Friday letters

I can’t believe it’s Friday again! It simultaneously seems like I was only just getting ready to go and see the Lion King Musical and like that happened weeks ago. What is going on with my perception of time? Anyway, it’s been a few weeks since my last Friday letters so I thought I’d jump back on the bandwagon.

Eye'm watching you...Dear godson. How are you turning three on Sunday?! Haven’t you only just been born?! I hope you have a fabulous birthday, anyway.

Dear England. Our flights are booked so we will see you soooooon! (By “soon” I mean 19 days. Not that I’m counting down to my holiday or anything…).

Dear flat. Every one of your rooms now has a proper light (as opposed to just a lamp) Admittedly the one in the corridor isn’t very good, but that’s just details 😉 Only a few more items of furniture to buy and we’re done (for now)!

Dear supermarket. It’s barely even autumn yet I saw Lebkuchen in you today. Go away! It’s not time for Christmas stuff yet! (I know I’m stitching Christmas cards, but that’s different… it doesn’t take 3 months to buy some Lebkuchen!)

Dear “What am I stitching?” fans. I’ve already taken the first picture so get your guessing heads on – the post will be going up this weekend.

Right, that’s all from me. Have a great weekend everyone!

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A Wedding in Wokingham

Bearwood College

My cousin got married this weekend at Bearwood College in Wokingham, so I had a (literally) flying visit back to England: flew out on Friday morning, attended the wedding on Saturday and flew back yesterday afternoon. It was worth it though – I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many members of my mum’s side of the family in one place! In fact, the last time I saw some of my cousins some of the other cousins weren’t even born! (That includes the bride, who I hadn’t seen in at least 12 years and unfortunately didn’t really see at the wedding either, other than to say congratulations as we left the room the ceremony was held in. She had a baby a few weeks ago and by the time I went looking for her she’d already taken him home).

I can’t post any pictures of people because I don’t like to do that without permission, but I can show you few of the venue and the decorations. The location was amazing! We even saw a deer when we first arrived and were waiting outside for things to start happening! Unfortunately my camera ended up on a wrong setting and most of my photos turned out blurry or too dark, but a few are vaguely okay.

Here’s Bambi, plus a shot of the hall (yes, there are people on that one but I think they’re far enough for it to be okay).

The groom’s mum  made the cake! I was amazed – it looked so professional. And she also made the chocolate lollies that each person had at their place at the table.

Wedding cake

Instead of a number, each of the tables had the name of a place that holds some significance for the bride and groom. Ours was Bruges, which I presume is just somewhere they’ve been on holiday. The most important tables were Slough, which is where they met, and Windsor Great Park, where the groom proposed.

The food was delicious! Pork belly with Bramley apple sauce and chorizo to start, followed by steak with hand-cut chips and then Tart au Citron for dessert. The vegetarian’s obviously got something different, but I don’t remember what that was.

We continued partying until around 11:30, took a taxi back, then headed to the bar at the hotel for a night cap as it was my mum’s birthday the next day and she wanted to stay up until midnight. It was a really nice wedding, the bride looked beautiful (I’m sure I won’t look anywhere near that amazing less than 2 months after giving birth!) and it was amazing to see so many members of my family. It had been four years since the last big family gathering. Hopefully this time it won’t be as long before I see them all again!

Skips and Wotsits and Hula Hoops, Oh My!

On the way back from England, I found myself with rather a lot of time on my hands at Newcastle airport, so I went and checked out the shops. I may have gone a little overboard purchasing ALL the crisps (well, all the interestingly shaped ones anyway!)

crisps

I also had a packet of Quavers, but my self control isn’t that great… I ate those on the plane 😉 Sadly, neither Boots nor WH Smith at the airport had either Squares or Discos, or I can assure you I would have purchased some of those as well…

My trip home may not have been for the best of reasons, but at least now I can fulfil my cravings for English junk food!

Travel Theme: Ancient

Ailsa’s travel theme for this week is Ancient, and what could be more ancient than basically all of Rome? Here’s the Forum:

Foro Romano
Foro Romano

From Ancient Rome to Ancient Roman… here’s one of my absolute favourite Roman sites in the UK, Vindolanda.

Vindolanda

Just south of Hadrian’s Wall, Vindolanda Roman fort is best known for the discovery of the Vindolanda tablets – the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain. Excavations are still going on at Vindolanda, so if you go there at the right time of year you might get to see some real archaeologists at work!

Staying in the UK,  here are the ruins of Mitford Castle in Northumberland, which dates from the end of the 11th century. Jan actually took this photo and I love it. It could easily be a professional postcard!

Mitford Castle

You can’t actually go up to Mitford Castle any more (the above photo was taken from a car window) because it’s considered dangerous. The ruins aren’t exactly stable! Apparantly the farms have no problem letting their sheep roam around in there though…

To finish with, here’s Kells Priory,  one of the largest and most impressive medieval monuments in Ireland. It’s featured on the blog before, but I love it so I need to include it again for those who missed it previously!

Kells Priory 1

Got any ancient photos you want to share? The travel theme is still open until the end of tomorrow! Check out Ailsa’s blog post for more details, and to see the other entries… there are lots of way better photographers than me out there!

Travel theme: Stone

This week, the travel theme on Where’s My Backpack is stone, which gave me the perfect opportunity to showcase one of the most famous stone structures in my home county…. Hadrian’s Wall. Here are some photos of the wall and the surrounding countryside:

Hadrian’s wall was a 73-mile long Roman defensive structure built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. Construction probably started some time in AD 122 and the wall was completed within a period of six years. Sections of the wall still exist along the route, although some of the stone was removed and used as building material at various points and to the west of the River Irthing the wall was made of turf, which is now long gone. The Hadrian’s Wall Footpath follows the line of the wall from Wallsend in Tyne and Wear to Bowness-on-Solway in North-West Cumbria… a route of 84 miles. There is also a Hadrian’s Wall bus service that stops at the main sights along the wall, including various Roman forts.

To join in with this week’s travel theme, check out Ailsa’s blog post.

Travel theme: Through

Another week, another travel theme.
When I saw that Ailsa had chosen “Through” for this week, I immediately thought of a photo that would be just perfect. All I had to do was find it… and here it is:

Stockholm

It was taken in Stockholm, looking through the fork in a tree trunk towards the water and the buildings on the island beyond.

Looking at my other photos, I discovered some more taken with a “through” perspective. I’ve posted the next one before, but it’s very fitting. It was taken from the Hohensalzburg fortress, looking through a window at the city below.

Hohensalzburg

Next up, a photo from my home country. It was taken in Alnwick, Northumberland looking through one of the cross-shaped gaps on the Lion Bridge towards the castle.

Alnwick Castle

Some of you may recognise the castle. It has featured in various films and TV series, including Harry Potter and Blackadder.
More from England, this time Dover. This was taken standing on the cliffs looking through some trees.

Dover

And finally, one from Ireland. This is Dunguaire Castle, viewed through the window of a ruined cottage just opposite it. It would have been a much better picture if the stupid car hadn’t been in the way!

Dunguaire Castle

I could have posted more photos – apparantly I like taking shots of things through other things – but I think that’s enough.

To join in yourself and see how other people have interpreted the theme, check out Ailsa’s blog post.

Quick update

I’m fiiiinally back from England, so here’s just a quick review of the past week. Moredetailed posts will follow once I get myself sorted…

  • The flight to England was pretty uneventful… once I actually got on it! Jan decided as we were about to board that he felt too ill to fly, so we had to go and have the suitcase transferred into his name. While the girl from the airline was sorting that out he asked for a doctor!! So I flew alone and he was taken to hospital for blood tests and things.
  • The christening was lovely, and I am now officially a godmother! I got a little certificate and everything.
  • My mam’s birthday meal was a great night. Delicious food and I saw a few family members who I hadn’t seen in a while.
  • The flight back to Amsterday was fine… a tiny bit of turbulence, but not enough for the fasten seatbelt fine to be switched on. Then I landed in Amsterdam, went to check my gate number for the connecting flight and discovered it was cancelled! I managed to get rebooked onto the Stuttgart flight – taking the very last flight on the plane!! Unfortunately, my suitcase didn’t make the transfer and is currently in Amsterdam waiting to be sent on to me! I hope it actually turns up, because the cross stitch I’ve been working on is in there!! Along with all my birthday presents…
  • Jan is feeling much better now… he was sent home from hospital on Tuesday and the pain in his stomach only reappears when he walks around too much. But the doctors still have no idea what’s wrong with him! Come on docs… it’s been over a week!!

That’s all for now. I need to go and take a cold shower!! I barely slept last night because the bedroom was so hot… and the temperature is set to increase today! Oh the joy…