Covent Garden, Vini Italiani and mime artists

A post lunch stroll into Covent Garden on a very warm August afternoon reveals all sorts of delights. Mime artists galore and an opera singer delivering his repatoire to an audience of casual listeners all of whom are enjoying a nice glass of wine or a light lunch in the sun. I stand here soaking it all up myself whilst Tina browses nearby. 

A levitating mime artist entertains the crowds and I’m intrigued to know how he does this? Tina suggests that he just has a very well trained centre of gravity and excellent core strength to be able to balance with such grace and apparent ease. 

Later we came back this way and spotted the same artist taking a break with his friend, having a cheeky cigarette!

Have we forgotten to love the moment?

I have quite a lot of random thoughts that pop into my head. I’m sure you are all the same. The fresh air does it to me as I walk away from my desk into the outdoors. Woodlands being one of my favourite places to reflect. I’m sitting in one right now.

It dawned on me that we are so focussed on what’s coming next these days. Some people I know are already talking of Christmas and 2018. It seems all too easy just to undervalue what is happening now, what lays before you. Ok granted the effects of now will lead to what happens next. I feel that we sometimes need to slow down more. Simply to cherish what is going on around you or just to spend time contemplating nature. It’s for this reason I like to get away from other humans occasionally!

Easy to say of course and I’m no innocent party of said crimes. My career is all about innovating the web and whichever way we do it today, it will be old hat by the time I set my alarm clock and drift off at the end of the day. Life is fast. Keeping up is a challenge that keeps people like myself in employment earning money.

The brevity of life was brought home with a thud recently when an old friend of ours passed away suddenly. A week later my great aunt also passed away. So it’s no surprise that this topic lingers heavily on my mind currently. Our mortality. I recalled happy memories of the two people lost, the fun we had and the way I never in the past considered what would happen to them in the distant future. They would all simply always be around, part of the social fabric in which we are embroidered.

The universe in which we live may seem inextricably infinite but nothing within it is. We all have our limits.

Thank heck I’m taking a holiday soon!

A Ticket to Ryde

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We know a family who live on the Isle of Wight and have been tripping over to the island quite a lot over the last 3 years. In fact we are going back again quite soon and will be staying at the same hotel we’ve used twice before in the resort town of Ryde.

Ryde is an interesting old place, like many, it is nothing like it would have been back in the early 20th century or even before that when it was loved by the Victorians. In some ways it still feels like it was from a different era. I like that though, I feel as though I’m on holiday when I go there, making it a smashing place to stay for long weekends and a great base for exploring the Isle of Wight as a whole.

In terms of getting there, you can either take one of two ferries to Cowes or Fishbourne both are not far to drive from or you can catch one of two passenger only options, the Catamaran or my favourite, the Hovercraft!

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The above photo was taken through a window unfortunately, so the black block in the top lefthand corner is a bit of a shame. However is a good testament to the iPhone camera’s panorama mode which I don’t use often enough but I was quite pleased with this. I was really chuffed to have a view like this from our hotel window and I’m sorry, I am a big child when it comes to Hovercraft, I love them, if they are available as remote control toys, do let me know!

The beach at Ryde is phenomenal and I can recall one evening recently whilst we were staying there taking a walk across the sands, the tide had gone out for what seemed like miles and miles. We watched in fascination as two Cruise ships almost seemed to hover across the sand, where the horizon dipped and we couldn’t quite see the water. We pondered where the ships were heading as they took thousands of excited passengers on a voyage of their lifetimes. We however were thinking of simply returning to our hotel room, we were knackered after a day of exploring and a lovely evening meal that was resting heavy upon our stomachs.

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Caerfai, Pembrokeshire

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Earlier this Summer we took a trip up to Pembrokeshire, the western-most tip of Wales and since the last time I went was when I was in my childhood, I just couldn’t wait to return, this time with my own family rather than my parents and brother.

On the first day we took a drive from Martletwy up via Haverfordwest, Solva, Caerfai and finishing in St Davids before returning to our base for the week.

I can remember Caerfai from those earlier holidays in my youth, when we used to stay in an old farm cottage that was close to, if not pretty much smack bang on top of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. It was one of the most fabulous locations I think we ever found. We liked it enough to return a number of times again over the years. So it was really exciting for me, as we drove down the road, I instantly spotted the old cottage and recalled the walks to the Farm Shop to collect bottles of milk. Yes bottles.

Now in 2017, it hasn’t changed in the slightest. However the most exciting moment occurred as we parked in the small but ample clifftop car park and took a peek over the top. Right below us was the splendour of Caerfai Bay with is’t distinctive light purple, almost pink rocks. The same rocks were used to build nearby St David’s Cathedral.

It was also the warmest day of our stay in Wales, t-shirts and shorts weather. We took a walk down the steep path to the beach where we explored the aforementioned rocks and boulders that are strewn across the sands. Watching dogs playing in the water. It felt a bit different, as when we were kids, I swear we had it to ourselves, a hidden gem that nobody else knew about. Now very popular!

Oh and I also swear that the walk back up that steep path, never seemed so tough on the legs when I was ten years old!

Our new car

I’ve worked stupidly hard and because I like sporty cars we have just collected our latest set of wheels. Yes it’s a Jaaaaaaag! The most sophisticated car we’ve owned to date.

It’s got some crazy tech which boggles my mind. My first car was a clapped out old Mini that fell apart often but was just like Humpty Dumpty, you could always put her back together again. Now here we have a car that I can control via my phone. My Grandad would have loved this and it probably would have boggled him too. It also has plenty of poke under the hood too and is a lovely drive. That’s what matters at the end of the day. Got to make the most of petrol before it’s banned in 2020! (Sorry politics)

We have this red beauty now for four years and I highly recommend leasing a car. We have done so for six years now and is a super cost effective way of “owning” a car. All we need to do is pay a fixed rental each month, fuel her, keep her clean and free of bumps and scratches. The lease company takes care of maintenance and taxes. No MOT for three years.

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