Thursday, 29 September 2016

Penguins From Hay On Wye

 Two days ago we finally got to Hay on Wye again. It has changed since I last saw it. More empty shopfronts for lease. A few less bookstores. It was rainy and dreary and didn't seem to have the same energy I remember from last time.

Maybe it was I who didn't have the same energy but I enjoyed it very much never the less.

We arrived before lunch time and had a good walk around. I was disappointed to see the castle has deteriorated so much in the five? years it has been since I saw it last.

Previously it was full of books. Now the ceiling is collapsed in, the doors and windows are boarded shut and there wasn't the display of books there had been.

Several of the shops are no longer book stores but filled with art or ceramic souvenirs.  We had lunch at Oscar's Cafe and that was very good. It is small but it was warm and a respite from the rain.

I don't imagine I will every visit there again but... on a brighter note-

I found Penguins I did not have. I vowed I would only buy Penguin books that were numbered less than 1000 and were first published.

I found 12 (new to me) Penguins in the main series and two Penguins were first published that will replace old reprints I have at home. The reprints will go to new homes.

The display of Penguins in Addyman Bookshop

I am tightening up my collection because I do realise I cannot collect everything published between 1935 and 1970. I will continue to keep my other series (listed at the top of my blog page) but probably won't add to them as quickly.
 Penguins are still relatively easy to find in Hobart and I will continue to collect those I do not have but only if they are first published.

I think I might have a year off from my book clubs next year and concentrate solely on reading books I already own. I have very many books I would love to read but I find the book club books are detracting me from that. They are often long books of which I don't usually enjoy. Modern literature (in my opinion) often leaves a lot to be desired and I would like to spend time with the wonderful collection of books I have. Then I can pass them on and reduce the number of books in the house.

I am torn because I enjoy the book club meetings but I do miss reading books that really grab me and I must say it is seldom any bookclub book grabs me.  I am thinking about it at this point but will decide by the end of the year.

I continue to enjoy my Tuesday Play Reading classes and my writing group that meets three Wednesdays a month. (approx)

I have put up some photos of our day out.

By the way, did you happen to spot our Travellin'

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Good Bye Lowe Farm: A Tribute to Juliet...

Today we had to leave this beautiful farm stay. We had three nights and lots of fun. Juliet is the landlady here and she is a one stop wonder. She cooked for us, sat and had afternoon tea, chatted, shared stories and even did our laundry and folded our clothes.

We all had afternoon tea together yesterday.
We had such a good time. We were going to Hay on Wye and I shared with her my obsession for Penguin books. She also got to meet the Travelling' Penguin and took her into her home without question.

She gave him a great time along with us and he participated in many things while visiting there. (We are not the only crazy ladies.)

I would like to thank her again and if you ever get to the Hereford area be sure to stay at their farm. You will not be sorry. Beautiful rooms, beautiful farm, lovely, lovely people. The guests who arrived all seemed to have been there before. Good friendships ensued.

So thank you Juliet from Judy, Pam and the Travellin' Penguin.
Juliet wanted Margery to say goodbye to us. There was a bit of a chase.

Juliet showed the Penguin around and let him slide down the bannister.
The Penguin says goodbye to Miss Pringle.

Beautiful rainbow one afternoon.

One of the views at Lowe Farm

Sunday, 25 September 2016

"Land's End," I Exclaimed, What a Fun Time We Are Having

We are not being overly bookish but we are sure travelling'. My friend Judy and I and the Penguin have just spent a week in Cornwall. We saw Port Isaac, Padstow and St Ives Harbour. We spent a happy day at the environmentally impressive Eden Project.

St Ives, Cornwall, England
We enjoyed a late afternoon at Land's End. I was happy to spend time there because in the past I have experienced John O'Groats at the northern end of Scotland and now I was at the other end of this interesting and beautiful country.

The view from Land's End, Cornwall

The Eden Project is so encouraging as the world is full of politicians who don't seem to care about the environment. They are doing wonderful things with this project which was once a Chinese run quarry or rather a large hole in the ground.

We enjoyed the biodomes of the rainforest, though it was sweltering and the Mediterranean, which was lovely and cool.  We had a good look around the giftshop and the three of us enjoyed excellent pizza and cold drinks.

The Biomes

A rainforest plant

A plant from the Mediterranean

The Penguin playing in a cabbage.

The Penguin ready to tuck into our pizzas. They were very good.
Now we are farther north and have crossed back and forth between England and Wales. We are staying at Lowe Farm, about 15 miles from Hereford. This farm accommodation is lovely, lovely, lovely. It also has two beagles, one cat and one hen on site. I have been introduced to all of them.

Margery the rescue hen.
As it is Saturday night there is a little party going on outdoors in the barn, which houses a big spa and loud music.  I am happily ensconced in my room. A room with good reading lights and high speed wi fi. I am enjoying quiet activities. Since I am the driver of a manual rental (I have not driven a manual car in years), SUV going down motorways and unfamiliar one lane roads I need a little rest.  Although we are doing well.

Miss Pringle being quite silly.

We get in the car, set the GPS. It says 3  hours and we know we will be at our destination after 6 hours. That includes missed exits, unnamed roads of which we get lost and grinding the clutch a few times. However the weather is good. This poor rental will be returned to Holyhead, Wales, probably without a clutch, a stuck emergency brake and lots of miles on the odometer.

The Farm Hotel
Tomorrow we are visiting the Hampton Court Castle and Gardens near Hereford and then....
wait for it.....Monday is.....HAY ON WYE!!!!! The village filled with bookshops.

I am really looking forward to that. I hope to get the t-shirt, the bag, the fridge magnet and maybe a Penguin book or two I have not been able to find in Australia. We are planning a day there with lunch and walking from shop to shop.

The farm garden
My friend Judy and travelling companion is being a very good sport in letting me have a day with all the books I can dream of.

Another part of the garden.
The Penguin will probably be excited too. We have done so much in a week. We still have three weeks to go. What a fun time this has been. Though I am missing Mr. Penguin and my lovely dogs and cats, I know they are glad we are having fun, because that is the kind of creatures they are.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Travelling Penguin visits Port Isaac, Cornwell, England

Hi folks,

We are all resting tonight after our very long day visiting Port Isaac/Port Wenn in Cornwall.

The TV show Doc Martin is filmed here and they have wanted to visit this place for a very long time. This road trip saw them make it.

The town is full of little shops, cafe, tourists and more than dogs than you could shake a stick at. Though we would never shake a stick at a dog.

Here are some photos for you.
The town is built around this harbour. When we got there the tide was just
starting to go out. When we left it was way out and the boats were on dry land.

The Penguin used his  pocket money to buy this light house. I really like it.

We all stood at this wall and stared out to sea. The Penguin remembered the stories
he had heard about his ancestors. I bet they were interesting.

This was the view across the harbour to the other side. There were
caves in the cliffs under the houses.

This is the house that belongs to Doc Martin on the tv show. 

The boats were really stuck at low tide.

The view from the other side.

This is a beautiful hotel that overlooks everything.

The Penguin wanted to stay in this hotel but we couldn't afford it.

The Penguin was waiting for Martin Clunes who plays Doc Martin to come
out of his house. But they aren't filming now.

The Penguin really enjoyed his lobster lunch.

This was the last view of the town as we headed back to the carpark.
Isn't it just beautiful.

Monday, 19 September 2016

From Heathrow to Wells.

We made it safely here started the road trip today. Yesterday we had time to run into Notting Hill and Earl's Court in London. My card reader for my camera fell apart in my hand and I needed another one or a cord to connect my camera to my computer. Found one, walked around both areas and ate some great food in a pub.

Today we picked up our rental car. It was supposed to be a compact but instead we got a large 6 speed
manual, Fiat 500 SUV. Big diesel that moves like a truck until you get it going.

Of course we missed two exits on the motorway. GPS British lady with an accent that is hard to understand told us to get on the right side of the motorway but we discovered a mile later the exit was across five lanes on the left. Then we took another wrong exit and ended up going around a fairly big roundabout 3 times before getting off the thing and stopping at a servo to reorganise ourselves. I have not driven a manual car for many years and stalled it twice. But now we have completed one day and everything has fallen into place.

We are in Wells, Somerset. We are staying at the Wooky Hole Hotel. Don't you love that name? There are large caves here but we are bypassing them as both of us have visited lots of caves in the past. Instead we are visiting the cathedral tomorrow. Wells qualifies as England's smallest city with approximately 7000 people living here. But it has the largest cathedral in the country. We see that tomorrow.

I spent this afternoon walking around the town, relaxing with  my camera and enjoying nature, scenery and photography after our harrowing start to the day. I have never driven around a roundabout 3 times before. We started laughing and that caused problems too. So hard to problem solve when one is laughing hysterically.

The Penguin stayed in the room and rested. I recovered from jet lag a bit faster than he did. He should get out tomorrow with us. From the cathedral we head towards Porlock and the national park on our way to Bude. We will visit Port Isaac, home of Doc Martin on Tuesday and then head towards St. Ives Wednesday morning.

So far lots of laughs, good food, beautiful scenery and very friendly people. Travelling makes one realise how many really good people there are in the world.

Enjoy a few photos.

In the garden

Our rooms are on this end of hotel.

This sign made me chuckle. Danger of Death
combined with Wookey Hole Church sign.

We have a Lindisfarne suburb in Hobart. My
friend lives in it so I had to send this to her.

These roses were climbing up the old church wall.

The old church. No name.

The accommodation next door. I loved the artwork of the sheep and cow
on opposite sides of the wall.

The diesel car that happily took us around the roundabout three times.