Category Archives: holidays

On peut compter sur lui!

Hello again. Long long time no blog; I’d not realised it’s been nearly seven months since I was last here. My blogging mojo seems to have gone, as readers of my other blog have doubtless noticed, and I’m certainly not back with any profound thoughts to impart. Trivia rules – Mr M was on a trip to France this weekend, spotted this gorgeous display of shopping trolleys in Mr Bricolage, (yes, sad I know), and just couldn’t resist taking a pic for me. You remember my fashion dilemma Yes, of course you do! Or not…What a sight. I’m salivating – almost.

Though the object of the weekend was a rather more serious one: to visit the Somme battlefields. I’m sure I’ll hear more about that once the beloved recovers. He’s exhausted.

Whan thatte Aprille (redux)

Iona Abbey at night

Long time no blog. I’m using our recent pilgrimaging and peregrinations as an excuse; a fairly feeble one now, considering we’ve been home for nearly three weeks. No Olde Englysshe this time round, either. To wax Chaucerian about over a month’s wanderings and accompanying hundreds of photos is beyond me. Suffice it to say that mid-April the beloved and I hopped on a train to Durham, from whence we set out to walk great chunks of Hadrian’s Wall path, the Southern Upland and West Highland, and more besides; ending up at Oban after about a 200 miles hike. Well, a little judicious train and taxi linking took place,though only when strictly necessary!

The view in the photo will be familiar to many of you, I guess. After a few days resting on Mull, we wound up the trip by staying at Iona Abbey for a week. This was an experience in itself – worthy of an entire blog; something which many have done before me, and far better than I ever could either, so again, I’ll spare you. Well, maybe just a teensiest peek into one of the more ‘memorable’ (on several counts!) part of the trip.

Still, this was our Big Trip, which we’d planned and dreamed about for nearly three years. During those three years we wondered if we were mad, if we’d bitten off more than we could chew, if we were fit enough to manage it, (those health scares a while back, happily false alarms, gave me an extra impetus to tackle the challenge – “Times winged chariot” and all that), even if we could both cope with being in each others’ company 24 hours a day for the best part of a month . After which, to be thrown into a group of total strangers and expected to build community – not easy for two introverts. It’s given me a good deal to reflect upon regarding how I interact with others, and relate to the groups and communities I’m part of back home, not all of it comfortable, but neither did I expect it to be.

So, am I changed? Who knows? I’ve certainly come back with a strange liking for bracing winds, sleeting rain, and and odd urge to muse about reflections on dead sheep. Don’t worry – there is a perfectly simple explanation!

Am I glad I went? Yes! Challenges notwithstanding. Seriously, it’s one of those experiences, the other one being our years spent living abroad, where the tangibility of any personal change isn’t always obvious at the time, but which becomes more evident in the months and years after the event. Whatever comes from our journeying, I’m so proud we managed it.

Looking back and looking forward:archive Musings

What was the Miffy household up to on 6 April 2010? Not blogging here, that’s for sure. So, in the first of an exciting new series/desperate attempt to put the muse back into my musings, I’ve decided to have a retrospective look through the ‘Musings Archives.’ April 6 not being forthcoming, let’s peek at the next day’s post.

On 7 April, Spring had sprung, we were busy getting terribly excited over thermal base layers, hydration systems, and other such cutting-edge items for our upcoming walking trip. They must have all come up to scratch as we survived to tell the tale, as our saga of blisters, mud and fluffy bunnies proves.

We were also pondering the perennial Greenbelt question: To camp or not to camp?

Much the same as now, actually.

Though this time round, I’ll spare readers the Chaucerian ramblings.

Summer Days

We’re back into the wool-lined boots after a few flakes of snow fell this morning. It’s still not too early to start making travel plans, of course; today saw Mr M get on the phone and my good self hop down to the station as we began to sort out the fine details for our next major ‘expodition’ later this Spring. By the time I got back – he’d got to the Scottish borders as far as I could make out. Meantime, my estimation of the amount of clobber needed with us seems to be getting smaller by the minute, in direct correalation with the state of my back. At the last count I’d whittled it down to one set of clothes on, one off with a possible third sent ahead of us. Yes, and this does incude undies. Looking on the bright side – at least the smell will deter would-be predators!

Looking even further ahead – Mr M won’t be able to do Greenbelt this Summer. If I go at all, it will have to be solo. So, I’ve spent a number of happy hours online checking out tents suitable for a creaky-boned Miffy of uncertain age, that are a) simple to put up, and, more importantly, from what I can glean from reviewers, even simpler to put down. It was only as I watched the last few seconds of one Youtube demo where a nice young man appeared to be wrestling with what looked like a large black binliner, that I realised he was trying to put it away, not up. As I have difficulty folding and unfolding your average deckchair, I’ll need to practice in the comfort and privacy of my back garden before I try and pitch camp in full public glare.

Seasons of mists

I’ve just peeped out of the study window to see grey clouds; yesterday’s mists do seem to have cleared. I’m also pleased to note that Ms M’s flight has landed safely in New York. After massive delays at a fog-bound Heathrow, (think lunchtime flight) they eventually took off at 8.20 pm according to the site, and that was only because they’d been recheduled to land at Newark, not JFK. Not the best way to spend the first day of your holiday; poor Ms M. Eight hours all to yourself sans interruptions is one thing, she’d been really looking forward to that; however, this must have been beyond her wildest dreams.

The mists took us all by surprise yesterday. I was in a shop buying boots at the time. The assistants there did wonder for a minute if it was actually smoke they were seeing! Maybe it was all a screen, to disguise the presence in town of the numerous reporters,who, according to Ms M yesterday, are swarming round the place on account of a certain engagement having been announced in the area! Can’t say I noticed anybody myself, then again, maybe we’re not posh enough to have them venturing into our part of town!

Home, Sweet Home

After a week which has seen me pottering round Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire and East Anglia. We got back yesterday from a flying visit to see son, who’s just completed his second year at UEA. More about that on my other, Greenpatch blog. We had a great time seeing the sights from the obvious (Cathedral, market and shops) to the inspirational (Shrine church of Julian of Norwich – see photo) and the quirky, like the famous Norwich Puppet Man, (he even has his own website!) After all that, I’m quite happy to curl up at home with a Nice Cup of Tea. And cake would do nicely, too. (Japes, maybe you could find a way to send some ‘virtually!’)

Daye Sixe – the ende is in sighte at laste

Ande so at laste, the Miffyes reachethe ye longe ande (mostly) non-wyndyge waterwaye - the olde Kennete ande Avon
Mstr Miffye espies an snaille wendyge its weariewaye towardes home
Theye reade of straunge wondryes
y meete evene straungre creatures on lande
ande sea. Here be pirates!
Withe the ende not yette in sighte, ye wearie pilgrimes maketh an executive decision
To leave ye pilgrime pathe for ye fleshpotes of Hungerforde
Wheyre they dyne royallye atte ye olde Tutti Pole teashoppe

(Though thankes be to Gode hayynge miss’d ye Hocktide jiggery-pokerye bye one daye)

before takynge ye olde Firste Greate Westerne chariote backe to theyre dwellinge place

Here endyth this tayle of derringe – doe. We truste alle ye readers thereofe findethe spirituale succoure inne suche an accounte ande thatte theye, too, willst feele y inspirede to tayke to ye hilles and groves offe oure greene ande pleasaunte lande.

Daye Fyve

Daye Fyve and sadyre ande wisyre the Miffyes decyde for to tayke an shorte cutte
alonge ye note so longye ande windyge roade to an friendlye hostelrye
Ye Jacke Russelle of ye village of Faccombe,wheyre theye passe an houre or threye samplynge ye local cidre etc
ande disportynge themselves by (note inne!) ye vilage ducke ponde
After whiche theye sommone an chariote of irone for to conveye them to Crofton, ye dwellinge place of ye olde pumpinge station
Ye enginmannes reste beyinge closed, the Miffyes maken yr waye to ye friendlye Bee yn Bee
thenne repaire to ye olde vilage hostelrye in ye litel Wiltone for to downe vaste quantityes of currye ande ale