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1.8.10


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 us.

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 there now.


2.8.10



I 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





3.8.10
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 Mobility.



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.  

4.8.10

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.

5.8.10


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





5.7.10

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.


7.8.10

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)

8.8.10

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.





9.8.10

The 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.


9.8.10

Sorry - 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.

This 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.

10.8.10


10.8.10

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.


12.8.10



I 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.











The 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 bedroom.

If I'd had the camera with me this is what you might have seen:



14.8.10

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.

15.8.10

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.

























The Memorial to the Prisoners of War who made the gruelling 'Long March' during World War Two.  Steve's brother was among those who survived.

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 apartments.

16.8.10



Final full day in the UK!

Here's a skite! To
night 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 down. Well 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 agree.


 Feel free to email any queries you may have - I'll try to help

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