That Was 2017

That was 2017

2017 is one of those years where we can say we did a lot and enjoyed ourselves. Some of it has been blogged, some not. Read my next post for more on that.

Here’s a quick look back at 2017


Our first trip of the year was to France. the first time I have been to France. It was really a great get together with friends. Eating good food and sitting ’til the early hours near the beach drinking wine and enjoying ourselves.

Blue Bayou

We stayed at Blue Bayou, with the beach just a short walk away.

A view of Beach and sky with Valras Plage on the horizon. Near Blue Bayou.

A view of Beach and sky with Valras Plage on the horizon.


Flying in and out of Carcassonnne, La Cite, the old Citadel was a must for a visit.

Outside the old walled citadel, La Cité, at Carcassonne.

Outside the old walled citadel, La Cité, at Carcassonne.


Known for its naturist beach, which we didn’t visit, we had a short time there and took a boat trip, then experienced a bit of local take-away cuisine.

Boats and a big wheel in Athe Harbour at Agde.

Boats and a big wheel in Athe Harbour at Agde.

Valras Plage

We visited the market in Valras Plage and then enjoyed cocktails with a beach view.

A busy Market Street in Valras Plage.

A busy Market Street in Valras Plage.


As always we found great food, and even tried that French delicacy, frog’s legs.

South Africa

With family ties in SA, a long planned visit came together exactly as planned. That was a mixture of hectic days and relaxation by the sea.

Hermanus – Whales and Prawns

Having been in Hermanus once before, we had a long standing plan to visit. We were not disappointed!

Hermanus is in South Africa’s Western Cape area.

A sea view from Bientang's Cave Restaurant in Hermanus

A sea view from Bientang’s Cave Restaurant in Hermanus

Hermanus – Winelands

A day trip into the Hermanus Winelands was a surprise find. A great day out.

In the winelands near Hermanus, this was our view over lunch.

In the winelands near Hermanus, this was our view over lunch.


Umdloti, north of Durban on South Africa’s kwaZulu-Natal coast provided a few days of tranquil getaway.

Rough seas on the beach at Umdloti, looking towards Durban.

Rough seas on the beach at Umdloti, looking towards Durban.


Visiting Durban while staying at Umdloti, we had a few good days in the area, visiting the beachfront, harbour and the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

Durban Beachfront Bay of Plenty


Closer to Home

Of course it is not all about long trips. There’s a lot happening closer to home. Have a look.


And 2018?

Who knows. There are a lot of changes coming our way, so watch this space.

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous 2018

Stratford River Festival 2017

Stratford River Festival 2017 Purely by accident, a few years ago, we discovered the Stratford River Festival in Stratford upon Avon in Warwickshire, England. An annual festival, it is held on the banks of the […]

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Flying Inverted

Taken at a local motorcycle festival in 2015. And it IS the right way up. The rider was doing a jump from right to left in the photo, and did a little loop in the middle.

I like the black and white effect for this photo.

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River Festival

Stratford River Festival 2016 As we drove in, queueing for parking, objective number one was clearly in sight – the Jabberwocky’s green van. But we knew before we left home how that would go: brunch split between one of those excellent Jabberwocky toasties and then lamb and salsa verde from the Slow Roasted Meat Kitchen. Of course it’s the annual Stratford River Festival, held in Stratford Upon Avon, by the side of the River Avon.

We discovered the festival a couple of years ago (see last year) quite by accident. It is just a great day (or two) out at the beginning of July. This year parking was a bit of a mission due, I believe, to muddy areas in the overflow parking. After a bit of frustration we did park, fed the Pay & Display meter and headed for brunch.

Stratford River Festival 2016With no disappointment from the toasties we took a stroll around the stands seeing some interesting clothes and bits and pieces of craft and foods. Of course, as is required of a festival clothes were purchased! The required lamb and salsa verde eaten, also with no disappointment, though a spot of rain forced us to take shelter in a tent for a short while. After a short boat ride, just to be on the water, we found another little gem, in the cleverly converted horse boxes of The Little Gin Company and neighbouring Little Rum Company.

With some good music on the go, the chairs and tables of the Little Rum Company, along with a tasty sampling of gin and rum mixed with ginger beer, grapefruit, tonic and a few other flavourings made for a pleasant afternoon. As I was driving they were good enough to give me the non-alcoholic version in the form of a ginger beer!

Stratford River Festival 2016Heading for the exit, the sixties singing of the lovely Midnight Sapphires caused us to stop. They certainly had the public dancing and enjoying themselves.

Once again the Stratford River Festival was worth the hour’s drive. And next year? It’ll be in the diary as soon as we know the dates. Come and join in.