Tag Archives: holidays

‘What a novel idea ~ to talk to each other’ or ‘A Truly Social Media Free Holiday’

For two weeks every year I like to leave Twitter, Facebook and my blogs behind me and have a total break. I’m getting more and more content with this as the years pass. At first I panicked. I wrote blog posts to schedule automatically and tweets to appear through Hootsuite. You can do all of this if you:

a) pay an expert to do your marketing for you

b) have the time to do so

or c) just cannot bear being silent for a couple of weeks or more.

I used to ask ~ Will my followers get bored and desert me? Will I have to start again when I get back? Will the world still turn without me?

It is strange for the first couple of days. I am tempted to turn on the internet using my smart phone. You may laugh here but I have never had Facebook or Twitter or even email on my phone. Too intrusive on real life. The man in the phone shop raised his eyebrows when he saw that I hadn’t even discovered the App Store.

I resisted temptation for the first couple of days ~only just.

By the third day I started to relax ~ to forget the pull of all of these time sucking activities and then I noticed something which made me smile and frown at the same time.

At restaurants while hubby and I were learning to talk to each other again we noticed whole families who sat at their table glued to their phones, sharing the occasional joke or two they’d read from friends back home. On buses and on the beach too! By the end of the holiday we were even feeling quite smug about it.

In fact, we enjoyed talking so much that we have vowed to turn the TV off during supper each night back at home, to sit opposite each other and chat about our day. It’s been so refreshing for our communication skills and our relationship as a couple. You should try it.

What a novel idea ~ to talk to each other!

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A late October visit to Alderney

Saye Bay from Fort Albert

Visiting Alderney in late October is quite a different experience but nonetheless a pleasant one. The de-stressing qualities of this usually peaceful island seems to work its magic the moment you land, maybe sooner. Even the anticipation of our stay calms the soul. We were certainly fortunate with the weather and spent Saturday walking to the easterly end of the island, around Fort Albert and down on to Saye Bay, where we sat for an hour in the sunshine admiring the Forts which flaked the sandy bay on either side and staring out into the blue distance, with the occasional intrepid sailing boat sliding by, like a moving mirage in the otherwise still scene.

In fact we only saw one other couple who were walking their dog along the glassy sand where the tide had recently been; footprints quickly dissolving leaving no lasting impression. Next we headed across the deserted campsite to Arch Bay and Corblets Bay where we joined one other family enjoying the simple pleasures of the beach. There we had our picnic, bought fresh from the bakery in St Anne’s earlier that morning, when we had witnessed the early Saturday morning rush hour of at least one car every two or three minutes on their way up Braye Road to do their weekend shopping.

As the lady’s family left the beach I remarked, ‘Beautiful, isn’t it.’

‘Perfection,’ she replied. We need say no more as we glanced out over the sand and glistening rocks towards the lighthouse.

A crowded beach

We continued our walk along the coastal paths to Longis where a few families were dotted across the bay under the brow of the sea defences, an excellent wind shelter, unnecessary today though but sometimes welcome. Our intended destination this time was not the beach but The Barn where we enjoyed a refreshing cup of afternoon tea. We’d just missed lunch but the menu looked appealing. Maybe for another day. It’s always worth remembering The Barn when you are this end of the island. In the summer the campsite has a cafe too, but at this time of year The Barn acts as a little oasis, with its sheltered plant laden courtyard and the cosy rooms of its popular restaurant.

Back in the little town of St Anne that afternoon it was quiet, many of the Georgian shops now closed for the remainder of the weekend. There was still activity at the Fishing Shop, and I mean fishing tackle and the like rather than the fresh fish shop further down Victoria Street. The annual fishing festival was nearing its final moments and people were nipping in and out, I’m not sure what for, but there was certainly an air of excitement. The One Stop was also open and the Book shop around the corner, as was Jack’s, the Bistro cum cafe right at the bottom of Victoria Street, but it was just about to close to prepare the tables for the evening meal. It was also the last day the Alderney Museum was open to the public before closing its doors for winter, often the busiest time behind the scenes for its inspired young curator and band of enthusiastic volunteers who have excellent ideas to weave the museum with the fabric of community life.

That evening we headed to The Moorings down by the harbour for supper, but it appeared that the whole island had turned up too for the end of festival celebration when cups and trophies were handed out and I gather a great time was had by all.

We hadn’t intended to eat at The Diver’s a second night, preferring to choose a different venue each night… The Diver’s on Thursday night when we arrived where we both enjoyed an Alderney burger, good wholesome home cooking; Of course it had to be The Braye Chippy on Friday, a must for any visitor but, since the islanders love it too, it’s essential to book – yes that’s how good it is; Back to the Diver’s on Saturday, gladly taking a table vacated by the multitude of fishermen on their way to the

Speaks for itself

Moorings and finally Sunday lunch at The Harbour Lights where I ate Red Mullet to die for. I had to take a photo of the meal but it was certainly as delicious as it looked. Later that evening I met Bugsy, the owner of the wetfish shop at the bar of The Harbour Lights and he told me he’d caught it at 7 am that very morning.

As always I was so sad to leave on Monday morning, not only the island which has seeped deep into my psyche but many of the islanders too, who made us feel so welcome!

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‘Oh I do like to be beside the seaside’

Corfe Castle in the evening sunshine

We camped in Dorset last weekend close to Corfe Castle, where we enjoyed a variety of activities including a beautiful drive across the deserted MOD region of Dorset to Lulworth Cove, where we took a bracing walk along the coastal path to Durdle Door. Of course we also visited Corfe Castle itself, pictured majestically in the evening sunshine and from there caught the steam train to Swanage where we strolled along the water’s edge eating ice cream. How English!

On the following day we drove along the coast visiting the various National Trust beaches on Studland Bay;  those nearest to Swanage look out towards Old Harry Rock which is akin to the Needles, but at the far end the views are of Brownsea Island and Poole Harbour leading to the famous Sandbanks peninsula. 

On the Sunday we decided to just chill out and for the first time in my life we hired deckchairs and sat on Swanage Beach reading the newspaper. This also seemed a very English thing to do and one of those simple pleasures i’d never experienced. Later on, when the sun finally shone, we even took our coats off. Of course this weekend has been a heat wave. Such is life!

Our peaceful afternoon left us refreshed for our journey home on Monday.

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