Last meal at the Harbour Grill

We opted to eat in the hotel and as it was raining it was a wise decision.

Food was delicious, company great and we toasted the holiday, and Colin’s upcoming big birthday next Sunday.

We again found ourselves talking about our families, the joy the heartache but also immense pride!

It has been awesome and memories aplenty!

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Part 4 Kowloon

We were taken back to central and caught the ferry back to Kowloon. This is on the blue route and our final bus ride of the day.

More history more shops, more skyscrapers!

Back to our hotel walking to get my daily quota in!

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!

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!

A trip to lone pine

Today we took the bus 🚌 to travel to fig pocket lane to visit the lone pine koala sanctuary.

They have a variety of koala areas where you can find them sleeping or doing their day jobs of being photographed with humans. They can only work 30 minutes a day and this is broken into 10 minute sections.

We also had the opportunity to see birds, reptiles, bats, Roos and even a glimpse of a platypus.

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There were rangers on hand and interesting talks and facts that were shared, the need to plant eucalyptus trees to help with the koala population. There is also a huge chlamydia problem that leads to blindness and infertility. They are working with universities to find a vaccine to help this problem. Very sad to see the pictures of the impact of this.

We made the return journey home and got ready to head back into town, where we met up with Bruce, an ex business manager that I have known for over 10 years. He is fulfilling a life long dream of seeing every Ashes game this series and is also documenting this with a blog of his own ‘cricket 51 days’. A real raconteur, this will provide an amusing angle to both cricket and his travels!

We enjoyed food and drink at Doo-Bop jazz bar with cricketing, travelling and family anecdotes shared!

Thoroughly enjoyable and tomorrow the cricket commences!

Come on England! 🏏🏏🏏🏏

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! 😁😁🏏🏏🏏

Last full day on HI

Our last full day before Four become just two ( three actually as we meet up with Colin).

We go into town to buy breakfast essentials and enjoy the views.

Kevin and I have a drive around and then walk the other side of the marina and also Bommie Deck, where we hope to go for drinks tonight.

One last drive up to one tree hill, then down the scary bit!

Over lunch there are a few tears and reflection on our time here, the memories made and for me the realisation that we are embarking on a new stage of our lives. Kevin is fantastic in how pragmatic he is, not to fight against these changes, but to embrace and enjoy!

Nina and Jay hired a boat for the afternoon and returned after 4pm to regale us with stories of doughnuts and beaching! They certainly had fun!

We all dressed up for our final night and headed to Bommie Deck, and we saw a wedding party there: what a wonderful venue.

To think that below the Deck last week, Jay proposed and Nina accepted, it seems a lot longer. Whilst sipping cocktails 🍸 there was wedding talk. No doubt there will be much more over the coming months.

We returned to Romanos for our last meal with more reflections and returned for our final night in the apartment.

This certainly has been a holiday to remember, with so many stand out memories and HI is a fabulous place and I hope we can all return, and I mean all!

Paddle boards, palms and a puffer fish…

Here we are on a paradise island, with some of the people I love most, and I have had the fog descend on me.

I have thought I could ‘just get over it’, but I have noticeably withdrawn. There is no rhyme or reason per se, but the kids noticed it.

After our beach trip this morning we returned back to our apartment for lunch, and I find myself crying. After a little while I get up to go for a walk to try and shake this off, and Georgina insists on coming with me.

It’s very hot and we shared how we felt: I have to learn to talk more about how i’m feeling, I have to remember people are not mind readers. I have written before about the ‘fog’, I can see it, others can’t, but they see the different, withdrawn person, who doesn’t engage.

I think I’m hiding it well, obviously I’m not.

We all went for a walk to the beach at low tide, and a couple of more conversations were had. I have been blown away with their kindness, concern and very proud of them all.

Walking through the sea lapping around our ankles, seeing fish , crabs, sea snails, with the level rising up to our waists, I almost trod on a Ray! A little further out and a with a helping hand the level dropped away again.

I suppose in some ways this is an analogy of how I can feel on occasion.

The walk was spontaneous, and all the more enjoyable for that. It also brought back memories of Maldon, Cornwall and Lunan Bay.

These moments are precious and I need to be less anxious, and not over think too much and just enjoy the present.

We all visited a local pool, to relax and drank overpriced strawberry daiquiris!

We prepared dinner at the apartment, where Lis shared with us her vegetarian journey and it has spurred me on to have at least on meat free day a week.

We watched the bats 🦇 fly over to their evening stomping grounds.

<<<<<<<<<<<
peace with myself and I hope that I will be able to articulate more quickly how I feel when the fog descends.

Time flies and you find that your children have grown into sensitive, caring adults. How lucky are we. We have a few days left together until next year, so I have to make the most of that!

What a wonderful world….

What a weekend it’s been. We’ve certainly had fireworks in more ways than one! 

A few months ago I saw on Facebook an ad for a gin festival in Brighton and booked 4 tickets. It was for the 5th November and little did I know then that Isabella McIntosh would arrive on that day, all 9lb and 5oz! 

A real cutie who will want for nothing in life, and will be loved and doted upon. A first grandchild for Viv and Don, long awaited and I revel in their joy! Lizzie and Daniel will be wonderful parents and they will enjoy every precious moment👶🏼

There was also news of another expected arrival sometime in May 2017, after great sadness, for my cousin’s eldest daughter. Only recently have I been aware of her loss when she so eloquently and courageously wrote about it on Facebook. An honest account that no doubt shared will give others hope and the desire to carry on. She has also documented that she has had her skin inked with a beautiful tattoo as a testament to the little ones she’ll never know. 

Kevin and I arrived in Brighton and made our way with Elaine and Jane to the gin festival. We all tried a few varieties and after three hours we walked home.

It was a pleasant way to spend a cold Saturday afternoon. We enjoyed from the comfort of their home a few firework displays. 


We finished the evening by visiting a local SriLankan restaurant, returning home to catch up with strictly!

Today, after a cooked breakfast, us three girls, went for a walk. The sun was shining and we certainly blew a few cobwebs away! 


As we returned to the car I duly checked my phone and was just so thrilled to see that the couple who were best man and a bridesmaid at Andrew and Lis’s wedding got engaged!🍾💍

Steph played a huge part in introducing Andrew and Lis, and may both her and Russ enjoy this exciting next step! 

So a birth, a pregnancy revealed and an engagement-so much happiness and joy for all touched by the news of each. This is the positive side of social media! 🤗🤗🤗💕

Eight weeks until Christmas……..

Where has this year gone? We are 5/6th into this year with eight weeks to go until Christmas. With this in mind I have used my time off this week starting preparations and have even bought a few presents! There is still lots to do, and with nine for dinner on Boxing Day I will ensure all is in place. 

Halloween 👻 is tomorrow and Nina and jay’s pumpkins 🎃 will be lit tomorrow evening.


But this week has also given me time to just be. I had a memory from last year pop up via Facebook when I last lunched with my dear friend Sian. I have made cards, met another friend’s grandson, cooked and today, enjoyed a lovely walk through Norsey Woods with Georgina.

Autumn colours are a sight to behold: the reds, russets, golds, greens and browns. Nature is a marvellous thing and each season brings its own splendour. 

I love the droplets from mists on leaves and dew laden spider webs. 


What I don’t look forward to, is the mole like existence that will prevail over the next few weeks, both leaving for and from work in the dark! This is all part of the season that is autumn closely followed by winter.

Perhaps these cuties have lost their way to the North Pole? 

November is a busy month so I will have to be organised! 🍁🍂🎄