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Archive for January, 2017

I have had a most amazing 2.5 weeks (so far) on the Isle of Wight….so much so that I haven’t kept up with my intention to blog more often LOL.  The great outdoors has just been too tempting to ignore and just about ALL my free time has been taken up with walking here and there and as far as possible. It’s alright on the Isle of Wight!!

Based in Seaview on the east coast, this location has provided the starting point for my many excursions, whether walking to the west or along the east coast, the views of the sea are astounding, the beaches an endless source of delight.

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Seaview, Isle of Wight

I’ve also managed to enjoy the wonderful sight of the sunrise on most mornings….even those when I hadn’t intended slipping out, but on opening the curtains, unable to resist.

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

sunrise, sunset – Isle of Wight

So although the job itself has been a real challenge, I have had a brilliant time exploring.

The Isle of Wight to my surprise is incorporated in the county of Hampshire, it lies just off the English coast across from the famous harbour of Portsmouth; the port of Kings and home to Nelson’s flagship, Victory and the more recently discovered warship, The Mary Rose. The Mary Rose; a carrack-type warship of the English Tudor navy of King Henry VIII, sank in 1545, was rediscovered in 1971 and raised in 1982. You can see the conserved remains of this ship at the museum in Portsmouth.

The strip of water between the mainland the island is known as The Solent and I have had the pleasure of watching many a cargo ship, ferry and yacht go sailing through between two of the four ‘The Solent Forts’ – a group of four man-made island forts originally built to protect the Solent and Portsmouth from attack by enemy forces in the 19th century; the first of which was built in 1865. On foggy days and nights you can hear the mournful wail of the foghorns across the water. A melancholy sound.

I stayed the first night on the Isle of Wight Sunday 2 weeks ago and spent the evening and next morning exploring the seafront at Ryde, at which stage I discovered the Appley Tower….during my many excursions I was to pass the folly a number of times 🙂 In the last two weeks I have visited:

Ryde

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Ryde, Isle of Wight

Sandown

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Sandown, Isle of Wight

Nettlestone

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Nettlestone 1086, a Domesday Village, Isle of Wight

Bembridge

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Bembridge and Bembridge Harbour, Isle of Wight

St Helens

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

St Helens, Isle of Wight

Bembridge Windmill

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Bembridge Windmill, built in 1700, the sole surviving windmill on the Isle of Wight

Binstead and Quarr Abbey

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Quarr Abbey and Binstead, Isle of Wight

Horestone Point & Nodes Point

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Horestone Point & Nodes Point

and walked in excess of 125kms on my various excursions.

I am still to explore the town of Ryde more fully, take a ride on the Hovercraft to the mainland (just because),

visit the isle of wight, its alright on the isle of wight

Isle of Wight Hovercraft is the last remaining commercial hovercraft service in the world.

a full day of exploring coming up on Friday and a visit to Osborne House on Saturday.

The Isle of Wight has been a fantastic discovery on my quest to explore the four corners of the United Kingdom and adds to my list of 100 Islands to visit.

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I can’t tell you how delighted I was to get the call from my agency asking if I was interested in taking on a job on the Isle of Wight!!! Was I ever!! Yes, for sure. It’s on my list of plans for 2017; 2 islands to visit this year, so definitely. As well as which it’s one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit but never seemed to get this far….I’ve been to Portsmouth a number of times but never got to the ferry. So here I am, in Ryde!  On the Isle of Wight.

visit the isle of wight

the Isle of Wight

Just a 10 minute journey by ferry, catamaran or hovercraft from Portsmouth Harbour or Portsmouth Southsea and you’re here. Easy peasy 😉 I imagine the scenery crossing The Solent during the day would be marvellous.

After arrival at Ryde Pier Head, I set off at a brisk pace along the pier…keen to experience what is an early 19th century pier (built before Victoria came to the throne) and the world’s oldest seaside pleasure pier; opened 26 July 1814. Within 6 minutes I was in the town of Ryde……I’ve got a ticket to Ryde 😉 Surprised to find quite such a large town, to my relief the B&B where I was to stay was a short walk from the esplanade.

visit the isle of wight, ryde pier head

Ryde Pier

Welcomed at the Kasbah by Josh, I was shown up to my room. Hallelujah I had a beautiful double bed room off the main road. Very comfortable and cosy, the room was beautifully decorated with a small ensuite, a t.v. and a kettle with accessories. A cup of tea was immediately brewed 🙂

visit the isle of wight, kasbah b&b

The Kasbah B&B in Ryde, Isle of Wight

I rested awhile having my tea and then, since it was still relatively early…just on 19:40 in fact, I decided to have a bit of an explore….despite that it was already pitch dark. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!! LOL I meandered along to the esplanade and never one to be having a short walk….I ended up walking the length of the esplanade all the way to Appley Tower – 4.66 kms with 7250 steps there and back.

visit the isle of wight, ryde esplanade

Ryde Esplanade and scenes at night

Hah! It was quite chilly, but not unpleasant, a few dog-walkers, evening strollers and joggers about and at no time did I feel unsafe. I passed the train station, the hover-craft platform, the tiny harbour and a row of shops and lovely old houses. All along the way I could see and hear the sea slapping up again the rocks…I love the sounds of the sea.

visit the isle of wight, appley tower

Appley Tower – built in 1875 by Sir William Hutt

The Appley Tower, a coastal folly built in 1875 by one, Sir William Hutt, is also referred to as the Watch Tower. It’s awesome. Thanks mate…we love your folly.

By now there was not a soul in sight, I was on my own. On my way back I passed by the pond in Appley Park and a swimming pool that looked so inviting. Wish I had my swim costume. Oh well, if I ever come back this way…

visit the isle of wight, appley park

Appley Park pond and the swimming pool

Then it was back to the B&B for the night….work due to start on Monday.

I had a brilliant sleep, very comfortable bed and before the sun was even up I was out and onto the esplanade. A beautiful day for walking, again I saw a few people about, but by golly nothing at all like London where you can barely move for people.

I had a marvellous 45 minute walk all the way to the edge of Seaview where I caught the last of the sunrise. I had left it a tad late after all to get going. Then a brisk walk back to the B&B for breakfast.

visit the isle of wight, sunrise in ryde

sunrise in Ryde, Isle of Wight

On the way I stopped off at the hovercraft station to watch one of them come in to land. wow, fascinating and loud! I’m so going to take an opportunity one day while I’m here to cross The Solent to Portsmouth Southsea. The Isle of Wight Hovercraft is the last remaining commercial hovercraft service in the world.

visit the isle of wight, hover craft

Isle of Wight Hover Craft

I was well impressed with my ‘mileage’, and so enjoyed all the sights and sounds. Total 6.2kms and 9905 steps. At this rate I’m definitely achieving the desired 10,000 steps per day for good health 😉 and of course getting myself fitter for the Camino!

From what I’ve seen of Ryde so far; the esplanade and parks, it’s a really pretty place with fantastic views across The Solent towards Portsmouth in England – in fact I can see The Spinnaker in Portsmouth from the seafront and also from Seaview.

The Spinnaker in Portsmouth - across The Solent from Ryde, Isle of Wight

The Spinnaker in Portsmouth – across The Solent from Ryde, Isle of Wight

Watching all the shipping traffic is fascinating…..lends an exotic air to the place…ships from the far-flung corners of the earth….I think I quite like Ryde 🙂

 

 

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Well yes, here I am 10 days into 2017 and already my plan to blog more frequently has fallen by the wayside. I do have a reason….of course there are always reasons……

For one thing I have been very involved with wedding planning with my daughter. 🙂 ❤ After the excitement of their engagement in December, of course wedding plans have to start being made. So we have spent ages looking at stuff on pinterest (where else?) and pinning ideas. We also went wedding dress shopping on Saturday last which was very emotional and quite frankly she looked stunning; just like a Princess. The very first dress she tried on was perfect in every way….even after trying on the other 8 dresses she had selected…the first one was THE DRESS!!!! 🙂 Much excitement abounded and I immediately put down a deposit and bought the tiara. After that we retired for a Cream Tea at the Walpole Bay Hotel (where else 😉 ) one of our favourite venues.

wedding dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping…so much fun

Other than that I have been walking a lot in preparation for my planned Camino walk. I suspect though that life is once again going to get in the way of this…but I’m not going to let that sneaky thought into my thoughts. LOL I’ll just keep focusing on actually doing the walk and then hold thumbs.

Talking of walking, I’ve managed quite a few delicious walks; from Broadstairs to Ramsgate and saw a few awesome sunsets.

sunset on the isle of thanet

Stunning sunsets and Camino practice walks on the Isle of Thanet

Of course my morning excursions to watch the sunrise are well and truly motivating. What a privilege to watch the sun rise. Most mornings I can see tiny little figures on the beach of other people also out to watch. Some days are just spectacular! Joy!

sunrise over viking bay broadstairs

some of the stunning 2017 sunrises over Viking Bay, Isle of Thanet

I have a new job that started yesterday on the Isle of Wight, which in itself is on my list of things to achieve this year…so one island down…..one to go (for 2017). When you have a list of 100 islands to visit and you’ve only managed 30 or so, I’m guessing I’ll have to plan a few more each year….2 a year won’t cut it…I won’t live that long…but then again I might LOL.

visit the isle of wight

Ryde and a visit to the isle of Wight….1 island down, 1 to go for 2017

However on the not so plus side apparently there is very little by way of internet signal in the area where I’ll be working so that may put a spanner in my blogging works. I’ll have to wait and to see how it goes…..(apparently there is wi-fi installed especially for the carers so hopefully……!!! hooray!)

I arrived on the Isle on Sunday….travelled by train to London, got there well early so took myself on a mini adventure from Waterloo Station to the Southbank to say hello to my favourite clock…..a dank dark day it was so the photo isn’t much good but at least I got to see our Ben before he gets covered over with cladding prior to repairs and restoration.

river thames and big ben in london

a mini-adventure to see the Thames and my favourite clock…..Big Ben…I see you!

Every time I go into London some building or other is gone and new buildings are rising in their place!!!

Then it was onto the train to Portsmouth Harbour. We were delayed by 11 minutes due to a trespasser on the track at the approach to Guildford, so when we arrived at Portsmouth it was lickety split and a quick dash for the ferry which I made with literally 2 minutes to spare. What fun to be travelling on a ferry from the mainland to the island….sounds quite exotic and fun! Unfortunately it was very dark by then so I couldn’t see anything.

But never no mind….tomorrow would bring it’s surprises and delights! Hello Ryde…Isle of Wight! Hooray 🙂

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It’s normal at this time of the year to think about and consider what, if any, resolutions you may want to make. Hundreds of articles are written each year on the ‘how to’, ‘ the why’, ‘the when’ etc etc, only for many of them to fall by the wayside when real life takes over.

Personally I stopped making resolutions decades ago (urgh, that word ‘decades’ ages me LOL). I seldom kept to them. I am a procrastinator, something I’ve recently named and shamed, and my philosophy in life has always been ‘if it can be done tomorrow….’ And so my resolutions usually fell by the wayside. I’m also fairly lazy…especially if my resolution doesn’t match my values. Ergo…..the “I want to lose weight” resolution simply doesn’t work well if you love food! And chocolate. And cake. And ice-cream. And Vogels bread with latherings of butter and Robertson’s Lime jelly…….and so on and so on; you get my drift. So I’ve pretty much given up on making any resolutions that have anything to do with dieting – besides being unhealthy for my psyche, as soon as I decide to cut something out…I start to crave it.

So no, resolutions don’t work for me. Goals….hmmm, there are so many goals I would like to set and I went through a stage of trying to learn how to set goals but I find it incredibly difficult to make a goal only for my circumstances to change and the goal disappears (my personal development journey that didn’t work too well for me…) and so we get down to plans and intentions.

Plans I can do!! I love lists. I love spreadsheets. So plans I can do. I find it a thrill to make plans to do something. It’s like Dr John Demartini says “find someone’s highest values and they will be more likely to succeed”.

quote# “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising, which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.’’  Ralph Waldo Emerson – Poet and Essayist

So what are my plans and intentions for 2017?

  1. To walk more – dead easy…I love walking. I would walk for miles every day if I could.
  2. To travel more – I love travelling. The thrill of going somewhere new. Visiting a new place for me is like discovering a closed door….open the door and all manner of delights await.
  3. I intend to spend more quality time with my daughter. Again this is just so easy!! I will be moving to new accommodation at the end of January, so we will be able to plan to get together 🙂
  4. To start saving for my daughter’s 2018 June wedding – I intend to work a few extra days each month to achieve this.
  5. To visit at least 2 islands I haven’t been to yet.
  6. To visit at least 4 new cities in England – I can ask the agency to send me to different locations and while I’m there I can explore the area.
  7. To visit my brother and his family in Budapest.
  8. To improve my photographs and learn more about what makes a great photo. I love taking photos…in fact I take way too many, but I enjoy keeping a record of where I was when and photographing everything I see 😉
  9. To explore healthier options in the food line. While I was working at my last job I discovered the joy of experimenting with recipes. This however could lead to a bit of a challenge…..if there’s more than 3 ingredients…I get bored. hahaha. Also many of my clients prefer plain simple English cooking….
  10. To read more books. To that end I’ve listed a few books on my Amazon wish list that I plan to buy.
  11.  To reduce my debt. This is still a very sore point with me. Thanks to the personal development journey in 2007/2008, and the said guru’s advice on OPM I am still struggling to pay off my debt. But I’ve reduced it from £50k in 2008 to just over £15k in 2017. eish. 10 years on. Anyway that issue still irks me so best to leave it alone. Suffice to say, I am slowly getting there…paying the credit cards off while still having a life.
  12. And the biggie for me this year…..to walk the Camino de Santiago. I had planned to walk the Portuguese route last year in September, but the UK Customs & Excise taxes on my SA shipment put paid to that. New Year = New Intention!!
  13. To see more sunrises or sunsets…depending on where I am in the world. “The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” Eden Phillpots
  14. To blog more often……hence this blog 😉
  15. To walk the Worcestershire Way.
  16. To book to watch the 2018 London fireworks….they are amazing.

    plans, goals, intentions and resolutions

    Happy New Year 2017 – London

Where and when to start? Needless to say the easiest plan to start with is the walking. It is my intention to walk the Camino this year. To do that I must at least have achieved a certain level of fitness to make the walk pleasant….I do not want blisters and sore feet!

So with that in mind, and despite it being a perfectly vile day; wet and cold and windy….typical New Year’s Day weather in the UK, I set off on the first of my intentions; to walk more.  Bundled up in my winter woollies and raincoat I set off along the coast and walked to just past Dumpton Gap and back – 1 hour; 5.1 kms; 7282 steps; yes!!!

goals, plans, intentions and resolutions

New Year’s Day – Camino practice walk

Happy New Year folks…..I’d love to hear what your Plans, Goals, Intentions and Resolutions might be….

 

 

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