Tracey & Bernie Gaffney


Tracey & Bernie Gaffney

Tracey and I love to travel, but when at home, Golden Retrievers rule.

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne August 27th 2018

This blog should be done by now as we were due back in Melbourne at 9.50pm on Sunday night. Unfortunately, following our unexpected diversion to Singapore, we didn’t touch down in Melbourne until just before 4.00am this morning. Poor Kerry had to drag herself out of bed to come to pick us up because we didn’t have any house keys on us. When Kerry picked us up to take us to the airport three weeks ago we all agreed that we didn’t need to carry house keys half way around the world and back because Kerry would pick us up on our return and let us in. Ha, ha, if we had known how things would pan out we would have taken a set of house keys with us and then we could have taken a ... read more

Asia » Singapore » Changi August 26th 2018

If it was not Sunday when we arrived in Dubai (I think it was, just) it was definitely Sunday (local time) when we departed Dubai at 2.40am Unlike on our journey over we were not able to walk from our arrival gate to our departure gate, we needed to take the train between terminals. Even after the time spent travelling between terminals we were able to spend a little bit of time in the Emirates Lounge. We took the opportunity to drink plenty of free mineral water and walk around a bit before facing up to the longest sector of our journey, the 13’15” leg from Dubai to Melbourne. During the night? I’m not really sure that it actually was night because we were flying towards the sun, but all the shutters were down and the ... read more
Left turn at approx 100° Longitude

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai August 25th 2018

With our flight departing Manchester at a very civilised 2.00pm there was no need for us to rise at a ridiculous hour. We had done most of our packing yesterday before dinner and finished it off before bed so we were able to shower and dress and have our breakfast in a leisurely fashion. Once we’d cleaned our teeth all we needed to do was pack our toilet bags and we were ready to go, which made us happy ... and sad ... at the same time. It will be great to get home to see Finbar and family and sleep in our own bed, but it is always sad saying farewell to good friends. Kath and Albert do not currently have any travel to Australia booked so we are not sure when we will see ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater Manchester » Manchester August 24th 2018

This morning we drove over to Ashton (-under-Lyne) in the rain. We parked the car in the park and ride car park and then just sat wondering how we were going to get to the tram stop without getting soaked because it was absolutely chucking it down by this stage. So we sat ... and we sat ... and we even contemplated giving up on going into Manchester and returning to Stalybridge! Fortunately the rain let up and we were able to make our way across to the tram stop ... just in time to see a tram arrive and depart without us. The next tram was due in 10 minutes so that gave us plenty of time to work out how to buy our travel cards from the machine. At least here we can buy ... read more
Vintage sewing machine window display
Penny Pendo-bee-no
Mr Bee’nn

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater Manchester » Manchester August 23rd 2018

Kath and Albert have a full house. In addition to the pet budgie they have us staying with them and this morning the gerbils from next door were dropped off because the neighbours are going away for the Bank Holiday long weekend. Creating even more chaos was a builder in the entry hall busy replacing the front window. The window guy replaced the front door yesterday while we were out and about ... at the same time as the plumber was back with the spare parts to fix the boiler! We missed all the activity yesterday, but have offered to hang around the house today while the front window is out because Albert has to run Kath to the hospital where she has an appointment this afternoon to have a suspicious spot cut out of her ... read more
Man at work.

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Derbyshire » Chesterfield August 22nd 2018

Today we returned to Derbyshire to see the extravagant interior of Hardwick Hall. When we visited the estate on the first Tuesday that we were here we were intent on visiting Hardwick Old Hall as listed in our English Heritage brochure for the Peak District & Beyond. We arrived unaware that there is also a ‘new’ hall on the estate that is operated by the National Trust and only open between Wednesday to Sunday. Of course that meant that a fortnight ago we were only able to see the exterior of the old and new halls and explore the gardens adjacent to the new hall. On our return today our NT membership saved us the £4.00 parking charge and £13.95 each on admission to the new hall. We started our visit listening to an introductory talk ... read more
Hardwick Hall
Hardwick Hall
Hall Fireplace

Europe » United Kingdom » Wales » Wrexham » Chirk August 21st 2018

Another day, another National Trust property! This time we headed off for Chirk Castle. The castle is just over the border in Wales so we re-traced our route from Thursday, but only travelled as far as Chirk today. We probably could have visited Chirk Castle on our way home yesterday, but we knew the weather forecast was much better for today so that seemed a better proposition. Hmmn, as we left Stalybridge it was very overcast and by the time we reached the motorway it was raining! Still the forecasters promised there would be better weather by late morning or early afternoon so we optimistically continued on our way. They got it right! By the time we were pulling into the car park at Chirk Castle there was blue sky and the sun was shining. It ... read more
Chirk Castle courtyard
Entry Hall Fireplace
Cantilever staircase

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater Manchester » Manchester August 20th 2018

On a day that had dawned grey and drizzly it was time to leave Shrewsbury and head back to Stalybridge. On the way to retrieve the car from the long stay car park we popped into a shop around in the Dogpole area of Shrewsbury to price some ‘Solar Pal’ novelty characters that we saw in the window of the local tattoo and body piercing parlour yesterday. You know, the silly toys that have a small solar panel so that they jiggle around when the sun (or artificial) light falls on it?Kerry is a big fan of these particular characters, and they weren’t very expensive, so we bought all three in the set for Kerry to put on her desk at work. I can’t name them here in the (albeit unlikely) event that Kerry actually reads ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Shropshire » Shrewsbury August 19th 2018

This morning Bernie and I drove down to Stokesay Castle in the small town of Craven Arms. This was yet another opportunity to use our English Heritage OVP. Today we saved ourselves another £8.30 each. The castle is right beside the St John the Baptist Church. Always keen to photograph atmospheric old churches we wandered into the churchyard first to take a few photos of the church and shots of Stokesay Castle with old gravestones in the foreground. After a circuit of the church we went back out into the lane to walk along to the castle entrance ... or so we thought. In fact, all we found down the lane was the private driveway into the local farm. We strolled back into the churchyard and found that the entry to the castle was via a ... read more
Lest we forget
Stokesay Castle
The North Tower from the church grounds

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Shropshire » Shrewsbury August 18th 2018

Well, today we went to see the world famous Iron Bridge near Telford in Shropshire. We knew that we would not be able to see much because Bernie stumbled across this information on the English Heritage website a couple of nights ago: Please note that we’re carrying out vital conservation work on the bridge. This means we’ve had to put much of it under cover. But we’ve built a walkway alongside the bridge to give you an opportunity to see the work as it happens and enjoy a rare perspective of this landmark monument. The walkway is free to access and open from 10am-4pm (last entry 3.30pm). The website also advised that entry to the bridge is free from April to September 2018. I suppose it wouldn’t be very good public relations to charge people to ... read more
Iron Bridge - What we actually saw!
The other side
View down the River Severn

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