The universe says… changing seasons time to fly. 

Back in Essex it has been wonderful to be immersed in family some of whom i have not seen in 21 years. Time also to hug special friends goodbye. Friends who are family in my heart. 

I feel incredibly blessed to have roots firmly planted in the fertile soils of this green land. Yet equally as blessed to have my arms around those who live in the great wide land. 

My life, my heart and my soul are filled with wonderous joys of things experienced, people met, history discovered and magical moments. I have laughed, cried and overcome as i step forward.

Ireland, Austria, Scotland, Orkney and England you have delivered on so many levels. My eyes are now opened to new joys and a new list of to do’s is born. I will be back again. Till then…

Peace and light xxx

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The universe says… a garden, a late lunch and another goodbye…

After Eden it was going to take something special to impress me and Val knew just the place. We headed out with a plan: Trebah gardens, late lunch with Phil , docks, pack, coach. 

Trebah gardens were just a short drive away in Mawnan Smith. A cavernous valley that stretches down to the sea filled with beautifully kept gardens, mystery pathways and magical experiences. 

There is something spiritual about being under a blue sky, amid lush green plants, breathing sweet air, in the company of family. I was overwhelmed by it all and could have stayed there forever! 

Gardens have the ability to still the mind, slow the heart and make you feel joyful.

 

Waterfalls and ponds added to this wonderful place. 

It was like looking at a painting in waiting. Stunning.

As we made out way towards the beach there was a tribute to the US military and their link to Trebah. There is so much history that is facinating. 

On the beach i had to do my usual it was time for shoes and socks off and have a paddle in the sea..



It was beautiful and had i had bathers i would have considered having a plunge!! Lol .

Val and i opted instead for yummy cornish ice cream. Sorry no photo as it was so good it just had to be eaten sitting in the sun. As we headed back to the beginning we chatted and laughed and walked.

Next stop Falmouth for a late lunch with Phil.. the five degrees pub gave us all something yummy as we shared stories and laughed. The invisible thread of connection is strong and we are so alike as families even though we are miles apart.
Many years (actually half a century!!!!) Ago on a visit with the family we had all gone to the docks. Today Val and i headed down to see what was in dock.

Then we made out way along the coast 

Before heading back for a chat with Al and a snack before i got on the coach.
Time goes so quickly and it was soon time to climb backaboard the coachand head out to London. Lots of hugs and a few tears but most of all a heart filled to overflowing with gratitude for every minute of this experience.

Well as coach trips go they all seem to be eventful lol this one started at 9pm and by an hour and a bit later the fog was closing in. There is something eerily old world about fog or maybe it was the hope that a strapping englishman woyld appear lol. 

A couple of hours in we reached a road closure ( stzrting to think the adventure fairy is following me laughing)  the diversion was again through tiny lanes only this time in the dark with fog!, awesome…

Eventually we returned to a major road but soon was at a standstill again for a minor accident. We were now running a little late but not to worry. Change of drivers occurred with an announcement that the new driver needed a regulated break so we stopped for 45 mins at a motorway service centre 24 hr cafe.

I opted to stretch my legs and headed out very Heathcliffe like into the fog towards a dim light. Loo stop and hot chocolate revived me and soon we were on our way. We arrived in London at 8.15am with many people having missed their connections.. Not me my next coach wasnt leaving till 11 so another leg stretching walk, more hot chocolate and then i was back on for the ride out.

Chelmsford appeared as did the familiar face of Sally and i was off the coach at last. After a shower and a cup of drink it was time to walk and chat as we have done so often.

After the best baked potatoes in the universe it was time for bed.  I had been up for 45 hrs straight! Not bad for an old girl lol.

Peace and light xxx

The universe says… on foot to Vals as Eden is calling.

The morning was shrouded in mist as i got out of bed and headed to breakfast in the hotel. I was comfortable in my shorts and T shirt and had opted for braided pigtails to keep my hair tidy.

A lovely young man sat me on a pretty table i  the bay window and i chose poached egg, bacon and GF toast to get the day started. I lovely lady sat on the next table and we started to chat. At 70+ years she was heading home in a few days to start a new job! Not for the money you understand, she said. I just cant bare to be doing nothing! 

She had already established from my accent that i was from Australia ( didnt think i had an accent lol… apparently i am deluded) 

We chatted swapped career stories and i realised we were a lot alike. Window to the future maybe! 

Once i had checked out i headed off on foot to Vals.


The walk is lovely with hedgerows filled with secret finds and fields with granite styles for walkers.

 Blissful calm and quiet.
After a lovely chat and goodbyes from Als lovely family Val and i set out for Eden project. It is everybit how i imagined and more and we wandered through the biomes breathing it all in. There are no words for what lay in this once barren disused clay mine. I will let the photos speak for themselves. 


By the time we were heading back to the car in the warm gentle rain Val and i were already making plans for my next visit. Ziplining at Eden is on the top of the list along with Helligan which will not make it onto the done list this time. That is of no concern as i told Val i just let everyday unfold into its own adventure  so all is well.
At home steak salad and new potatoes was exactly what we both needed. Well that and some fluffy smooches from Charlie

 lol yet another wonderful day.

Peace and light xxx

The universe says… surprise!!!

Thursday morning started early so i would be ready to leave from the arches in Chelmsford on my National Express coach for the first leg of my undercover journey. Sally created me a fabulous GF snack box for the ride so i was prepared. Still it was hard to wave goodbye even though i will be back soon. 

Two hours later i arrived at Victoria Station in London and transfered to the coach to Falmouth. This would have to be one of the most picturesque journeys on a coach. Stunning countryside travelling through farms and rolling green fields interspersed with beautiful villages that looked like postcards.

We were not far from Falmouth when we got to a traffic diversion due to tree felling! The driver followed the signs that led us down narrowing lanes into hobbit territory where the road was running through tunnels in the trees. At one stage the greenery was dragging on both sides of the bus and the roof… the driver was not happy. Thats got to be at least a couple of layers of paint he said!

Finally the trees opened out and we headed up a small hill. As we crested we came across two women chatting in a gateway. The look on there faces was one of total disbelief that this huge coach was coming over the hill in their laneway…priceless.

We reached a T junction and came to a standstill. The driver called London on the radio… do you track my coach? He asked. Yes replied London… Can you see where i am? He asked… At a T junction replied London. Ok then which way is Falmouth he asked?!! Turn right replied London… hillarious!!

Finally i arrived in Falmouth and got off the coach to see Val on the pavement.. Absolutely magic 🤗🤗🤗

We laughed and talked at a million miles an hour deciding to take me to the hotel to check in and then head out for some food. We drove in and Val pulled up outside reception so i was just about to hop out when we realised our cousin Robert and his wife were in reception checking in! We did a rapid exit stage left in reverse laughing as we executed our hiding tactics. Once he had come out and got their bags we crept back to the entry. I dashed in, advised reception of our secret and was checked in throwing my stuff in and heading straight back out to Val to race away before i was seen.

We headed to Vals house and then Val and Al and i walked to the pub where we met up with some of Als famiily and had a fabulous evening of chatting eating laughing and general good fun all round. Finally i was dropped back at the hotel and snuck in under cover of darkness. Did have to borrow a small torch to covertly get in using the secret code provided earlier in the day. Maxwell Smart would have been proud.

Next morning i was up and hoping to sneak down for breakfast but when i checked family were already in the dining room. A quick message to my partner in secret business and our covert operation continued as she helped me escape to her house! However while i waited i was facetiming Australia and managed to film Rob from  my upstairs window… surveillance skills in order lol.

Val and i spent the day chatting and laughing and were amazed we had managed to keep our secret. I snuck back into tbe hotel knowing that lots of family were now checked in. Val and i met in the ballroom at 7pm and i surprised each guest as they arrived.. Magic!!!

We had an awesome evening entertained by Jonny Cowling, a singing comedian, who had us all laughing and paticipation in some very funny games. 

Cornish pasties, followed by scones, jam and cream were the fodder of the night and yes they did them GF.

By the time i got to bed my head was spinning rerunning all the funny coversations from the night before. It was well after 2am before i fell to sleep. 

Next morning breakfast was wonderful sitting round a big table with family catching up, telling stories, swapping snaps of the kids and grandkids. 

Time has no real meaning in families we just reconnect and it is as if we saw each other last week. Its a gift to feel that connected and i feel incredibly greatful to have had the chance to be here and experience this. Sadly it was also time to hug some goodbye as the bead home. Till next time i said and hope it doesnt take another 21 years!!

For others we spent sunday with more tales, visits to houses and history on the cornish part of the family. Then we all ended up at Vals for more food and hugs and love and laughter… 🤗🤗🤗❤❤❤

More goodbyes but some i will see later this week. Blessed beyond measure.

Peace and light xxx

The universe says… ssshhh no one knows i am here!!! Undercover in Essex lol

If you have been wondering about my whereabouts rest assured MI5 are now looking to recruit me as an international spy based on my cloak and dagger expertise lol. More on that later!

After the longest coach ride i have ever had (almost 13 hours!!) 

I arrived at Victoria Street station in London. It was a chilly morning and so it was time to find a hot drink and a snack as i waited for the bus to Chelmsford. The station was bustling with people heading off to an assortment of locations both in the UK and on the continent. I found myself a spot with a view of the departure board and made myself comfortable. At 10.50am it arrived at the station and a small group of us climbed aboard for the 2 hr trip to my destination.

 Traffic was very thick due to tons of construction and roadworks and an accident that had traffic being diverted from otber routes. Still we got out of London in an hour and arrived in Chelmsford on time.

What a lovely feeling to see my gorgeous friend waiting for me at the station. There are some people that you can be far away from yet they hold such a special place in your heart. Sally is definitely one of those in my life. So i felt really blessed to be here with her. We headed back to her house and i finally put down my bags.

Now the real covert operation began. I am heading to a family event on 22nd September with family on my dads side so i am laying low to not let the cat out of the bag that i am here! But i will try and catch up with mums side of the family. The challenge is not to bump into anyone who i am trying to surprise while i see people. Difficult when both sides of the family come from a stones throw from each other. Still i will do my best.

First on the list of to do’s is to visit some family favourites. High Roding was first on the list. Sally had lived here with here mum and dad and brother. For me, lots of my aunties, uncles and cousins had also lived here.

Mum and lots of others had gone to school here. The old school house is now a private residence but is still beautiful.

The next stop was Great Canfield church. Nanny and Grandad Barker had lived opposite here and i remember running in the graveyard with my cousins when i was little. I found the headstone for some relatives and then we wandered around soaking up all the history.

This is a beautiful church that holds so many memories for me. Especially being a bridesmaid for my Aunty Colleen who is now buried in its grounds. 

Then we drove around the village to stop at places that felt significant. Cuckoos lane, where great nanny Reeve lived.

Also The Chesnuts, behind the Green door was where i lived when i was little.

And yes there are chesnut trees… anyone for a game of conkers!!  

Next it was a stop at the pond.

Time for a drive to Takeley to the iconic Four Ashes before we headed back to Canfield. 

I love that the old red phone boxes are now mini village libraries, how wonderful. Sally had to tear me away before i borrowed a book. LolHome in Great Canfield Essex loving every minute. 

The next day it was time for my surprise visit to Aunty Josie but first we did a drive around Dunmow past the Doctors Pond 

All this exploring is hungry work and Scrumptious tea house was just the place to stop for snacks lol. Sally and i chatted and had our fill on yum delights. Oh and yes my half were GF!

I love surprises so we headed off to see Aunty Josie to carry out my first family visit. We were let in by a lovely lady who pointed us into a room full of people who had been at a special lunch. Think we managed the surprise quite well. ❤❤ It was lovely and everyone was smiling at Sally and I. They made us feel like celebrities. It was lovely to spread the love around the room. Bless.. 

Even met someone who went to school with Dad, Gwen and aunty Josie also knew Sallys mum so it was wonderful to share this surprise with them all. 

What followed was an afternoon of stories, laughter and tender moments. It was really lovely. 

Over the next few days lots of sightseeing with Sally so here are a few shots from Colchester:

Heybridge and Maldon.

We have had an amazing time wandering, chatting shareing things from our hearts. 

I also got to catch up with Aunty Joan and Uncle Derek. It is actually a real blessing to be creeping around making little personal visits where we get the opportunity to really chat and laugh. My life is feeling pretty full. 

Getting to catch up with Kay was an added gift

We have spent almost all our lives communicating across the world. Waiting for a letter, then emails and now messages. There is an absolute joy in being in the same space, laughing out loud, strolling along paths. My heart is full of gratitude for the opportunity to share part of this journey with Sally and family 🌼🌻🌺

Next up a couple of days with my lovely cousin Kay in Cambridge. Time to relax and see even more wonderful things.

Cambridge is beautiful and historic and arty and everything a university city should be. The student accomodation is fabulous…. wonder what i could enrol in??? Lol

Sightseeing is a strenuous business lol so we stopped in the market for awesome glutem fee brownies… couldn’t  walk past those!! Then it was more sightseeing before heading home. 

Time to head back to Kays for a rest. I love her garden, it is like three rooms in an outdoor space. There is a sense of flow and calm and i felt at home.

After a couple of lovely days swapping childhood memories and making new ones it was time for me to head back to Dunmow where Kay and I had dinner with her mum and dad before Sally picked me up and we headed back to Chelmsford. 

I have slept well every night here. Probably due to a combination of fresh country air, laughter, love and walking. Feeling very blessed.

A wander around Chelmsford made me smile. There is balance in all things in the universe so in returen for all the essex girl jokes here is a reminder that essex boys exist too!! Lol

Chelmsford cathedral is a gorgeous mix of the old and the new and a lovely place to quietly wander.

Who would have guessed that one tree of life painting could contain so many stories. 

Next stop was in Writtle. We were actually on our way somewhere else and i was telling Sally that my Great Nan came from Writtle and that i didnt know anything about her. So it was that we thought we would have a look at the church and cemetery  on the off chance a bit of the family tree puzxle might be found. 

There is something magical that happens along the journey of life and if you allow it to flow wonderful things happen. Lets just say we made some finds that might lead me to the missing piece in my family puzzle. Soon we had worked out way round the whole place and i came away with 18 clues…  Unbelievable!
How somethings survive is astounding and our next stop was incredible. The oldest wooden church in the world!!! St Andrews Greenstead is both beautiful and incrdible. 

I am humbled by the history and the passion of the locals who absolutely light up as they tell you the tall tales and true of thier village. This lovely church also threw up some clues in the family tree but thats a story for another day.

Last stop for the day was Hylands house and park. A beautiful estate with open parklands and squirrels playing under mighty oak trees. The air was crisp and cool so by the time we got home we were ready for tea.

There has been so much that i have seen, felt, loved that now lays softly in my heart forever. My next post will start in Falmouth, let the shenanigans begin. 
Peace and light xxx

The universe says… time to tune out of Cluny and tune back into the world. A eventful evening. 

Breakfast time moved to fast today. The idea that our time at Cluny was coming to a close laid heavily in the air. We sat and chatted as usual, discussing friday nights antics. We smiled, savoured memories, laughed at our post dancing aches and basked in the moment. 

Our gardians expressed their heartfelt thoughts. I know we will hold them both in our hearts forever with love and light for thier guidance, encouragement, humor and patience. They to have to return to the world and we send them both off with our love and gratitude. 

Ireland was the first to head out and as we said our goodbyes it was as if a crack appeared in our tribe. Not a fault but an aperture where his light shone brightly. May the road rise up to meet him and his journey be as full as he made ours. 

Hungary, USA and Netherlands had all organised to stay on. It felt good to know that part of our connected mass would remain for a while. Young, free and beautiful they reminded us all of the young one who lies just below the surface no matter the years that pass. They provided our light with kaleidoscopic dimensions dancing on our souls. 

Portugal, Belgium and I were heading to Inverness. All too soon the taxi arrived. We hugged and shared thoughts and waved Cluny back into the trees. Not leaving but heading out on the next part of the ride. Hoping to find a serendipitous moment to reconnect. 

We three were a little quiet at the train station and caught up with another Cluny soul who was also heading out. On the train we travelled with a hens party group. Everything seemed loud and jangling as we readjusted to the cacophony of sounds, smells and voices. 

At Inverness the three of us made a plan to catch up for dinner, not yet ready to  tune out completely. Each of us had things to do before we reconvened for a parting meal. 

I headed for my hotel, a luxury i now felt reluctant to go to… funny that. Soon i was checking into the Mercure, room 219 to be exact! Well i would have except for the room had an electronic swipe card that didnt work lol. A little touch of irony after a week in a place with no locks!! Luckily housekeeping was on the floor so she let me in. I managed to sort some charging of devices and soon it was time for dinner. I was relieved to see my Cluny roommate walk through the door. I had missed her presence along with the presence of the rest of our motley crew. 

It was only 6pm and not raining so we walked awhile along the Ness, laughing and sharing recognising that this time was precious. Inverness was busy as it is the weekend of The Highlánd Tattoo, wonderful, unless you are looking for a table befor 9.30pm! Luckily, a table was found and turned out to be just around the corner from Portugals acccomodation. Message sent we set out to meet for our meal. 

Weary from the travel we ate and made the most of our opportunity to share, reflect and share with each other gratitudes for the whole tribe. All too soon it was time to depart and to share hugs and to make an intention to reconnect in person in the future. It felt strange to walk back to the hotel by myself, yet my heart was filled with wonder for all we have shared. Time to rest.

Or so i thought….

The key worked fine now however when i opened the door there was a note saying:

  • No hot water
  • Engineer onsite
  • Hoping for a resolution

That will teach me for sending the tribe a photo of the beautiful bathroom. I was not up for a cold (scottish cold brrrrrrrr) shower so i thought i would order a hot chocolate and read a while.

Yum hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows sounded great…. only problem was it had been so busy that the kitchen had run out of cream and marshmallows. Is the universe trying to tell me something?? I kept thinking of all the lovely air bnb’s i had stayed in and was again feeling the hotel thing might have been a mistake.

Never mind i have late checkout so i decide to wait it out.. At 11.45 i decide to crawl into bed and shower in the morning.

Or so i thought…

There had been a few events on in the hotel, no problem until 2 am when doors started slamming and a conversation of train spotting calibre ensued! For the next 3 hours they seemed to take time outs to breath or pee or something!! Just after 5 they gave up or passed out. Which ever it was i was grateful. 

At 7am the water was restored and a shower was a long hot project more for the purposes of washing the night away.

Note to self – no more hotels lol

Life is always interesting and downright comical.

Till tomorow.

Peace and light xxx

The universe says… goodbye Inverness hello coach ride.

Once outside this morning in the cool misty rain i dropped my bags at the bus station for a huge £4 lol and took a last wander. 

I am really at ease now with this lovely place so i headed to a spot for a sit and a snack while it rained. As it does here, the rain passed and blue sky appeared in the breaks in the cloud. 

I took a walk through a graveyard that i have passed almost everyday here. I love the history you find recorded on old headstones. Not only the relevant dates but also occupations. It gives an insight into the lives of those long gone. 

Mieles gelato is just outside the gate of the graveyard and so i decided it was time for a new flavour. 


First i had cherry yum! Its one of my favourites as it is sharp and tangy that balances the smooth sweet creamyness. 9/10. It was then that something intriguing caught my eye.

If i had not seen it with my own eyes i would not have believed it…. Tomato and basil ice cream! 
Lol i can feel many of you recoiling in horror but no i decided to take one for the team and try it….. WOW

Who would have thought it! Served with a drizzle of balsamic glaze it was absolutely superb. Seriously, it was gobsmackingly good. Apparently it can be served on a bed of pesto as a wild italian starter… i would give that a go. 10/10. Brilliant. 

Eventually i headed back to the bus station and climbed on board my coach to head south.

 We drove through the mountains until the last light faded. 

So rest well people.

Peace and light xxx