Tuesday, 24 May 2011


Working at home today I managed to find a few moments in amongst the countless emails, phone calls and spreadsheets to have a cuppa in the garden amongst the birds, the bees and the flowers. Loved these poppies.

Back to the grind stone now.

Monday, 23 May 2011

52 Weekends by the Sea - Hastings

After a year of having a book called 52 Weekends by the Sea, we finally managed to get away to one of the recommended destinations ... Hastings, in Sussex. Ok, so we have been to several other places mentioned in the book but not since I bought it with the intention of using it on a regular basis. Seems the kids' social lives are becoming more and more active, and the chances to escape more and more rare.

Hastings old town was beautiful, with quaint, tumbledown, half-timbered houses, shops, pubs and restaurants. Our appetites were increased by all the walking and the great aromas coming from the different restaurants we passed, and with all the options we managed to eat out at every mealtime for the short time we were there - the culinary highlight for me was probably the local fishcakes, although the following morning's breakfast was also pretty spectacular. The weather was perfect and at the climb to the top of the East Cliff we were rewarded with spectacular views over the old town and the sea. The only problem was that the time went far too quickly.

On both the journey to and from Hastings we managed to stop off at a National Trust property with just about time to grab a cup of coffee and a cake before quickly walking round the gardens before getting back in the car. Hastings is one of those places that for us involves a diagonal journey across England, which never seem to be straightforward. The cake was a just reward for an early start but I did feel a bit cheated that my wife's portion was at least twice the size of mine !!

So just 51 more weekend breaks to arrange then we'll have completed the book and can move on to something else ;-)


Thursday, 12 May 2011

Theme Thursday: Escape

I know I only featured this magazine advertisement on my vintage magazine blog last week, so apologies for the repitition but it does fit this week's Theme Thursday, 'escape' perfectly.

Back cover of vintage Air Mail magazine, c.1963
As usual, lots of vintage magazines and vintage postcards can be found on my web site

Friday, 6 May 2011

Escaping in West Berkshire

Despite a long 2 week holiday, and only having been a 4 day week this week, I am still of course craving space. Wednesday evening saw me explore a part of London that I'd not paid much attention to before, Bloomsbury. The reason that I'd not spent much time there is most probably that there were no damp, second hand record shops to ferret around in. Anyway, I put this right on Wednesday and will be back for more as it seems like there's plenty to explore.

Both Thursday and Friday evening I managed a mountain bike ride. Thursday was a modest 10-miler with family friends involving a pub meal and a couple of pints. Friday was a more ambitious solo one of 23 miles where I'm continuing to discover new bridleways and sideroads in West Berkshire. Some of the scenery on this one is becoming one of my favourite rides.

The only 'downer' was getting a slow puncture toward the end of the ride, and also my favourite cycling top slipping off from around my waist and getting caught in the gears and brakes. It was so stuck I had to remove the back wheel to retrieve it, only to discover that it now has a bit hole in it - fortunately my arm was not in it at the time. Weather is set to break here tomight so unlikely to be doing another ride tomorrow, which is good news for my backside, and perhaps will give me time to finish the latest book I'm reading, Richard by Ben Myers, a novel about Richie Edwards from the Manic Street Preachers.

Theme Thursday: Puzzle

For this week's Theme Thursday, 'puzzle', not even my music collection could come to my rescue this week. Bizarrely however I do have a few stray pieces of a jigsaw on the windowsill in my study. I've always wondered why they were there - now I know why.

Check out my other blogs ...

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Bank holiday bike rides in Berkshire and Hampshire

Searching for space this week has taken me on some amazing bike rides, neatly coinciding with a pub lunch and a pint of best bitter. The first significant ride of the week was a 31 miler to Whitchurch and back, which involved a stop for coffee and cake in Whitchurch itself, and a pub lunch at the George in St. Marybourne, Hampshire. Most of the ride was on quiet side roads, or off-road on bridleways where, thanks to the recent dry weather, the cycling was easy (very different story when the ground is wet and sticky in the winter).

The second significant ride, a couple of days later, was a 20 miler in the opposite direction through Marsh Benham, Hoe Benham and cross-country towards Stockross, near Newbury, Berkshire, where another pint (Mr Chubbs) and pub lunch was eagerly consumed.

I've been fortunate enough to have been off work since 15th April. Going back on Tuesday 3rd is going to be a HUGE shock, but fortunately it's only a 4 day week, and only a few more weeks to wait until the next bank holiday.

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