Saturday, September 30, 2006


We headed for Wales, J's mothers side of the family came from Wales many years ago. Unfortunately we had only a short overnight stop in Wales at a Spa town called Llandrindodd Wells. It was a very quiet town in the middle of nowhere. We checked our B&B guide for somewhere to stay, and finally talked to someone on a mobile in Devon, whose mother was running a B&B which he was sure had vacancies. We were told to park around the back and if we were not greeted through a second storey window, to toot the horn. As it was the lady of the house stuck her head out of the window and told us to come in the front door. The lady was basically stuck on the second floor, she was able to move, but not easily up and down stairs. She asked us if we were American! She was not happy that Andrew was vegetarian, the room was very small. We went out for dinner, driving north through the town and found nothing that was both open and inviting, in fact the place really seemed dead. Driving up round the corner found a little town next door, called Howey that had a jumping pub, that was smoke free and we asked about eating - it was very busy and we were told that it would be about an hour before we would be served. We walked across the road and got the last table at "Drovers Thai Restaurant". It used to be a pub, and it still had a snug for the guests. The food was very thai, Kedsarin, wife of the Roy who was running the place is Thai. I talked to Roy about the place and he told me that this was his semi retirement project. All in all it was an excellent feed. Back to our B&B and sleep. We had arranged a late breakfast the next morning and despite this, had to wait 30 minutes for our bacon with congeeled fat, and eggs that were a bit rubbery - maybe vegetarianism is not such a bad thing!!! Now we are heading to Scotland.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lake District

For more great pictures of this area click on the link above.

After leaving Somerset we headed north towards the Lake District. We ended up staying at Bowness on Lake Windemere. The place we stayed in had a great family room, with a bunk bed for the kids. Breakfast was delicious and the best for me was that I had access to free Internet. We only stayed one night, but we really enjoyed it. For tea we went to the local Pizza restaurant who gave us great service and great food. While at the B&B we met some Australian's - the only ones I can remember apart from on the bus. They winged and complained about the weather and really wanted to get back home. We were really pleased that they were not staying more than a few more days. Five minutes of their company was enough for us. In the morning we went down to the Lake and talked to the tourist information people about getting a room for another night, however there was a music festival that night and everything was fully booked up. We walked and took pictures and then left the long way round the Lake, heading for Coniston.
The Lake is always serene.

At Coniston, which is across the lake from Bowness, we had lunch in a pub, the food was ordinary. Coniston itself was just beautiful. We also saw lots of walkers and shops with walking equipment.

It was a lot less touristy than Bowness on Windermere.

Donald Campbell is buried in Conniston, he died on the lake trying to set a speed record. Donald Campbell also set records in Australia. J and Andrew went to see if they could find his grave, but it is in the new cemetery, too far away.

Wildlife at Windemere.


Monday, September 25, 2006


We headed from Kent across country towards Bath. I wanted to check out Wickwar on the edge of the Cotswolds, where I lived for the first two years of my life.

We went through the town twice. If you ever visit we lived at 12 High Street (opposite the pub where my Mum and Dad would go for a drink in the beer garden in the summer, leaving me in a bedroom upstairs asleep).

We had lunch in Chipping Sodbury, in an Indian restaurant, where they were keen to have us leave by 2pm. We stuffed down some very nice curry.

Centre of Chipping Sodbury

Along the way we went past Legoland which was on our list of places to go with the kids. When we arrived we found that it was going to cost £110 for the four of us to enter. We stood outside trying to work out how to tell the kids that it was too expensive to go in!! Then someone had collected free tickets off the back of the corn flakes packet and generously agreed to "sell" them to us for £60. The kids loved it and we all had fun.

Here is USA meets UK with Aussie flavour - which part of the picture is made of Lego?

Having stayed at the worst Travelodge in the world (see Worst Experience ), we headed to Bath to see what accomodation we could find, I wanted a washing machine, space and something nice. We went to the tourist information centre, and they rang 16 places for us, until we found the following place - Greyfield Farm Cottages. We stayed in the one called The Dairy. We really enjoyed this place. We had free fresh farm eggs daily, a seperate spa which we used twice a day, an extensive video/dvd collection, extensive history book collection in the cottage, two bedrooms a lounge room, kitchen, picket fence garden and three TV's, really nice people running the place. I would go back tomorrow. The place is about half way between Bath and Wells. From here we went to lots of different places.

We went to Stonehenge the day before summer solstice:

We went to Wells where we spent time in their public library and then had sandwiches in the grounds of Wells Cathedral.

The statues of famous people that you may be able to see high up on the Cathedral walls were stolen over several centuries. We had a look around inside the Cathedral. The whole of Wells was picturesque, without thousands of people.

We also went to Glastonbury where we looked at a typical kitchen from days gone by, complete with the sort of food that they would serve and the utensils they used.

Next few episodes will include the Lake District, Wales and Chester as we push up to Scotland.


Friday, September 22, 2006

ALIA Conference Perth, WA

As it has been two months since I have been on a plane, I thought I would whip over to the other side of the country for a three day conference. If you ever wonder what Librarians do at a conference, click on the link for the outline of the one I am currently attending.

It has been great for meeting colleagues, new and old, near and far. Best catering I can remember at a conference. The conference dinner was no exception. Worst is Dr Click who comes on a regular intervals to remind us of changes to the program and what else might be happening. She is a spanish matador with a spanish accent, castenets and a rose in her mouth, with lots of torreodor music happening. I am over it.

Caught up with MM from my old job. MM now works at Battye Library. You can check out her library here - Battye.

Looking forward now to spending the weekend in Adelaide with S and her daughter Neisha.


Monday, September 04, 2006

Fennel Soup

Check out this recipe for Fennel Soup, it really is delicious - I made some last week and the kids and I ate it before J got home from work so I am making it again tonight with double the quantity.