A Travellerspoint blog

May 14 London to New York and London to Sydney

I'LL TAKE THE HIGH ROAD

overcast 20 °C

A sad and happy day - Jeni was flying out to Sydney and then up to Bali in June for 5 months and I was flying out to New York to meet Ken Reddy at JFK Airport. His flight from Perth via Dubai was delayed and my flight from London was early, so we actually arrived just 20 minutes apart. I hadn't realised that Aer Lingus is now a "cheap" airline - you pay for everything on-board. But the flight were good and having the US Immigration process done at Shannon Airport was really good as you arrive at JFK as "domestic" passenger and by-pass all the queues

A short walk from our Hilton Fashion District hotel (a terrible place) was Mustang Sally's bar when a couple of beers and the Rangers vs Devils Stanley Cup ice-hockey game kept us amused for a while until the jet-lag kicked in

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Posted by kforge 14:05 Archived in USA Comments (0)

May 12-13 London

FITZROVIA

semi-overcast 16 °C

On Saturday morning we drove to Bloomsbury in London to drop off our rental car in Russell Square (The London City Congestion Charge does not apply at weekends). From there, it was just a few minutes walk to the Grange Fitzrovia Hotel in Bolsover Street, just a couple of minutes from Regent's Park but seeing as we were only moments from the British Museum, we detoured via the Assyrian Rooms and a very pleasant Vegetarian Thali in Great Russell Street

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The evening was sunny and warm, so we decided to walk down to Regents Street and into Trafalgar Square where there was a free concert by the London Symphony Orchestra. Unfortunately, it was so badly managed by unnecessary security people that we left after just a few minutes and retired to a very good pub in Great Titchfield Street called the Crown and Sceptre

Sunday morning was again sunny as we walked a few miles through Regent's Park before joining Richard and Rigvi for lunch at the Bellaria in Great Titchfield Street - good food but strange service and there were only 5 of us eating there

Of course, Sunday afternoon meant "goodbye" ladies and "hello" Manchester City vs Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur vs Fulham. Definitely the most amazing afternoon of Premier League football that I have seen, except that Spurs didn't get 3rd place. Richard and I had a few pints of Spitfire while watching the games at The Duke of Wellington in Belgravia near Sloane Square

Posted by kforge 06:30 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

May 11 Cockfield

LAST DAY IN SUFFOLK

rain 13 °C

On our last day in Suffolk, it didn't actually rain (much). We had a very nice meal at Sudbury's Mill Hotel which sits right on the Stour River and the Water Meadows.

Later, as we were packing our cases, Jeni noticed some movement in the garden - a Muntjac deer decided that it needed to feast on my mother's pansies and other assorted flowers and bushes

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So basically, after the initial, glorious 2 weeks of sunshine from the middle of March, it rained for 6 weeks and was bloody cold and windy most of that time. Even our one week stay in France was as bad, and Jeni caught a really terrible cold which she was not really over when she left England on Monday the 14th May

Posted by kforge 06:12 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

May 4-6 Little Waltham

Bluebells and Art

overcast 9 °C

On Friday afternoon we drove to Little Waltham in north Essex to spend the weekend with our friends Steve and Carole. We had a good evening meal and good beer in the Dog and Gun pub nearby - the beer was from the Brentwood Brewing Company (yes, Brentwood)

On Saturday morning, it wasn't actually raining (just cold, damp and windy) so Steve and Carole suggested a walk through their local Lyonshall Wood where there are usually huge display of wild bluebells at this time of year - and there were

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After the walk we drove across to Colchester to take a look at the new Firstsite Art Gallery, a wonderful building but as yet not a great display of art, unless you like 120 fire-bricks stacked 2-high on the gallery floor. From the Tate Gallery's web-site:

"Equivalent VIII by Carl Andre was bought by Tate in 1972 and featured in special displays in 1974 and 1975 without attracting much publicity. But on 15 February 1976 an article appeared in The Sunday Times about recent additions to the Tate's Collection, illustrated with a picture of Equivalent VIII. The sculpture, 120 firebricks arranged in a rectangular formation, an important Minimalist work, provoked uproar.

The Tate was ridiculed by many for, as they saw it, being conned into buying a 'pile of bricks'. Others defended the Gallery, recognising Andre as an important artist and arguing that the Tate has to be adventurous in order to remain a major player in the international contemporary art world"

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Late Saturday afternoon was, of course, time for the FA Cup Final - well done Chelsea and, hopefully, "goodbye" Dalglish

Sunday morning was spent at the wonderful Wilkin & Sons Ltd headquarters at Tiptree. Their conserves, marmalades and curds and exported around the world. A great Essex institution, just like Maldon Salt

Posted by kforge 09:14 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

May 1-2 - Stoke Bruerne

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY A WIDE-BEAM CANAL BOAT

overcast 10 °C

We drove 2 hours westwards to the small village of Stoke Bruerne on the Grand Union Canal to meet up with Terry and Carol, friends from Sydney, to investigate the purchase of a wide-beam canal boat

We all stayed at the Waterways Cottage just a few metres from the canal and 2 pubs - GBP75 per night including breakfast for a double room - that seems to be the average price in the UK these days. An excellent place and a very friendly host

The next morning, we all drove a couple of miles to the Blisworth Marina, home of the New & Used Boat Company who build new boats and sell second-hand boats (they have about 100 in the marina). Our choice was the 12' Emperor wide-beam

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Posted by kforge 04:33 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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