Colleen Watt


Colleen Watt

My blog is a record of my memories that would otherwise be forgotten. They are too precious to be lost. It’s also to reassure our children that we are alive and well, exploring the world.

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Heathrow Airport October 7th 2018

This Morning, after our brekky, we packed up and headed out on our 2 hour journey to Heathrow, only stopping to fill up with diesel just before handing back our lovely vehicle. The sat nav had a glitch, telling us to go the wrong way up a country lane. We didn’t go up that lane, so then she gets that exasperated tone, saying “recalculating”, like we did it on purpose! So the next direction took us through a golf course, a sight for the Sunday morning golfers!! Talk about off the beat track! So we arrived at the Thrifty office acrosss the road from Heathrow, expecting to use the free “hotel hoppa” service, but Thrifty had their own shuttle service, which took us to Termminal 4. From Terminal 4 we entered an elevated tubular walkway leading ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Gloucestershire » Gloucester October 6th 2018

I’d forgotten how quaint a double bed could be, especially in a poky, “under the eaves” room! But I’m pleased to say that breakfast at this disappointing place was delightful, even though the drizzle outside tried to dampen our spirits. We set off for the north western bank of the Severn River, to a village called Aylburton, where Tom’s 7xG grandparents (William Jones & Anne Prifford) lived at the time his 6xG grandmother (Anne Jones) was born In 1695. We continued on then to Lydney, to church of St Mary the Virgin, where William & Anne had married in 1684, young Anne was baptised in 1695, and then where she marries Henry Imm in 1725 and their baby Mary (Tom’s 5G grandmother) was baptised in 1730. We know it was the same church because the burials ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Gloucestershire » Gloucester October 5th 2018

What a roller coaster of a day. We started with a lovely cooked Derbyshire breakfast in the breakfast room, and then packed up and checked out of the lovely inn. It started life as a farmhouse before 1850, then became a brewery and then an ale house. We had a long drive down to Gloucester where we first went to the church of St Nicholas where one of Tom’s 4xG grandfather’s had been buried. The church is no longer in use, all locked up (with the key obtainable at the local museum, but we’re not here for that long). I suspect the flats next door to the church are probably built on the original churchyard. We drove on then to St Swithun’s in Hempsted, the location of the burial of Tom’s 3xG grandfather, but the graveyard ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Derbyshire » Ashbourne October 4th 2018

Breakfast down in the quaint breakfast room was delightful. We ventured out at about half past 10, driving for half an hour through idyllic farming land. The roads were narrow, the villages picturesque, just beautiful countryside in the Peak District. We arrived at Chatsworth House, also known as the home of Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, and Buckingham Palace in The Crown, but actually the English home of The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire (remember, we saw their Irish home some days ago?). We spent hours there, touring inside the house, and then walking around the gardens. It was just amazing. They’ve done a wonderful thing, opening their home to the public. The extensive collection of antiquities, art, statues, furnishings was marvellous. It wasn’t cheap to get in (£21 each) but the cost of the ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Derbyshire » Ashbourne October 3rd 2018

This morning we ate our Sainsbury’s breakfast in our room, showered, shaved and were booked out of the hotel by about 9am. We wheeled our luggage around to Victoria Station and caught the Victoria Line on the tube to Euston Station. We then changed to the overland trains to get the Virgin train to Stoke. After one and a half hours, and averaging 200 kph we arrived and caught a taxi to the Thrifty car hire office. We had booked a BMW or similar category from Thrifty and were thrilled to find we have a Mercedes E220d - a long and sleek one, the grey ghost. It is a little different to ours, but easy to understand. And the nav girl is the same girl we have at home! So off we set. I was surprised ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Belgravia October 2nd 2018

After our gourmet brekky bought from Sainsbury’s yesterday afternoon, Tom set off with plenty of time to get to his appointment. I set off some time later to walk the length of Ebury Street. This area was home to several of Tom’s ancestors. The earliest record is of his 4-G grandfather, Eastman Price, who was a surgeon here in Pimlico in 1797. Ebury Street has been part of Belgravia, Chelsea and Pimlico over the decades. Another of Tom’s 4-G grandfathers, Johan Christoph Mithoefer and his wife Elizabeth Page lived at #21 1832-1855, and their daughter Frances Ann and her husband, John Frederick Lewis (Tom’s 3-G grandparents) also lived there until 1855. #21 doesn’t look like an original building unfortunately. It may have been bombed during the war, or just pulled down and redeveloped. Directly opposite though ... read more
Old Baptist Chapel, former home of Ian Fleming

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Belgravia October 1st 2018

This morning we were up at 3 to be showered, shaved, shampooed and packed to be picked up by the Flybus at 4! We found it had been raining all night! We were ferried to the depot and put onto a coach for the 45 minute drive to Keflavik. On arrival it was cold, wet and windy. Luckily IcelandAir had sent us email confirming our upgrade to Saga Premium (they only have 2 classes on their 737), because all of their flights seem to leave early in the morning - there were flights next to ours going to Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the upgrade increased our luggage weight allowance (thank heavens) as well as making check in stress free. We used their lounge for the hour’s wait before boarding. Orange juice with champagne with our brekky! ... read more

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík September 30th 2018

Wow! What a day! We got ourselves organised and into the breakfast room nice and early. The food was a little different, typical Scandinavian fare with the slices of meat and cheese and hard boiled eggs, with ryvita type crispbreads. We noticed in Sweden too that their hard boiled eggs always have whiter than white shells. The scrambled eggs were more like chopped up omelette. The pork sausages were nice. I tried their version of hash browns and they were nicer than what we usually have. After brekky we got ourselves organised and went out to the foyer to wait for our tour bus. We got talking to a German couple in the foyer. The lady had shown me how to operate the orange juice machine at breakfast. They were amazed to meet us - they’d ... read more

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík September 29th 2018

What a lovely day! When we awoke we discovered there were mountains overlooking our harbour! With snow on them! We couldn’t see them yesterday with the low clouds and rain. So we had an early brekky - we were there when they started at 7. Brekky and then the final touches of our packing. Our large suitcases had been collected last night. Our tag colour was called about 8.30 and we went down to the gangway where Noprada was standing - she’s another of the international hostesses - she’s a lovely Philippina who speaks at least five languages. She helps Colin with trivia and she runs the sudoku challenge. She hugged me as we left. Silversea had organised a marquee on the dock where our suitcases were waiting. From there we walked 10 steps to a ... read more

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík September 28th 2018

Well, after a restless night on a perfectly stable ship (I liked the rocking ok?) we went to brekky to find it was a wet and windy day here in Reykjavik. After brekky Tom went ashore to find a post office and I went upstairs to take some pics. It was cold as well as wet and windy so I came back inside to the panorama lounge to have a warming coffee and read some more of my Marian Keyes book. I noticed another lady getting an interesting looking drink in a smaller sized champagne glass - it was a Baileys!! I thought yes, it’s after 10 (just) i’ll have one too! When Tom returned all cold and damp from his outing ashore, a Baileys warmed him up nicely too while we were reading. We had ... read more

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