I'm a little biased as to the reasons that you should visit Bridlington. You see my grandma was born in this lovely seaside town, and we grew up hearing stories of how special it is. This was carried on by my mum who then went to visit during summer holidays as her grandparents still lived there.
Before my grandma passed away earlier this year, she wrote me a letter asking me to visit. Actually, all she wanted for her birthday was that I wrote her a letter and told her how I found England. She was so pleased we were going to explore her home country and I know that she was keen for us to visit her place of birth.
With our time in England drawing to a close, we embarked on the 6 hour trip to 'The North' to visit Yorkshire, and in particular Bridlington. We weren't disappointed.
Although its name may make you think you're in France, Herstmonceux castle and its surrounding village are located in East Sussex, around 2.5 hours south of London or 50 minutes west of Brighton.
Nestled in a small country village, the castle is surprisingly easy to find and with over 300 acres of woodland and themed gardens, as well as a moat, the castle is well worth the drive.
The English love to celebrate their history and this is no different when it comes to the history of transport. There is even a Transport Museum in London where you can explore the development of public transport in London and the UK. Transport museums are a few scales down from this and are held around the country annually. They give transport enthusiasts an opportunity to show off their old motor, steam or military vehicles. Not only do the owners get to show off their vehicles, patrons can watch them in action and if they are lucky hop on board or go for a ride.
Its been a while since I've written about us personally. We've both been busy enjoying the summer. Travelling to Spain and Portugal has meant that I have actually had a summer this year, and for Pete, a weekend by the beach was well needed. Back in the UK the weather hasn't been all that bad. I've learnt to appreciate a 20 degree day and the comfort of hanging around in jeans and a t-shirt. 40 degree days and nights in Seville will do that to you!
If you've ever travelled or moved overseas, you are sure to have found some things a little different and strange. The following is a humorous compilation of the thoughts, feelings and observations of two couples who have swapped countries.
A visitor from Cornwall
There is some debate over how one should prepare their cream tea (Devonshire Tea to us Aussies). We learnt this upon the arrival of Pete’s distant relative Sam, who is staying with us for a week to do some work experience at Pete’s work, and happens to be from the scone capital of England itself.
According to those from Devon the clotted cream should be spread on the scone first and then topped with the jam. The bordering Cornish however disagree and believe that the jam should be spread on the scone first and then topped with the clotted cream. Sam was lovely enough to bring us some home made scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream. Being born in Cornwall he decided that we’d have them cream on top and yes they were delicious
It’s fair to say that I’ve suffered a fair amount of ‘cabin fever’ since moving to the UK. Although I wouldn’t say I am outdoorsy, I do enjoy being outside on occasion and have missed having a back yard. Unfortunately, we are one floor up and look down on the rubbish storage area. Now this isn’t altogether boring. The communal rubbish area has been an area of controversy in the past few weeks.
We previously had dumpmaster bins that unfortunately became a dumping ground for any man and his dog’s rubbish. After 2 rubbish removal trucks came along to clear up the mess, and a few men in suits milled around, we were issued with wheelie bins instead. This somewhat improved the predicament for a few weeks, but it seems people in our block of flats are either just plain lazy/gross or people who don’t live here keep dumping their rubbish in and or on our bin. Last week this resulted in our bin becoming completely inaccessible and adorned by pooey nappies…..nice!
According to my font of knowledge of all things British (my friend Gary), an anorak is someone who bird watches, or train spots, or does a bit of a nerdy hobby almost obsessively, generally requiring an anorak due to the weather conditions. Well this weekend, we found ourselves amongst the anoraks (in our anoraks) on the Bluebell Railway.
A former rail route, the Bluebell rail line was closed down in the 60's and then reopened when a group of volunteers created the Bluebell train society, bought a heap of steam carriages and set to create a scenic railway. Run mostly by volunteers, we didn't begrudge the 17 pound train fair, and set off in a 1800's carriage for the 45 minute ride.
Brussels sprout trees
In the UK, Brussels sprout trees are a ‘thing’. Essentially the stalk of the plant with the sprouts still attached; shops here are selling them for around $5 a tree. Now, I’m not sure where you stand on the sprout debate, but personally I am a fan. For the vast majority who aren’t, I’m not sure how this makes sprouts more appealing, and for those of us who like sprouts, it makes them about 3 times the price. Give me more sprouts for my money I say! Whilst Googling ‘sprout trees’ its also become apparent to me, that some people even adorn their sprout tree with a golden star and use it as a Christmas tree. And I thought I had scaled back this year with a $12 potted fir tree sprinkled with glitter.
Trapped in the UK
I am currently a serf and the UK Home Office is my Feudal Overlord. Pete thinks I am a being a bit dramatic, but it is beginning to feel like it. The UK Home Office have had my passport to reissue my VISA for 2 months now and without it I’m stuck tending my little plot, bonded for lack of an updated VISA. Travel plans for Christmas have been downgraded to a trip somewhere in the UK and I’m wondering if I’ll get to see some snow in Europe….
Fingers crossed it arrives shortly as being a serf doesn’t suit me!