Thursday, August 27, 2015

Moving right along

Friends of ours are visiting England at the moment and the other day they blogged about their visit to Canterbury and the cathedral. 

Upon completing our house sitting assignment on Monday we have set out to travel across the south of England and one of the first places we visited was Canterbury Cathedral.

Well worth going to see.  

The intricate detail of the icons on the front of the cathedral, I found fascinating.

Indoors was extremely interesting with many areas set aside to honour the dead.

I was not able to get any good photos of the many stained glass panels.  Linda and I spent a considerable time indoors looking at the many facets of this wonderful place steeped in history. 

I wonder how many stories this door within the cathedral walls could tell?:-

After the Cathedral we did a bit of window shopping. We continue to see so many interesting buildings from a bygone era:-

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

An eventful weekend

Even though we had moved to Dartford for a house sitting assignment, Linda was still keen to go back to Epsom to help finish the work she had started in the garden.

It turned out to be a very hot (30+) London day but work must go on.

My youngest, Rick and girlfriend, Hannah, came as well so there was quite a bit of activity happening.

I volunteered to look after Caleb the baby so that Marcele could join in with the planting:-

Lots of action resulted in over 100 plants finding a new home:-

Although Aaron and Rick played their part we thought the 'girl team' did very well.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Our visit to Tonbridge

Whilst looking for the elusive Lullingstone Çastle the other day we took a little side trip to Tonbridge just to see what it was like.

When we drove into town we spot some rather grand buildings with nicely kept gardens that appealed to us:-

We decided that once we had looked at the shops we would pop in to take more of a look.

There was no signage to indicate what the property was used for and so we drove in and Linda parked the car behind another in the grounds.

We hadn't been there more than a few moments when an elegantly dressed woman appeared from through these doorways wanting to know why we were there.

We told her of our interest in the place as passers by and this appeared all very well but apparently we had parked outside the headmaster's residence and would we kindly move the car to the guest area:-

I talked with her for a few moments and was told the school housed 790 male pupils, 500 boarders and 290 day students.  An Internet search later revealed that to attend as a boarder costs over GBP12,000 per term.

We had happened upon a rather nice British private school.

After a bit of a wander we were on our way again.  A very pleasant interlude in our travels.

Just some of the lovely flowers in their front garden.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Meandering the Kent countryside

We relocated to our second house sit on Wednesday, so we had an at home day yesterday.

When I say 'at home', we did pop into Dartford for a morning coffee and coming home we went around the ring road three times before managing the correct exit to get us home.  Such are the joys of travel. 

Today we thought we would have a look at the Kent countryside and chose Lullingstone Çastle as a destination.

The first part of our journey was quite successful but we actually got to our destination far too early and so set off for Sevenoaks, a nearby town in search of morning coffee.

Good chance to look at the countryside and Sevenoaks was a pleasant stop.  We were still too early for a visit to the castle so we picked another destination, Tonbridge, and again enjoyed traveling through more of the pleasant Kent countryside, some of it very similar to parts of New Zealand. 

From Tonbridge we decided to look for a pub to have lunch and very much enjoyed what was on offer. Most of the customers at The Chasers Inn had opted to eat out in the garden area to take advantage of a hot summer's day, but we preferred the quietness and coolness of indoors.

Lullingstone Çastle was still on the agenda so I keyed it into our GPS and we set off once again.  It did not take us long but the GPS destination took us to the small town of Swanly and when we reached our destination:-

We had arrived at Lullingstone Çastle pub - not the real thing we had been looking for.

We laughed and laughed.  Apparently I had not picked up on the GPS that the little icon next to it indicated it was a drinking house, not a Çastle!

Back to the GPS and destination Eynsford where we had been in the morning.  It was close to the Çastle.  The journey did not take long and we at last pulled up at the Çastle at about 2.30pm.

We were about to pay the seniors rate of GBP6.50 when the attendant advised that the Çastle was only open to one guided tour per day and we had just missed it.  Although we had done our online research, nowhere had this been indicated so we did not pay and we never got to see inside Lullingstone Çastle.  Never mind, Linda said she didn't think it looked grand enough to be called a Çastle and we did have a lovely day out in the Kent countryside.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Aaron, the gardener

We are having a really good time with Aaron and Marcele and their children at the moment.

Linda said she would help Aaron to get his back yard spruced up and so there has been lots of activity.

Although Aaron has never really done much in the gardening world he is a willing learner and Linda has been able to give him some good tips.

Linda has painted the wall behind (with help from Marcele) and Aaron is preparing the garden bed so planting can happen.

Aaron went to the markets on Sarturday and bought a lovely selection of plants.

We only have one more full day here so it will be a busy one.  There is still more painting to be done before the plants can go in.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Taking the opportunity to celebrate

My latest grandchild, Caleb, reached the six month milestone this week.

My daughter-in-law, Marcele, said the celebrated when he was three months old and wanted to celebrate again so she bought this lovely cake:-

We sang happy half birthday and Dad, Aaron, blew out the candle.

It was good to be here for this milestone in Caleb's life:-

Saturday, August 15, 2015

House Sitting

Apart from being with family, part of the reason for our return to London was to fulfill a commitment to do house sitting for people who want to go away but leave their pets with a carer at home.

At the moment we are looking after two rescue cats, Bianca and Sasha.  So nice to have some cats in our lives again.

However, they are missing 'Mum' and spend a lot of time on the window sill watching and waiting:-

This is Sasha in her spot at the window sill.

Back in London Town

Before we came away Linda and I sent a package on ahead for my grand daughter, Anna-Clara.

It contained a quilt, a couple of books and some finger puppets.  As it turned out, the finger puppets were the hit of the day.