Thursday, 30 April 2009
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Monday, 27 April 2009
Stones on a beach, glowing wet;
muted colours the shades of nature, yet
gleaming like jewels in the salt laden air.
Rich, crunching carpet spread at your feet,
reflecting bright shafts of the sunshine's glare
in seawater droplets soon to dry in the heat.
Children gather the pebbles with shouts of glee
at the brilliant colours they think they see -
though the lustre is fleeting; colours soon dim
as they dry, salt coated stones picked up on a whim.
But then, like a miracle, the dullest small stone
in the hands of a craftsman can come into its own.
When tumbled and polished its secret unfolds
to delight us once more with the beauty it holds.
Sunday, 26 April 2009
The KLM 747 was noticeably quieter than the 767 but our seats were much closer together and I felt even more like a sardine in a metal can than the last plane. But I had a lovely ex-"Singapore Girl" (Singapore Airlines cabin attendant) sitting beside me, and, despite my tiredness, we chatted for two hours. She told me that all Singapore Girls must retire at 35. Certainly they achieve almost celebrity status these days, and I'm sure my gentle and beautiful seat-mate had no trouble landing her Dutch pilot husband.
Saturday, 25 April 2009
Friday, 24 April 2009
Thursday, 23 April 2009
Coral islands! Now volcanic islands! Then into some turbulence from crossing the (sub-tropical?) jet stream - that narrow (1-3 miles thick) current of rapidly moving air that meanders across the earth at about 11,000 m altitude just under the troposphere. The captain brings us up a little more to 11,600 m, and it's down to minus 52ºC outside. But, amazingly, there seems still some clouds a little higher than us - beautiful fat thunderheads over the moist jungle. Is that Burma down there?
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Monday, 20 April 2009
1/9 Thursday - Departure day.
Sunday, 19 April 2009
A few minutes ago I happened to notice that this blog had reached the magnificent number of 6,666 visitors. In 55 weeks. What nice numbers. Thank you everyone!
Saturday, 18 April 2009
Friday, 17 April 2009
Thursday, 16 April 2009
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
I hereby apply on behalf of my daughter N, for permission for a temporary exemption from attendance at --- College, for a period of not more than three months, from 29th August 2005.
This is on the grounds of her undertaking a European educational tour (see attached itinerary) which I believe will provide her with a unique and challenging opportunity for learning that she may not get again.
My daughter and I plan to visit England, Scotland, Eire, France, Italy and possibly Belgium and Germany. In this time she will be keeping a detailed daily diary, taking photographs, and every three or so weeks will be writing a long letter to her social studies teacher and class recounting her adventures.
Please would you apply to the appropriate government authority on our behalf.
Thanks also for your enthusiasm and interest in our travel plans, D. Will bring you back a stick of Brighton Rock.
N’s Trip to the World
This Friday 26 will be my daughter N’s. last day at school for a while.
She and I will be travelling in the UK and Europe and we won’t be back in New Zealand for 11 weeks. She will probably be back at school on Monday 21 November.
We plan to visit England, Scotland, Eire, France, Italy and possibly Belgium. In this time she will be keeping a deatiled daily diary, taking photographs, and every three or so weeks will be writing a letter to her social studies teacher and class recounting her adventures, as well as, no doubt, postcards to her special friends.
Our plans are:
31 August leave Tauranga
1 September flight Auckland to London Stansted via Singapore and Amsterdam.
2 September Arrive in England:
Base: Colchester, Essex.
East Bergholt, where painter John Constable lived and painted
Colchester, Britain's oldest town (Roman walls etc.)
Sutton Hoo (a Saxon ship burial)
E.Sussex - Bateman’s - home of Rudyard Kipling
Ely - cathedral - ‘The Ship of the Broads’
Cambridge ( city tour in a double open-topped bus)
London: (The Tower of London and the Crown Jewels, do a brass rubbing at St Martins in the Fields, see the changing of the guards, visit the zoo & see the Snowdon Aviary, Madame Tussauds waxworks museum , the Planetarium, the Thames barrier, the Natural History, Science and Technology and Victoria and Albert Museums, and go up in the ‘Eye’.
9 September - Pick up hired car from Colchester.
Hastings, Battle & Rye - an old smugglers’ village
Portsmouth. visit friends
The New Forest - the wild ponies
Exmoor - walking
Wiltshire - Stourhead gardens,
Dartmouth - castle ruins and harbour & have a Devonshire clotted cream tea.
Fowey - Cornish fishing village
Mousehole - just for the name
St Michael's Mount - visit the island at low tide.
Lynton and Lynmouth - go on the special Hillside tram
The Cheshire Gorge - Cheddar Caves and stone-age Cheddar man
Bath - The Roman baths, the Royal Crescent.
Valley of the White Horse - walking
Cotswolds - walking, visit Kelmscott Manor, William Morris’s country home
7-9 October France: (weekend) Paris: Walking - Avenue Champs-Elysee, Place de la Concorde, Galleries La Fayette, Printemps, shopping, Le Tour Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe.
10 October Back to Colchester. Return hired car.
12 October Flight Stansted to Dublin - pick up hired car
Co Wicklow, Glendalough Monastery,
Waterford - crystal factory, Kilkenny - medieval city with narrow streets, Carlow,
Skerries - staying with friends. Eat irish stew and try Guinness.
18 October - return hired car. Flight Dublin to Glasgow.
Glasgow - the Glasgow Science Centre
Stirling - the Castle - learn about Rob Roy and William Wallace
Edinburgh - tour of the castle & eat shortbread.
Inverness - Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle.
24 October Flight Aberdeen to Pisa.
Pisa. The leaning tower.
Florence & Siena - Frescoes by Giotto and Ducio & the works of the high Renaissance painters, sculptors and architects, Gothic, Baroque architecture, Tuscan countryside walks.
Naples - Vesuvius & Pompeii. Eat proper Napoli Pizza!
1 November Riviera Night Train from Naples - Nice
Grasse - visit a perfume factory
Provence, 1 week’s stay in a small village, market day, relaxing, walking. practising speaking french.
Nimes. Roman amphitheatre, Le pont du Gare (beautiful stone arched bridge)
12 November Flight Nimes to London Luton England
Welwyn Garden City
13 November Back to Colchester.
15th November fly home to Auckland via Amsterdam and Singapore. New Zealand
Contact and mailing address while we are away:
C/O John and Dot -------Stratford St Mary, Colchester, Essex, UK.
Texts cell phone: 021 ---------. Please text as often as you like.
Emergency calls (but will cost me mega$$$ to receive!) cell phone as above.
Katherine D------ 21/8/05 (Hme phone: ------, Ellen here while we are away)
Next: Hotels, Villas and Youth Hostels; Booking accommodation in Europe on the net.
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Monday, 13 April 2009
Sunday, 12 April 2009
Saturday, 11 April 2009
Friday, 10 April 2009
Thursday, 9 April 2009
I attended my niece's wedding last weekend. The sun shone and the sky was a brilliant blue of the kind only Hawkes Bay can provide. Everyone wore a hat, and the champagne was supped out of fine china cups and saucers. We all came home with a tiny pot of real jam. It was wonderful.