Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Trelawnyd: This Time Last Year

This was the sight that greeted us after the long drive across from Leamington Spa, 
Golden Grove, a most enticing Elizabethan Manor House Bed and Breakfast, not far east of Trelawnyd.

We were here for the annual Flower Show, a stunning display of flowers...

Harvest baskets...

Hand crafts...

Home baking and more. Of course Bloggers had a presence too...
John, sporting the yellow rosette, is the author of Going Gently
and one of the Flower Show committee, while the large round crocheted cushion cover in the photo above is the handy work of Nana GoGo
Then of course there was me and Mama

After an exciting afternoon at the Flower Show, it was nice to come back to the sweeping lawns and stone steps of this gracefully ageing manor and relax in our charming room. If you ever travel to Wales, you should definitely consider including the Trelawnyd Flower Show in you itinerary and investing a little extra in the home made gooseberry jam and hand selected eggs of the family run Golden Grove.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Straight From The Books

If you have read Charmed Life by Dianna Wynne Jones, you will know exactly what Waddesdon is like without need of description; three floors of pure luxury set in grounds that stretch for miles.
Almost exactly what I imagine Chrestomanci Castle to look like.  

Built between 1874 and 1889 by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, Waddesdon Manor is a treasure trove, with artworks by Gainsborough and Reynolds along with many others.
Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild collected 18th century French Art and Furnishings. One item in this collection is a writing desk that once belonged to Marie Antoinette.

A couple of weeks ago my Aunty and Uncle treated me and Mum to this lovely day out, and still, I am charmed by the likeness to the book.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Cream Teas and Quantum Theory

This lock, between the Oxford Canal and the River Thames, acts like a lift, 
helping narrowboats, and other small boats, to get up and down hill.
Mum and Dad lived very near here on a narrowboat named Ben. 
This lock side was their party place.

The Wednesday market in Gloucester Green has a wide array of fresh fruit and veg, meat, breads and pastries, cheeses, watches, clothing, and general brick-a-brack.

Cream tea at the Mitre is no ordinary cream tea; they use real clotted cream, as apposed to the whipped cream that most New Zealand cafes use. Delicious!

Christ Church College is part of Christ Church Cathedral, which is also Oxford's Cathedral.
This college is one of many that make up Oxford University. People come from all over the world to study and teach in Oxford. But you don't have to be a student to attend some lectures, like one on Quantum Theory that I when to with Mum.
These speakers:
Markus Aspelmeyer,
Vlatko Vadral,
Terry Rudolph,
presented us with an entertaining, interesting, and confusing lecture.
Light particles proved to be a little mischievous, and things started happening in two places at once. The biggest message that they put across at the end of the night was;
If you aren't completely confused by now, you don't understand Quantum Theory at all.

Most of us have read at least one book by C.S. Lewis, but not so many have seen his grave.  I felt very humbled, kneeling next to his tomb stone. One of the best known writers was once, and possibly still is, lying there, right in front of me in the cemetery of the
Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry.
We found it by accident, while looking for William Kimber's grave. 
William Kimber was the musician for the Headington Quarry Morris Men at the time
Cecil Sharp was collecting morris dances and tunes. Kimber played a big part in the recording of the music.

Speaking of Morris Dancing...
Icknield Way Morris Men dancing outside the Oxford Castle on Cry Havoc's Day of Dance
in celebration of '20 Years of Cry Havoc Morris'
There were many sides there that day, some of which Mum used to dance with herself, before she and Dad went back to New Zealand.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

My Arabian Adventure

Quarter past four in the morning, sleeping soundly in our beautiful hotel room in Dubai
(Arabian Courtyard Hotel, shown in the photo below).
Then the Muezzin start singing, right across the city, calling people to prayer.
They do this every morning and at intervals during the day, so it becomes less novel after a couple of days.

On our last morning the Muezzin sang as usual, but this time I particularly enjoyed hearing our closest one sing. He was very melodious and holding notes for quiet a long time, then adding a bit more on the end, all on the same breath. It was all wonderful.

Our hotel was in the old quarter, Bur Dubai, which grew up around an old fort that now houses the Dubai Museum. It was one of the most unique museums I have seen. Like I said, it was in the old fort, but there were also underground chambers, full of artifacts and interesting information.

As well as wandering around the streets of Bur Dubai, we crossed the Dubai Creek on a little boat to visit the Gold and Spice souks. 

We ate lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, flat bread, dips like hummus and mutabele, olives and sweet pastries along with New Zealand butter, We came all this way, and we get butter from home!  

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

No Going Back

It's happening.
This afternoon I left Christchurch Air Port and began a wonderful journey, and now I stand at the free internet thingy in Sydney Air Port writing this blog post. I have to limit my time using the computer so I shall not write much more, except that soon we shall transfer onto of next flight bound for Bangkok where we will spend the night in a transit hotel, then fly to Dubai. We have three days there after which we depart for London.
I must go now, Au Revoir.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Something's Coming

It isn't easy to work in this noisy room with all these other students, but I will do my best to let the thoughts flow.

Eight days to go until I board a plane at Christchurch Airport and begin the journey that is the reason for this blog;
I am going, with my Mum (, to the U.K. for THREE WHOLE MONTHS!
I am getting very nervous about being away from home for so long, and for some reason I'm not really looking forward to it. I know I will get home-sick because I went over in 2011 for one month and got home-sick, so it will undoubtedly happen this time.
This trip seems to be bringing me more misery than joy; this year is my first senior year at my local drama school ( and I will be missing the senior show! And it's 'The Jungle Book', as well as many other things I was looking forward to this year.
Anyway! All misery aside! I am very exited about seeing my aunties, being in Oxford, seeing London in daylight (last time is was dark when we got off the bus, then we left in the dark the next morning), and just generally being in England.

Until I write again,

Saturday, 18 May 2013

With Help From The Birds...

I look out the window through the rain, and see a beautiful Kingfisher perched in the willow tree above our creek, like him I am looking for opportunities; he for food, I for experiences that will help me journey though this wonderful interlude that is my Life.