All happiness in the world comes from thinking about others, and all suffering in the world comes from preoccupation with yourself.
Random thoughts and photos on my journey through life…
All happiness in the world comes from thinking about others, and all suffering in the world comes from preoccupation with yourself.
After breakfast it was time to say goodbye to Winchester and its Cathedral and set off on our homeward journey. We stopped off at Hidcote, the first garden that the National Trust took ownership of. We had lunch before strolling round the garden.
After breakfast it was time to resume our walking tour around Winchester, taking in the sites that were on our ‘To Do’ list. We made our way to the Cathedral which we intended to revisit but when we arrived we noticed a long queue leading to the closed front doors of the Cathedral. Our immediate thought is that there must be a morning service about to take place. We decided to carry along the route and come back later. Whilst I was taking a photograph around the side of the Cathedral Mr C got chatting to a lady who was parking her bicycle, she informed him that the service about to take place was the ordination of the new Bishop of Basingstoke.
We carried on along our planned route and as we passed Winchester College we noticed that a guided tour was due to start in 30 minutes. We walked on to the new Bishop’s residence and Wolvesey Castle (the Old Bishop’s Palace). We wandered around the ruins until it was time to make our way back to the college. The tour was extremely interesting, our guide was very knowledgeable and informative. There were only three of us on the tour which added to the experience.
After the tour we made our way back to the Cathedral for morning coffee as we arrived there we realised that the service was due to finish shortly. After coffee we waited to see if we could get a glimpse of the Archbishop of Canterbury in front of the Cathedral. We weren’t disappointed. I was so close I could have stepped through the gate and shook his hand.
Lunch in in the guild hall was was rather chaotic due to it being full of people who had attended the service in the Cathedral. I had a cheese and chive scone with chutney, it was delicious. After lunch we visited Winchester City Mill and took a walk alongside the river Itchen. We then retraced our steps and visited the Cathedral to explore things I had missed on the first visit. When I had finished my explorations I was rushed to Peninsular Barracks so that Mr C could visit the Royal Green Jackets Museum to see the Waterloo diorama. On arrival we found that this part of the museum was closed in preparation for a new Waterloo exhibition that will be displayed in 2015 to celebrate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo.
After all that walking we returned to the hotel to put our feet up and relax before a return visit to The Old Vyne for our evening meal in Winchester.
We returned to Portsmouth to carry on where we left off the previous day. We started off with a visit to the Royal Marines Museum, which is included in the entrance ticket to Portsmouth Docks but situated a short way from the dockyard itself. It was thundering as we arrived and we didn’t quite make it inside before the heavy rain started. The museum explains the history of the Royal Marines and gives insight into what basic training involves and what it takes to become a Royal Marine. The videos of recruits stories as they undertook their training are quite touching and enlightening. We spent the whole morning there and had lunch in the Quartermaster’s Kitchen before making our way to Portsmouth Docks.
On arrival at the docks we visited HMS Warrior, the first armour-plated iron-hulled warship. Warrior propelled by steam power as well as being fully rigged for sail. The evolution of this type of warship led to Warrior becoming obsolete just a decade after she had been launched.
After Warrior we visited the Museum of the Royal Navy before returning to Winchester for our evening meal. We returned to La Place, the food was not quite as good as our previous visit but the atmosphere and experience was much better.
Portsmouth Dockyard is very large and has so many attractions that we planned to visit on more than one day. On the first visit we visited Nelson’s ship, HMS Victory, first. It was interesting and a lot more compact inside than I had imagined. Even I had to duck my head at times. I found it strange to think we were on the vessel where Nelson spent the last moments of his life.
Next we visited the Marie Rose museum which is in the dry dock next to HMS Victory. This museum is very well done, the remains of the Marie Rose are on its starboard side and the archaeological finds and information are exhibited on its port side. It was good to have seen Victory first because it allowed me to interpret clearly what I was seeing. The Marie Rose is currently behind perspex because she is being dried out as part of the final stages of the work undertaken to preserve her.
We then went into the museum that complimented HMS Victory. Mr C wasn’t too fussed about going upstairs, but I decided I wanted a quick look which led me to find a viewing platform looking out over the dockyards. One of the museum curators explained about the decommissioning of HMS Illustrious within Portsmouth Dockyard. She then produced a book on warships and showed us some of the ones that were currently in dock. She also pointed out a Victorian structure that covered the place where Queen Victoria alighted her train before boarding a ship to Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. We were also pointed in the right direction to find W L Wyllie’s Panorama of Trafalgar which we otherwise would have missed. The painting was displayed as a ’son et lumiere’ which was an excellent way of showing it off but it also meant we couldn’t linger to study it as long as we would have liked.
I chose to take a boat ride around the harbor. It is the best way to see the ships that are docked in the port as well as other more permanent features. The tour included a commentary naming the ships and pointing out various features of interest.
It was then time to head back for our evening meal, which on this occasion was rather disappointing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why… After the meal we made our way towards The Bishop on the Bridge for a drink before we returned to the hotel. As we approached the main thoroughfare where the pub was situated we heard a loud crash of glass. An angry man crossed in front of us shouting ‘England Forever’. People from the two nearby pubs rushed out to see what was going on. The man moved by and we crossed the road on our way but the man suddenly turned around and walked into the middle of the road, ranting and raving in our general direction. Mr C was all for carrying on past him towards the pub but I had other ideas. I insisted we move back out of his anger zone. By this time there were people out with brooms sweeping up the glass which he had smashed in the middle of a busy traffic island. There was glass everywhere so I am not sure what he had thrown. The people who had been near him in one of the pubs said he had been peaceful one minute and the next he went into a rage.
When the coast was clear we made our way to The Bishop on the Bridge for a well deserved drink.
After our trips further afield from Winchester it was time to explore the historical town itself. We set off on a walking tour that was shown in the back of the ‘Winchester Pitkin Guide’. The first stop on route was to photograph the statue of King Alfred. It was good to find that the hanging basket that had been hung on his sword by weekend revelers had been removed, therefore allowing for a perfect photo opportunity.
As we walked along the route we noticed ‘The Church of St Lawrence‘. It was a hidden gem tucked away in among the shops. With the exception of the sounds of music from a street musician the noise and the hustle and bustle from outside could not be heard.
After experiencing solitude in the church we carried along the path of our walking route towards Westgate. Unfortunately the museum was closed, but I did get to see a lone man working on repair work on a nearby steeple. We carried on past the Westgate to the Great Hall. The hall and the round table have breathtaking proportions. My immediate thought on entering the hall was WOW!!!
The next port of call was Peninsula Barracks to take in a couple of the museums that were on Mr C’s ‘To Do’ list. Before the museum visits we had lunch in Cafe Peninsula, where I opted for Crayfish sandwich, it was delicious. Mr C’s museum choices were HorsePower, the Museum of The King’s Royal Hussars and the Gurkha Museum.
Both museums were interesting to me. The HorsePower museum because of my interest in armoured vehicles, the development of ‘main battle tanks’, specifically Challenger 2. The Gurkha museum with its life sized and scale models of battle situations enabling the visitor to see the extreme difficulties that the Gurkhas overcame. Unusually after those two visits Mr C was all military museumed out…We continued on our walking route and visited St Swithun upon Kingsgate, a rare example of a church located above the historic gates of a city.
After all that walking we returned to the hotel to chill out and rest our weary feet before venturing out for our evening meal. Our venue for the evening was La Place, the food was excellent but unfortunately we were sitting next to a table whose occupants were a drunk and rowdy threesome. They were not happy drunk, there was a grumpy edginess to it. As they were sitting just behind me I felt really uncomfortable until they left. They were older people so I can’t even give them the benefit of being young and stupid.
Before returning to our hotel for a good nights sleep we retired to The Old Vyne to relax after the unpleasant experience.
The weekend before last, our washing machine decided to leak onto the kitchen floor. We had been experiencing a few other niggles with it and considering its venerable age we decided it would be more economical in the long run to purchase a new one. We went to a local shop to order a new one and chose a convenient delivery slot. On the day of delivery, towards the end of the chosen slot the washing machine had not arrived… After a grumpy phone call the machine was eventually delivered and fitted. I am still working out how to use it
For a while I had been noticing that my blog page was running slow. On Monday it eventually displayed the dreaded ‘Error establishing a database connection’. I submitted a support ticket which usually leads to problem being fixed the next day. A week later, several emails and two phone calls later it is still not working. This evening I was told that I would have to phone back between 9am and 5pm. In addition to the original problem I noticed that my FTP is inaccessible also. I am terribly unimpressed.
The internet problems that I experienced a couple of weeks ago (for that you will have to see my blog when it is back) were never completely fixed. The connection keeps randomly dropping out. Another support call was made (4th October). The ISP again insisted it was the router that was the problem. So that would be the old router and also the new one I bought when the old one broke whilst undertaking all the tests the ISP required of us. The original problem was at the BT exchange, but I can’t be put in contact with BT until after I try a new router provided by the ISP. This will take three to five days to arrive.
Those minor niggles paled into insignificance when I received a phone call from Mr C towards the end of Friday afternoon. He had crashed his car on the way home, was I able to come and pick him up? Of course I was. It looks like the car is a write-off but most importantly Mr C is alright apart from being rather shaken up by the experience. When we arrived home after the incident I noticed an envelope poking out from the (inside) of our letter box. The words at the top said ‘Road Safety Team’. On closer inspection I found that it was a survey about parking related issues that may occur due to increased parking charges at our local hospital. Curious timing… Then Mr C opening another letter that had arrived, it was his car insurance documents that had been posted out to him after his recent renewal.
On Sunday Mr C decided to suss out which car he might like as a replacement. A salesman came out and introduced himself and said he would leave us alone to browse, but if we needed anything just to pop inside and ask. Mr C asked if any had caught my eye (they were all similar models). I pointed out the only one that had stood out to me. We went to find the salesman who got the key and let us look around it. Then Mr C took it for a test drive and it was like he had been driving the car for years. When we got back to the forecourt the salesman pointed out some of the cars features including a sensor on the front of the vehicle. He said that if the car in front slowed down or came to a halt the car would automatically brake. Mr C and I caught each other’s eye and fell about laughing. Mr C then confessed to the recent demise of his previous car. The price of the car was too good to miss and a deal was done. Now all that is needed is to sort out the niggles of the previous car.
Update: This was posted yesterday on Cherie’s Other Place. My blog problem has now been fixed, but I need to do a bit more investigating regarding the FTP.