Saturday, March 21, 2015

Vacationing at home

We recently had a precious week off together and because of one of the brats recovering from ill health we decided to have a staycation (Ken hates that word).  I love the fact that after 15 years of marriage we both still treasure spending lots of time together.

Our first treat of the week was a Dim Sum afternoon tea at The Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield - here's the link to their page Crazy Bear, look it up as it's really decadent.

It took us a little while to find the entrance as it has no signs to indicate it's there.  The inside is really lovely with lots of velvet and chandeliers.

The menu included a cocktail each so as Ken doesn't drink I had to have both of them (it was a real hardship).

The food was scrummy, especially the venison puffs and the custard buns - I could've eaten lots more of them.

The cocktail was served in teapots with cream to add as I wanted - so delicious.

My cocktail with Ken's sensible tea behind
If you ever get the chance treat yourself to this as we came out feeling totally spoiled.

The next event on our week off was to spend half a day at a spa including a mud treatment - hence no photographs.  The mud experience involves covering yourself, or each other, with a special mud and then sitting in a steam room to allow it to work it's magic. The steam got so thick that we couldn't see each other.

After the mud we spent time in the pool, the salt room, and in the relaxation lounge. I was so relaxed that I fell asleep on Ken - one of the staff had to get him a herbal tea as he couldn't move.

The next day we had one of our wander aimlessly in London days which I'm going to blog about separately, but here's one shot to enjoy - us with the eye behind us and yes it was a little bit windy.

Our next treat was a Thai massage by candlelight, back at the Crazy Bear.  We arrived early enough to have a wander round Beaconsfield - there was a wedding going on which had a bus for its transport.  We also had a nice visit to the churchyard - you know I can't resist a cemetery.

Now for the reason for our staycation (sorry Ken). Our little Muffin Monster had been in hospital and had to have surgery - she's much better now, but we did have several sleepless nights as well as many tears.  During our week off we were very proud to discover that Muffin had been given the braveheart award at our lovely vets.  Her picture and story are up on the wall for all to see.

So that was our perfect week off together.  Until next time stay safe, be happy, and do something that makes you smile.

Pamela and Ken

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Christmas at the Bullring

In December we hopped on a train to Birmingham to attend the Christmas market held there.

I love Christmas markets for the sights, sounds, and smells - also the atmosphere is fabulous.

The stalls are in the streets around the Bullring, which is the big shopping centre in Birmingham. Even the bull was dressed for the season.

There were some lovely colourful stalls and if I lived in a big house I would have come home with lots of things.  Instead we enjoyed ourselves by tasting lots of the tempting flavours on sale.

We had lunch in a lovely Italian restaurant and I won a pound in our celebrity spotting competition as one of the guys from Slade was eating there as well.

Here's a few shots from inside the shopping centre as that is really pretty.

The bull above is covered in jelly beans as he's above the sweets.

Here some more pictures from around the market to give you a feel for how colourful it is.

In amongst the market I did manage to find some street art for you - I especially love the art on buildings.

Hope you've enjoyed this little bit of Christmas in March - we would definitely recommend this market so if you get the chance this year make sure you go.

Until next time stay safe, be happy, and do something nice for a stranger.

Pamela and Ken

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Poppies at the Tower

After taking a bit of a break from blogging we're back with a vengeance - so many days of fun to share with you from Bath to Budapest and lots of places in between.

In October we finally managed to get into town to see the remembrance poppies at the Tower of London, and we are so glad that we did.

2014 marked 100 years since the start of World War 1 and there were many commemorative events throughout the year.  I have to admit that I found this one the most moving - when the last poppy was planted on remembrance day there were 888,246 poppies, one for every British military death in World War 1.

As you look at the sea of red it is a very humbling feeling - that so many gave their lives for the hope of a future of peace.  It makes it even sadder that wars continue to this day.  Here's some of the photos we took to give you a little idea of how beautiful this installation was, though the photos really don't do it justice. 

The next two photos give you an idea of how many people were there, and we went before they gave warnings on the news re the crowds.

After spending time at the Tower we went for a wander to St Katherines Docks which is just past the tower on the Thames. There are several restaurants and we had lunch at Ping Pong which serves dim sum. It was really scrummy and very reasonably priced for London.

There are lots of things to look at around the docks as the area is really pretty.

These two boats have particular significance for very different reasons. The one above is the boat that carried Sir Winston Churchill's coffin down the Thames, and the one below is the royal barge from the most recent jubilee (I think I may have spelled that wrong).

Next is a great big hippo that was having a rest in the safe waters of the docks.

Now this is how we get all our lovely shots, with our trusty phones - we don't mind looking a bit silly taking shots of each other.

A variety of shots from the rest of our wanderings - enjoy.

Fountain of girl and dolphin with tower bridge in the background

The Shard rising high over its surroundings

Gorgeous bar we went into that was decorated for Halloween

Lovely cafe/shop where we stopped for coffee and cake

The Tower of London with the Gherkin in the background

Tower Bridge

I hope you've enjoyed this belated view of the poppies and some more of the delights that London has to offer.

Until next time be good, stay safe, and take care of you and yours.

Pamela and Ken

P.S: Final shot is of our poppy that arrived in January, complete with Tower of London mud.