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Tales from a Motorcycle Saddle.

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Autumn 2018

Life after Canada

No, life hasn't been boring since our fantastic trip across the Atlantic. Events include a new school, church away weekend, a few days in Brighton, friends visiting for a weekend, two kittens......




   Abigail's Page 53


Autumn 2018



Well this is me in my new uniform on my first day at the NHS (that's Notley High School to me and you.) It's vastly different to primary school and takes some getting used to. I get up at 06.30 and leave to walk to school at 08.00 with friends.


Below is a picture that Mummy took. Can you work out what it is? (Answer near bottom of page.)


In October the majority of the church went to Belsey Bridge Conference Centre on the Suffolk/Norfolk border for an away weekend. It was billed as a family time together. We arrived Friday night and left late Sunday afternoon. It used to be a girl's school.

There were interactive teaching sessions for the adults and a youth group for children. On Saturday evening we held a talent show. Here I am doing a tap dance to The Entertainer by Scott Joplin.

Saturday afternoon saw us playing games. Mary, who is 80, was the bowler. Unfortunately the (soft) ball hit her twice, poor lady. Dad is in bat here.



OK it's a selfie but Daddy likes it. It hasn't been Photoshopped by the way.


Time to introduce Rosie and Bonzo. Cats Protection say they were born in July this year. In case you hadn't noticed (!) they are twins. Someone left them in a box near the Braintree railway line, horrible people.

They love climbing and eating house plants. The Strelitzia plant (Bird of Paradise) is being destroyed here. Daddy doesn't like it and calls it a Triffid but Grandad Robert grew it from a cutting so Mummy isn't pleased.

They may look peaceful (below) but what are they dreaming?


We stayed in Brighton until the Thursday morning of half term as on the next day we were due to receive two visitors, Paul and Sue. Paul was Mummy and Daddy's Best Man in 2005. We only meet up once a year, usually in the Cotswolds where they live but this year they came in their posh motorhome and stayed on a nearby campsite.

Daddy and Paul met in 1996 as volunteer coach driver for Oak Hall - the Christian holiday organisation. We walked a 4.5 mile round trip from home to Rayne station which is on the Flitch Way; Route 16 of the National Cycle Network. Daddy uses it when he does his 35 mile round trip to Hatfield Forest.

The Booking Hall Cafe got the No1 vote by Sustrans (sustainable transport) for being the best ex-station cafe. It was a cold October day and we ate outside! Daddy said it's all about being British. I'd rather be warm, thank you. After the meal we looked around the railway carriage stationed beside the platform. Inside was a model railway of Rayne station as it was in 1945.


That's all folks. See you in 2019!


Mummy's skill at creativity and flower arranging has finally been recognised.
First Prize at last!

Meanwhile Daddy has been honing his skills in my playhouse. His cousin Juliet sent him this birthday card:

You may remember he started a model railway: The Edwardstown and Robertsville Railway in remembrance of my grandfathers. Progress is very slow as you can see.

"Everything is a compromise" Dad says which I think he's using as an excuse for not doing it properly in the first place. (Cheeky! Dad.)


Let's go to Brighton!
Four/five days away with the caravan and Mummy takes 309 photos!

Brighton seafront as viewed from the East Pier. The remains of the West Pier are visible on the left and the tall tower is the British Airways i360 tower. Our friend Paul (more of later) used to work for BA and so we impressed him by saying we had had a flight with BA. It was only 500 feet straight up in a flying saucer shaped observation pod but it was still exciting.

The reflections on the glass made photography difficult but this is the type of view we enjoyed. (Below) we're looking east towards the East Pier and the Marina. Our caravan site was in the green area behind the cranes so on the first day we walked in and bussed in and out on others.

There were 100 of these snails dotted around Brighton. The Brighton and Hove website says this:

"Snailspace Brighton is a vibrant and exciting, FREE, public art event in Brighton & Hove. Admire 50 giant painted Snail sculptures and over 50 Junior Snails as you explore our great city at a snailís pace."

The artistry on this one is of the Brighton Pavilion which we went round with a friend who used to come to our church and who's daughter is two weeks older than me.

We spent three dusks on Brighton beach facing the West Pier. The pier was destroyed by two fires in the early 2000s but Mummy was keen to photograph the starling murmuration that often happens at dusk. No, I didn't know what a murmuration was either. Apparently it's when flocks of birds swoop around making fantastic shapes just before they roost for the night. There weren't a big number there when we were there but the sunsets made up for it.


Did you guess what the picture was at the top of the page? It's the Balcombe Ouse Valley viaduct built in 1842, is now Grade 2* listed and still very busy. It's used by trains to and from Brighton.


Mummy was able to zoom in on this jay on one of our walks with Paul and Sue.


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