We spent a weekend in Cardiff last month, brought about by me buying tickets to see the Stereophonics for my husband for Christmas (he’s always wanted to see them).

20180608_201407This was our first time in Cardiff. Although there are direct flights from Guernsey, the timings didn’t work for us, so we flew to Bristol on the Friday and hired a car. The route between the two cities took us past Celtic Manor Resort – and as Bob is an avid golfer, we had to stop and have a look. Beautiful hotel, and golf course, and we had a browse around the pro shop too. Back on the road, we reached our hotel and after checking in, headed back out to a nearby Ducati dealership. As you can tell, this was Bob’s day! In the evening, we walked up into Cardiff City Centre, and found a Pizza Hut for tea. It was Friday, so that means pizza!

20180609_221650Saturday was my day – shopping! I managed to do a bit of damage to the credit card before we headed back to the hotel then we walked to Cardiff City Football Stadium where the Stereophonics gig was. One of the support acts was Jake Bugg whom we like too – he was great. The band themselves did not disappoint – they did 2 1/2 hours on stage and were amazing.

The sun was shining on Sunday which was our last day, and we were tourists, starting out at Cardiff Castle which was beautiful. After that we walked through the nearby park to the river, and picked up the water taxi to take us down to ‘the Bay’. This is where the famous Millennium Centre is – the building with all the Welsh writing on it! It was a lovely area, with shops and restaurants. We walked down the headland where there was a boat show on that weekend. My only disappointment is that the Doctor Who Experience no longer exists ūüė¶ After struggling slightly to get back into the city (the boats stop at 4.30!) we eventually walked back into the city centre for dinner – Wagamama!


Cardiff CastleMillennium Centre

We loved Cardiff – the city is lovely with some beautiful buildings, and the people were so nice. Would recommend a weekend there.

My photos on Flickr

Categories: Around the world Tags:

Running II

group pic

Walk to Run group (I’m second left)


I started 2018 with three health-related resolutions to achieve before June :


  1. Stop taking sugar in my tea
  2. Lose a stone in weight
  3. Complete a 5k run

As I write this in early March, I have already achieved 1, close to reaching 2, and have just started a 12 week programme Walk to Run with Lou of New Waves so I can complete 3. My husband is on board with the food aspect of my new regime as he also wants to lose some weight. He can’t run, but is going to the gym.

Walk to Run - First Session 3 March 2018We met in Saumarez Park – 12 of us in the group (photo above, Chantal on the right is helping Lou)¬†– and did some warm up exercises, followed by brisk walking for 30 minutes, then our stretching. The weather wasn’t great, but at least it didn’t rain!

We have two ‘homework’ runs (or brisk walks as they are initially!) each week, gradually building up to running the 5k. All our activity is recorded on Strava so Lou can see what we’re doing.

Tomorrow, I am doing a homework walk with three of the group in our lunch hour. I can already see that we will be supporting each other. I know two of my group but have already included a new friend in our lunchtime session. The accountability of our activity, and the support, is key Рas I have said previously, I tried C25K on an app last summer and got disheartened as I was doing it alone.20180303_135137

I’m looking forward to wearing my Walk to Run t-shirt (right) as the weather gets warmer. I will continue to update this page with my progress, culminating in the Guernsey Parkrun on Saturday 19 May.¬† There’s a big circle around that date on the calendar….

UPDATE (30 March 2018)

4 weeks in to this programme and going well so far.¬†¬† We have run for 2 minutes which is now easy, and just started 3 minutes (I know it doesn’t sound much but it is!) My first session of the latter was a couple of days ago, and it went ok (3 minutes run, 3 minutes walk) although I did get one rather wet foot when I ran through a puddle that was deeper than I expected! The 3 minute walks seemed quite long which I suppose is a good thing. I’ve been doing my homework runs early in the morning before work, which suits me. I tend to drive to my nearest park – which gives me views over the east coast of Guernsey like the below picture.

Running view

Tomorrow is the start of week 5, when the walking intervals get shorter…..wish me luck!

UPDATE (19 May 2018)

Today was the day – the one circled on the calendar. My first Parkrun.

Looking back, I cannot believe how far I’ve come in terms of running.¬† I never really thought I would be able to run any distance – not for any particular reason, although I can always use the age card ūüôā

Up until Week 10, we were doing walk/run intervals to some degree.  Week 10 we were just running, with a 5 minute walk before. Week 11 we ran Рand we ran 5k around the Parkrun route. I managed to run the whole way and finished in 37 minutes which I was pleased with.

Parkrun day dawned fine and bright – thank goodness! I was awake before the alarm and decided against breakfast as I’ve always run on an empty stomach (more or less) and didn’t want to jinx it! We listened carefully to our ‘new runners briefing’ and the Race Director’s information before setting off. I was really conscious of not starting too quick but actually there were so many people – and I was near the back – that I didn’t have to worry. The Guernsey Parkrun route is a double loop around the common. Some tarmac, some pathway, some grass with a couple of small inclines. I gained huge confidence from not only knowing that I’d done this the previous week, but also from the marshalls who encouraged us, and my own ‘team’ of ladies who were ‘high 5-ing’ when we passed one of the group (all in our blue T-shirts) on a loop. Both my husband and my daughter came to cheer me on and I was thrilled to complete it in 37 minutes again (according to my Strava, although my official time is 38 minutes).

Parkrun finish

Proudly showing my medal – and my Parkrun token!

I can highly recommend undertaking a walk to run programme as it gives you the support and the accountability. If you’re in Guernsey I would definitely recommend Lou at New Waves¬†– you even get a medal! My first of may be not ‘many’ but at least ‘several’ ūüôā

Parkrun medal

I have every intention of continuing to run – it’s free, all you need are decent trainers and I feel so much better for it. And I enjoy it which I never really expected to do. (and I’ve lost over a stone in weight now, so New Year resolutions done!)





Categories: Sport Tags: , ,


December 30, 2017 Leave a comment

This holiday was in October 2017 – it’s taken me a while to write this!

Our trip started in London, with the highlight being the NFL game at Wembley on the Sunday – a first for us.

20170930_160508We first visited the V&A Museum as we had tickets to see the Pink Floyd exhibition.  This was fascinating Рalthough too crowded despite you being given a timed ticket Рand there were all sorts of memorabilia such as guitars and mock-ups of famous album covers.  The tour finished with a large room playing a Pink Floyd concert on all the walls Рit was like actually being there.

From there, we headed to Regent Street where it was NFL Saturday.  We got there quite late but there was still lots to see, including games being shown on a big screen, and many photo opportunities.

NFL on Regent Street

Sunday was game day – our first visit to Wembley and our first NFL game.¬† My husband is a Miami Dolphins fan and they were playing the New Orleans Saints.¬† We arrived early to spend time in the Tailgate which is¬†a huge car park filled with food stalls, experience stalls and a shop where you can buy pretty much any NFL merchandise.¬† We bought a Dolphins shirt and an event shirt (showing the team logos and the date) respectively.¬† Lots of photo opportunities again, including the Vince Lombardi trophy, and we got to see Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell too!¬† We had a brilliant day – everyone was so friendly and you could see all the NFL team shirts being worn.¬† People just have a love of the game, not only supporting one team.¬† Sadly the Dolphins lost (0-20) so the game wasn’t great but still a fabulous day out.








Monday morning did not go to plan.¬† This was 2 October and you may recall that Monarch went into receivership.¬† Guess who we were flying with….. We managed to re-book flights with Ryanair later that day (returning the same day as planned) but via Stansted.¬† We had some time to kill, so wandered down to the Thames via Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, went to the Natural History Museum to see the whale (Dippy’s replacement) then walked to the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial before going back to the hotel to pick up our bags and make our way to Stansted.¬† We eventually arrived at our hotel in Albufeira at 12:30am, about 8 hours later than we should have done….

Our first day in the Algarve and the sun is shining Рthank goodness!  We stayed at the Vile Gale Cerro Alagoa which we would highly recommend.  The breakfast buffet was amazing, with just about anything you would want to eat at that time of the day.  We sat outside every day which was lovely.



After breakfast, we walked down into Albufeira town, which took us about 10 minutes.  After admiring the view from the top, we took the escalator down to the beach Рyes, an outdoor escalator!


Outdoor escalator!

We wandered around the town for an hour or so, then walked back to the hotel to get the car.¬† We decided to drive to nearby Portimao and visit the shopping centre there.¬† After a pleasant couple of hours, we drove back to the hotel and walked up the road to Pizza Hut – well, these things have to be done when you’re on holiday!


Beautiful Рif derelict Рbuildings in Loulé

The following day we decided to explore a bit further afield.¬† We headed east to Vilamoura where we knew there was a mini golf course – one of our favourite holiday pastimes!¬† After a leisurely 18 holes, we drove down to Vilamoura itself and walked around the stunning marina.¬† After the obligatory ice cream, we headed inland to Loul√© which was a lovely old town with beautiful old buildings, many of which were derelict sadly.¬† By the end of the day we were ready for a swim at the hotel, and then walked down to Albufeira for dinner.¬† We then discovered that parts of the town are unfortunately over-run with loud karaoke and sports bars, mostly full of British people.¬† We found a nice Portuguese restaurant in the quiet part of town…..

Continuing our explorations the next day, we drove to the village of Estoi, inland from Faro.¬† Firstly, there were the Milreu ruins which were fascinating, although not a huge site, and a small museum. We then drove into the village itself – there was a palace which I’d discovered in my pre-holiday research that looked stunning and I was keen to see it.


Palacio de Estoi

We found somewhere to park, having passed gates to the palace on the way.  We walked around the village Рand I mean we did a complete circuit of the village! Рreturning to where we parked the car.

We then realised that the Palacio de Estoi is now a Pousada – i.e. a top class hotel – so it wasn’t possible to see any more of the palace than we had seen as we walked.¬† Note to self – do more research before holidays….

We weren’t far from Faro so decided to drive down to the coast to see the main town.¬† We discovered that it was a bank holiday which unfortunately meant that a lot of the shops and tourist attractions were closed.¬† On the positive side, the parking was free!¬† Faro has a small marina and the typical tiled streets with the canopies creating shade.


The view from O Cabaz de Praia


Back to Albufeira and the usual walk into the town from the hotel, and we found the best restaurant with stunning views over the beach.  The Beach Basket or O Cabaz de Praia was first class Рexcellent service, delicious food and the wonderful view.  It was so good, we booked a window table for the following evening.

Friday already – and Bob’s birthday.¬† We went for our second game of mini golf, then went to Algarve Shopping centre (where there was also a Nike Factory store – our favourite!)¬†We got back to the hotel, laden with our bags, to find a bottle of sparkling wine in our room, as well as chocolate covered strawberries and hotel robes and slippers to use!¬† A nice touch, and very much appreciated.¬† After a leisurely hour sitting on our balcony drinking and eating, we walked down to the pool in our robes for a swim.¬† Another pleasant evening spent in Albufeira with another first class meal at the Beach Basket.


The next day was Saturday, and we drove west to Lagos, where there was a market taking place that morning.¬† After wandering round – and finding churros which I was thrilled about! – we drove into the town, which has a lovely marina and harbour area.¬† We found an indoor fruit and veg market, then a fresh meat/fish market in a lovely old building overlooking the water.¬† Then we walked through the old town and back along the waterfront to see the castle and the maritime fort which we went into.¬† The views were beautiful.¬† After a lovely day, we decided to walk the few yards from the hotel and go to Pizza Hut again for our tea.¬† Sometimes it just has to be done…..



Our last day dawned and we were headed inland to Silves. Another picturesque village, overlooked by a stunning castle.  The castle covered a huge area and we spent a good couple of hours walking around it.  We had a drink in the outside café, and watching the birds of prey display which was fascinating, before strolling down into the village.


Silves Castle

Heading back to Albufeira, we stopped off at Sand City Рa huge display of large sand sculptures.  It was a bit expensive to get in, but worth it as we were there for more than an hour, walking around looking at all the different sculptures.


Olaf and Sven –¬†made of¬†sand

A final swim then a stroll down into the town and our last fabulous meal at the Beach Basket.¬† We thoroughly enjoyed our week in the Algarve (despite ‘Brits-ville’ in Albufeira at night!) and would recommend it if you want a relaxing week in the sun.

We’re just not people who sit on the beach for days on end, as we like to see as much as possible of where we are – and we get bored easily!






Categories: Around the world, Sport


Cambridge Park 2

Cambridge Park

Never did I think I would write a blog about running.¬† Not least because it was something I’d never even considered doing.¬† Running was something that other people did – usually younger fitter people.

I actually started thinking about it as one of my New Year’s resolutions.¬† Yes, it took me four months of thinking before actually running! I wanted to do something to increase my fitness levels and lose a bit of weight.¬† I have developed a habit of putting any aches, pains, tiredness, etc etc down to my age.¬† Two recent television programmes made me really think about this.

Firstly I watched the BBC programme Mind over Marathon (watch here, if it’s still available on iPlayer when you read this).¬† It’s about ten people, of varying ages and backgrounds,¬†all with mental health issues, who took on the challenge of running the 2017 London Marathon.¬† It was two one-hour programmes, shown on consecutive weeks before and after the Marathon itself.¬†It was the most inspiring programme I’ve ever seen, showing how running helped people and gave them the strength, both mental and physical, to push on and achieve their goal.¬† I cried with every one of them when they crossed the finish line and were presented with their medal.

Secondly, I watched some of the London Marathon coverage, as I do every year.¬† One lady in particular stood out for me when she was interviewed on the course.¬† An attractive lady who, I was stunned to learn, was 70 years old. What was even more astounding to me was that this was her third marathon. She did the first one aged 60, and the second one aged 65!¬† That was my light bulb moment – if she can do it, why am I saying ‘I can’t because I’m too old’.

Running bookSo, I bought a book. I figured that if I was going to do this properly Рand succeed Рthen I needed information. Let me say at this point that I have no intention of running a marathon! As I said earlier, I simply want to increase my level of fitness, and lose a few pounds.

The final push was talking to someone at work, who showed me the app she had for 10k running. It has a weekly programme with running and walking intervals,  gradually increasing.

So when I got home that night, I found a 5k running app and downloaded it. It was all in place now – I just had to start.

My first run was on a Sunday evening around a local park (pictured top) and, dare I say it, it was easier than I expected.¬† The app shows blocks of colour for running and walking which gradually count down.¬† I looked at it, and was trying to swipe it across to see how much more I had to do, then realised I was done!¬† I got up early for my second run and went to the same park.¬† I felt really motivated for the rest of day, and as it gets warmer (hopefully!) I will probably do the majority of my sessions early, not least because it’s often my only free time in the day.¬† For my third session at the end of the first week, I got up early on Saturday morning and went to a different park.¬† By the time I got back to the car, I felt I was part of a running community – so many people were running, or walking their dog, and almost everyone said good morning. I laughed to myself as I ran past Lee Merrien, Guernsey’s Olympic runner – needless to say he was stationary, talking to his running group ūüôā

Screenshot_20170526-064012So far so good, and I intend to continue.¬† Our local Race for Life took place today, which I had decided was a bit too early for me.¬† I know I could have walked it, but that’s not much of a challenge!¬† We have a Guernsey parkrun¬†so I want to aim for that when I’ve completed the eight weeks on my app.

I post my progress on Instagram – amongst my usual posts –¬†more for accountability than anything else!

Categories: Sport Tags: , ,

Bucket List Holiday – USA

January 11, 2017 Leave a comment

Our 2016 holiday was as much about experiences as it was about destinations – ticking off¬†a lot of things from my bucket list.¬† Two weeks, two places, two people.¬† Actually, the latter isn’t quite true, but more on that later.

We started off with 24 hours in London (okay, so that’s technically three places).¬†¬†First stop was¬†the Star Wars Identities Exhibition at the O2, which was ok but not worth ¬£25 a ticket.¬† It was amazing to see the models and exhibits, and the personality test to see if you would be on the dark side was good but there wasn’t really a lot there.¬† After a lovely steak for dinner, we headed for Regent Street, to see the Christmas lights.¬† 20161120_192709_llsTo our amazement, Regent Street was closed to traffic, so we were able to wander around in the road and take photos.¬† We discovered that there had been a parade by Hamley’s that afternoon (a la Macys!) and by the time we had walked up to Oxford Street and made our way back down Regent Street, the road was re-opening.¬† To finish off the evening, we went to the Odeon in Leicester Square with our 3D glasses to watch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was really good.

The next day I managed to fit in a bit of shopping on Oxford Street before heading to Gatwick for our flight to New York.

New York, New York – so good they named it twice.¬†¬†It didn’t disappoint.

Our first morning started with a trip to Macys, then we found our tour bus that we had pre-booked and did the ‘Downtown’ tour.

20161122_133134We got off by Brooklyn Bridge and took photos to prove that we’d been on it. ¬†Picking up the bus again, we got off at the 9/11 Memorial site.¬† This is the area where the Twin Towers used to stand, with each tower marked by an infinity pool.¬† There are also fountains, but these weren’t operating on the day we were there as it was too windy.¬† I found it very sobering walking around, looking at all the names of those who lost their lives on 11 September 2001, and it’s hard to imagine what it must have been like to be in New York at that time.¬† 20161122_152743After paying our respects, we went back to the bus stop and got the next bus back to the area nearest our hotel.¬† We had dinner at the Tick Tock diner before walking up to Times Square.¬† It was amazing to see a place that seemed so familiar from films and television.

Our second day began with breakfast at the Tick Tock diner which was a five minute walk from our hotel. Then it was off to the bus stop on 8th Avenue¬†to pick up a tour bus – today we were doing the ‘Midtown’ tour.¬† First stop for us was the Chrysler Building. Hubby loves art deco and the 1930s so the foyer of this building was on his bucket list.¬†¬†The building is a normal office building¬†above the foyer, although even the lifts¬†have striking wooden panelling.¬† 20161123_105722_llsNot far from the Chrysler Building is Grand Central Terminal which was something of a highlight for me.¬† Such a beautiful building inside that I happily stood at the top of the stairs for quite some time, before walking across and doing the same the other side!¬† From there we walked up 42nd Street (stopping at the Pandora shop for my usual holiday souvenir – a bead or charm for my bracelet) to Bryant Park which is where the New York Public Library is.¬† One of my favourite films is The Day After Tomorrow which is partially set in the Library.¬† We walked around inside and saw the reading room which was very familiar from the film. ¬†We then got back on a bus and continued on the Midtown tour across to the west coast of Manhattan where we had 20161123_161145tickets for the Intrepid museum.¬† This was a WWII aircraft carrier which houses numerous aircraft as well as Concorde and the space shuttle Enterprise.¬† Really interesting, and we were there a lot longer than we anticipated – just catching the last bus to take us back to 8th Avenue.¬† Dinner that night was at TGIs off Times Square.

The next day was Thanksgiving, which only meant one thing to me – Macy’s Parade!¬† After breakfast, we walked up towards Central Park and finished up standing just off 6th Avenue.¬†20161124_093655 Apparently 3.5 million people stand on the streets to watch the parade throughout its 2.5 mile route, and we can well believe it.¬† Once the parade had finished, we walked along the southern side of Central Park, and then watched the clearing up – and repositioning of street furniture – around Columbus Circle before getting the subway down to the southern-most tip of Manhattan to catch the Staten Island Ferry. The ferry goes between Manhattan and Staten Island, taking about 25 minutes, and is free.¬† 20161124_185556_llsThere are views of the Statue of Liberty (on the right if you’re going from Manhattan) and then you get off the ferry, walk round and get on the next ferry back.¬† Once back in Manhattan, we picked up the tour bus for the Uptown tour, getting off at the top of Fifth Avenue.¬† We walked to the Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree (not due to be lit for a few more days unfortunately) and Radio City.¬† We then wandered up Fifth Avenue looking at all the expensive shops.¬† Saks’ shop front had the most wonderful light display, set to music ‘Carol of the Bells’. After dinner we had a final walk through Times Square at night.

20161122_211623Friday was our last morning in New York, and after breakfast we headed for the Rockefeller Center where we had tickets for the Top of the Rock.  Unfortunately it was a very grey day but the views were just amazing and we spent more than an hour walking around each side for the different views across the city.  My favourite was north, overlooking Central Park.  After a final walk through Times Square and up 7th Avenue we returned to the hotel for our taxi to the airport.  20161125_100757

A fabulous few days in an amazing city which absolutely lived up to expectations.

Thankfully we weren’t returning home yet.¬† Our next flight was three hours south – to Orlando, Florida.¬† Somewhere we have been many times, but not at the end of November.¬† Not dressed for Christmas.

We were staying with friends in Kissimmee, which was also a first, and it was lovely to not only catch up but also see how locals lived.

20161126_193244_llsOn our first morning we went to our favourite Nike discount store, then met our friends for lunch.  We spent the afternoon at Downtown Disney (now called Disney Springs but old habits die hard!) before heading to Kissimmee Old Town for dinner at a favourite Pizza Hut and a wander around some amazing American cars.  We finished off the day with a round of crazy golf Рa favourite pastime of ours when in Florida!

Sunday didn’t quite pan out as we expected it to…. We went to Cracker Barrel, the store/restaurant where my friend works, and had a look at all the lovely Christmas things. From there we went to International Drive, to have lunch at another favourite restaurant chain – Uno. Our Christmas present from Lauren and Si (daughter + OH) was NBA tickets to see Orlando Magic at the Amway Center that evening, so we though we would have a proper lunch and just eat¬†hot dogs etc at the game. ¬†Having ‘checked in’ on Instagram (my social media of choice these days) we had a lovely lunch and decided to head up to the Mall at Millenia for a bit of shopping. ¬†Walking out of the restaurant, everything changed – we were greeted by Lauren and Si. ¬†To say I was speechless….. They had planned to be in Orlando at the same time as us, but had kept it a secret. ¬†And they had, of course, actually bought four tickets for the NBA game! ¬†So the rest of the day was spent chatting and us getting our heads around the fact that they were with us.

20161127_194124The NBA game was amazing to watch. ¬†Sadly Orlando Magic didn’t win, but there was so much going on at every break in the game – young dance troupes/cheerleaders, someone from Cirque du Soleil at half time, and their wonderful mascot Stuff (the Magic Dragon!) Stuff has recently been voted as the best NBA mascot, and with good reason. ¬†Constantly messing about, interacting with the crowd, and highly entertaining. ¬†A fabulous evening.

Monday was Universal day. We spent the day in the two parks, enjoying the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – including Butter Beer of course – 20161128_121825and some of the rides. ¬†Dinner was at Denny’s on International Drive before we headed back to Downtown for the drone light show, followed by Moana at the cinema. ¬†I must confess to falling asleep but the film was good – I just didn’t see much of the second half…. ūüôā

Tuesday started with breakfast at Denny’s on the 192, followed by a visit to the Vineland Mall. ¬†Then we went and found the Kenworth truck dealership that hubby wanted to visit. ¬†He was in his element, sitting in a brand new truck, admiring the spacious living space behind the cab!


He has the keys!

From there we made our overdue visit to the Mall at Millenia before the main event of this week – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom. ¬†We arrived at 4pm – I was determined to make the most of it! ¬†We entered the park to see a huge Christmas tree at the top of Main Street. ¬†The park was busy, as Disney always is, but not ridiculously so. ¬†We walked round and did a couple of rides – I insist on everyone going on It’s a Small World as I love it ūüôā By 7pm it was dark, and the party started. ¬†There were food stations where you could have things like gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate (each station was different), and as the park emptied of the ‘normal punters’ the queues for any of the rides were minimal. ¬†By 10pm we were stood on Main Street ready for the fireworks. ¬†They were amazing – as Disney fireworks always are – but with the added bonus of snow – yes, snow, on Main Street as they came to an end. ¬†20161129_234300Ok, so it wasn’t really snow but very effective nonetheless! There were two parades during the evening, and we gave the earlier one a miss as we thought the later one would be less crowded, which it was. ¬†It snowed throughout, with Mickey and Minnie at the start and Santa at the end. ¬†Just a wonderful evening, and very much a bucket list moment for me.

Wednesday already. ¬†Hubby started his day with a round of golf at Falcon’s Fire with Si, while I went to Crosslands for a bit of shopping with my friend. ¬†After lunch at MacDonalds, the four of us headed east for Cocoa Beach and Ron Jon’s Surf Shop.


Christmas tree in Ron Jon’s – decorated with shells

Then we drove back to International Drive, with a craving for coconut shrimp……time to go to Joe’s Crabshack for dinner – highly recommended. ¬†Then it was more crazy golf at Pirates Cove on International Drive, followed by a wander around the Orlando Eye complex.

Thursday was our last full day. ¬†We spent the day shopping at a variety of shops and supermarkets. ¬†We love American supermarkets – Publix and Walmart are our favourites. Our last dinner was at Uno on the 192, not one we’d visited before but just as good. ¬†Our evening was completed by – yes, another round of crazy golf!

Our final day dawned ūüė¶ We met Lauren and Si at Downtown and wandered around the shops, including Sprinkles (the best cupcakes) and Ghiradelli’s (the best chocolate). ¬†After lunch at Dennys on the 192, we headed back to our friends to zip up the suitcases and head for the airport.

We’d had an amazing holiday, with two big ticks off my bucket list – Macy’s Parade in New York and Magic Kingdom dressed for Christmas in Florida – as well as the wonderful surprise of Lauren and Si turning up. ¬†No particular plans for 2017 yet, but 2018’s trip to Florida is already being discussed….. ūüôā


Rio 2016

August 28, 2016 Leave a comment


I¬†can’t believe it’s four years since I wrote my last Olympic blog about London 2012. I wasn’t sure I would be as engrossed this time, but I certainly was during the evenings although I didn’t stay up till the early hours.¬† That said, I recorded – and watched ‘live’ the next morning ‚Äď Super Saturday (watching Mo Farah win gold, Jess Ennis-Hill silver and Greg Rutherford bronze) as well as the 100m final on Sensational Sunday.

So many medals for Team GB: starting out, Adam Peaty¬†won our¬†first gold, Tom Daley & Dan Goodfellow winning their 10m platform synchronised diving bronze, Jack Laugher & Chris Mears¬†winning our¬†first ever gold in diving in the 3m synchronised.¬† Andy Murray was another gold to go with his Wimbledon title, the Brownlee brothers won the gold and the silver in the triathlon, and Max Whitlock dominated the gymnastics. We won medals in the¬†sports of kayaking, judo, shooting…and that was before¬†the velodrome!

Justine Rose (guardian)I’ve never been so excited watching a game of golf. Watching Justin Rose (left – credit The Guardian)¬†¬†and Henrik Stenson play those last few holes, and it was all down to the final putt. Hopefully the other top players who decided to stay away will be encouraged to take part in Tokyo.

The cycling in the velodrome¬†is one of my favourites ‚Äď Mark Cavendish finally winning an Olympic medal, Becky James, Callum Skinner, Laura Trott and, of course, Jason Kenny finally winning the Keirin gold after the third start – so nail-biting they actually postponed the ten o’clock news!

Delighted to see that Usain Bolt also won the 200m gold, but gutted for Adam Gemili who missed out on a bronze medal by a ridiculously small margin (0.003 of a second). I’m sure his time will come.

The Rio games were not without issues ‚Äď empty seats (prices too expensive for locals¬†as well as¬†people staying away due to the Zika virus), the green diving pool (too much chemical rendering the chlorine ineffective), and US swimmers lying about being robbed. But I was still shouting at the television on numerous occasions.

Well done Team GB ‚Äď second in the medal table with a total of 67 medals, and ahead of China for the first time.¬† This exceeded the medal target and was the best medal return since London 1908.¬† We won medals in 19 sports; we won 12 medals in cycling alone (including¬†six golds); Amy Tinkler at 16 was our youngest medallist and Nick Skelton at 58 was the oldest; Laura Trott became the first woman to win four golds.¬† Jason Kenny has equalled Chris Hoy’s total of six gold and one silver; and Bradley Wiggins has now won the most British Olympic medals (five gold, one silver and two bronze).¬† Rio was the most successful overseas¬†Olympic games for Team GB.


Team GB arriving home on VictoRIOus (credit British Airways)


The coverage on the BBC was fabulous as usual Рwith particular mention to Clare Balding, who was everywhere (in the nicest sense!),  Chris Hoy in the velodrome and Leon Taylor at the diving.

Tokyo in 2020 will be about 8 hours ahead so all the action will be in the morning/early afternoon, so I might need to take some time off…..

Before that, of course, we have the Paralympics in Rio, and the¬†next Winter Olympics are in Pyeongchang ‚Äď South Korea ‚Äď in 2018.

It’s not called the greatest show on earth for nothing…..I can’t wait.


Categories: Around the world, Sport


April 2016 and our first visit to Greece.¬† We left Guernsey on the Saturday as we had tickets to see Jeff Lynne’s ELO at the O2 on the Saturday night.¬† Needless to say, they were brilliant.

It was an early start for us on the Sunday on a 7am flight from Heathrow to Athens.¬† At this time of year, direct flights between Rhodes and Gatwick are only on certain days as their holiday season doesn’t really start until May.¬† We had a couple of hours at Athens airport – sadly, not long enough to actually go and see anything but we wandered around outside in the warm sunshine – feet on Greek soil for the first time.¬† Our flight to Rhodes was on time and an hour later we were touching down, at around 5.30pm.

Our hosts for the week were Kevin and Sally РGuernsey expats (and friends!) who have lived in Rhodes for some 12 years.  They run Afandou Village Apartments which we would highly recommend (check out their Trip Advisor ratings Рall excellent).  They collected us from the airport and did a slightly longer route back to give us a taste of the area (the journey usually takes about 20 minutes).

Our one bedroom apartment was lovely – large bedroom, with its own terrace at the back,


Our lovely bedroom at Afandou Village Apartments

large shower room and an open plan living area with a small kitchenette, and a small terrace at the front to catch the evening sunshine.¬† Perfect for what we needed.¬† Kevin and Sally said that they were having pizza that evening, delivered from the local pizzeria, and asked us to join them, which we happily agreed.¬† We went for a wander into the village to get some basics¬†for breakfast the next morning, then joined Kevin and Sally on their rooftop terrace for pizza and a few drinks….till 1:30am!


On Monday morning, our hire car was delivered to the apartments.  Kevin and Sally had arranged this through the hire car company in Afandou village, as this was cheaper than collecting it at the airport.  We drove south to Lindos which is further down the eastern coast of Rhodes.


View across Lindos overlooked by the Acropolis

Lindos is beautiful – the atypical Greek village with white houses, albeit very touristy, all overlooked by the Lindos Acropolis.¬† We wandered around the village, buying a couple of souvenirs (useful ones, not tat!) and then had lunch in a rooftop restaurant called Delight.¬† As with the rest of our holiday, we tried to sample as much Greek cuisine as we could, and our lunch was lovely.¬† Unfortunately, the Acropolis was closed on Mondays, so we vowed to return later in the week to see it.¬† As we’d had a late – and quite big – lunch, we drove back to the apartment, then walked down into the village for ice cream before an early night (after the previous late one!)


Tuesday started with some rain, but it didn’t last.¬† We drove to Anthony Quinn bay (yes, named after the actor – more info here) which is beautiful, then drove to a little village called Koskinou which has houses with brightly coloured doors.¬† We then continued south to the infamous Falaraki.¬† This used to be a Club 18-30 haunt but not so much these days although it still has that look with the strip clubs and bars.¬† This again was very quiet as the season had not yet started.¬† We returned to Afandou village and had the first of several gyros.¬† Gyros are the Greek equivalent of fast food.¬† They consist of cooked meat, tomato, onion and tzatziki in pittas, usually served with chips.¬† Delicious!¬† In the takeaways / restaurants, you can see the meat cooking, which looks like doner-kebab meat, but isn’t processed in any way, just pure meat.

I went for iced coffee (which everyone drinks) with Sally at Afandou Beach kantina, while Bob played golf with a friend of theirs, Panayoti, who had visited Guernsey for the Island Games in 2003.¬† Bob said the golf course was challenging, to say the least, but he enjoyed his game.¬† We finished off the day with dinner in Afandou.¬† We went to a small local place called¬†Ouzadiko.¬† Somewhere that we said we would never¬†have tried without Kevin and Sally’s recommendation, but we had a fabulous meal – prawns in ouzo and Greek yoghurt with honey amongst other things! – and a great laugh with the locals.¬† Most speak a little English which was just as well as we don’t speak any Greek.¬† The owner sat with us when we arrived to go through the menu – which was in Greek.¬† Good job he spoke English!

Mid week already Рon Wednesday we drove to Rhodes. We wandered around the old town which is very pretty but very commercialised, such that when you walk into Athena square (the main one) they are beckoning you from the other side to come and eat in their restaurant!


Athena Square, Rhodes Old Town

We also wandered around the new town, and stopped for lunch at Augoustinos, which is renowned as being the best gyros place to go to¬†on the island, which we would definitely recommend.¬† ¬†We strolled along the harbour, admiring a huge super yacht called the Ocean Venture,¬†then had ice cream in the old town before making our way back to the car.¬† We were invited to dinner on Sally and Kevin’s terrace, where Sally cooked a lovely meal comprising a number of traditional Greek dishes.¬† A lovely evening……till 1:30am again….!


On Thursday we drove west, across the island, stopping at the Panorama caf√© which wasn’t yet open for the season unfortunately but it had stunning views. We¬†continued¬†down to the west coast, stopping at Elafos ceramic shop to buy a small Greek urn – well you can’t go home without one surely?! We then stopped at Kamiros, a huge site of ancient Roman ruins with beautiful views from the top.


Kamiros ancient city ruins

We drove back round the coast, around Rhodes harbour and back through Falaraki, stopping at Afandou beach kantina for ice cream. We went back into Rhodes old town in the evening, as apparently it is a ‘must see’ at night, but it was relatively deserted as the tourist season hadn’t really started yet. We had a lovely dinner at La Verka restaurant, which we found in one of the side streets.


Isn’t it funny how Fridays give you an entirely feeling when you’re on holiday rather than at work? We returned to Lindos and went up to the Acropolis.¬† We’re glad we made the effort to return¬†as it is quite amazing to see and the views from the top are incredible.


Lindos Acropolis

We did feel sorry for the donkeys which you can ride up on rather than walk – needless to say, we walked.¬† ¬†After strolling back through Lindos to the car, we drove west across the island to Monolithos castle which we didn’t go into but viewed from the top – we could see there were a lot of steps and we’d already done quite a few!¬† We¬†drove back around the coast to Afandou and had dinner at Danielle pizzeria – calzones, which were huge! This was actually Good Friday for the Greeks, and in the evening we went into the village at 8:30 to see the local rituals. We went into the church for a few minutes to see what was going on, then followed the procession, as did most of the village, around the streets, being regularly showered in holy water! We returned to Mike’s Bar for drinks (and another late night).


Saturday was our last full day ūüė¶¬† We drove up to Rhodes to see the Acropolis which we eventually found and weren’t really that impressed with.¬† We thought the Lindos Acropolis and the Kamiros ruins were better, although you pay for both of these.¬†We returned to Rhodes town for a gyros lunch then wandered back through the old town and had ice cream sitting on the steps overlooking Athena Square. We drove back to the east coast, to Anthony Quinn bay, where Bob had a swim – too cold for me, although he said it was lovely once you were in!


Anthony Quinn Bay – with Bob snorkelling!

We took Sally and Kevin out for dinner on our last evening¬†and they took us to¬†Anthoula Taverna in Kolymbia.¬† We then returned to Afandou¬†to see the Easter celebrations, where the whole village congregates outside the church with candles which are all gradually lit.¬† It was quite spectacular to see.¬†¬†Afterwards we sat in Mike’s Bar till 1:30am again….


On Sunday morning we drove down to Kolymbia, having seen a little of it the previous evening and had a stroll round before returning to Afandou beach where we sat in the sun for a while, admiring the beautiful colour of the Aegean Sea.


Afandou Beach, looking out into the Aegean Sea

Then back to the village for a final ice cream before returning to the apartment to pack.  Our flight to Athens was late afternoon, and Sally and Kevin had invited us for lunch on the rooftop terrace before we headed for the airport.


We absolutely loved our time on Rhodes.  Our weather (with the exception of the couple of hours rain on Tuesday) was glorious Рtemperatures in the mid-20s so nice and warm without being too hot.  We loved the island, loved Greek food (gyros in particular!) and loved the people who are friendly and helpful.  Many speak at least some English, and I have vowed to try and learn a little Greek before we return.  Our first visit to Greece Рbut certainly not our last.

Categories: Around the world Tags: , ,