Thursday, September 15, 2011 many miles?????

3129 miles so far!! (About 5000kms for the metric minded). Have been previewing the pics that I have taken and thought I would share this one with you just to prove that it isn't always rainy and grey in the UK. This was on the ferry coming back from the Orkney Islands - about 5.30pm. We had just seen a sea lion floating about and I missed it by a tick of the clock!
Anyhow, back in to the car (some of you may like to notice the number plate here)
While were visiting in Leswalt, we were invited to a miniature show by our friend Flo. The group that meet are a small group of several women. Because they live a little remote from the city and the only way to purchase a lot of items would be over the Internet, they tend to source whatever they can from their own household or friends homes!!! How wonderful is this idea? Even though the display was a small one, it was one of extreme finesse and delight - thank you Flo and friends for sharing this day with us.

The women do their projects together during their meetings. These room boxes were one of the projects.
Then they decided to do a 'charity' display. Each box represents a different charity that the 'seller' supports.Then there is the little shops!
And a shadow box.David even got invited to display one of his houses that we had brought over!!!This fine picnic basket would be a delight to take out for the day.Later that day we took a walk in a wet land area, here is the SW just after he had managed to stroke a bumble bee!!! (Thick do you think???)(You can see it flying off to the right of his hand)Ernie, Flo and Dad on the coast, it came in rather blowy and rainy just after the pic.We then went to see some friends in Stranraer who we met through Ernie and Flo. Raymond and Pat are also into the 'little' things in life.This is a fab diorama of a dry dock. All done by Raymond.He has won prizes in the UK for his workmanship and has been published on a regular basis in magazines. Here is a train called the Darjeeling - from an era well past. Raymond makes 99% of the parts himself by milling and engineering the items from various metals.This is a close up of one of Pats wonderful miniature pieces of work.One of the customs in Scotland from days gone by is 'keeping a shoe in the loft to ward off evil spirits' apparently. This shoe is the one found in Ernie and Flo's loft. It is well worn but in good condition for the age of it.We stayed in a lovely little pub called The Blue Peter in Kirkcolm, Scotland.Time came too quick to move on yet again and we headed east across to England again. On the route we came across a gem museum in Creetown, Scotland. There were many delightful pieces of rocks and crystals there. One of the best pieces was this giant crystal tree!!!Some shopping was done on the way down England (of course!) at the factory outlet at Gretna Green. Bought the brightest pair of pink sand shoes you can imagine. Our next stop for the night was in Lancaster where we found a nice Motel and pub called The Scale Hall. Very friendly people - the publican showed us pics of the real Robin Hoods grave! Tis kept a secret so it wont be desecrated though and if I tell you where it is I will have to kill you!!! LOL Anyway, the carving at the back of the bar was interesting, I believe the previous owner had purchased it and had it as the top of the bar, so the new owner placed it at the back of the bar to preserve it as it comes from the Lusitania.Next day we were off again heading this time down to Wales. On the way we made a stop to a shop called Glassblobbery. Very interesting little shop. We watched the glass blower make me a cat (will blog that when I get it, as it had to be tempered and sent up by post).

I was blown away by the size of the thistle in this garden! By now we had arrived in mid Wales and had spent most of the day with Whitney and Nathan. I am happy to say that I am going to be a great aunt!!!! Congrats to the happy couple and great news for the family.
Unfortunately we only had two days with Whitney before we had to move on again. It was off to south Wales this time. We took a dive off the road to see a castle ruin 'Ogmore Castle'.During the visit down south, we went for a walk and we thought this sign outside one of the pubs near the shopping centre was well written.We visited with friends while in the south of Wales, then it was time to move again. The next visit was Castle Drogo. A fairly modern castle built in the early 1920's. Very interesting in the sense that it is completley different to any other castle that we had been to.This tree was just a magnificent colour and caught my eye quite easily.Then it was off to Lands End, we stayed the night in a wonderful B & B which had a luxurious king size bed to lounge in.Here we are at Lands End, and it is the end! Very cold and windy to say the least. (and it looks like I have a very droopy pair of boobs!!! ahahhahaha)Once again, there is a little village for us to see - this is at Lands End too.We then headed off to Eastleigh to our friends Karen and Keith. They were babysitting their sons lovely little cat Humphrey who did the craziest spins on the carpet.During out time in Eastleigh, we took a trip to Beaulieu Estate. There is a castle and a car museum there. Last time we went the James Bond collection was on display as it was this time along with a Top Gear display much to our delight.
The gardens of the estate were abound with wonderful colourful flowers such as these below.

And this georgeous little robin popped out of the shrubbery to sing to us and have his photo taken - twice!
Pendon was the next place to visit. We have also been here before, but worth a second visit. Dad was astounded at the detail and workmanship of the displays. These are about N scale (railway size)

And of course we had to go to Portsmouth and see the man with one arm, one eye and one ambition! Lord Nelson and the Victory of course!!!The ammunitions museum was on the agenda at Portsmouth.Another part of the museum was the submarine display - not a job I would take on.As a lot of you would know, I cant sit and do nothing at night, so I have been knitting an aran jumper. Here it is.....1/12th scale of course!!! LOLOver to Hastings now to visit with one of Davids cousins and their new daughter Lucy. A real cutey.Dover was next on the agenda - only because we were going to France but the bag at the P&O counter wasnt very obliging with the times and costs so we decided to stay in England and spend our money here! And of course another miniature - Dover Castle this time. Great place to see and meander through, especially the secret tunnels.Back to Karen and Keiths for a wonderful dinner with some of their friends. Lovely food and lovely company - thank you to you both for a great stay once again.We then headed up to Royston to another overnight stay. We met up with John and Gloria so that we could go to a miniature outlet and do some damage to the finances!! A christmas table was set up ready so who could resist?One of the mini houses on display at Maple Street, Royston.
We all then headed further north to Dartford to visit with another cousin, Nell, who kindly got most of her rather large family together to meet with us. A great afternoon was had by all and it was nice to meet with the family face to face. Thanks Nell and Bob for a great time.Back in South Tyneside now! Today we went for a trip around our old town of South Shields. And guess what???? Yes another miniature display at the venue we visited - this time Arbeir Roman Fort in South Shields.
This was the house that Dad was brought up in - good to see its still there.
Another fine miniature we found in a place of interest...this is Souter Lighthouse, this is in the north east of England (just round the corner to where we are staying really)
Well, that was a long blog to say the least!! So I am signing off once again for a little while, see you all later!


Lorraine said...

Great post Val! I feel like I am on tour with you! You will need to come home and rest up after all your gadding about. Glad you are having a great time.

Kris said...

Great photos Val! What a beautiful place, and it looks like you are having a wonderful time. I'd love to visit there someday and I love seeing it all!

quiltygal said...

Wow I'm dizzy now ...looks as if you are having a great time ....thanks for posting the pic of Whitney she does look well ...see ya soon