Friday 31 August 2018

Hook of Holland to Gouda

Excellent calm overnight crossing and a nice early start in Holland.
The weather is good and the cycle paths are smooth, well signposted and absolutely everywhere. 
We started with a section along the coast 

and then inland to The Hague. We had a huge breakfast and a quick look around. A nice lady took a photo of us with a large overweight statue. 

We then headed up to Leiden which was beautiful. Just like a small and quiet Amsterdam. 

We then bagged our first windmill of what I am sure will be many and headed to our hotel in Gouda. 

Unfortunately the giant cheese market is only held on Thursdays and today was Friday, so we will just have to hope that they have it in the hotel at the buffet breakfast tomorrow morning. 

Thursday 30 August 2018

Harwich to Hook of Holland

Very good train journey to Ipswich, then a lovely afternoon with Nic and Jemima where I tried to do a few trapeze tricks.
Unfortunately I don't have any talent for it and Darren had to rescue me, otherwise I would still be hanging upside down now. 
We then caught another train to Harwich and all was well on the the train until we went over a big bump and my bike jammed a really sharp bit of itself into my ankle. There was a reasonable amount of blood and I felt quite faint for a while, but on closer inspection it didn't look very dramatic so reluctantly I had to stop making a fuss and carry on. 
We got off the train and straight to the front of the queue on to the ferry, so that was very nice. 
We are now safely on board and we even have a very nice cabin with bunk beds and a shower. 
We are on our way overnight to the Hook of Holland and a two week jaunt around Holland and Belgium.

Friday 17 August 2018

Newmarket to Peterborough

A long day today, although the weather was pleasant and the hills were small. Always a good combination.
We started off nice and early and made good time to Cambridge where we stopped for coffee. 

We had to rush off because we were being investigated by a swarm of wasps  that were keen to land on my bike and travel with us. 
Cambridge was very busy and lots of people were punting on the river. 

We joined a nice cycle path for a while, and saw a little notice that said it was opened by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, but I can't imagine either of them cycling very far along it. 

Thursday 16 August 2018

Ipswich to Newmarket

Stayed overnight with Nicola, Ben and Jemima and then set off on our three day bike ride home. 

Unfortunately, the heatwave has now ended and wet weather is forecast. We managed about an hour in the dry before the wind got up and the rain starting coming down sideways. 
We sheltered under a tree for a while, then set off into the rain. 

All went well until Daz got a puncture. We had nowhere to shelter so he changed the inner tube in the storm. We set off and ten minutes later he punctured again! 
This time we found a bus shelter and in the better conditions I found a sharp stone stuck in the tyre. Repaired again and we thought the rain had stopped - for a few minutes. 
It started up in earnest again and we chugged on to Bury St Edmunds where we found a great cafe and settled in to sit it out. 

An hour or so later the conditions improved rapidly and we rode into Newmarket in the sunshine. 
We are staying in a very nice room above a pub and just enjoying a happy hour wine. 
76 kilometres covered and having a good time. 

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Family outing

Lovely couple of days with Darren's sister and niece's. They arrived on the train dressed ready for the northern weather, all in winter clothes and accessorized with a giant rainbow coloured umbrella. 

They were very surprised to see Daz in shorts and flip flops and with the sun beating down. 
First item on our agenda was the fantastic Cod's Scallops fish and chip shop, and then a quick fight with the deck chairs on the way home. 

Afterwards we walked into town, via the Forest Recreation Ground where we had a race around the 400 metre track. Unfortunately, I came in third, so disappointed with my performance. 
Darren had promised the girls that the hotel was only a mile away, but we took a very long cut through the Arboretum and then misplaced the hotel, so in the end it took us about two hours to get to there. 
After a quick look at the room we decided to take the bus back to our house. 
Once back I roped the girls into helping me decorate stones for my garden, and they look beautiful. Just the thing to brighten up the garden in the winter. 

Friday 10 August 2018

Second trip to the Architect

Another exciting visit to the Architect, and lots of plans to see this time. He did it in the form of a TV style reveal, and he started by showing us more detailed plans of our last meeting, but then pulled out new plans with the staircase on the other side of the building.

I have made a new model (this is the front view) and the staircase is the blue sticking out bit, and is supposed to to be a glass box! 
All of the rooms have moved around in a better way and it is starting to look good. 

The back view is particularly exciting and we also have a high parapet on the roof for health and safety purposes. Obviously, we will never think of using it as a roof garden or terrace! 
The Architect is going ahead with more detailed plans and we will soon be able to put them forward for an initial check with the planning department. 

On the photo above top left and bottom right are the old plans, and bottom left and top right are the latest, don't ask me why. 

Long distance cycle

We haven't been 'proper' cycling for ages, and we need to test how far we can ride because we have a couple of cycling trips planned.
I decided that we should go to Newark as it was about the right distance and I wanted to cycle along by the route of the River Trent. 

Overall it went very well, apart from the narrow, bumpy footpath along the bank of the river that Google told us to follow. To be fair, Darren was totally against it, and he turned out to be right. I hate it when that happens! 
We managed 80 kilometres with a coffee and cake stop in Newark and fishfinger sandwiches with cider in Burton Joyce. 
Soooo tired when we got home, but have are definitely off on a multi day trip next week.