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Words and pictures

I recently Took part in one of those things that appear now and again on Facebook, I don’t do many of them but this one caught my interest, the premise was to post 10 pictures you love without comment. all cool but it left me a bit frustrated, the thing is each photo has a story. so my idea was a blogpost covering the 10 pictures it with the stories behind them.

it’s a bit of fluff really but we probably all need a break from the political stuff.

1. This was taken in Portugal at , It was I think Debs looks really cool and sophisticated on it, I have been described as looking like a veteran country and blues legend, in truth I was going for salty old sea dog but I will take that.

This holiday was really important for us, it was the first one after Debs long illness and stay in hospital, it seemed at times this would never come. We had a great time doing very little, we had a fantastic villa and spent most our time there swimming and enjoying the local cuisine. It felt such a world away from the trials and tribulations we had been through previously.

2. There are two pictures I have taken that I think stand head and shoulders above any others, they are both featured here. This is from the amazing Cinque terretown of Riggatore. I have a regular travelling companion the fantastic Mr Neil Elliot, what started off as a one off trip around Europe before he retired back to Australia has become a yearly affair, on this particular trip we took in the five towns that make up the outstanding national park of Cinque Terre in Italy. These are fabulous unspoilt towns that are renown for their walking routes. We travelled out of season in March so it was relitivly queit , in the summer season when the cruise ships and walkers decent it gets a bit mad.

Neil had managed to bag himself a very impressive room on the front of dock of the bay, it was a great place for hanging out and just watching the world go by, this was taken from outside his apartment just as the sun went down.

3. When we were courting (now there’s an old fashioned word Debs lived in Sheffield and I lived in South Wales, we would hook up on weekends, I would either drive my ropey old Nissan cherry up to Sheffield ( often on a wing and a prayer) or Deb would make the journey down on the National express, many a Friday night I would spend in the rather dilapidated old Newport bus station waiting for the inevitably late coach to arrive.

To keep me going during the week I asked her to send me down a photo, this was the one she sent so this will always be my sweetheart photo

4. Another from Portugal I am afraid, we enjoyed our first outing there so much we booked the next year to go back (something we don’t do often) unfortunately we couldn’t get the villa we had the year before but we got one nearby and with a nice swimming pool.

This photo was taken not far from the one of me and Deb, I think its one of my favourites of all the family together. Happy times

5. This photo is taken from the top of the rock in New York City, we did some walking on that trip, it was just as Debs illness was starting to kick in but she was determined to get around. I packed a lot into the visit but ultimately got told off as I forgot to schedule shopping time! A huge mistake in a town city like New York.

A lot of people head up the Empire state (we did that too) however for me the Top of the rock is far superior for views and experience. I love that you can see central park in the background

6. This is my first time in Africa and possibly the most remote place I have ever travelled to, another holiday with Neil this time to Marrakesh, we booked a day tour with a taxi to the Sahara dessert, to get there we had to climb the high atlas mountains, the trip up and over was scarier than any roller coaster I have ever been on.

The first place we visited was a Kasbah; it really was truly remarkable place and such a culture shock to my European upbringing. Although they still sold coca cola , I guess some things really are universal

7. The second of my favourite photos and easily my favourite European   the wonderful Seville.  This is another destination I originally travelled to with Neil but I enjoyed it so much I recreated the trip with Deb and Freya.  I cannot recommend this city highly enough, its just gorgeous in every way. This was taken in the plaza de Espanga . This attraction is recognisable from many films including star wars. The rainbow is caused by the refraction of the water in the fountain; I was really chuffed how this came out.

8. This was us in Florida, we travelled outside of the Disney bubble to a place called Crystal lakes and hired a small boat complete with Captain Joe for the day. Captain Joe was an amazing man, an ex Special Forces guy with considerable knowledge of the area. He was super patent with the girls (and me) teaching us to snorkel. We saw and interacted with manatees but for me the highlight of the day was the two sisters’ spring where we swam and snorkelled in the clearest water I have ever seen in my life. This one one of those days that will stay in the memory for ever. Than you Capt Joe.

9. The third and final Portugal picture, I honestly would love to retire here! This is by far my favourite restaurant in the world, BJ’s diner is owned by a British couple and honestly it is a heavenly place, the food is fresh and tasty, the vibe of the place is relaxed as you look out on clear blue seas and golden sand and the staff are super friendly and helpful, add into the mix live music and lots of laughs you have the best place to relax and enjoy a great meal.

10. Final picture and I have changed it up, this is a recent photo taken at the Ivy café in Marylebone. I escorted Deb on her last trip to London at the end of Feb. little did we know in a couple of weeks we would all be in lockdown, I wanted to treat her to afternoon tea so I picked her up after work and took her here, the tea and service was exquisite. I think though the  value of this picture is to look at what was,

Debs GDC work in London is due to end in the summer so it looks like this will be our last trip here (unless as tourists). I have been very lucky to have got to explore London well the last few years both with Debs work with the GDC and Tegan living there for a few years, it’s a great city and I will miss it loads.

There is also something lovely about a cream tea as well, especially somewhere a bit posh.

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