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Pete and me
pretending to be gourmets - tucking into Pate de Fois Gras on toast
fingers and sipping red wine from Bergerac in France. It was the
genuine articles as I'd stayed at the farm that made the pate and at
the Chateau where I bought a few bottles of wine. We demolished a
number of bottles over the weekend!
The BBC coverage of the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix was excellent and we
watched the race after eating a lovely roast lunch Jean had cooked for
With a cable hook up to Pete's Internet I was able to Skype the family
without going to Maccas which was great. No news for Jackie until
tomorrow as the doctor is still sick.
I didn't leave the house all day so just the one pic that Jean took today folks.
Pete's computer didn't load the Morgan I rode in one day in
France so I reloaded it - yours might have been missing too but it's
used a picture of the Humber Bridge last Friday - but today took a shot
through the windscreen as I drove across from Yorkshire to
Lincolnshire. It's one of the longest suspension bridges in the world
and at the
moment the hot topic on local TV is the proposal to let motorcycles go
over free and everyone else will pay an increased toll.
I'n now with my friends Jack and Gill, at Woodhall Spa near Lincoln and
will be staying here a week. No McDonalds needed today as I'm using my
friends Internet connection wirelessly.
Woodhall Spa is a lovely little town and Jack gave me the guided tour on our way to take the two dogs for a walk
At Lincoln where we
went today there is a museum devoted to Lincolnshire Life and this WW1
tank was built in the town - as were the agricultural tracked vehicles
that were its predecessors. Tanks of that era were pretty crude and
apparently more tank crew members died from carbon dioxide fumes from
the engines than from enemy action.
On the left is 'Flirt' - the tank - not my friends! ' Flirt' had four huge guns shooting out the sides and I'm holding a muzzle on the right.
In Lincoln they have these marvellous services for the disabled - you
can ring for the mini-bus to pick you up and take you where you want to
go or you can arrange to borrow a mobility scooter or a wheel chair to
go shopping or whatever you need to do in town.
Gill has a scooter at
home in her village but finds it more convenient to book one from Shop
My hair and beard were getting very shaggy so Jack and I visited a
barber and now I look very shorn. Clippers over the lot and a low
maintenance haircut is the result.
This would have been our 58th Wedding Anniversary today.
I've put a number of pics up on their own page because if you are not interested in Battle of Britain aircraft you don't need to click here. It was a most interesting tour at RAF Coningsby, home of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and not far from Woodhall Spa.
All the aeroplanes are flown, but not on a rainy day like today. Our
most interesting volunteer guide told us they are the best maintained
planes in the world. He was a fount of knowledge and the one and a half
hours tour was over all too soon. Thanks John.
An interesting run today through the Lincolnshire countryside to the Royal
Oak hotel - known locally as 'Splash' because you have to splash
through a ford to get to it.
It was 'pensioners special' day and we
enjoyed a lovely meal at a very reasonable price.
We were joined for lunch by Jack and Gill's friends Maurice and Margaret
and on the way home we called at their lovely home for coffee.
In the pub garden is this wonderful chainsaw carving of a motorcycle
Back at Woodhall we
visited 'Royal Square' where there is a memorial to the 'Dambusters'
and the Sqadron who took part in the raid.
The memorial depicts the dam
as it was breached.
There is also this little floral depiction of the RAF insigna
A bit more
'Dambusters' stuff today from a visit we made for morning tea at
the Petwood Hotel where the RAF Officers involved in the raid had their
Mess during the war.
The back and front views of the hotel are both most impressive - and I imagine the rooms are not cheap.
There is a long bough over the bar in the Mess that went right through the front of a Lancaster that was making a forced landing in a field.
Yet another page about airplanes! We went to
a great airshow today at a local airfield at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby to commemorate the 70th
Anniversary of the Battle of Britain and there were lots of static
displays plus a variety of flying acts.
I went for a four minute ride
in Typhoon simulator - and yes, I had white knuckles from holding the
bar in front of the seat as we did rolls, loops, screaming climbs and a
run upside down across the airfield at low altitude.
The Hastings Transport planes I flew in as a Flight Engineer in
Transport Command when I was in the RAF, never performed like that!
Once again I've put some plane pics on their own page here.
There were also classic cars on show inluding
a number of MGs including this one - similar to my friend Pete's that
was featured earlier in the diary when we went in to Whitby in it. (There's another on the 'planes' page)
No planes today folks!
We didn't go out today as I had a ACC Board meeting in the morning and
then after a delicious roast lamb lunch we just spent the rest of the
day rlaxing and enjoying each others company. I leave here in the
morning after a week that has just flown by.
Here's their lovely German built caravan and my Peugeot's week-long resting place
It doesn't seem possible that I've
only a week left of this wonderful trip. I'll be looking back at this
diary with fond memories for years.
saga of my medications started last Friday when I discovered I was
going to be a week short in the sheets of pills I have to swallow each
day to keep functioning. I thought I'd left some at home but daughter
Sue couldn't find any to send me. Ever resourceful she took my pills and
prescriptions to the chemist. Murphy had mucked up his printer so he
couldn't package them till yesterday. Then came the crunch - she found
you can't send prescription drugs by mail.
There was a bit
more frustration I won't go into, but I visited a local surgery when I
arrived here at Needham Market and got all the scripts written and
dispensed with no trouble and incredibly no charge! They will last for
weeks after I get home.
I'd been wondering about a crop I've been seeing that looked a bit like lettuce leaves but turned out to be sugar beet.
It's grown mainly in Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk and harvesting
gets under way in September. John tells me the processing plants fill
the air with a sweet unpleasant smell - sounds like our sugar mills up
north in Australia.
- but we went to Duxford airfield to look at more airplanes today but on the way back
visited a lake in Needham Market where there were water birds including
these Canada Geese.
Nearby was this clever chainsaw carving
The Handley Page Hastings seen here
was probably one I flew in during my stint with Transport Command, RAF.
I spent nearly 2,000 hours in these noisy planes flying over much of
the world and I believe my hearing was affected.
T-model Ford replica has a drive that engages with a boss in the centre
of the propellor to start the engines of certain aircraft that didn't
have starter motors and were too big to start by swinging the prop by
hand as is done with planes like the Tiger Moth.
This time I really mean it. No airplanes!
After a lovely couple of days with fellow CLIC members, John and Jean,
at Needham Market, I had an easy run down to my last night's 'camp' not
too far from London my destination tomorrow.
I'm the only one here so far in a huge field - I've deliberately left
my M/H far away to give you an idea of how much space there is.
It's a Caravan Club C/L (Certified Location) so only five members can stay here each night.
promised I'd get a pic of a local magpie but the blighters nick off
when they see the camera! This one I pinched from the net just
so you can see its long tail.
signs that say 'Traffic Calming' puzzled me until I realised it was
these 'Give way to Approaching Traffic' chicanes that very
effectively 'calm' the traffic. There are a number as you pass through
a village - some one way and some the other.
Tom brought me here by the busy M25 and then through many suburban
streets and I spent the afternoon clearing out the Peugeot and bring
all the 'stuuff' upstairs here at my cousin Barb and hubby Steve's home
in Southgate, North London.
13.8.10 - yes friday the thirteenth!
Nothing drastic happened today despite
the date. Steve and I headed out for Rainham in the Peugeot on my final
drive of what has proved a most reliable, comfortable and
economical vehicle and I was sad to relinquish ownership.
On the way back to Southgate we stopped off in the City of London and
then, unexpectantly, down to the Thames. There was lots of interesting
activity on the river but - you guessed it - the camera was in my
If I'd had the camera with me this is what you might have seen:
No camera yestersay but on the way
back from visiting my sister-in-law in Chiswick, I stopped off to do a
sight-seeing tour on the Thames. Despite being a grey, drizzly day, the
boat was quite full and the witty commentary kept us all amused.
I've put them on a separate page to make them quicker to load. To come for a trip on London't famous river click here.
A few more pics about flying - sorry ladies!
The Bleroitz that made the first crossing of the English Channel and the way they did it in the early days of WW1.
Memorial to the Prisoners of War who made the gruelling 'Long March'
during World War Two. Steve's brother was among those who
Most houses in London
seem to be either semi-detached like Barb and Steve's seen here or they
are terraces. There are some mansions of course and blocks of
Final full day in the UK!
Here's a skite! Tonight we ventured deep into the Essex countryside to dine at Jamie Oliver's dad's pub -The Cricketers at Clavering.
Unfortunately his dad had left for three weeks holiday this morning or I could have got a picture of me talking with him.
It's a beautiful old country pub and restaurant and I took this pic just before our lovely meal was served.
17th & 18th &19th August, 2010
This is it folks - I'm typing this at Incheon International Airport during a 3 hours or so stopover.
Last night was confusing! Steve came with me on the tube to help with
luggage and I was at Heathrow in plenty of time. Ha Ha said
Murphy - we'll see about that. Bags duly checked in, I went
through security and found one bag had to be searched. They found a
multi-tool gadget I'd bought in France and that I had intended putting
in my case. Its two blades were about a centimetre too long to pass so
I had to go back the the airline and queue up to check a bag with
it in. Then back through all the security again - laptop and phone
out, belt off again, pat down search while jeans trying to fall
done Mr M! Passed the time though.
I'm typing this on route and boarding soon for the next 11 hour stint is about to begin.
A summery of the whole three months will appear after I get over the jet lag!
........and now I'm home and it feels like I've never been away!
The first leg from Heathrow was pure Murphy. I was given the last
window seat and settled down to enjoy the view. "Excuse me Sir," said a
hostie."That entertainment unit is broken - you will have to go to
another seat". The other seat was by a door with no seat in front
housing entertainment unit or table and what's more there was no window
and a bulge in the door prevented stretching your legs. The middle
passenger was a large restless man who kept digging his elbow into me
all night. There was an entertainment unit that came up on a large
stalk later and a folding table stored in an armrest. It was a very
long 11 hours!
Murphy ducked off so that he could get
home before me and the next leg was pure bliss without his presence. A
window seat with a view, an empty seat beside me and room to stretch my
legs - plus no elbow when I tried to sleep.
It was great to be greeted by Sue and Shaun and then back to my home where the
carpet cleaner had conferred with Murphy and left everything upside
down as his machine had broken down. Then I couldn't connect to the
Internet and still can't as I write this. The gas had run out on one
bottle and the other switched off so had to fix that before anything
else so the gas heater could take the bitter chill off the house. The
circuit breaker for the lights had tripped so out to the meter box in
the dark! Well done Murphy you villain.
The good news is that my prostate results were good although I still have to have the treatment.
A wonderful trip and lots and lots of great memories - if
you followed my ramblings these past three months, I'm sure you will
free to email any
queries you may have - I'll try to help