Thursday, May 28, 2015

Baltic or Bust

It was a long drive to Dover and good to be back on board the now familiar Braemar.  A lovely surprise - a beautiful bouquet from my old ship mate Dylan.  We cruised all Sunday and on Monday cruised the beautiful Kiel Canal.  What a surprise - I expected it to be industrial but it was so peaceful and  tranquil I decided to do a river cruise next year  and happily Braemar is doing Rivers of France.

Excitement mounted as we neared the entrance to the Baltic but first there are better shots of the canal.  Tomorrow maybe.
At breakfast in the Thistle restaurant the waiter showed me to a large half empty table.  As I was about to sit a burly youngish man with a gigantic plate of breakfast said,
'That's my seat!'
'Oh! (usually one leaves one's napkin on the seat if one uses the buffet.) Is there anything to indicate it is your seat?'
Man:' I'm sat there!'
P: ' Sitting.' 
Couldn't resist.  Fortunately he grinned and told me he was on his honey moon.
Whilst we are in the dining room I drool when I think about the food.  Last time I played it safe and ate mostly fish but this time I relished venison, beef and lamb - all succulent with heavenly sauces.
The ship was nowhere near full - whether that makes a difference who can say.  As usual I  ignored the lift and my weight is now back to normal.

A big lorry for our little lane


Mick wonders 'Shall I go or shall I stay?'

State of play.

I seemed like a good idea at the time - install a new kitchen the minute you get back from holiday but doesn't allow for much blogging.  However I feel mentally and physically refreshed and ready to cope when it is delivered at 10am today.  It is  time - last done 1985.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Baltic Bound

I never thought I would go to Germany but our first port of call is Lubeck which - it seems - is in Germany.  Copenhagen, Latvia and St Petersburg - all new to me.  At least I know the ship quite well - the Braemar.
Back soon. K.T.F.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Day Trippers

We were all quite sad when Veronica - who started our bereavement group - now known as the friendship group announced the she and her new husband Peter were going to up sticks and find a house in the Torbay area. We cheered somewhat when she insisted that as soon as they had settled in - give or take a few dozen cardboard boxes we should all go down and spend the day with them.

The logistics were complicated - how many cars - who would - could drive, who would go with whom etc.  In the end Patsy's dog being in season, illness and prior engagements whittled us down to four.
Elaine had always insisted on driving as she knows the route (her version ) like the back  of her hand
and Chrissie, James and I gratefully accepted her noble offer.
The drive would not be easy as Dunster was closed owing to controversial alterations to the cobbles in the street so all the rush hour traffic were using the villages - creating havoc.  However Elaine is a doughty driver and was determined to use her favourite route so there was much braking, reversing and sharp intakes of breath- but we finally got through the mayhem.
James and I were sitting in the back as Chrissie is prone to travel sickness and by now James was feeling queasy so we stopped here whilst he had a walk around.
Off we went again.

At last a glimpse of the dazzling sea

Miraculously we finally found the lane off a lane where Veronica and Peter now live.  They are surrounded by these rollocking hills and we had tea/coffee and homemade, wafer - thin shortbread alfresco.

Veronica's new kitchen.  James did take his cap off eventually.

It is a super kitchen - a fridge like a garage but V said they regretted the area where James is standing as it becomes a bottle neck.

The house is like a Tardis - once inside it goes on an on.
Elaine the fearless driver with V's dog.

James and Peter in the back garden

Looking down at the back of the house.  There is more building work still to be done so that Peter can have his own office.
I was told this was not mimosa.  Looks like mimosa to me:)


Children had lived here previously and this was their fort.

See what I mean about the hills?

Then there was lunch - heavenly soup, a scrumptious chicken dish and you can just see the bread and butter pudding which was so light it trembled.

After coffee and when we were able to be mobile again we set off to drive down to the beach - down a perpendicular lane.

We were all feeling somnolent but the air was crisp and reviving and we did quite a bit of waddling.

So peaceful - far from the madding crowd.

Back at the house we had tea with three different cakes and then reluctantly said  a fond farewell  with lots of hugs.
Elaine was a star and delivered us to our doors - with the exception of James who nipped through the ginnel from my house.  It was a special day.