Out and about locally and abroad.
We have done rather a lot since selling Orchard Farm in January 2015, and finally moving into Crown Cottage in April 2016. The biggest excitement was our ‘Great African Trek’ in 2015, and the source of many exotic photos. More recently, at the end of 2019 only a few months before John died, we had a wonderful return trip to India, after over 50 years.
We hope you will enjoy reading about this and maybe a few other rather less dramatic jaunts we have made in between – with everyone’s horizons now seriously restricted by Covid-19 lockdown and regulations
Leaving India, Again… December 8th, 2019 - Completing the circle, half a century later When we left India in April 1968 we imagined we were leaving for good. John’s three-year contract with the Cathedral and John Connon School in Bombay had come to an end and he had been offered another teaching job in the UK. We had thoroughly enjoyed our time … Continue reading Leaving India, Again…
India part 4 November 14th, 2019 - A Dribble of News from India… I warned of a flood of news, but there’s been almost total silence, and I am so disappointed. What’s the reason?
Family Links and Memories May 19th, 2019 - Last week we were in Northumberland. Everything was lovely, apart from the weather but even that didn’t stop us. We did so much, and had such a good time I may risk sounding as if I were in the pay of Visit Northumberland. I assure you I am not! So I will try to skip … Continue reading Family Links and Memories
Bombay Friends & Memories May 5th, 2019 - The Class of ’67 In July 1965 John and I were married, in the tiny church in the little village of Ringmore, S. Devon. It was all very charming, very English. Two weeks later, we set sail for India, where John had been offered his first teaching job as a recently qualified teacher, at the … Continue reading Bombay Friends & Memories
Cricket in Croatia September 19th, 2018 - Our impending holiday in Croatia… John and I went to what was then Yugoslavia for our honeymoon, staying on the island of Krk in the Adriatic. In those days we were blissfully ignorant of any family or sporting connections with the area…
Train Dramas: Your Adventure Starts Here August 25th, 2018 - I now have a new travel worry. I have often feared that my very ordinary black suitcase – even with its red ribbon – might be taken by mistake, leaving me as once did happen with someone else’s entirely unsuitable clothes. Now Matthew Parris has provided me with another anxiety. He wrote recently in an … Continue reading Train Dramas: Your Adventure Starts Here
‘What a Way to Run a Railroad!’ June 5th, 2018 - We went to London last weekend. I was intending to write a joyous post, telling of Swan Lake, baby granddaughters and other real delights. But our journey (“It’s Your Journey. Love it!”) home almost blotted out all our happy memories, so please forgive me this miserable National Rail rant while I get it off my … Continue reading ‘What a Way to Run a Railroad!’
May Magic May 22nd, 2018 - A song to spring, the magic of the month of May, I’m not talking politics…
The marionfsblog has temporary health ‘issues’ September 19th, 2016 - At least, we trust they’re temporary. (But that has nothing to do with this beautiful dove, in St. Dunstan’s Church Mayfield, where my lovely goddaughter, Nicola, was married last week…)
A Golden Wedding Danish Style August 28th, 2016 - We have only celebrated, and enjoyed, very English Golden Weddings, so I was intrigued to read Mike and Gill Radcliffe’s account of a Danish celebration, and delighted that they agreed to submit it for the marionfsblog.
Golden Junketings in Scarborough July 30th, 2016 - When I was young, the occasional elderly couple that reached their Golden Wedding anniversary seemed frighteningly old and frail. Now that John and I and many of our friends have reached that stage, I am glad to report that we all feel – and who would argue – look extremely youthful and vigorous.
A Brief Escape to Madrid May 8th, 2016 -
An Unexpected Outing to York February 14th, 2016 - John had an appointment in York last week. Having been given very precise details about the timings, at the last minute the date was postponed until August. We had already made arrangements to stay with Piers and Mary, some very special old friends (old as in longstanding you understand) who live in York, and were … Continue reading An Unexpected Outing to York
New beginnings in Nagoya November 4th, 2015 - We are delighted to include a post by Guest Blogger/our friend Shelley, who moved to Japan a few months ago. We asked her to write this post as we were intrigued to learn how they were getting on. Shelley is a very talented photographer, and she and her husband Jonathan helped us a great deal … Continue reading New beginnings in Nagoya
A Short Break on the Norfolk Broads September 25th, 2015 - We expected dreadful weather, and so felt pleased to enjoy not dreadful but mixed weather, some rain but lots of sunny spells – but never warm enough to sunbathe in our bikinis and thongs (?). After a hectic few weeks and a busy drive to Wroxham mainly chugging slowly behind tractors and numerous heavily laden … Continue reading A Short Break on the Norfolk Broads
Broadening our Horizons? September 15th, 2015 - After an embarrassingly full and active (even perhaps hectic at times) summer, our programme of planned jollities is drawing to a close. We have bid farewell to Sara and Tom, and one can’t stretch Golden Wedding celebrations for much more than three months…
A Week in Wales September 13th, 2015 - As seems usual these days I seem permanently to be at least one step behind… A long time ago, it seems, but actually only last week, after our memorable family gathering in Wales, the Australian and retired F-S section of the family – accompanied by still hard working Ruthie for a couple of days – … Continue reading A Week in Wales
Kapishya Springs August 18th, 2015 - Kapishya Springs is a truly delightful spot run by Mark Harvey (Charlie’s brother) and his wife Mel, a few miles from Shiwa Ng’andu in the north of Zambia.
Africa House Revisited: a second Shiwa Ngandu Snippet August 17th, 2015 - Another big hole in my Africa posts, about to be part filled at last. As you may remember, we had such difficulty with internet access while actually staying there, posts were skimpy and infrequent. No such problems now, although come to think of broadband is not brilliant in Parwich either…
A Lucky Bit of Carelessness August 3rd, 2015 - While we were on our great African trek, I started off relying totally on John to take photos with his superior eye, skill and camera.
African Sunsets July 30th, 2015 - Bright sun, beautiful sunsets, brilliant birds. colourful clothes…On the one hand there was so much light and colour, but the landscape itself in the dry, cold season was dark green and dusty brown for the most part, serving as the perfect backdrop for all the random splashes of colour.
A Memorable Journey July 28th, 2015 - This post was started in the plane, then finally written while we were staying at Shiwa, over a month ago now, but it is one of several that got left out of the queue for internet access. Re-reading it brings it all back so clearly, and with some great nostalgia… It is a unique place. But first, we … Continue reading A Memorable Journey
Otters in the London Wetlands July 23rd, 2015 - Momentarily lowering our sights somewhat from big game to a pair of otters, we recently spent a lovely afternoon at the London Wetlands. As I am sure many of you will know, the London Wetlands in Barnes – almost the centre of London – was created about 15 years ago from disused reservoirs and what … Continue reading Otters in the London Wetlands
The Eyes Have It! July 22nd, 2015 - This is a pictorial post for a change! John has been having some fun with his African pics, and has made a collage of a series of eyes: beast, bird and human. I ams sure he can find more, but this will do for the time being…
Elephants, Leopards, Lions… July 19th, 2015 - At last! We have uploaded hundreds of images from our recent African trip. You’ll find the ‘Big Four’, plus wild dogs, crocodiles and fish eagles and many more creatures. We can’t provide you the ‘Five’ as there are apparently no rhinos in the Luangwa Valley, which is where we have been.
A Little Rural Contrast July 12th, 2015 - By way of a complete change of scenery… Bradbourne is a very small village, one of Parwich’s nearest neighbours, but by a geographical quirk it is technically Matlock, whilst we are Ashbourne, with different telephone and postal codes so for some funny reason it seems further than it is. Unusually, it is a ‘Thankful Village’, the only village … Continue reading A Little Rural Contrast
Safe Landings July 9th, 2015 - Sorry for the media silence, and now all you have is a photoless blog post. Can’t blame anything other than indolence, slight travel weariness and a 6″ pile of letters, bills etc waiting hopefully for urgent attention on the kitchen table.
Snorkelling without Crocodiles July 5th, 2015 - I am writing this aboard the Mufasa, a beautiful catamaran. She is the pride and joy of Howard and Michele who own Danforth Yachting where we are staying. Lucky people can charter her for a day or even a week or more, and we are out for the day. The point of our outing, as … Continue reading Snorkelling without Crocodiles
Hello to Malawi July 5th, 2015 - Our Final Episode We are now in Malawi for a relaxing few days wind down beside Lake Malawi. We have had to a learn a whole new vocabulary – no talk of Nyasaland or Lake Nyasa and the local currency, the Malawi Kwacha – 1000MK equals about 70p I think so it has taken a … Continue reading Hello to Malawi
Farewell to Zambia July 3rd, 2015 - Another post which slipped through the internet less net, but which I actually wrote on Monday 29th June. 5.15 and as I sit by the Lion Camp infinity pool overlooking the vast almost dry river bed I already have been offered, and happily accepted, a ‘sundowner’. John is away on a game drive with Paul … Continue reading Farewell to Zambia
When John Met an Elephant July 1st, 2015 - by John Sunday 28th June 2015 Up at 5 for 5.30 breakfast for a solo game drive with Hendrix in search of Fish Eagles. The search was somewhat foiled by the elephant incident. Driving round a hairpin bend we were surprised to come face to face with an 8-year old tusker having a dust bath … Continue reading When John Met an Elephant
A Walking Safari July 1st, 2015 - Yet another post waiting patiently in the queue, written as you can see, several days ago… Yesterday, Sunday 28th June, I joined Janet and Wil, a very friendly Dutch couple, on their Walking Safari. Although this sounds a grand undertaking, possibly over several days, in fact it was only a couple of hours, covering 7.1 … Continue reading A Walking Safari
South Luangway Valley: Lion Camp July 1st, 2015 -
South Luangwa Valley: Kapani Lodge July 1st, 2015 - Kapani Lodge This post is the first of about six that have been queuing up for an Internet connection. Forgive me if they have all been overtaken by events but I am hoping that most of you will feel better an out of date post than nothing at all…! Also forgive me if I add … Continue reading South Luangwa Valley: Kapani Lodge
Shiwa Ng’andu – a Snippet June 26th, 2015 - A snippet, and out of order too, but things have got rather disorganised. Sorry. We arrived at Shiwa after QUITE the bumpiest 3+ hour ride one could hope to survive! However, Tink and Jen, who had picked as up from Kasama were such pleasant company that we survived the adventure happily, full of wonder at … Continue reading Shiwa Ng’andu – a Snippet
Travelling Light June 26th, 2015 - Another retrospective posting, written it feels ages ago, but actually (only) one day ago! Never mind your ten-seater light aircraft. I am writing this sitting at the back, of our Sky Trails 3 seater Cessna 206 chartered (very) light aircraft, behind Sebastian our Dutch pilot and John in the second pilot’s seater, John complete with … Continue reading Travelling Light
The Past Recovered, Internet willing! June 26th, 2015 - Sorry for yet another break in intermission. I wrote this on Wednesday, and we are now at Kapani Lodge just outside the Luangwa National Park, and there is internet connection. Apparently. It might be very slow, and it may not work at al, but here is hoping. There may be two or three posts in … Continue reading The Past Recovered, Internet willing!
Struggling with Technology… June 24th, 2015 - Technology has not been willing…Shiwa has No WiFi! I wrote this on Monday. today is Wednesday and we have been driven some way in the bush to Kapishya Springs where they do have access to the Internet, at the same time we are going to have a dip in the springs, and I shall have a … Continue reading Struggling with Technology…
Zambia! June 21st, 2015 - We arrived in Zambia yesterday. It’s warmer, dryer and lovely to be back. I expected to feel quite emotional when we arrived and I did, but going through immigration soon put paid to that. As Audley clients we were instantly swooshed into the Diplomat queue (this VIP business could become an awkward habit) and … Continue reading Zambia!
Hopping up Africa June 21st, 2015 - This post I wrote yesterday, but am rather behind with the posting. The photo was mine, not John’s, in case you are in any doubt… We are hopping up Africa gradually: first the Cape’s Mediterranean climate, now the temperate grassland of where we are when now,1640metres above sea level, about 11/2 hours’ drive west of Johannesberg. … Continue reading Hopping up Africa
Cape Town Catch Up June 20th, 2015 - We have been beset by wifi and technical hitches, not all of our own making! For some reason I have failed to upload more than one photo at a time, and John has already taken 246. Hopefully we will meet some WordPress expert on our travels, although I suspect we may also need an Apple … Continue reading Cape Town Catch Up
A Ride Through the Bowels of Heathrow June 16th, 2015 - We are having such a busy time there isn’t much space in the day for blog writing but I’ll make a start, probably photoless until tonight. Our adventures began early with our Journey through Terminal Five. By far the most impressive part of the flight to Africa was the buggy ride through Heathrow. We’ll gloss quickly … Continue reading A Ride Through the Bowels of Heathrow
On the Starting Blocks…and finally, they’re off! June 14th, 2015 - After all the pre-holiday tensions and ‘What we must do and what have we forgotten to do?’ ‘Will we get ourselves and all this to Heathrow in one piece?’we are sitting in Terminal 5 at Heathrow, in one slightly shaken piece, waiting for our plane to Cape Town! What a triumph! It’s ridiculous, as we … Continue reading On the Starting Blocks…and finally, they’re off!
Gearing up for Africa June 9th, 2015 - Three more days before we set off… There’s still a to to do, inevitably, and we have somewhat of a crisis on our hands: will we be able to transfer John’s photos onto my iPad and onto the blog? Having lured you all here with promises of great photos of the big Five etc it … Continue reading Gearing up for Africa
Musical Weekend in Vienna May 18th, 2015 - There was a time when our family trailed around after us. Imperceptibly, there has been a complete turnabout and we are now trailing round after them, very happily and much more excitingly. We have perhaps to a fault never overpraised our children but I will fleetingly admit they do seem to us to lead rather more successful … Continue reading Musical Weekend in Vienna