27 October 2023

Hello Autumn

One of the other volunteer ladies has been at the hospital for many years. She regularly decorates her work station with themes throughout the year.

They bring a smile to everyones face

This witch is very old, I think she said over 50 years

I'm looking forward to her Christmas theme

∼ Be safe and well ∼

Polly x

21 October 2023

A Fairly Good Read

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow

Well what a fantastical story this is. It tells of January Scaller, a young woman growing up at the turn of the 20th century who is sucked into an adventure that takes her between worlds. January’s father is an employee of the fabulously wealthy Mr. Locke, he travels the world searching for lost treasures and valuable artefacts to add to his employer’s immense collection. While her father is away, January staves off the boredom of the high society life she’s been adopted into by losing herself in pulp adventure novels. One day, she discovers a mysterious book called The Ten Thousand Doors, and inside its pages she mets the vivacious Miss Adelaide Lee Larson—a remarkable woman who lived a few decades earlier, and left an account of her years spent exploring, and her discovery that some doors don’t lead to where you would expect them to.

Unfortunately after the first couple of chapters I got confused about what was going on, but around the halfway mark I felt like I was starting to make progress, the plot was making more sense and things seemed to be going places. To be honest though I was glad to finish it.

∼ Happy Reading∼ 
Polly x

14 October 2023


Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Beautiful Amazing Autumn, probably the time of year when Mother Nature gives her best performance. Trees conserve their energy and moisture in their trunks, and as a result their leaves turn red, gold and orange before creating beautiful kaleidoscope carpets on the ground.

Farmers collect reserves of crop, animals begin their winter preparations by storing food and creating cosy hibernation spaces. And many of us humans create our own cosy spaces indoors and focus on creating a warm comfortable home. 

Daylight hours are shorter and there’s a chill in the air, but Autumn can reward us with some lovely weather. Here in the UK September was glorious, and so far October has been mild and sunny. 

I have made a good start tidying the garden for winter.
Bulbs have been planted in the rockery.

This border was a mess, those footpaths were hidden beneath weeds and straggly plants. It should be possible to walk around that light green fir tree but that shrub in the middle was taking over, I have trimmed it down. I still have a lot more to do before winter sets in but I think I will get there. The lawn is looking nice and green. 

What a lovely little heart shaped bun. I didn' t notice until I buttered it.

Yesterday M and I did a trip with our U3a Bus Pass Group to Bishop's Stortford, a lovely historic market town on the border of Essex and Hertfordshire.

We had some lunch and meandered around, there are some lovely shops but missed the markets, which are held on Thursdays and Saturdays. 

The sun is shining, the sky is blue, time to put some washing out and maybe do a bit of gardening. I hope you have a good sunny weekend dear reader.

∼ Be safe and well ∼

Polly x

4 October 2023

A Holiday, A Birthday And Chocolate, Lots of Chocolate

I have had a fantastic holiday in Switzerland with Rail Discoveries, part of the Great Rail Journeys group.

32 of us met our tour guide at St Pancras where our trip started on the Eurostar to Paris then another train to Strasbourg for an overnight stay. We had some spare time in the afternoon before dinner. 

I went to the Cathedral but it had closed early so I didn't get to see inside,
it is HUGE. 

The following morning I did a boat trip around the city
followed by a brief walk around Petite France.
            Petite Frace courtesy of Wikipedia Commons            and a postcard

This is the most picturesque district of old Strasbourg. Fishermen, millers and tanners once lived and worked in this part of town where the streets have been built level with the waterways.
The magnificent half-timbered houses date from the 16th and 17th centuries. Their sloping roofs open out onto lofts where hides were once dried. 

With cobblestone streets, narrow lanes, canals and locks, and scarlet geraniums everywhere Petite France is beautiful. I think it looks stunning at night time.
I would liked to have stayed longer, sit and linger over coffee and cake, drink in the views, and watch the world go by, but I had to return to the hotel at midday for our onward journey.
We boarded a train to Basel, then to Interlaken and finally to the lovely pretty village of Winderswill.

My room was bijoux. It's most annoying that price per person solo travellers pay more but we get the smallest rooms. It is what it is though. It was pretty, warm and the bed was very comfortable, I slept well. The shower room was modern and spacious.

The view from my balcony.
All meals were included, breakfasts were a cold buffet with a huge variety of delicious breads, cereals, croissants, jam, honey, yoghurts, meats, cheeses, eggs, juices, tea and coffee.
We had packed lunches every day, a choice of cheese, meat or tuna sandwiches, a boiled egg, cake and a piece of fruit.
Dinner was three courses with all inclusive drinks from 7 - 9. They weren't rubbish drinks, the beers and wines were very good.

These troughs have fresh mountain water flowing into them,
we filled our water bottles every day.

Our first day was a free day. I took the train into Interlaken using my Swiss Half Fare Card included with the package. Our tour manager was going into the old town and asked if I would like to join her.

We walked along the river to the old town where we parted company,
she had some work to do. I meandered around the lovely shops

then sat in a park watching the paragliders landing
 whilst eating my picnic packed lunch. 

After lunch I took the funicular up to Harder Kulm

the views are spectacular. Everywhere we went the beautiful rivers and lakes looked as if vats of turquoise dye had been poured into them.

The next day was an organised trip,
scenic journey on the Schynige Platte Railway

 19th-century carriages hauled by a vintage electric locomotive.

There is a cafe and lots of lovely walking trails.
I'm not much of a hill walker nowadays

I did a gentle walk through the Botanical Alpine Garden with hundreds of species of delicate alpine flowers, sadly now past their best, but in
spring it would look gorgeous.

There is also a hotel where the Alphorn players sounded beautiful.
I should have done a video.

It's also a great place to see the Jungfrau mountain. I'm not sure
but I think this range is the Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch.

The next day was a free day. I took myself off to Thun. The train from Interlaken was a double decker, very smart, quiet and fast, and much cheaper than train travel at home.

With its historic buildings, promenades steeped in history, the white castle and fantastic views over the lake set against the backdrop of the Bernese Alps, Thun is popular with locals and tourists alike.

The weir

The water passes through the weir at such a speed it creates waves that are hugely popular with surfers.

This girl was so good.
They grab hold of the rope that is attached to the bridge, get on their boards

manoeuver themselves to the middle, then when they feel confident let go and surf, or fall off! I could have watched them for ages but there were sights to see, a castle to visit, and a nice spot to be found for lunch.

I strolled through the cobblestone streets with lots of lovely small shops, through the old town

 up to the castle

where I found a lovely quiet shady spot to have my lunch

The eggs were painted in pretty hues of red and yellow.
On the way back to the station I stopped off for coffee and chocolate!

The next day was exciting - it was my birthday.
The hotel put this lovely heart on my door.

And it was the day for our trip up to the Jungfrau Sphinx Astronomical Observatory. At 3,571 mtrs above sea level, it's one of the highest observatories in the world. Accessible via the underground Jungfrau railway.

The stunning Aletsch Glacier - a World Heritage wonder. This is another panorama that I didn't know I had taken!

Very cold Ice Palace

My birthday, the highest point in Europe and Lindt chocolates, chocolate in all it's deliciousness. It was a GOOD day. Back at the hotel at dinner I enjoyed a chorus of 'Happy Birthday'

and a piece of chocolate cake with a roman candle in it!

Before departure I was checking the weather forecast almost daily and it was grim - lots of rain. Then a few days before departure it was looking much better. Nevertheless I took an assortment of clothes, a warm sweater for the trip to Jungfrau, a dress, a couple of light jumpers and shirts, a couple of short sleeeved t-shirts, and a couple of camisoles. As you can see from the photos we had glorious blue skies and lovely warm weather, people were wearing light cotton trousers and sandals.

The last day was a trip on Lake Brienz. A few of us left the boat half way to take a trip up to a very nice hotel and a waterfall that you could walk behind. There was a queue for the funicular, someone said it would be just as quick to walk up.

It was a pretty walk but took longer than expected, whoever timed it was younger and fitter than us oldies! We only had an hour before catching the next boat to Brienz. B
y the time we reached the top there was no time to visit the waterfall

not even time for a coffee in the lovely hotel. We took the funicular down

Brienz is very pretty

I strolled along beside the lake, into the old town

then met up with a lovely couple from my group for a last iced latte before catching the train back.

I met these lovely, lovely people at the beginning of the holiday, just after we went through passport control at St Pancras. They invited me to join them for dinner every evening and I spent a bit of time with them on a few days.

I have lots of wonderful memories of a fantastic holiday.

Dear reader if you are still here after such a long post, thank you for staying!
I hope you have enjoyed the post as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

∼ Be safe and well ∼

Polly x

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