After a week of unstable Internet access it appears a window of opportunity has opened up, so I am taking advantage of it to put together a pictorial montage to summarise our month in England.
We had a day trip to London with part of the English family. We drove up from Thanet, parked near Blackheath, had a walk through the park across to Greenwich, gathering conkers on the way (‘A’ says they repel spiders so she keeps a few in the bedroom), then took the fast boat up to the Tower of London. We wandered along the riverside up to the Tate Modern and had an hour or so looking at the artwork there before returning via the fast boat and Greenwich walk. There is a staircase near the Greenwich Observatory which is a steep uphill climb at the end of a long day! Just a few photos from the many we took that day:
We had a day trip to Duxford, part of the Imperial War Museums. We got an early start, as it was about two hours from where we were staying, and we wanted to see as much as possible. IWM Duxford is an operational airfield but it is also an open air museum of WWII air operations and aircraft. We spent about seven hours there all told and still didn’t see everything. Our first stop was to wander through the Concorde they have on display. Immense wingspan on a narrow fuselage which corresponds to a narrow seating area. Not a military aircraft of course, but significant enough to warrant a place in this aircraft museum. Most of the aircraft are displayed within massive hangers, and there are other hangers where repair and restoration take place. There was a Sunderland flying boat in one of the hangers, and then, as we were trailing our tired legs back to the exit, I spotted a Catalina outside, all on its lonesome. These craft are beginning to be an obsession of mine :-). Here is a small selection of photographs from the day.
The next day we went off on a day trip to site of the 1066 Battle of Hastings. I can’t put up too many photos of this, as essentially it is a green field with placards which explain what part of the battle was taking place, and how it was proceeding. For all we know, the organisers could have stuck up these placards in any farmer’s field, but since the remains of an abbey are nearby, and history records that “William the Conqueror founded Battle Abbey a few years after his successful military invasion, out of gratitude for his victory and as a monument to the thousands who died there on 14th October 1066”, then we must trust English Heritage that we are in the right place. What we do not dispute is that a part of our Anglo-Saxon Australian heritage, no matter how minute, is linked to the events of this day. Also, I found the explanatory boards help bring the Bayeaux tapestry to life, and one can imagine the artisans working the tapestry as a blow-by-blow description of what transpired on that day.
On the way to Hastings/Battle, we drove around the Kentish coast, stopping at Deal, part of the Cinque ports. We walked out the coffee shop at the end of the pier, jutting many metres out into the sea. On a clear day, one can see France. At this time of the morning though, the drizzly mist (mizzle) was still burning off, and we could barely make out the pretty seafront of Deal itself. I am always astounded at how far the tide can ebb and flow in this part of the world.
Well, I am pushing my luck with the internet here, so will close off now and continue this story another day. My apologies to those who are still waiting for responses to comments on earlier blogs. Several times I have composed replies and then lose them when the internet shuts down. I always appreciate your feedback and will answer as soon as possible!