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20th May 2024

Back from a Twinning weekend in France.

We left Headley on Thursday at 5am!

… and returned from Corné at 11am on Sunday

leaving our French friends to get on with their life.

but not before we'd opened 'rue Headley'
– Dil's on the left holding the tape

and spent time feasting in their village hall
– this was 'brunch' – the banquet was later

There was plenty of broom around
– from which we get 'Plantagenets'

and flowers by La Loire

But what's this?

We rode on the mechanical elephants at Nantes
– and here's a video of it

The driver nearly went into a wall …

… just here!

Dave in the bowels of the beast!

And plans for even grander things

On the ferry home, Sarah & I were able to
shake hands from our respective loos!

Sunset as we sailed into
Portsmouth harbour

13th May 2024

Zak and I went to Thursley Common today to see if we could rediscover Thor's Stone now they've constructed new boardwalks there.
This was the stone that played a significant role in The Broomsquire, which we dramatised some years ago.
We did find it, but only just – it's almost buried in reeds these days.
See photos (right) of how it was in 2006 and how it looks now.




2nd May 2024

Just back from a 2-week cruise round Scandinavia – it was very successful – here are some photos:—

Our cabin on the Borealis …

… somewhere top left aft

Here I am on our balcony

Our normal tipple at table

They keep their pianos tethered!

… and had Lego table

… and games like Dolphin Racing

We ended up singing on this stage

First stop, Oslo.
Here's an electric tour boat.

Easter Island figure
next to the Kon Tiki Museum

Next stop Stockholm,
and the ABBA Museum …

… taking in a music shop …

… but not just any old music shop

What's this??

Next stop Tallinn,
but too – cold we stayed on the ship!

So, on to Helsinki.
Here's the Sibelius monument

… the iconic railway station
"like an old bakelite radio"

They'd had snow the week before;
this pile was taller than Dil!

Street signs in 3 languages:
Russian, Finnish & Swedish

They have saunas everywhere, even on their big wheel (the two brown cabins)

The Finns' only submarine!

Then to Turku, the old capital

We wandered round the centre …

… then sat by the river in sunshine.

Jo took an interest …

… in their …

… manhole covers!!

On to Denmark and the castles of N Zealand!

This is Frederiksborg: a printed drape covered mainenance work

The gargoyle didn't look happy!

Inside is the church where Danish monarchs are crowned

There were many crests on the walls;
was this one a bit of an actor?

Princess Alexandra,
who married Edward VII

Hans Christian Andersen,
whose Little Mermaid
reflected his own sadness

3D statues on the ceiling!!

Painting of the old Stock Exchange in Copenhagen,
which burnt down only a week ago

On to Elsinore – Hamlet's castle

A model of the castle

The old dry dock, surrounded by bollards in Morse code.

Sweden's only 2 miles away by ferry

15th April 2024

We ran another three episodes of my 'radio sketches' in the Jobsworth series on stage over the weekend – see pictures here.

1st April 2024

I went to the dentist for a check up last week and found there was a tooth which needed crowning – and to my surprise I was offered treatment the vey next day (but note, this wasn't the NHS!). It was only a temporary fix while the new crown is prepared – that joy is yet to come. [It came, just before I was due to go away on a cruise, and so far no problems!]

18th March 2024

We made our way by circuitous routes to the Three Horeshoes at East Worldham for Sunday lunch – avoiding the road closures which seem to be encroaching on us from all directions! The lunch was good.
Then today, Monday, we took a stroll along the new boardwalks which are built across the bogs on Thursley Common. It's called a 'Dragonfly Trail' (see right), but there were none in evidence at this time of year. We must return when they're about.

4th March 2024

The pacemaker wound has healed and I'm now fit for anything!
We celebrated our wedding anniversary with a night away at the local Frensham Pond Hotel. Although it's just down the road we knew very little about what it was like as a hotel – and now we do; we were not overwhelmed with the experience. Shall we say it was 'adequate'.

12th February 2024

I've been keeping relatively quiet since the pacemeker replacement, waiting for the wound to heal, and leaving Dil to do the driving – but it hasn't stopped me from going for walks when the weather permits.

29th January 2024

Je suis rebranché! I went in for my 10-year pacemaker 'box change' today as the battery was running low – basically they lie you down, slice you open, unscrew the old pacemaker and fix a new one in. All went well and I'm now taking it easy for a few days.

15th January 2024

The first weekend of the pantomime (Treasure Island) went successfully. We're not doing Fridays this year, which seems a bit weird after all these years, but audience numbers were up over the weekend, so it obviously didn't affect our takings.
Here are pictures of me and Dil in our character parts ('Ben Gunn' and 'Polly the Parrot') – see other pics of the show.

7th January 2024

We had a 'Twelfth Night' evening with friends round here for a meal on Friday, finishing off the Christmas season – and today I led the first Sunday walk of the year, in sunshine,.
Now it's back to the business of getting this year's pantomime (Treasure Island) up and running.

Continued …

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