Starting to See How People Get Stuck in Ireland: Friday 31 July 2015 (Day 68)

Friday 31 July – Cornelia’s (Day 68) I understand how Jim gets stuck here, in Ireland. People are welcoming and, as Cornelia’s guest, I get invited to things. Tonight, there was a barbecue. We dropped Cornelia’s daughter Isabel off there first and went on to Osbornes – a pub in the tiny village of Rathanna, recently reopened by a returned son. It’s really lovely. There I met an American couple, from North Carolina and Rhode Island but more recently Washington DC – who are now travelling. He’s a film maker and she’s a photographer. He’s making weekly one-minute documentaries. They’re riding …

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A Door from Supermarket to Pub – Like Narnia for Adults: Wednesday 29 July 2015 (Day 66)

Wednesday 29 July – 10:00 am Yesterday, at the local supermarket, Cornelia and I ran into one of her friends. He’s a cyclist and we fell into talking about rides around here. We decided to retire to the pub to have this chat over half-pints of Guinness. There’s a door between the supermarket and the pub – which is also a hardware store. Lovely. So small-town Irish. Today I have a cold and Cornelia’s ability to ‘do’ is amazing to watch – cooking, working, mothering. She is a whirlwind. This arvo I’m helping at some sort of fundraiser for some …

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Crossing to Ireland with Pierce Bronsan: Sunday 26 July 2015 (Day 63)

It rained overnight and now it’s an ugly day – windy, cool, rain blowing about. I’m enjoying the laziness – I’m having a (not bad) flat white with a pain au chocolat. I wrote post cards. I’m watching pedestrians in the rain. My hostel host recommended the pasties from Ffwrn but they’ve sold out. (I’ve no idea how to pronounce that, by the way.) I’m having a delicious savory pie instead – cooked on site in their wood-fired oven. This is someplace, if I had a bit more time, I could have settled in for a rainy day of reading, punctuated …

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Wales: You Are Beautiful but Hard: 21 – 24 July 2015

21 July 2015 10:35 am, Cardiff Cardiff makes me think of my ex-husband. It’s a Rugby place and a Doctor Who place. So it prods the scar tissue – tests the healing. I feel milliseconds of missing his friendship followed by doubts of the genuineness of that initial feeling. It reminds me of the swirling mess of thoughts and feelings I had in the weeks and months after we split. They are best left to lie. … I begin my exploration of the Welsh capital with an amazing exhibition at the National Museum. Chalkie Davies is a Welsh photographer who …

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A big trip is just taking the long way home: 18-20 July 2015 (Bath-Monkton Farleigh-Bristol-Cardiff)

Saturday 18 July 10:40 am – Colonna & Smalls Specialty Coffee (Bath)  There were two young women in my hostel dorm last night who set an alarm for 4:15 am – snoozed it twice and took an hour mucking about. Selfish defined. I’m spending the morning having a look around Bath before riding to Amanda’s in Monkton Farleigh – a village at the top of quite a hill not far from Bath. Amanda, you may remember, is one of the members of Tom Bailey’s band – among other gigs. Her steadiest of which is with the Psychedelic Furs, having played with …

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Where I Can See it Beyond the Hedges, the English Countryside is Lovely: 14-17 July 2015 (Dorchester, Sherborne,Salisbury, Pewsey and Bath)

I’ve decided to take a different approach with this blog and see how it goes. My posts have been overly detailed. Meanwhile over on Instagram I’ve been posting one photo from each day – the best photo, the one I like the most. The pressure of detailed posts – a pressure entirely of my own making for, as grateful as I am for my few readers, you are few and undemanding. So I’m going to take a similar approach to the blog as I’ve taken with the photos – I’ll tell you the best story of the day, the most …

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Hot Days on the Riverside: From Flaach to Basel to Montbéliard

Sunday 28 June 2015: Flaasch to Basel My heart is thumping GOOD MORNING as I climb out of Flaach to the clamber and clang of church bells. It’s 9:45 am and sweat rivulets down my face and back. I pass fields of corn, wheat, beetroot, sunflowers, capsicum, cows and sheep. Kirchen, a sign on the side of the road promises. A man in a bucket hat is up a ladder picking cherries into a woven basket. His wife sits at a red and white checked cloth covered table with punnets of the fruit ready for sale. Rolling down towards the river …

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Feeling Restored and Ready for What’s Next – Bludenz 24th June (Day 31)

When my train arrived yesterday evening Tobi was, unexpectedly, on the platform to meet me. I’ve found the guest/host relationship on CouchSurfing and Warm Showers – both web-based hospitality communities but the latter expressly for bicycle tourists – can quickly form and, even untended, be lasting. Tobi and Sarah had stayed with me and my then-husband in 2012. They were medical students. Their Austrian university allowed/encouraged their students to do learning-rotations at hospitals overseas. They were in the midst of a year-long series of such placements interspersed with travel when they visited us in Sydney. At the time, the idea …

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Is this heaven? No, it’s Bundeena – No 38 Horderns (21 December 2014)

This summer’s beaches have created challenges. I should have begun with No 35 Gunyah (Brooklyn) – up on the Hawkesbury – but it can only be reached from the water so I need my mate and his boat at a time that works for us both and the weather is amenable. I broke my rules and skipped to No 36 Gunyah (Bundeena); No 37 is Halletts – another Hawkesbury beach with water access only – has been added to the boating list. Which brings us back to Bundeena for No 38, Horderns. I’ve failed to find the connection but I …

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Aeroplanes and Surfing Nippers – Number 25: Eloura Beach (23 March 2013)

Another beach from under the shadows of last year … no picture to depict this as Number 25 because while I won’t remove pictures of Mitch from this blog, nor will I add any. Enjoy. The best beach day all year, maybe, and here we are nearly to April. It’s already biting hot at 10:30, not oppressively hot but the hot that sends you into the surf, then back to your towel, then into the surf again. The nippers have just wrapped up their session and the coach is talking with them and their parents; they’re the little ones – five …

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