last twenty years. We are both blessed with wonderful families, good health, and take opportunities that come our way. That doesn’t mean that we’ve not had difficult times, but with love and support we have had the ability to cope.
A cuppa and a sweet treat were required before hitting the gift shop!

A long journey back and a fish supper was consumed, before I made my trip home.

A truly wonderful day spent in lovely company!

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? ☺️😎

Dyffryn Gardens

Another day, another house and gardens, this one a National Trust property just outside Cardiff. The gardens less formal than yesterday, but a sculpture here and there.

The sun shone intermittently but the moisture in the air did not dampen our enthusiasm.


We stopped for the obligatory cream tea and wandered around the stalls where books were being sold. Debbie bought 3 wisdens at a knock down price. For drop everything and read at school I got of photo of me reading one. 


A short drive to Cardiff for some shopping, oh and a glance at the principality stadium! 


We booked to see the film Hampstead and the cinema is a short walk from where we are staying. The film was funny, poignant and based on a true story. Truly delightful. A burger at Five Guys followed with a stroll home to a face pack, strawberries and casino royale.


Onc again,exhausted from our wanderings, bed is welcome and much cooler, so hopefully a good niht’s sleep😴😴😴😴😴😴

Two tarts in Bakewell..

We woke this morning to sunshine. We breakfasted and showered ready for today’s journey to Bakewell. 

We left just after 11.00 am and took the scenic route. We saw sheep, cows uninhabited terrain and enjoyed the odd oopla! 

We stopped off in Hexham, saw the gaol briefly and had a cuppa and a scone before some browsing in Beales. 


There was one more impromptu stop before the A1 to take in the glory of the Uk in the sunshine. 

We arrived at the Rutland Arms shortly after 6:30pm, slight issue as the room had a double but that was sorted and we dined enjoying good food, wine and company. 

What a week, full of fun, laughter and the occasional mad moment. A raft of memories made. 👏🏻👏🏻🍾🤗💕

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 🏆🤗💕