Blogs from Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire » Uttoxeter August 14th 2019

Firstly, I think I need a bigger bike! I'm now up to 2 saddlebags + 3 large travel bags and still got loads to pack. The main things left are my myriad of prescription drugs. I've been advised to keep them in their original packaging, which is fine, except the boxes and boxes I need for 3 weeks or so take up one hell of a lot of space. A bit of lateral thinking required I think.... read more

Time runs together on the Canal. It's hard to believe that hours go by, and then you can't believe it's only been five minutes since the last bridge. We are doing the Black Country Loop near Birmingham, in a counter-clockwise fashion, starting out of Barton Turns Marina (and ending there). Rather than give a mile by mile (there are 86), lock by lock (more than 100), pub by pub (yummy meat pies), or bridge by bridge (we stopped counting)... for the remainder of the canal trip, we will talk about interesting highlights. We split out our time in Birmingham into a separate entry, after this one, since that was a short escape from normal Canal life. We'll mention that Anne and Tony (mostly Anne) were sick during this part of the trip, so we may not ... read more
Oh, It's Sunday
Round Tower

Day 5 We woke early, excited for our Market trip and Canal boat adventure. The breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express was less than stellar, so we decided we would get some food at the Market. The Longborough market is said to have won recent awards, and has been around for 800 years. It sounded amazing and exciting. The weather had different opinions. The drive through the driving rain took a lot longer than we expected. When we arrived and grabbed the last parking spot, we saw dozens of people leaving the open air market, hiding under umbrellas (it had just started raining in Longborough). All of the prepared food vendors were shut, and we didn't spend long at other shops outside of Boots and a few fruit and bread vendors. Even if the weather had ... read more
Hamster Entertainment
The Way Out

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire April 11th 2019

This is a photoblog of our first voyage in Horatio Sprague from Stone on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Staffordshire to Tewkesbury on the River Avon in Gloucestershire. The boat was launched on February 21 2018 in Stone by the builder Steve Heywood as an empty steel shell with an engine. Being empty and unballasted, it was far less manoeuvrable than a completed boat, so the trip was quite "hairy". The first few days down the Trent and Mersey Canal and Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal were great, very cold but sunny. We stayed in a variety of B and B's as the boat was not habitable. However on reaching Stourport snow and ice set in, freezing the canal. Then the River Severn was closed due to high water levels from snow melt! We spent several ... read more

“Seaside.. Seasiders”! A lone voice boomed out across The Moat. The vocalist awaited further backing. There was a none. The old lady in front awoke from her slumber on the crash barrier and turned to express her disapproval. The next vocal volley met with a steely glare. The vocalist realised he was on a loser having had “the look” and went back to his pint. Harry’s Bar had been doing good trade all afternoon. The Mount Pleasant gang were on the long trip south to the sleepy confines of southwest Derbyshire. They were impressed by the product on offer in Harry’s Bar – the pitchside refreshment emporium – and the pleasant spring sunshine. The thick coats showed that they were unaccustomed to anything other than a stiff North Sea breeze blowing in. The day had started ... read more
National Memorial Arboretum
High Street, Burton on Trent
National Memorial Arboretum

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire February 18th 2019

It's been 6 months since we've had a holiday. Our usual September motorhome trip was cancelled last year as I was booked for a new right knee on August 31st which meant No travelling for at least 6 weeks. Summer had been very busy since we came back from the Swiss, Austrian trip in June. Hardly an empty day on the calendar with Bob's 75th and a couple of parties for that, a summer holiday visit from my grandchildren and then we fitted in a four night visit to Lisbon just before my op. Such a good decision and just what was needed especially with the wonderful summer weather we enjoyed. New knee now in place and working exceedingly well thank you. Not tried swimming yet and surgeon says no breast stroke which is going to ... read more
180715 Airshow

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire » Stoke-on-Trent September 18th 2018

1914 breakout of the First World War. The war to end all wars. The war that would be over by Christmas or so they said. The war that heralded fighting in the mud filled trenches and introduced modern warfare to the unsuspecting world. The war of tanks and of the Battle of the Somme. 1918 - 100 years since that war ended, The world was never going to be the same again. A generation of young men lost to the carnage of war . Did we learn our lessons? No we certainly did not. Confucious reminded us that "Learning without thought is labour lost, thought without learning is perilous". When I think of the Great War I feel that we have never learned a thing. We continue to make mistakes. As we stood in front of ... read more
words cannot express what seeing this meant
a sea of blood red poppies
inside the engine house

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire » Stafford June 18th 2018

Picture the scene. It is a warm sunny day. We are in Italy. Possibly around Venice or theVenetoand there are two rather studious gentlemen deep in conversation. Okyou have to use your imagination. They lean over a table pouring over plans. Andrea Palladio born in 1508 and died in 1580 a leading architect very active around the Republic of Venice. His houses are everywhere. If you have the cash Palladio is your man. Influenced by the roman and Greek architecture he was one of the most influential individuals in the history of architecture. Even in damp and rainy England there are examples of his style of architecture. He shakes his head in disbelief and can be heard to mutter the words " Wood ..................wood columns!!!!!! Never. Cheap skate builders. I am not putting my name to ... read more
The red dining room
Wedgewood style ceilings
Why wouldnt you want to read a book in this library

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire » Lichfield January 13th 2018

The Other Half was keen to lose the Christmas pounds. Weight and financially. As a former keen attendee of the gym world, she has now reached the lack of motivation after work phase of life. The answer? Her very own spinning bike. A find myself driving down the rain soaked A38, heading to an industrial estate on the outskirts of England' second city. The rain lashed down, as we cut across the motorway by East Midlands Airport. The current road "improvements" have turned the area into something akin to a muddy battlefield. We turned on to the A38 by the huge Toyota plant on the far side of derby. It remains to be seen whether the Japanese car giant sees this as a major centre for their European operation post Brexit. There was little of note ... read more
Lichfield Cathedral
Commander Robert Smith

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Staffordshire June 5th 2017

A different trip this time. Not our usual France but Germany. Bob wants to visit some spectacular castles and steam railways and I’m agreed so we will be heading for Bavaria via Belgium leaving tomorrow at the crack of dawn. Seem to have been very busy this last month and it’s taken an effort to get Tandy ready for the off. We’ve only been out in Tandy once this year so far. We had 4 days in the Lake District in early May and were glad we had as Bob realised there was a problem with Kisbee scooter’s starting mechanism. All now sorted fortunately as it could have been tricky if we had gone away with a scooter which refused to start. The garden is looking quite magnificent as we’ve had some glorious sunny weather, as ... read more
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