Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Back in Blighty again

To quote the late, great Douglas Adam (author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), we aren't quite home and dry, but we are home and vigourously toweling ourselves off. We are currently zig-zagging our way across southern England and Wales and will finally land at our own house in Somerset on Wednesday.

In the meantime, and since arriving at Heathrow Airport on Easter Monday, we have been enjoying some wonderful hospitality of old friends and are slowly acclimatising to the the somewhat bracing Spring temperatures here. Lovely of Theresa May to announce a snap General Election, too, so as to ensure that we really can't listen to the radio or watch the news for more than 5 minutes without shouting at the smug politicians who are entirely missing the point of what's really important. The British Government was obviously getting miffed at all the attention that Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un and the French have been getting recently so thought they'd start a diversionary tactic of their own. 

Anyway, politics apart, it has been just great to see good friends and to enjoy the things that we've missed whilst we have been away: buildings older than 140 years, real ale (sorry, Australians, that cold fizzy stuff you drink straight from the bottle just isn't beer and you should stop calling it that) and the joys of the countryside bursting with blossom. We've done a fair few railway journeys, learning, in the process, the nonsensical fact that a pair of tickets from, for example,  Hemel Hempstead to Caersws, in mid-Wales, via Birmingham costs £150 if booked as a single jouney but only costs £15 if you buy each leg of the journey as a separate ticket (Eh???). And we are now the very happy temporary guardians of goddaughter Amy's Toyota Aygo whilst she is travelling abroad, so are loving the freedom to travel without a timetable.

Here are a few photos of the UK journey so far, with huge thanks to Richard and Jenny, Fergus and Helen, Richard and Naomi, Steve and Barbara and Simon and Kerry for their wonderful welcome.

Proper old buildings at Aldeburgh, on a walk along the seafront with Jenny

The boating lake at Thorpeness Mere - we weren't tempted!

Fergus takes Di for a spin in his 1955 Austin Healey. Fergus sailed across the Atlantic with us in 2012

spring blooms

Di with Naomi and Richard (and Radley the gorgeous Springer Spaniel); Richard was the other crew member across the Atlantic
Richard, founder of the wonderful business Snowbility, which puts Autistic and other special needs kids on skis with amazing results, surprised us with a skiing lesson of our own!
Graham getting to grips (sort of) with the slippery stuff...

... and with Holly the dog in mid-Wales

Di, meanwhile, gets a training session on the quad-bike from Steve....

... as a precursor to some hard labour clearing wood

Rewards for hard work - proper beer (and NZ wine)
setting off to Cornwall

Bluebells in amazing full bloom near Truro, Cornwall
We'll post another update once we get back into our house; we regain possession of it from out tenants on Wednesday and have a van booked for Thursday and Friday to collect all our gear from our storage units. There is some hard work ahead to get the cottage re-decorated and re-furnished, the garden sorted and some general maintenance completed. 

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