Postcards from Across the Pond

Big photo, short text: It’s practically the definition of a postcard. This blog post is taking a lesson from them to provide a wrap up of my trip to Devon with some views that I didn’t have a chance to share in the Bound for Beer series. Click on any of them to enlarge, and scroll to the end for a…

View Post

Bound for Beer (Part 4)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] My final morning in Beer dawned as one of those late spring/early summer days that seemed absolutely perfect, the type you wish would go on forever. The mist of the past few days had completely vanished, leaving blue skies in its wake, and the colours along…

View Post

BOUND FOR BEER (PART 3)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] Rather than the antiquated local museum I was expecting, from the moment you step inside Seaton Jurassic it is clear that time, money, and passion have gone into creating an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages. You start off by exploring a Victorian…

View Post

BOUND FOR BEER (PART 2)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] Arriving in Beer in the evening, MrElaineous and I only had a brief moment to look around before settling into the B&B for the night. What we saw certainly seemed picturesque. There was a stream running along the village’s main road so you were never far…

View Post

BOUND FOR BEER (PART 1)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] MrElaineous and I are teetotal or, as I like to put it, totally about tea. This means that there was a degree of irony in our recent trip to the Devon village of Beer as we wouldn’t be partaking in the eponymous beverage, but we did…

View Post

OF LONGLEAT, LONDON, AND LIGHT

If Christmas did not exist, I think modern Britons would have invented their own winter holiday. After all, the ancients had their own festivals to ensure the rebirth of the sun, and as the weather turns colder and days shorter, there needs to be something to look forward to and add a splash of warmth into the very heart of the dark…

View Post

BIRTHDAVERSARY

Forty years ago, my mother made the decision to get married on her birthday. Four years later, I decided that it would be a good date to make my own appearance into the world. When it came time for my fiancé and I to pick a day for our wedding, there was only one obvious choice. It means the chances of either of us…

View Post

A PERFECT 10?

In between our walk in Bradford on Avon and the following Sunday, I may have gotten a little overambitious. I thought it was time we looked beyond our charity shop guide to other walks in Wiltshire, and between Amazon and Waterstones I managed to put together a small collection of books with local walks. I even found one specifically for Chippenham, and that’s the one…

View Post

WATCHING BIRDS

I have to admit I still don’t like to use the term “birdwatcher” to describe myself.  I think it’s because of the connotations I’ve associated with it over the years. In my mind, birdwatchers are people who specifically go somewhere away to see birds. They have binoculars. They can get a bit obsessed with seeing the rare and unusual. They keep lists of what they…

View Post

BRADFORD ON AVON BOUND

Walking is the number one national leisure activity in the UK, with over 9 million people reporting regular outings. However, “walking” doesn’t really capture the complete spectrum of what’s on offer. At the more extreme end are hill walkers, those who relish the ups and downs of the landscape. They typically own several sets of waterproofs, carry flasks of tea or coffee (and plenty of…

View Post

SUMMER SOLSTICE STROLL

As an American expat in the UK, the most common question I’m asked is probably “Where in the States are you from?” This is immediately followed by the second most common question: “Wow, Florida! Don’t you miss the nice weather?” To which I can honestly answer no. Don’t get me wrong: I do love blue skies and sun, the ability to wear a…

View Post

A STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE

I have found myself thinking about Wales lately. You might remember this is where I escaped to carry out a digital detox last year, getting away from the internet for several days in order to clear my head and escape from the constant pressure of always-on connectivity.* Part of the reason for taking this trip down memory lane is that I’ve recently put together…

View Post

GIVE WEEDS A CHANCE

I’ve written previously about my love of what many people believe to be a common garden weed: the thistle. I find the flowers attractive and the bees are fond of them too, so that’s reason enough for me to let them grow and direct a very patient MrElaineous to mow around them. This year the more familiar purple spear thistle has…

View Post

WATCHING SPRING

This Monday will see BBC’s Springwatch return for the 2017 season. This is one of the few television events I look forward to every year as it provides an opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal look into nest boxes and hedgerows, countryside habitats and coastal hideaways, and discover what the British flora and fauna is getting up to as the weather (hopefully) turns warmer. While the…

View Post

BUOYED BY BLUEBELLS

As I mentioned last year, I am not in any way, shape, or form a morning person (although that may be changing … more on that next week). But the siren song of bluebells is enough to lure me out of bed every spring as the small patch of West Woods near Marlborough erupts into a sea of blue. During our recent travels…

View Post

ROUSHAM WALKABOUT

Blenheim Palace. Chatsworth. Stourhead. The honours list of top gardens in Britain seemed obvious. So it was with some surprise that MrElaineous and I watched TV presenter Monty Don award this title to Rousham Gardens, a property we had never heard of, despite it being located in Oxfordshire, just a stone’s throw from the mighty Blenheim.Which, come to think of it, is likely one of the…

View Post

A STORY IN STONE

Ammonites are time travellers from the distant past who took the long way around. Their beauty–and the story they tell–make them one of my favourite things to collect.

View Post

Are you the spider or the fly?  11 lessons after a digital detox

[ Edited January 2019: All Roads Lead to Machynlleth was written at the end of 2016, during a period of my life that I found stressful and overwhelming. Yet looking back, I think it illustrates the power of travel to shake us out of bad habits and routines, and offer new paths to explore. There is no overnight cure for…

View Post

Chippenham: Gateway to the World

It’s a running joke that one of Chippenham’s best features is that it allows you to get to other places very easily. It’s practically a stone’s throw from the lovely villages of Lacock and Castle Combe, a short drive to the market town of Malmesbury, the railway station and M4 open Bristol, London, mid Wales, and beyond to Chippenham residents, and the wonders of…

View Post
MissElaineous Travel Blog: Escape, Explore, Discover, Enjoy