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Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Firs & Hay-On-Wye

Yes its the last holiday of the year time...... it's going to be a long winter!

I'm in Hay-On-Wye for four nights at the mo and started the holiday by visiting a brand new National Trust property! 

The Firs (birth place of Sir Edward Elgar - Enigma Variations, Salut d'Amour, that Cello Concerto) has been a museum for a while I believe but is now in the care of the National Trust. It opened at the beginning of the month ( a soft launch I believe) with the first full season next year). The agreement with the Elgar Foundation is for a trial period of five years.....

You park at the visitors centre which has a nice time line about Elgar's life, an introductory video, a small shop and a tea room ;)

They have a bear!! Got to love a property which has a sense of fun!

This is a Xylophone

Elgar is looking out towards the Malvern Hills

Given Elgar lived in over 50 properties why his birthplace ? Given he moved out at 2 1/2 it hardly played a part in his musical life! Well apparently it was his wish that if any of his homes was to be preserved it be this one.

And so to Hay..... and what has happened? Lots of book shops seem to have gone and the place seems to have moved up market! I can't say I approve of this!! And the book shops remaining are well less stocked heh ho.

The view from Hay bridge

The castle

It started to rain hard so I've adjourned to the pub!

Friday, September 29, 2017


As you know I am a little mad and am known to take my duck Mr Quacks around with me..... well Quacks has a twitter account and has a number of "plush" and human followers. One of these is a purple Australian Elephant called Ellivia. Ellivia was visiting the UK with a family friend and one morning early in August it was tweeted that Ellivia had gone missing between York and London Paddington. Now a few pals have gone missing over the years but for some reason this got to me (yeah I know) and I wasn't having her get lost but after 4 days nothing!

On the Monday following her disappearance the family friend tweeted some more info and mentioned a 5a bus. Now I knew the name of the bus company and on the off chance phoned their lost property.... and they had her!!!  Which is great but the family were in Australia and the family friend (also from Aus) had flown out!! I didn't know that at the time I just sent the Elephant my phone number and said I had tracked her down! The family phoned me and explained the situation and that they were coming to England in October.

First York bus company were brilliant, they not only paid for me to be sent to me but posted a few pics and sent a badge and a "drivers licence" and since mid August she has joined the family and I have documented her travels on Quacks twitter account. You will have seen her sit with Quacks next to the scones on here.

Her family arrive next week and alas I am off!! So today I packaged her up and delivered her to the hotel for collection. I will admit this was a bit sad since I've become attached to the little phlump!!

Curiously another of Quacks twitter pals arrived today, I had to pick him up from the post office. Unfortunately they sent him to Mr Quacks and the Post Office wanted a signature. I didn't have Quacks to hand and to be honest I don't think plonking him on the counter would have got the response I wanted. I kept smiling and explained that Mr Quacks was a small duck and that the jiffy bag contained a toy mouse.... he wanted a signature...... I then showed him a twitter pic of said mouse outside a post office in the jiffy bag and he looked at me and relented!!!

Simon Jenkins (he of the churches book) has a new one Britain's 100 best Railway Stations. Liverpool Street gets 5 stars. I can't get really excited to be honest.

One of the lucky things about my life is I've never had to commute to London!

The weather was not good

Now my plan had been to do a bit of sight seeing but the weather was rubbish it was early so I headed home and nipped to Ickworth

Mixed Herb Scone.

Tomorrow begins the last holiday of the year :(

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Rye Meads

What a glorious day! I wandered down to Rye Meads for a stroll. Bird wise it was a bit light with highlights being 3 Little Egrets and 3 Wigeon.

There were 3 Little Egrets in all..... one moment they weren't there then they were!

2 of 4 Wigeon.

Excuse me young Moorhen that perch is for Kingfishers!

A few posey Migrant Hawkers about today.

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