Friday, 31 October 2014

Forty Winks Friday. Bath Napper

Bath, UK is a most beautiful place.
It has the Roman Bath's, The Abbey, gorgeous architecture...
and...when we visited... a napper!

Rabyn's Nappers

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

When it transpired that my family would be going to England for a few days holiday, 
I put a visit to the Tower of London at the top of things we absolutely had to do.
I had seen the Poppies at the Tower of London on the news, 
they popped up on Facebook and in travel blogs.
 I just had to see them for myself and experience the atmosphere.

The ceramic poppies are an art installation marking the centenary of the outbreak of
the First World War. Every day, more poppies are added and by 11 November 2014,
there will be 888 246 poppies filling the Tower's moat.
Each poppy represents a British Military fatality in the First World War.  

To see the vibrant red poppies at the Tower of London is moving and thought provoking. 
The Poppy has long been associated with Remembrance Day. Poppies flourish in land 
that has been disturbed. The battlefield's provided the ideal environment, so as war raged, 
fields of red poppies bloomed amongst the fallen soldiers.

The sheer number of poppies in the moat and the life that each one represented is a powerful reminder, of so many lives lost and so many more that were affected. 
A stunning tribute to all those who sacrificed their lives for their country.

We Will Remember Them.

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Poppies at The Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Monday, 27 October 2014

Glass Half Full, an impromptu trip back to England.

I am a glass half full type of person and prefer to look for the positives in every situation.
Our family holiday in Prague, a city I have long wanted to visit had to be postponed.
An urgent business meeting in England, my husband had to attend came up so
instead of waving him off we jumped in the car and joined him.

Here is a little taste of our whirlwind five days back in England.

We drove through tunnels of autumn colour.

Drive through the Chilterns

One wet and windy day I took the time to sit back and watch my friend Fiona's
inspiring TEDx talk, A life without boundaries, so proud of her achievements!

The weather cleared for a day in London, one of my favourite cities.

The Embankment, London

We took a long stroll down the Embankment, down to Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge, London

Was so happy to have the opportunity to visit the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red
installation of poppies at the Tower of London.

The Tower of London, Poppies

Such a moving experience, by 11 November 2014, a total of 888 246 poppies 
will fill the moat surrounding the tower.
Each poppy representing a British Military fatality during the First World War.

The Tower of London, Poppies

We got to visit our favourite Szechuan restaurant in Chinatown and take a
 culinary trip down memory lane.

Red N Hot Dry fried green beans with minced pork

We visited Camden Lock.

Camden Lock, London

Spent a while perusing the market.

Camden Markets, London

I had always wanted to visit Bath, but never quite made it when we lived in England.
So we jumped in the car and ticked Bath off the to do list.

Bath, England

What a glorious place, a day was not enough to explore, I will have to go back.

The stunning Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey, Bath, England

The incredible Roman Baths

The Roman Baths, Bath, England

The history to soak up

The Roman Baths and Bath Abbey, Bath, England

We managed to make the most of our little impromptu holiday in England. 
We caught up with friends and family and fitted in a little shopping.
You never know what life will throw at you so embrace every opportunity
and make lemonade when life gives you lemons!

A visit to Prague is still on our ever increasing list. 
Why is it the more you travel, the longer your travel list becomes?

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Three useful things I never travel without.

We are about to head off on another adventure for the Fall Break, 
the girls and I..and the dog are tagging along on my husband's work trip to the UK.
A chance to catch up with some UK friends and family, finally make it to Bath and
I am looking forward to seeing the Poppies of Remembrance at the Tower of London.

I used to pack for holidays weeks in advance, write lists and tick things off. 
Now I am not quite as obsessed and don't stress too much. 
As long as I have my kids, a camera and passports it doesn't really matter if something is forgotten.

There are three things that always get packed, no matter if it is a weekend or a month away,
a car trip or a long haul flight.

Travel Essentials

1. A Sarong.

A sarong is the most versatile item you can travel with and it takes up next to no room. It can be transformed into many things. Over the years I have used mine as a picnic rug, sheet, changing room, room divider, sun shade, pillow, a carry bag, towel, curtain, a sling, blanket, tablecloth and as padding for delicate souvenirs. Perfect for covering up to be culturally correct when visiting temples and shrines. Surprise, surprise, you can even wear it...a beach cover, skirt, scarf or shawl! When I was backpacking around Europe, many moons ago, my travel companions dubbed my sarong 'Grandma' as 'she' did so much for all of us it was like travelling with Grandma!

2. Selection of Medicines.

There isn't much worse than being on holiday and not having access to your medicine cabinet at home when you really need it. No matter if you are 100 kilometres away, needing a pain killer at 3am or in a country where you don't speak the language, have a three hour bus trip leaving in an hour and can't seem to be more than 1 metre away from a bathroom. You don't need to take the cabinet with you, just a few essentials. I take painkillers, anti diarrhoea relief, antihistamine for insect bites and allergies, tiger balm or equivalent is great for insect bites, headaches and aching muscles. Don't forget the band aids for blisters. Tea tree oil for cuts, abrasions and to clear the nose if you get a sniffle! Tissues...always take tissues!

3. Zip Lock Bags.

One of the best inventions ever, I always pack a couple in various sizes and they invariably come in handy. Protecting phones, cameras and passports from wet weather or activities on water. Storing SIM cards, charger cables and spare batteries. Keeping snacks in, separating different currencies. Perfect for keeping your travel medicines in. Pop your sarong in one if it gets damp! Storing receipts and brochures, keeping small souvenirs or jewellery together and safe. Keep toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner sealed in as extra 'insurance' against leakage in the toiletry bag. Putting smelly shoes in or wet swimwear. Keeping underwear together, then it can double as a laundry bag. Need an icepack, fill with ice and seal or put some drinks in to chill them! I am sure the list is endless!

...and always take your sense of humour... Happy travelling

Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday, 10 October 2014

Forty Winks Friday, Pull up a park bench!

Nothing like taking a break from the fast pace of life in the city of Shanghai.
Pull up a park bench and nap in the warm dappled sunlight.

Robyn's Shanghai Nappers

Robyn's Shanghai Nappers

Robyn's Shanghai Nappers