It's been a long time since I blogged. I've been having the time of my life getting out and about with family & friends, which has left no time to write. So here is a list of what I've been up to ...
January - visited Shanklin Chine and Bembridge Lagoons with the Camera Club
January also saw the birth of our first Granchild, Ewan, who is absolutely adorable. A very special occasion indeed.
February - We were treated to a back stage tour of Shanklin Theatre and a photographic talk at Dimbola Lodge. I love going out with the camera club. We all have a laugh and get along so well. It's brilliant. Ian took Tracey, me & Pat to the Wolf Sanctuary on the mainland to take photos.
March - Dick, Tracey and myself went to Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire. We visited Quarr Abbey with the camera Club and Andrew & I spent 8 days visiting all the Ancient Sites in Egypt. What a magical holiday that was. More on that to follow :)
April - Another Camera Club outing to the Ploughing Match in Shorwell in aid of the IOW Hospice and a stroll around Osborne House. Jean & John came to visit for a few days staying in a hotel on Sandown Seafront. Dick took me to London to a very posh 'do' (and an overnight stay) at the Grosvenor House Hotel. Watched a very interesting talk & slide show by the photographer Mark Carwardine in Southampton with Dick, Tracey & Larry. After visiting Shanklin Theatre in February we were tempted by their wonderful program of shows so booked The Blues Brothers. What an absolutely Fab night we had. After a very hot and dry March we had a very cold and wet April so the tickets for the Spring Garden Show at Robin Hill we'd bought had to be refunded because the event was cancelled. What a shame.
May - CC visits included a very cold, wet and windy outing to the Mayfest in Yarmouth. We stayed about an hour then Dick, Tracey & myself went to Fort Victoria and other places around West Wight. We're like the 3 musketeers, nothing keeps us from enjoying each others company. We also went to London to look at the Wildlife photographer of the year exhibition outside the Natural History Museum and to visit the National Portrait Gallery to learn about composition. Wish I'd had the money to treat them both to Les Mis. At the end of May we went to the Old Gaffers Festival and listened to Derek Sandy, the Island's answer to Bob Marley. We watched the Inshore Life Boat rescue and the Lea on Solent Helicopter display then spent an hour or so with Mick & Sue. Sunday we drove to Derbyshire to stay with Andrew's sister Claire. We stopped on the way at Bolsover Castle. They had a jousting tournament and falconry display etc. Marvellous :) Monday we went to a cattle market and a stroll along the river at Bakewell. Eat Bakewell Tart in one of the tea rooms. Then on to Matlock Bath to the Heights of Abraham. Went out in the evening to the Shady Oak at Fernilee for tea with Andrew's Mum, Claire, Matthew & Zoe.Tuesday we got up and drove over to Castleton to venture down Treakcliff Cavern. I'd been there before when I was in infant school as I remember the shadow of the witch on the broomstick that frightened me to death lol. We followed some directions & an OS Map printout from the interweb to Stannage Edge to take photos of the Millstones. Then back down into Castleton to have lunch. We were booked on the Judith-Mary Canal Boat for an afternoon cruise and cream tea at 2pm so parked up in Whaley Bridge Basin, boarded the narrow boat and set off to Buxworth. We were given the biggest plate of sandwiches you've ever seen! Then after turning round by the Navigation Inn we continued on to Furness Vale & New Mills. We were given a cup of tea, hot scones, strawberry jam & fresh cream which were delicious. The whole afternoon was great and the owner and staff of the boat were wonderful. 2 1/2 hours later we were back in Whaley Bridge. I've wanted to go on a Canal Boat for ages so now I can cross something else off my bucket list :) We drove back though the country lanes to Claire's and stopped at Eccles Pike. The views from the top are spectacular and for once up there, the wind was warm and the sun was shinning. A long day but very enjoyable. Chinese for tea. Wednesday was spent with Jean & John strolling around the house & gardens of Chatsworth House. Had to visit the farm shop after watching the 3 programmes on TV and Jean & I couldn't resist checking out the photos in the toilets :).John treated us to a meal in the Railway Inn at Buxton whilst outside it was chucking it down. The first rain we'd seen in all the time we'd been there. A visit to Derbyshire just wouldn't be right without getting wet lol. Thursday, armed with a mountain of Derbyshire Oat Cakes & Lomas's potted meat we drove back home via Levesden Studios just outside London. I'd bought Andrew tickets for Christmas to visit the 'Back Stage Tour of Harry Potter', a brand new attraction. Not sure what I expected but it far exceeded my expectations. It was just brilliant! They say you needed 3 hours to see it all. We were there 4 1/2 and I'm damn sure we didn't see all of it. That's my excuse to go back again :)
Wow, 5 months in one blog post. I'll try my hardest to get some photos up next ... see ya!