Archive | Holidays

Australian Adventure!

You might have noticed that this blog went quiet over the summer months. This was partly because there was so much coming and going with 2 sons on uni vacations, but also because we were planning a trip to Darwin, Australia. Anselm, my eldest son, has been living there for the last 18 months, and we hadn’t seen him for 2 years so decided that it was about time to catch up with him. So we had a memorable 2 and a half weeks there at the beginning of September. It was by far the furthest I have ever travelled and was an amazing adventure. We went on Malaysian Airlines who were the cheapest (I wonder why?!! – we noticed that by the return flight we had been given Frequent Flyer status!).

We spent the first week in Darwin itself and for the second we hired a four wheel drive vehicle to take us to various local national parks – Kakadu, Katherine Gorge and Litchfield. Of course, in Australia local means driving the same milage as the length of Belgium! Unfortunately my camera spent too long on the beach one sunset and got sand in its lens – the zoom stopped working so I had to take most of my photos on my phone; nevertheless, here are a few of the memorable ones.

palm trees silhouetted against the sky

Palm trees silhouetted against the sky


palm leaves

Can you tell I love them?


palm tree

Yet another palm!


ball thing in Charles Darwin botanic gardens

Not sure what this is, but it was hanging from a tree in the Charles Darwin Botanic Gardens


panorama in kakadu

Amazing panorama of escarpment and savannah taken from one of the aboriginal art sites


I didn’t get any good photos of the actual art but if you google Ubirr or Nourlangie rock art you’ll see plenty.

We went for an amazing dawn cruise on the Yellow Water Billabong, and saw lots of wildlife including crocodiles and pelicans.

sunset on Yellow Water Billabong

Sunset on the Yellow Water Billabong


bird drying its wings

Not sure what this bird was but it was very picturesque silhouetted against the water with its wings outstretched to dry as the morning mist burned off.


fish on wall

I liked this fish made of found art which was on the wall of a Darwin coffee shop (the coffee was pretty good too!)



Sunset on Casuarina Beach on the last night


If you’d like to see more photos, my son Anselm has an amazing collection on his Instagram.

Incidentally, the ancient vehicle that the hire firm palmed off on us met with an unfortunate end highlighted here in the local NT News


Birmingham visit due

I think it’s time I had a day out to Brummy.  There are lots of things I want to do there.

First is Lost in Lace, an exhibition at Birmingham Museum which promises good things.  There is a fabulous set of photos on Flickr here.

And there is the Staffordshire Hoard, the huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found by a Staffordshire metal detector enthusiast in a field near Burntwood.   Part of it is on show in the Birmingham Museum too.

Then I want to go to Birmingham City Archives, who hold an indenture made between my 4x great grandfather Ephraim Docksey and various other people about an inn called The Cock in Norton on the Moors, Staffordshire and the will of my 5x great grandfather Joshua Dale.  No idea what they are doing in Birmingham Archives but I assume it is because the estate papers of the land they leased ended up there.  Very conveniently, it looks as if the archives and the museum are just across the road from each other.

Then I might have a walk along the canals where I took this photo a few years ago:

Canal in Birmingham

and made it into a gocco screen to print on  cards and Moleskine journals:

canal gocco print

If I do all that, I might just need several days – time to get the diary out!

Summer oddments

Here are a few odds and ends I meant to blog about through the summer but aren’t long enough on their own for a whole post.

We went to the Eden Project in Cornwall – this is the inside of one of the biomes.

biome of Eden Project

This is it on the outside:

biome with sunflowers

They are building a new railway station to try and tart up Newport for the Ryder Cup.  Apparently the roof bit is made of the same material as these biomes:

New railway station, Newport

Apologies for the poor photo – I took it with my mobile phone.


During the summer, my brother Martin, his wife Luisa and their 4 year old son Pablo came to visit us, and we went to a nearby playground (my teenage boys got on like a house on fire with their young cousin!).   In the park this web was wrapped around several of the trees.  

ermine moth caterpillar notice

caterpillar web

Some whole trees were covered with it!  Incredible…

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