It is always the case that when we go on holiday to a new country - we try to see as much as possible, but when back in the uk, hardly go out! So, we made a conscious decision to see some new places, and the first was a drive into Shakespeare Country - the town of Stratford-upon-Avon. The following photos were taken in and around the tourist attractions of Anne Hathaway's Cottage and the Shakespeare Museum, as well as in town.
Summer 2014 was another busy summer. It started with three days in our home in Telford – a chance to see the family – one of the highlights was taking mum to see the animals at West Midlands Safari Park. That went so well that we returned two weeks later for another trip. The photos below are a mixture of the two days (as clever people would have spotted from the clothing). As you can see, the animals get up close – and I can tell you from personal experience that giraffes, while very gentle, have very, very big and sticky tongues !!
We did make some other trips too – one day was spent at Blists Hill Victorian Museum – a working recreation of life in Victorian England.
One further trip, on the way home from visiting my sister, took us to see the ruins of an Abbey just outside of Telford.
After the few days in Telford, it was down to London where I was doing the last of my Principals’ Training Centre courses. While I was busy studying, Shanhong got to explore a little more of London. As she had already seen most of the tourist spots, it was the turn of Museums and Palaces.
Of course, as always, Shanhong also got to a few shows , including ‘The Commitments’, ‘Matilda’ and Sunday service at Hillsong London. I managed to join her for both ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and for my all-time favourite, ‘Miss Saigon’ which has just been revived.
The last few pics are with Eden and Ella, my two nephews' beautiful daughters.
Keep in touch! Trevor, Shanhong and Teddy xx
Christmas 2015 saw us back in the UK - a time to visit mum, catch up with family news, and take Shanhong to some new places. The first few pics are with the family
It is always the case that when we go away on holiday, we try to see everything, and yet when at home, rarely go out. So, this year we made the conscious decision to see a couple of new places. First on the list was a drive to Shakespeare Country - Stratford upon Avon - where the Bard was born. The following pics are all from Stratford, either at Anne Hathaway's cottage or at the Shakespeare Museum.
Having enjoyed Stratford it was time for another nice day out and a moment of realisation that although I had driven all the way to Scotland with Shanhong, we had never crossed the much nearer border into Wales! So, it was time to cross that border and see the nearest castle in Welshpool.
After Christmas, it was back to Beihai in China for the Chinese New Year and the chance to see Shanhong's family. Oh... and... have some great food!!
Easter saw us back in Beihai, our China home. For those who don’t know Beihai, it is a city on the South Coast of China, not too far from Vietnam and Halong Bay, with a 25km sandy beach that stays empty most of the year. We have a lovely house here, with plenty of room for visitors! Shanhong’s parents are in the same city for the winter months, so it is a good chance to catch up, and go fly a kite! The Beihai barbecued chickens are the best in the world. Try one, and you won’t disagree! We spend quite a bit of time sorting out the overgrown back garden, and I planted some cacti – so we’ll see if they survive!
We had a visit from Shanhong’s niece’s husband to be, and another musical in Singapore, and that brought us to summer. Our main holiday of the year was to be in USA, but on our way over, we did visit the UK to see Mum, to meet the newest member of the family (Scarlett, seen here with her big sis Eden, and Shanhong) and to spend a bit of time in our apartment there. Mum had unfortunately moved into a nursing home since our last visit at Christmas - not a place she loved, but there were some good days – and here she is singing along with a visiting entertainer! What she did love was getting out, and a favourite trip, given the season, was to the Rose Gardens nearby.
As you can see, a beautiful place when all the flowers are in bloom. It was an indication of mum’s dementia however, that having gone once and spent a good few hours, when we went back two days later, mum was convinced she had never been before. Little were we to know these would be the last photos with mum.
So, that’s all for this report – that brings us up to our departure for USA – and the next set of reports will be on that main summer holiday – hope you are looking forward to making that journey with us!
All the best, take care and keep writing
Love as always Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy (and friends) xx
Having enjoyed Dublin, our next mini trip was to South Devon. We have decided each UK visit to try and see somewhere new, so we started by heading to the south coast – also, it has become tradition to try and surprise Shanhong with the accommodation, so, after the castle in Ireland, it was to be a beach hut!
On the way down though, never to miss the chance of a musical, we called into Bristol, and went to see ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ – a fun little show with great choreography!
First stop in Devon, even before we got to the surprise accommodation, was Pennywell farm, a delightful place meant for small children where you can cuddle baby pigs, watch pigs racing, play mini-golf and ride on the back of a tractor. Perfect for 4 years olds – and therefore perfect for Shanhong and I !!
From Pennywell farm, it was off to Shaldon Beach – to enjoy our special beach hut accommodation!
Next morning we went to Babbacombe Model Village which contains over 400 models of houses, stately homes, factories, shops, entertainment venues and environmental features as well as over 13,000 miniature people who live in the village!!
Our final visit in South Devon was to a National Trust Property, called Coleton Fishacre, an Art Deco 1920s coastal retreat. Decked out in the prime of the Jazz Age with live pianists, the house is surrounded by beautiful gardens winding down to the sea.
So, there you have it – our weekend on the very South Coast of England. We drove back via Wolverhampton and a chance to see another show – this time La Cage Aux Folles – and back to Telford to continue painting and packing to get two properties ready for rental!
All the best! Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy.
You will (hopefully) remember that before Cyprus we had a short break in the South of Devon. So, having returned from Cyprus, we went for a short break in the north of Devon – staying at Barnstaple. On the way down we ticked an item off the bucket list – doing our first ever hot air balloon flight.
On the way down to Devon, we stopped at a British Seaside town, Weston-Super-Mare, and had a walk on the pier – a true British institution! Shanhong got to experience the fun of winning hundreds of tickets, and then I had the fun of seeing her to go to redeem them for prizes and discover 100 tickets = 1 lollipop!
We had a short horseback ride – something we’ve found we quite enjoy – and then went to try another brand new activity – with a lesson in clay-pigeon shooting!
Whilst I quite enjoyed it, it was not to be a favourite for Shanhong – we both had big bruises from the gun recall for the next couple of weeks!
People who have read a number of these reports will know I sometimes like to find unusual places to stay rather than ‘normal hotels’, and so our home in N. Devon was to be Taw Tower, a lookout tower!
We had two ‘trips’ while in North of Devon, the first being to the coast at Ilfracombe
The second, to Dunster, famous for its beautiful castle and working water mill.
Enjoy!! Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy xx
Summer 2015 we decided to take Shanhong’s parents to visit England for the first time. We tried, therefore to put together a number of different experiences to get a feel of the history, and both urban and rural life. I think we made good choices – but I’ll let you decide as you read these next few reports. To make sure everything went smoothly, we flew from Singapore to Shanghai to meet them and travel together to England. These first few photos are from that stopover in Shanghai.
We flew into Birmingham and travelled straight to Telford where we have a small apartment – it’s only a small place – but it did the job well, and provided the base for our three week stay. The first week was generally restful, a visit to my mum, a look at houses for sale – but we did have a trip to Ironbridge, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution where the world’s first iron bridge was erected in 1779. Very close to the Bridge is the Victorian Village which is a replica of what life was like in Victorian times.
We obviously took the opportunity to visit members of my side of the family too – so the following are pics at various homes with various members of the family!
Another day trip saw us in the Market Town of Shrewsbury, my home for many, many years – the last photo is actually my old school!
A final daytrip for this report was to Dudley Castle and Zoo.
Nice place, hey? More from UK trip to come. Take care, Trevor, Shanhong & Teddy, xxx
We had three mini-trips while in the UK this summer, staying for 3 nights each time. The first trip was to the historic City of York, a place Shanhong had not been either. The city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD. It became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and later of the kingdoms of Northumbria and Jorvik. In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England, a role it has retained. It is now a very popular tourist City, for Brits and foreign visitors alike. Our first day saw us in Clifford Tower and the famous York Minster (Cathedral).
We also enjoyed a short ‘river cruise’ starting at ending at Lendal Bridge – the last photo is Teddy outside Lendal Tower, which was to be our home in York.
This was the only surprise of the trip for Shanhong – I had not told her where we would be staying – so to discover we had a whole medieval tower to ourselves was a special moment! As the pictures below demonstrate, it truly w