This has been a classic summer and for once I have spent quite a lot of time in England. Henley is wonderful in summer with so many things to do. During the regatta I found myself springing out of bed at 6.30am for a walk along the towpath to watch the eights out on the water. The streets of Henley were adorned with bunting, tall toned hunks walk around like peacocks in their extravagant blazers, and the river is awash with crafts of every kind. Everyone is friendly, the pubs and restaurants are overflowing – and sometimes people even watch the rowing.
Then we have the Festival. Every night festivalgoers dress in black tie and evening dresses, and wine and dine and listen to world stars on the banks of the river. At 10pm there is amagnificent firework display which can be seen for miles. Everyone who has anything that floats, gets themselves onto the river , ties up or steams up and down and listens to the strains of the concerts. It’s an extremely pleasant way to while away an evening.
My son and daughter on law have just moved into their new house and the garden definitely needs love and care. So I spent a fortune at the garden centre buying gorgeous plants in the sale – only to find that when I tried to dig the ground, the garden appeared to be constructed of rubble. 16 bags of soil later, I had a measly four inches in which to plant the new phlox, hydrangea, geraniums and sunflowers. I wanted to create an instant garden for them like they do at the Chelsea Flower Show. However, I have discovered that lack of knowledge in gardening means that, despite assiduously watering my new plants look decidedly droopy … you could say dead. The family get back on Wednesday so I have now decided on a new course of action …. I shall buy more flowers and plant them onTuesday night… they can’t die within 6 hours… can they?
Otherwise I’ve been quiet for a bit as I haven’t been any where particularly exciting… just a girlie holiday in southern Turkey and a brilliant “70” birthday with all my family in Mauritius. Both were huge fun in their own way, but they were hardly backpacking. Turkey, Kalkan to be exact, is a charming gentle place with the cleanest clearest sea which is a tad cold at times but gloriously crystal. There are lots of restaurants with dishy twinkly eyed waiters who are extremely respectful to older ladies!. A perfect place for a girlie holiday, or in our case three grannies. We have already booked again for next year! Mauritius was, and is, an entrancing island with extremely expensive wine and excellent food. Perfect for a luxury holiday. And luxury it was, with infinity pool,chef at the ready and fabulous beach club. Swimming with, and amongst, the dolphins was the highlight for my grandchildren, but other than that, nothing was very challenging. And I do like a challenge so, it is with great delight that Other Granny (OG) and I are planning our next trip.
We are going to Central America. So I’m going to have to brush up my rusty Spanish and learn to kayak – a necessity on our next trip! OG is already a ” boaty”, having grown up on the beaches and estuaries of Devon, so she will be El Captain when we embark on our kayaking. We will be travelling by bus, boat, kayak and train…. oh and on foot. We start off in Nicaragua – a part of the world that is all new to me, so I am very excited. I have been warned that one of the main things to beware of is falling sloths! Apparently they climb up trees, fall asleep, and then tumble out of the trees on top of people. Believe it or not it causes hundreds of deaths every year. I’m taking a hard hat. After plenty of trekking and boating in Nicaragua and El Salvador, which is really only just opening up to tourists, we move on to Guatemala and finally land up on a tiny key off the coast of Belize. Sounds good doesn’t it? We will be travelling extremely light – just thin cotton trousers and shorts, one lipstick, eyeliner, and mosquito repellent. Oh, and one or two dresses just in case we get lucky in some dim and distant outpost and get asked out to dinner! I shall tell you about it when I get back – that is as long as I miss the sloths.