I decided to give this one its own space, as it was such an intensely magical adventure. While Mum went to Bath, Sarah and I delved into the New Forest near Brockenhurst, and found a childhood dreamland. The photos kinda speak for themselves…

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We spent about 5 hours just wandering wide-eyed through the forest. Then we hopped back on the train down to Lymington, where we found a totally different landscape, but similarly charming! We stopped at a strawberry farm we happened to come across while looking for the path to the beach.

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At last, after some local help, we found the walkway to the beach, via this amazing path lined with flowers!

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Finally the coast, complete with a view of the Isle of Wight.

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That day is a precious jewel I will treasure for ever.

After our brief but enjoyable few days with the Owlers, we headed down to Southampton to stay with my very dear friends Sarah and Lloyd in their little home. I was so so excited to see them, as we are very close, and it has been really tough for all of us to be apart from each other.
The week we spent there was so beautiful, such good weather and wonderful adventures, interspersed with picnics and impromptu music practice. I was very very sad to leave.

We went on some outings with Sarah. (Lloyd had to work, of course, but we saw him in the evenings and weekend) We went to Salisbury and out to see Stonehenge! It was pretty surreal. I thought we might have to stand miles away, or the surroundings would be all “touristy” but actually we got quite close, and the whole presentation was pretty tasteful! I’d love to go back and explore the surrounding area. There are miles of walking trails and old barrows to roam around. You could spend a whole day there easily!

Also during our stay, Sarah and I seized the opportunity to take some portrait photos of each other, which was great, and resulted in some photos of her that I’m very happy with, and some photos of me which are the best ones I’ve had for ages!!

(Apologies for the lack of pictures of Lloyd. He doesn’t really like being in front of the camera much so I try not to do it unless it’s really necessary. He is in the film journal though!)

During a walk, Sarah suddenly declared "Those buttercups! I want to get in them!" So she did.
During a walk, Sarah suddenly declared “Those buttercups! I want to get in them!” So she did.
One of our adventures took us to Salisbury.
One of our adventures took us to Salisbury.
Some great countryside views.
Some great countryside views.
Look! It's the real-actual Stonehenge!
Look! It’s the real-actual Stonehenge!
Oooooh!
Oooooh!
It was a bit bright that day.
It was a bit bright that day.
There were heaps and heaps of these big crows about, I liked them a lot, they gave the place even more atmosphere.
There were heaps and heaps of these big crows about, I liked them a lot, they gave the place even more atmosphere.
Also in Salisbury, we visited the cathedral, and it WAS pretty impressive. Though I must say, I liked St Albans better.
Also in Salisbury, we visited the cathedral, and it WAS pretty impressive. Though I must say, I liked St Albans better.

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And a couple of “outtakes” for fun!

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This is my “Ha! You still have the 10 second timer on!” face.
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A-mazing. Just look at that shoe.

This is going to be a (mostly visual) account of my Adventures with my Mum in the UK and in Canada, 2016.
We are headed to England to visit some family, and some friends who might as well be family, and to Scotland to see where our family came out from. We’re then headed over to Canada, to Prince Edward island, for the biannual L.M.Montgomery conference, which my Mother has attended the past few times.

We came to England via a stopover in Singapore, where we spent a leisurely few hours wandering through the indoor gardens and napping in the rest areas.

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Singapore Airport butterfly house
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The wishes of hundreds of travelers, lying forgotten in the koi pond.

Our flight from Singapore to London (13 hours) was pretty unpleasant. Mum was feeling very nauseous even before we got on the plane, but the turbulence didn’t help. We did our best to sleep but to no avail. We followed the sunrise for the last few hours and arrived in Heathrow at 5:55am.

When we arrived we were met by David and Janet, some very extended relatives, who live in nearby St Albans. They took us to their place where we had a lovely nap and a wash and then some delicious soup before heading out to Cambridge for the afternoon.

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The view across the fields on the way to Cambridge was lovely, with many new and unfamiliar wildflowers.
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Wandering the strikingly narrow alleys and streets of Cambridge
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One of many incredible buildings…imagine studying here!
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I loved the names on the punts.
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The back of King’s College, across the river Cam.
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Janet tells us that these lovely flowers have been given the unceremonious name of Cow Parsley.
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Mum alongside one of the last examples of flowering Hawthorn for the season.

We had dinner at a pace called Carluccio’s and arrived home around 9pm, just as the light was fading. The weather had been quite cold and blustery and not at all summer-ish, so David and Janet lit the fire and we sat by it for a while drinking Chamomile tea before collapsing into sleep. The following day we woke feeling a little more like human beings and set out with a mission of exploring St Albans.

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“Commit No Nuisance” (Also, the first example we saw of walls built with flint, apparently the most common building stone in St Albans’ !)
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Good spot for a picnic!

One of our most significant stops was the St Albans Abbey, a very very old and very impressive piece of architecture.

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St Albans Abbey
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Graffiti of varying ages inside the abbey.
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A replica of the astronomical clock made by one of the Abbots, complete with a symbol of a dragon, to represent the creature that “ate the sun” during an eclipse.
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The incredible painted ceiling.
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Amazingly detailed carvings of fruits and flowers. Each column depicted a different plant.
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Beautiful embroidered cushions.

We stopped in the Abbey cafe for a cup of tea and a scone, then headed out to the nearby park where many sections of the old Roman wall which used to surround the town have been excavated. On the way we saw this cute little building, originally a pigeon house.

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This pub claims to be the oldest pub in Britain…it’s a very popular claim.
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One of the long hills, which cover the old roman walls.
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Some of the walls that have been excavated.

We managed to fit in some more Roman ruin exploring, and a circuit of the Roman museum, before a late lunch and then straight home to pick up our luggage for the train trek to Southampton.

Em xoxo