Sunday, September 30, 2012


Over the past few days we've gone to London twice, once to see Kelmscott House, and the V and A.  Then yesterday to Red House and Oxford on the way back.  Here are some of the pictures

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Full day of Morris

Today it was Kelmscott Manor, Morris's grave, the Cotswolds Millers and to finish we went to Broadway Tower, a folly built on the top of a hill, that Morris liked to come to for holidays.  The hotel staff got there before us and we had champs and canapes in the Morris Room, second level, of course.

Wifi is an issue in the hotel and for some of us, including me, the three foot thick walls mean we can't get it in our room.  So I have to wait until I can use the facilities in the public areas of this hotel.

This is an absolutely 5 star tour.  The food is amazing, especially as I had a cheaper tour to compare it to.  We get treated to some wonderful tours, all private (public excluded while we are there).  The group is made up of some quilters, some embroiderers and some academics.  There is something for all of us.  Michele of course is being her usual delightful self.

Yesterday was the Birmingham Museum, and Cathedral, which included evensong, so lovely.  Here are two of the stained glass windows designed by Edward Burn Jones, a friend of Morris and made at Morris and Co.

Today we visited Kelmscott Manor, best house tour so far.  You can almost feel Morris and his family in the house.  Unfortunately photography inside not allowed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day One

In order, Burford Village, Bourden House grounds and furniture from the Gorden Russell museum (furniture makers in the art deco era)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cooking Class

Today was my bread baking class.  It was held at a food cooperative, community based venture.  The baker was called  Tom Baker, I kid you not and no he was not Dr Who.  There were 8 of us, including one man, and it was full on all day.  We made a round loaf, wholemeal rolls, a fougasse, ciabatta rolls and brioche dough.  As well as pizzas for our lunch.

I found out some new tricks and one of the reasons that my bread is not always so good.  Well worth it.  Had a lot of laughs and one lady kindly drove me back to my hotel afterwards, which was very nice of her.

Here are some pics of the day. 

Friday, September 21, 2012


Went to the city centre to buy my train ticket to get to the start of Michele Hill's William Morris tour.  It is a truly busy place, so many people, why aren't they at work?  I got lost wandering around the streets and in the end just grabbed a cab back to the hotel. 

Today I am off to the Loaf Cookery School to learn a bit more about breadmaking.  Should be fun.  Will report back later

House of Waterford

I was told before leaving home that Waterford Crystal had closed, well let me tell you, it hasn't.  The bulk of the mass produced stuff is now done in the Czech Republic, but trophies and the more specialised range is still made in Ireland.  The glass blower preparing a vase to go into the mould.

Of course there is  a retail experience at all these places we visited, and Waterford was no exception.  I took this picture just for Michael, I know he would love the chandeliers and the table setting.

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are a must see tourist attration in Ireland, but our Great Ocean Road is way more spectacular.  But the sign for the Samaritans tickled me.  They must have a problem with jumpers.

This bridge is designed to resemble the Irish Harp.  In a city overflowing with old, old buildings Dubliners seem to be overly proud of this piece of modern architecture.  Get the feeling they are happy to have something modern in such an old city.
these photos were taken at the Irish National Stud.  The grounds are like a large botanic garden, just beautiful
This sign directs you to the beer garden for the local pub in a town called Cashel.  The cheap plastic table and chair in the background are it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Back to the beginning, as I've now worked the photo thing out.  These are the doors on the houses in the Georgian quarter of Dublin.  These were originally the homes of the wealthy British, now mostly commercial premises.  All the doors are different colours.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday, 16th, we took the scenic drive around the ring of Kerry.  this is the most beautiful scenery we have seen so far.

They have a weed problem in their national park which is threatening to strangle the natural vegetation. Rhododendrons.  They are thick all through the woods.  And all along the side of the roads the hedgerows are full of fuschias.  the dampness and the peaty soils are perfect for both and thwy grow onto 10-15 ft schrubs.  Hydrangeas also grow to large shrubs here.

It's Monday morning here and we are off to Waterford.
Day two of our trip found us in Ennis.  The hotel was a family one.  I half expected Basil Fawlty to step out of the office.  There were rules about everything, the hairdryer was in the drawer, screwed to the bottom so you couldn't steal it with the power cord going out through the rear of the drawer. Bizarre.

This is the only place that I've ever had to line up for breakfast like a school kid.  we all got a lot of laughs about that place.  Oh and all the rooms had single beds.  What a hoot.

One of our stops was a farm visit, which was surprisingly interesting.  After the obligatory sheep shearing demonstration (he did say sorry for boring the aussies) they served the most fantastic scones I've ever eaten in the original thatched cottage, peat fire and all.  The funniest was that another single Australian lady on the trip is retired from a sheep station in the Flinders Ranges, so she and the farmer had a chat about wool microns etc.  He had 80 acres and 100 sheep, she had 50,000 acres and 3,000 sheep.
I have been very busy and lacking wifi access so no blogging for a few days.

There are some things on this trip that I thought might have been a bit uninteresting, but have reaaly enjoyed everything.

First day we went to the Irish National Stud which is like a botanic garden, so green and beautifully landscaped. the guide was an excitable 20 something, who obviously just adored what he did and was very interesting.  And there in the paddock was Vintage Crop, our 1993 Melb Cup winner, enjoying his retirement.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First day of the Ireland Tour.

I'm just having a morning coffee before we go down to start our tour.  met the other participants last night.  A couple of other ladies pn their pwn like myself, a couple of Aussie couples and the rest appear to be Americans.

Yesterday I walked around the Georgian quarter of the city, Trinity College etc.  There is a shoppong mall nearby and one of the buskers was an Irish music band.  Got a video of them playing.  I have more luck uploading pics etc to facebook, so you might see it there.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dublin is lovely. Cobbled streets, flowers festooning from light poles and buildings, and the accent is a delight.  I stood at the traffic lights through several cycles just to listen to the people chatting.  Many of the buildings have the date they were built on them and it is amazing to think they have existed for so many centuries.

I apologize for no photos. There must be a knack to uploading them that I haven't worked out yet. They are high res and the wifi is not strong here, will keep trying.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

OMG what a huge airport is Heathrow.  I had 4 hours between flights and only had an hour to sit and read before heading to Dublin.  By the time you go through immigration, security and then change terminals and go through most of that again, then walk miles (25 mins) to departure gate.  Bill would not have coped with it.

Yes Ireland is really green.  Tomorow I will go out wandering and put some photos up.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kuala Lumpur

First leg of journey over. My liking (not) for salads and seafood is well known.  Well if you ask for a diabetic diet on Malaysia Airlines you get salads, or cold cooked vege skewers and fish, smelly and horrid.  So for nearly 8 hours all I had to eat was a little fruit salad.  Not off to a good start.

So here I am in the Golden Wing Lounge.  Enjoying a snack and a coffee.

tried to load a photo of the lounge, doesn't want to do it just yet.  Might need stronger signal.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Nearly There

Only three more sleeps. Have sorted clothes, organised all the cables, chargers etc that I will need.  Hair has been cut, hoping it is easy to care for while away.  I'm meeting a friend in the Cotswolds.  She left last Wednesday, so should be there by now and hopefully recovered from the flight.  Michele is hosting the first of two tours about William Morris and the first one leaves on Sun.  So when I join her on the second one she will be an expert.