01 November 2007

Visitors – Andrew & Joe

In October, Andrew and Joe came to stay for a few days over half-term. It was a real pleasure to entertain them in our new home and we were mostly blessed with decent weather.

Maria, John & Joe at the Boating Lake

We spent time around the Boating Lake in Newquay feeding the pigeons but mostly we stayed at home; Joe was happy ‘exploring’ the field looking for animal tracks and deciding that the waste tips that are visible from the side of the house were Volcanos. We walked around the bottom but decided not to climb up it, although I have several times since – quite a view.

Without doubt, Joe’s favourite was to drive the Sit-on Mower whilst we cut the fields. Mind you he does need to look where he is going – see photo!

John & Joe cutting the grass!

We spent some time building a wooden dinosaur, which Joe enjoyed as he knows much more about dinosaurs than I do. I believe that he thoroughly enjoyed his stay and would have been quite happy to stay longer.


28 June 2007

Post Wedding Holiday

Prior to her wedding, Amy had kindly organised some holiday accommodation for us at La Penisola, which is an apartment complex between Orvieto and Todi so on the morning after the wedding we said our goodbyes and went off to collect our pre-booked hire car and set off to find our accommodation. This proved to be easy and the place itself was ideal for us to relax for a few days. We had an interesting time with the restaurant menu, which was, of course, in Italian, however, with the help of the extremely helpful staff, we translated the whole menu onto a napkin. The rooms and food were good and it was very quiet. There was an outdoor swimming pool and the complex itself sat on the side of a lake.

La Penisola Swimming Pool

Lake Corbara

During this part of our holiday, we accepted an invitation from Amy and Andrew to go and visit them in their rented house. We spent a very happy day there and we also went to have a look at the house they proposed to buy (now theirs). They have certainly taken on a lot of work - have a look at Amy's Blog if you want to see how things have been progressing.

We also spent some time visiting Todi but forgot to take a camera with us, which was pretty stupid. I thought that, though interesting, Orvieto was a better place to visit.

We did spend some more time in Orvieto because the Hotel Restaurant was closed on one day so we decided to have a meal in Orvieto. Because we spent so much time wandering around and eating, we missed the last trip on the Funicular Railway so had to catch the bus. That was an interesting experience with me clinging on for dear life as the bus hurtled down the side of the hill on which the town stands, with not much consideration given to passengers or corners.

Too soon the holiday was over and we handed back the car and caught the train as the first part of the journey home. No real problems but Ciampino is the most uncomfortable airport in which to spend a couple of hours.

21 June 2007

A Family Wedding

Andrew and Amy were married on 14 June 2007 in Orvieto, Italy. We travelled to Italy a couple of days before the ceremony along with Annette and Clive and the journey went comparatively well. The drive to Bristol was uneventful as was the flight to Rome, Ciampino. We had pre-booked a coach from the airport to the Railway Station and managed to find that OK. We sat at the back and from speaking to someone who sat on the front seats, we were in the best place (we couldn't see what was going on in the streets of Rome and how the coach driver got through them!!). We eventually figured out how to get tickets for Orvieto and boarded the train for yet another uneventful journey. Andrew met us at Orvieto and took us across the road to the Funicular Railway after which we went by bus to the Hotel Maitani - a really nice hotel with very friendly staff. In the evening, we went out for a meal and met some of the other guests before collapsing into bed.
On the following day we met other guests and walked around Orvieto, which is a splendid little town with a spectacularly fronted Cathedral. In the evening we had a get together on the rooftop terrace of the hotel, paid for by the Bride's parents - thanks to Gill and John. There were a couple of speeches and I presented Amy with a collection of photographs from Andrew's youth. So as not to forget the bridegroom, I gave Andrew a set of Ear Defenders. These did have a practical purpose - he had recently acquired a noisy 2 stroke Strimmer.

John's Speech obviously amusing Amy

I will keep my comments on the day of the wedding very brief as it was absolutely superb:
The Bride was beautiful; the Groom was happy; the guests were well behaved; the weather was perfect; the setting for the ceremony was ideal and David the photographer was brilliant. What a great day. Thanks to everyone who made it so.


21 January 2007

Dog Walking

This weekend, Maria and Annette decided to do their shopping together so I volunteered to do Dog Walking instead of shopping.

We left Newquay Boating Lake nice and clean as can be seen from the dog’s appearance below.

We crossed over the Gannel Link Road and then across the wooden bridge to walk down the far side of the Gannel towards Crantock. This was the first time I had done this in the 23 years we have lived here and I won’t be doing it again in a hurry. I expected it to be muddy and the dogs, especially the low-slung Tia were filthy before we had gone 50 yards. Eventually we got past the mud onto the sand, which is where it got very difficult with me sinking up to 2″ with every step. I spotted another bridge in the distance and decided that I would try and cross there to avoid all the mud on the way back. What an effort; I really must get more exercise. We eventually got across and it was certainly much easier on the Newquay side coming back. We finished with a walk around the Lake to help dry off the dogs.

We started this walk from the car park at West Pentire, walking down to Port Joke and then up the coastal path towards Holywell Bay. It takes about 20 minutes for me to reach the headland on the south side of Porth Joke and my calves were suffering by the time we got there as most of it is uphill and we were walking into a stiff breeze. The dogs thought it was wonderful of course. I took a couple of photos of the “white-out sea”, one of which is below.

As the weather seemed about to take a turn for the worse (large black cloud approaching), we carried on to the top of the hill before turning back for home. Instead of following the footpath all the way, we went down on to the beach when we were able; this allowed the dogs to go absolutely mad, chasing each other through the little puddles. That is until they charged full pelt into one puddle which was about 18″ deep” and came to a very rapid halt. It didn’t seem to worry them much and they kept on with their game. I decided to go straight across the beach and climb up the rocks to the footpath which skirts the North side of the beach, hoping that the dogs would run around in the grass and get a little drier. As can be seen by the following photograph, I was only partially successful.

Never mind, it was good fun and we had a nice coffee and doggy treats when we got home - JDT.


Last Sunday - 14 Jan 2007 - Maria and I decided to have an afternoon out and, as we haven’t been since the disastrous floods of August 2004, Boscastle was the chosen place. There is still much to be done, but work is progressing and I suppose that much renovation work that may never have been done, has been done because of the devastation. However, I am sure that the people of Boscastle would much rather have done without that day.
The Visitor Centre, which used to be in the Car Park, is now much closer to the harbour and has all the newsreels from the fateful day running on a continuous loop; it is a humbling experience to watch the pictures again and to try and imagine the cars floating past this building into the sea. Apparently, one of the exhibitions from the Old Visitor Centre turned up in South Wales!

Anyway we had a very pleasant day and the photograph below shows what a lovely setting this village has, even in mid January.

Henver Road update

Rather belatedly, I have to report that the Cumberland Hotel no longer exists as can be seen by the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs. Work is now rapidly progressing with a succession of lorries removing tons of earth, presumably to make space for the underground parking area for the 45 “Surf Pods”, whatever they are!!

Henver Road Hotels including the Cumberland (Blue)

Cumberland Hotel - Gone

More reports later

20 January 2007

Family History Additions

Just a quick note to say that I have added Brief Histories of the Turner and Allen families into the Family Names section. I have not quite worked out the best way to present them but will continue to work on it.

03 January 2007

Jane Eyre & Thornton

Having seen many adaptations of Jane Eyre on the television, I finally got around to reading the book, which I found absorbing, even if I always did know the outcome. I have to admit that I needed to spend some time peering into my dictionary to check up on some words, particularly some of the Archaic ones. I also realised that my schoolboy French from some 50 years ago could not totally cope with some of the French used in the book - never mind, I really enjoyed the read and some of the descriptive passage were absolutely marvellous.

There is obviously a connection between Charlotte Bronte and Thornton, in as much as she was born there on Market Street (There is a photo of the commemorative plaque in October’s archive on Holiday - Day 6). The reason for the double heading on this Post is that I have also just acquired and read “Thornton Road” by Michael Smith of the Thornton Antiquarian Society. There is an enormous amount of information in this booklet and I need to read through certain parts again to identify places on a road, which I fondly thought that I knew quite well - oh how wrong can one be! if I look really closely, I can just see the top of “Oakroyd” on the photograph of Priestly Street.

Computer Ramblings

For some time now, Andrew has been telling me just how good Apple Macs are. I must admit that when I saw Amy’s Dad’s machine on our brief visit in October, I thought that it was a great looking machine that saved an enormous amount of space. Imagine my surprise when a large box was wheeled in on Christmas morning. Maria and Andrew had conspired together and she had bought me a similar machine to the one I had seen in October. Now I know that I don’t show my feelings in an extrovert fashion and this occasion was probably no different but I was thrilled and speechless because I had absolutely no idea that she was going to get it. Now my troubles started, with Andrew doing his best to teach me how to use it and explain the difference in Operating Systems between it and a Windows operated PC. I am still learning, but am slowly getting the hang of it.

Above is a photo of the whole thing; as can be seen, it is more like a Laptop stood on end with the keyboard separate. It is very quick and quiet with a 17″ screen and I am sure that, as time goes by, I will find many attributes and benefits. Thanks to all involved in the subterfuge - much appreciated.

New Year Update - Part 3

01 Jan 2007 - Land’s End
We had arranged for friends Dot and John to take us to Land’s End for our traditional New Year’s Day visit. We set off at about 10:45 with the weather in Newquay grey but fairly warm and, most importantly, dry. We arrived about an hour later to a bleak and very windy day and as we walked towards the restaurant, it started to rain; the trouble was that the rain was coming in horizontally and felt like icicles against any bare skin. We took refuge in the hotel/restaurant/cafe and after some rather bizarre circumstances, which I do not wish to go into here, we had a snack and drink until the squall cleared. We eventually ventured outside and took a few photographs before beating a hasty retreat to John’s car and the hour’s journey back home again.

For those that really know me, please note that, in the photo above, I am wearing Jeans, but to maintain my standards, although it cannot be seen in the photo, I am wearing the obligatory Turner Tie.

Dot and John stayed for a Roast Beef dinner with Fresh Fruit salad and/or Trifle for afters. This was topped off with a tot of Limoncello, which, for those not in the know, is a rather pleasant Italian after dinner Liqueur, very Lemon and at 34% by volume, fairly strong. We had a quiet evening listening to music and discussing the various attributes of MP3 players and I was at last able to help someone else with a demonstration of how to load the contents, or part, of a CD onto the IPOD.

Now I am back at work - great.

New Year Update - Part 2

22 Dec 2006 - Newquay
Andrew, Amy and their German Shepherd, Jasmine, arrived for the Christmas period; Jasmine is one large dog with a wagging tail capable of destroying anything at the 2 foot level; she also has incredibly large feet so steel-tipped shoes are the order of the day! The only real trouble we had was that she desperately wanted to play with Annette’s two Shelties; unfortunately, they didn’t want to play and there was a lot of posturing, growling and snapping and we had to keep them apart until the last evening when they all laid down in the lounge together. We did spend a couple of days on Lusty Glaze Beach with them and they were fine as can be seen on the accompanying photograph. I have included an extra photo of the Old Folks!

Amy, Andrew, John, Annette & Clive. Jasmine, Brandy & Tia

Maria & John

The Christmas period was a most enjoyable time; in addition to Lusty Glaze, we visited the rather splendid cafe at Fistral Beach; this trip included some shopping in the Surf shops, which had a Sale starting and some purchases just had to be made!!

Annette and Clive provided a splendid Buffet meal on one day but we left poor Jasmine at home to avoid more confusion. Christmas morning we all went up to Trevose where Clive was working. I had too much to drink and slept most of the way back - it is nice when someone else drives!

When Andrew, Amy & Jasmine left, the house seemed really empty but we were left with some lovely memories and a lot of beds to change and washing to do!!

01 January 2007

New Year Update - Part 1

Having failed miserably to keep this Blog updated, this post is an attempt to briefly tell of our “doings” since the Queen Mary trip.

01 Dec 2006 - Plymouth.
Maria, Annette, Clive and I travelled to Plymouth on Friday to go to the Theatre Royal to see Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” starring Craig McLaghlan (ex Neighbours) and Ken Kercheval (ex Dallas) among others. We thoroughly enjoyed the show and, as we had booked a night at the Holiday Inn on the Hoe, it meant that we didn’t have the 55 mile drive home late at night. The ‘down’ side was that we woke up in Plymouth on Saturday morning and that meant - shopping. Never mind, Maria chose her Christmas present and we did manage to get home in the afternoon.

08 Dec 2006 - St Ives
It was time for the Annual Serco Christmas Party, held once again at the Tregenna Castle Hotel at St Ives. Once again it was a great evening and we didn’t manage to spend a penny thanks to Serco’s generosity. We did have to pay for the accommodation, which, for us, was an outside cabin with loads of room and a shower each. On Saturday, we left after breakfast, did some shopping and then came home for a rest.

15 Dec 2006 - Bordon
On Friday afternoon, Maria and I set off to play Father Christmas to three of our four grandchildren who now live in Bordon, Hampshire. We got there safely and spent a hectic evening and Saturday with Nick, Karen, Charlotte, Curtis and Connor before driving home on Sunday ready for work on Monday. A visit to the local Forestry Commission Park and School Swimming Pool were fitted into Saturday and we did the baby-sitting whilst Nick and Karen went out to a ’70s’ Party.

Nick & Karen in 70s mode

That’s all for now; part 2 will be written sometime.