Well the month got off to a good start with my cousins Zoe and Errol coming over from Australia to visit and although they were only here for four days it was still good to catch up with them. It gave me the chance to play the tour guide and show them some of the south of England.
Their first full day here was just spent in Bognor catching up with the rest of my family.
The second day we drove to the New Forest national park so they could have a look at the ponies that just roam freely. The New Forest was as good as ever and we managed to see some ponies, the heath land and some forest, we also managed to get lost! After driving around for an hour or two we found our way to Lymington where we decided to stop for some lunch and that’s where we stayed for the rest of the day! The service in the pub was so slow, it took us three hours to have a pub lunch and by the time we’d eventually got served and finished our food it was time to go home! But we were quite content to just sit around and catch up; the only downside for me was that although I was sat in a pub for three hours which is something I always love doing I was unable to drink due to me being the chauffeur!
The next day we set off for the Isle of Wight which despite me going there quite frequently was also a bit different as we took the car. Our original plan was for me to cycle over there, they would go by bus and we would meet up somewhere for lunch. But after looking at the prices of the ferry let alone any bus fares it worked out a lot cheaper for us to all go in the car, which was a big surprise to me! And by taking the car Zoe and Errol didn’t have to hang around waiting for busses. Once on the island our first stop was the roman villa at Brading which we all found really interesting; I think it was made all the better by having a volunteer guide called Pauline who told us all about it.
Lunch was at Ventnor on the south of the island, a traditional seaside town which always reminds me of going back in time 30 years! After lunch we drove along the coast to Alum Bay on the westerly tip of the island to have a look there,
before going on to Yarmouth and then heading back to Fishbourne to catch the ferry back to the north island (mainland England) as the locals call it! A really nice day and we managed to get around the whole island or at least around the coast. The day was finished off with a curry back at mine to which I don’t think they were too keen on, well not on my vindaloo anyway!
The next day Zoe and Errol headed back to London as they were flying to Iceland for a few days.
Got fed up one day so I decided to cycle to London to get a new saddle seeing as I’ve worn out my old one! Yes I know I could have ordered one online and got it sent to me in the post but it gave me a good excuse to go for a ride to London! The journey up was fairly uneventful; I just got rained on a couple of times but nothing too major. One big improvement I noticed is that it all seems a lot easier to get into the centre of London these days, now that they’ve got these cycle super highways! Although I got a bit carried away following my one and ended a bit too far east of where I wanted to be!
Which wasn’t anything major at all, all I had to do was follow the Thames to Parliament Square then head up to the West end! (It might not be the best way to go but it’s the way I go!) It turned out to be a bit harder than I’d expected, Embankment which runs alongside the Thames was all clogged up with road works and Parliament Square was blocked off due to the Indian prime minister visiting so I had to cross back over the Thames follow the river on the other side for a while then cross back over and head up towards Covent Garden and the shop I was going to.
After buying my saddle I thought I’d go on a cycle around London but that didn’t last long, by now it was rush hour and the place was gridlocked, so I just made my way to railway station to catch a train home.
That didn’t go quite according to plan either! The train that I’d originally planned to catch had been cancelled so I had to wait around Victoria railway station for an hour waiting for the next one. I eventually walked in my door at about 10.30pm and despite all the traffic, detours and cancelled trains I still had a really good day!
I managed to meet up with Zoe and Errol again later in the month once they’d returned from Iceland and had also been to Wales to see some other relatives.
This time I met them in Windsor as Zoe is tracing our family tree and it turns out that our Great Grandfather was in the lifeguards whose barracks are in Windsor and Zoe was hoping to get some more information on him so she’d made an appointment for us to go along and see them.
Not too sure if Zoe got anymore information but we had a good two hours on the base. We got shown around the museum with a talk on the history of the Lifeguards then a guided tour around the barracks, I found it really interesting! I did have one point of concern however, in light of the terrible events in Paris this month and the supposedly heightened security we were able to enter an operational army base without being searched or asked for id! All we had to do was sign a visitor’s book!
Decided late in the month to go on a small tour of 500 miles or so and get Julie to fly out and meet me seeing as she’s on holiday this week. So I packed my bags and went to get my bike (which spends most of its time when I’m not cycling, hanging up in the garage) only to discover that my Rohloff Speedhub (gears) had an oil leak! Not that that’s a real problem as apparently you can ride them with no oil in at all and it won’t do it any damage! Why put the oil in in the first place then? But because I know there’s a problem it would be playing on my mind! So I cancelled that idea and sent the wheel off for repair! I’m now sitting by the pool in the Gran Canaries at some hideous all inclusive hotel with Julie and no bike, but I’m hoping to source one today! At least Julies enjoying the rest personally I’m chomping at the bit to do something!
If you’re ordering anything from Amazon UK over the next few weeks or any other time for that fact I’d really appreciate it if you’d use the link above or the link on the homepage of my website as any orders placed through these means I get a few pence in commission! You know what they say “every little helps!” Unfortunately this only applies to the UK!