A Travellerspoint blog


Land of flatness and extreme weather

sunny 18 °C

Well, we arrived on Friday 8th May, and dropped into Ottowa after a very good flight on Air Canada. i had a very pleasant party all to myself on the transatlantic flight, and then suffered a bit on the leg from Ottowa to Winnipeg (a two hour transfer). By the time I got to Winnipeg, I wasn't sure if I was hung over or jet lagged, but probably a bit of both. The weather on Friday evening was fine but cool.

Imagine my delight when I awoke at 6 a.m., pulled back the curtains to see the snow falling! Only a light dusting, but not quite what I was expecting. By the afternoon, the sun had come out and the temperature was back to a more normal 15 degrees or so. Saturday evening we had a party at Laurie's house to celebrate my brothers 50th Birthday, my father's 75th birthday, and my parents 53rd wedding anniversary. The food was good, the beer and wine flowing and meeting a totally new bunch of people who I had never met before was very refreshing, and great fun. My initial impression of Canadians is that they are very friendly, relaxed and have a dry sense of humour, more so than their neighbours down South.

Des was subjected to a ritual humiliation when "nurse" turned up to abuse him in front of his family and friends. It's not often I have seen Des kept quiet, but this was one of those occasions. By the time I got to bed it was the equivalent of 7 am UK time (1am Canadian time).

In the morning, I woke up early, and Des and I trotted off to the gym to work up a sweat before I went to the local Massage therapist (Jenna) who soothed my aching muscles..

We went for a walk in the afternoon with Mum and Dad to see the local sights, one of them being a local church built the same year as Mum (and in better nick):

Laurie's house is a delightful old colonial style wooden building, which has had a brick facia put on it to make it different:

Today we left Winnipeg for the short 7 hour drive across Manitoba to visit Laurie's sister in Regina. An unbelievable journey across the flat plains...mile after mile (actually over 600km) of straight road as far as the eye could see. You can see the curvature of the earth in all directions.

This evening we had a lovely meal with Andy and Bonnie and tomorrow it's off to the gym again for another sweaty session.
Pictures to follow....

Posted by ackers888 21:08 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Thought for the day

and the best drunk video

overcast 18 °C

When things don't go as you expect, you must not let yourselves be
defeated. Don't become discouraged. The struggles one goes through in one's
youth are a precious treasure. It is only by taking on the challenges of the
real world that you can build a deep, strong foundation for victory in life.
Though you may stumble along the way, just pick yourself up again, plant
your feet firmly on the ground, and make further powerful strides forward,
aiming even higher than before. An ancient Chinese text says: 'It is like
the case of a person who falls to the ground, but who then pushes himself up
from the ground and rises to his feet again'

See you in Canada !

Posted by ackers888 09:36 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Mottisfont Abbey

Where Lois and I got married 5th May 2001

overcast 18 °C

Laura and I drove to Mottisfont Abbey today to find some closure at this special time. The weather, remarkably, was exactly the same as it was 8 years ago, warm, a little overcast but dry. We wandered to the spot where Lois's ashes were spread and we had a little chat to say thank you to her for helping us get through these difficult times. We wandered over to the Abbey house and had a look around. It's a beautiful place, very simple inside from a furnishing point of view, but very calm and peaceful and exquisitely decorated.

Laura and I paused to reflect in the library where the wedding ceremony took place, and then into the dining room where we had our reception for family and close friends afterwards. We talked about who sat where, laughed at the thought of little James Clifton falling asleep in Lesley's arms at the dinner table, how Gareth (my best man and son) had everyone in raptures of laughter with his after dinner jokes. The images of Lois's and my father wearing ladies hats after they'd had a couple of glasses of wine, and most of all, both Mums sharing used tissues when they had run out from crying too much. It was a beautiful day, and i wouldn't have missed it for a moment. Lois looked stunning (even though she had only recently completed a bout of chemotherapy) and i am proud to have been chosen by her and been by her side for so long since.

The abbey is well worth a visit if you happen to be passing. The house is not very big, understated but is lovely. They have acres of manicured lawns, a walled garden, and best of all the River Test runs through the land. A very special place and all terribly English.


So now, my new life begins (actually has already begun) and I fly to Canada on Friday with my parents to visit my little brother Des and his partner Laurie. We'll be doing a bit of a road trip acrss the Rockies from what I have heard.. I am looking forward to the exciting times ahead. Life is a journey, not a destination, and we must all of us make the most of every day, and every opportunity that comes our way. I fully intend to do that....

Who knows where my path is leading, but I am feeling good about it what ever happens. After all I have always been and still am a very lucky man. Lucky in that i didn't die aged 19 on the Sir Galahad when it was bombed in 1982 during the Falklands conflict. Lucky that my first marriage gave me two lovely children, Gareth and Laura. Lucky that my subsequent divorce led to me meeting the most beautiful person in the world, Lois. I was fortunate to have 19 wonderful years with her. And I know I will be lucky in the future, that luck starts here and now, I can already feel it in my bones. If you truly believe good things will happen, then you can make them happen..

Where is my path going to lead me next, watch this space:


Posted by ackers888 08:26 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

Bluebell Ride Out

a wet afternoon on a horse

rain 13 °C

Today Sally and I took part in a ride out on horses to see some bluebells near Chute, Andover. Despite it raining it was a lovely day, and the riding was good fun. Plenty of walking, trotting and cantering to keep us amused and some stunning bluebell vistas, I have never seen so many in one place. It was good for the soul to be out there amongst nature, and is a good way to relax despite being on a half ton wild animal....

some pictures for you to peruse at your leisure....
Me and my trusty steed (and she's is not bad for a 16 year old blonde)


Sally and Cherie, her cob.


Elisa's ears and the bluebells


Elisa portrait


It's not all about the horses!


Posted by ackers888 11:59 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged animal Comments (0)

I'm a tourist


semi-overcast 13 °C

Last weekend I started my walkabout, and went to the beautiful city of Bath to look at the architecture and take in the atmosphere. Just a couple of photo's but enough for you to get the gist of it:

The Abbey, very serene, and solid too:


Poultenay Bridge from the top of a bus, probably the most photographed bridge in Britain:

Then I went to Stourhead Gardens. I have always wanted to go there and being close by I popped in and it did not dissapoint. What a wonderful serene pace, and stunning scenery. I think I may have arrived a wee bit early for it to be in full glory, but the Rhododendrons were out, and it was a feast for the eyes.

When I got back, I went for a jog in Harewood forest and saw the bluebells..a favourite of mine.

Next I will be packing for Canada, where Des has now moved to.

Ciao till later.

Posted by ackers888 04:02 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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