Published: August 6th 2008August 6th 2008
With the 'V' Dog
Long time, no hear (or is here?), but have been on holidays, plus the computer is popular with people, the connections sometimes not flash & sometimes I'm not too flash!!
Anyway, the Shane Summary:
After Oxford we drove to Andover & vistaed relatives, then to London where we stayed in a flat & visited tourist spots & old things (they're rally good at old here), attended Christine's uncle & aunts 50th wedding anniversary. Then travelled to Dorset where we stayed in a house in the country & visited tourist spots. We leave here Friday & go to Eastbourne & collect one of Christine's other aunts & then travel to Ireland and start a 14 day bus tour of Ireland & Scotland.
The Full Version:
The first notable difference is that Tim is still with us! What happened?!! His mate Dwayne put off arriving in England until 13th August, so Tim decided to hang out with his M & D! Bad thing for Tim as we have not really jumped on the Venga Bus & gone touring, but, he is surviving & participating and it's good to have him along as we get further reacquainted!!
Bfrick Lane with unkown reveller
Spent a couple of days near Andover (Hampshire) to visit Tony & Marion & families. Stayed at a place called Nether Wallop, a quaint little village & part of the larger Wallops region. Stayed at a lovely B & B which was run by a 78 year old widow, Vera. Vera, as a a result of falling of a stool, has a somewhat disconcerting list to her left and an awkward gate. She is thoroughly charming and was immediately christened 'V' Dog by Tim (her pseudonym). 'V' Dog in turn was very taken with Tim & has offered him a weeks accommodation & food in return for a few odd jobs (I won't work you too hard Tim). If only she knew how odd Tim's jobs can be!! To complete the picture we also met 83 yr. old Ray from East Ham (much better than that bloody West Ham, but it's all just New Ham now) and 89 yr. old Hatton Gardener ( a family friend who is cared for by Vera). Little Britain is so close to the mark - except there was no gay in the village!! We have included a team photo of us with 'V' Dog.
Tower Bridge from the flat
Other highlights of this leg of the tour:
Stonehenge - One really had to be there to witness Tim’s impression of this ancient structure. He didn’t find it that exciting to say the least. I must admit, the second time around it lost some of it’s, let’s say lustre!!
Winchester Cathedral - Well it didn’t break me down (name the band - 1st correct entry is the winner). Fantastic as was the city of Winchester.
Chris' uncle Tony & aunt Marion's 50th wedding anniversary was a hoot. Marion’s family are Welsh & they know how to have a good time - even if they are on the wrong side of 21. Tim (features a lot doesn’t he) had a bonding experience with his cousins. The best part was Christine being there to share in the celebrations .
Fri. 25th Aug. - Fri. 1st Aug. - London Calling
Spent the week in a flat in Bermondsey. Great location in the south of London. Stick your head out of the window & stand on your tip toes there was the Tower Bridge.
Packed heaps into the week. The highlight turned out to be a bit
Tower Bridge & HMS Belfast from Thames
of a surprise - there were tourists in London! No, it was in fact the tour of Buckingham Palace. Not been around long but you get to go through all the state rooms & they have the dinning room set up as it is for a State Banquet. The whole thing was stunning & I recommend to anyone going to London in the summer time to do the tour (only held during a limited time).
Other highlights were:
Brick Lane - Curry capital of London if not England. As soon as you enter the Lane you are accosted by spruikers outside the restaurants (which there are plenty of) offering you all sorts of deal (really they’re basically the same) to eat in their particular place. The food was great. It’s changed a bit this time as in addition to the curry houses there were no bagel shops but there were plenty of outdoor venues in the old factories packed with revellers!
Tower of London; River cruise to Greenwich - the guide commentary by the ferry skipper was quite entertaining & amusing & Greenwich itself was great, particularly the Royal Observatory; Billy Elliot (stage show) at the Victoria
At Buckingham Palace
Fri. 1st left London heading to a week in Dorset via another night in Nether Wallop with the ‘V' Dog & ‘Hítman’ Hatton. Arrived at our digs in Dorset Saturday afternoon after whooping it up at the Fly Fishing Festival in Stockbridge. We’re staying in a thatched roof cottage in the hamlet of Woodlands, between Wimbourne Minster & Verwood. Spent the time driving around the Counties of Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset.
Southampton - Don’t rush there. Dorchester, Weymouth & the Isle of Portland (the home of Portland Bill (can you guess what it is - answer at the end) in the first half of Mon. 4th. Then home along the river Piddle (yep, I know) and through villages such as Piddlehinton, Piddletrenthide, Tolpuddle & Puddletown. Also went to Cerne Abbas, the home of The Giant on the Hill, one of 3 large images on chalk hills across England.
Tim & I managed to get in a tour of a brewery today. Ringwood Brewery to be exact brewers of traditional ales & the tour was good but more so the tasting at the end! Their flagship brew is Best Bitter & quite aptly named.
brings us to today & enough from me. Hopefully I will be able to maintain a weekly update from now on. Thanks for all your e-mail & messages to this site. If we don’t get back to you please don’t give up on us - we do like hearing from you.
News: Mortgage rates & the credit crunch is big news here with predictions of doom & gloom for home owners , much the same as in Oz. The paper news is all over the cricket but you get very little of it on free to air TV as Sky own the rights. No cricket on free to air!
Portland Bill - is a light house
There are more photos below