Category Archives: Uncategorised

The Mousetrap

On Saturday night we squeezed ourselves into the highest seats in the upper circle of the Mousetrap at an old theatre. This is a classic Agatha Christie whodunnit. Extremely well done – excellent acting – and of course we are sworn to secrecy as to whodunnit!

Sunday saw us using the tube more comfortably and we left our luggage at our hotel and went to the British Museum, walked around Covent Garden, and took the tube to the Emirates gondola that goes high over the Thames – and back. Great views of London!

Hampton Court | Henry VIII

The trip over was pretty tiring, but no-where near as bad as I was expecting.  Having a few days in Brisbane (2 hours time difference) seemed to help.

We did try 1above as a fluids replacement.

We did a trip to Hampton Court Palace.  Billed as “Wander the corridors of royal power and pleasure” this was a fascinating visit.  You can hire it out for functions.

3 Palace

3 Palace Roof

To be walking through the inner rooms where Henry the VIII lived was surreal.  Not too crowded.

The royal commode.
3 Royal commode

Question for the day.  A biblical allusion.  Who is this?
3 Painting

Shakespeare in the great hall.
2 Shakespeare

A world famous name:
3 Dexter
We may not be able to see Dexter this time.

Local News: We all have our unique local problems.
3 Urban seagulls

France.  The serious news has been to do with the Calais   eg
I saw an interview on the news which focused on the words the PM used: ‘swarm’.  The debate was “What is the problem: British economy and 3000 British trucks” or “Immigrants and refugees”
I has been interesting to me to be here and close to the news.  Also the significant air crash was about 15 miles away.



A bit of a retrospective

A few smaller highlights.

In Australia, the rough inner peaks are blue.  This is a view towards the sea above Coffs.
2 blue mountains

Trying to sort out our body clocks. It was quite east to get up early and see the sunrise at 6.20 am. Already some memories we will take back with us.  Coffs again.
2 sunrise

The final day in Brisbane was quite special.  We met up with Guilliano who stayed with us for several months.  He came for three days on 20th December after the first big earthquake 2010 and ended up staying for over three months as he worked out visa issues.  He and I share a birthday.  Fast forward four years and he has finished study and is working as an associate pastor in Brisbane,

Here we are outside Chris’s flat looking at photos.
2 Guilianno

Looking back over his 1000+ photos brought back a lot of memories.

The inevitable selfies.
2 selfie

And the inevitable cafe shots.
2 Coffee


We have found some great coffee.  This place (above) was great for some reasons I cannot put in a public post.  I have switched to espressos at the moment.  There was a silly post on Stuff this week on  cafes.  Some people will do anything, even defy sensibility and logic to get into the news.  If this can be considered news.

I’m having real difficulty at this moment with internet.  I’m  going to save this and return later just in case I loose the typing.  My plan to go to a shop yesterday was foiled.  Suburban London.  No Subways, McDonalds or anything.  Just a score or more of delightful eating places which reminded me of Kerbside eating at it’s best.  No internet.  Bliss actually.

Stage 1: Brisbane and Coffs.

July 17th.  We left in a blur. I ‘lost’ my wallet. It turned up in a small zipped pocket in my backpack. Sad really, after cancelling my cards and booking a new drivers license while we were in Auckland

Jetstar to Brisbane

July 18th  To Coffs Harbour.
Coffs (2)
At the coast.  Quite cold really.
Coffs Harbour is 5 hours south of Brisbane. Remarkable piece of coast with lots of waterways, walks and things to do. Very peaceful.

Coffs (3)
I wish.  :-)

Coffs (4)
Dorrigo National Park. One hour inland you rise 750m.

Coffs (5)
Waterfall way.  Really good to have a few outings with Chris: shopping, walks, discovering the worst cheap lunch deal in Coffs, iced banana, BBQ and tons of walks.

Coffs (1)
They are very polite at Coles.

Coffs (1)
Gym time.

Coffs (2).
A new Drink.  Very very refreshing.  I’m going to ask Jenny for help to make some fermented tea stuff when I return.

From Derek: At Coffs: Complete computer meltdown that meant I had to reinstall Windows.  Slept a lot.
Arm: recovering from rotator cuff surgery, finally making progress. I never knew there were so many varieties of pain, and it really is surprising how many people pat uo on your left shoulder.

From Phillipa: Yes this is me at the gym in Coffs Harbour! I went twice. Chris was a great incentive. Need to do it more!

Its been great having time with Chris. Today we met with our Brazilian boarder Giuliano and enjoyed lunch with him at Chris’s place – he has a lovely outside area that will be a huge asset in the coming Spring and Summer. It has been so mild in Brisbane. We loved Southbank and I went to a musical at the Lyric Theatre at Southbank Sunday afternoon – yesterday.

Tonight we go into town and stay at the Sofitel – a complimentary night on our Accor card. From there we will get the train to the airport and fly out! xxoo

Graham’s 50th

This was supposed to be a surprise. Didn’t quite make it. But it was a great night. Discovered more about his past. His background includes some serious non-conformists . .


The quite comes from “A Brief Retrospective” c1953 by Sir Ernest H. Andrews.

Jacko may supplu another photo of the evening later.

The Audience

We were told there was about 35,000 people there. Started with Pokarikarianna. . . did Ave Maria. Margaret fif the Karanga in Aoteraroa. Was stunning . . .


Rosemary and the choir between singing. . . . jut taking a breather. Considering very little of the 2.5 houtrs was in English, it was very relaxed.


The guys in the background are visiting clergy and other groups . . .


The Pope does these audiences every Wednesday. There is a huge effort to get things sorted. They still managed to make a mistake . . . they let us sit behind the choir. We were supposed to be somewhere else. But, what a view . . .

The pope leaving. Yes, they do call it a Pope Mobile.


We were less than 20 m from him. Beautiful day. Choir didn’t miss a beat. We had had a personal tour of the crypt beforehand. A last look around St Peters with no crowds afterwards . . . as someone said: it doesn’t get much better than this.

Not sure how much time I will get after this on a PC. Phillipa is talking to home (Happy birthday Anna, Mark, send us an e-mail . . thanks Phil for the topup (yes I can get your items), Raewyn, hope things are going well . . .

Italy Itinerary: leave today

Running out of time to clean up the formatting here. :-)
Into Rome Sun 24/9 – Thurs 28/9
Sun 24/9 – 6pm Mass – San Laborio Parish Via Tino Buazzelli (15 m away)
Mon 25 –Central Rome Day
Tues 26 – Explore Central Rome
5pm Mass –St Peter’s Basilica
Weds 27 – Papal Audience, St Peters Basilica.

Thurs 28 – Galleria Borghese

Evening mass in Santa Maggiore

Exit Rome and into Venice Fri 29/9 – Weds 4/10

Fri 29 – Head for Lido di Jesolo via Assisi.

Sat 30 – Visit Glass and Lace, Murano Island

Eve Concert at San Polo Chiesa.

Sun 1 – Punta Sabbioni, t/f to central Venice-St Marks

Mass at St Marks Basilica

Mon 2 – Explore Venice.

Tues 3 – Opitional vists day

Exit Venice into Florence Wed 4/10 – Sat 7/10

Wed 4 – Visit Bologna en-route to Florence

Thurs 5 – Full day in Florence

Evening performance at Sainta Maria dei Ricci

Fri 6 – Free day in Florence.

Exit Florence into Sienna Sat 7/10 – Tues 10/10

Sat 7 – en-route to Siena-

Sun 8 – Arrive Sienna – free time to explore

11am Mass-Santa Maria in Provenzano

Mon 9 – Visits to Montepulciano, vineyards, olive groves.

Tues 10 – Visit the Museo dell’’ Accademia Etrusca.

Exit Siena into Rome Wed 11/10 –

Wed 11 – Visit Lake Trasimeno en-route to Rome

Thurs 12 – 16:15 Depart Rome for Dubai

Flight: EK 93