“Baby boomers”, “empty nesters”, “silver surfers”, call us what you will. We travel, when we can and where we can.
Maybe it’s just a local day trip, enjoying a meal and a walk by a canal. Perhaps it’s a long haul to Hermanus, or a quick week in Switzerland. Wherever it may be we enjoy finding places where we can do the out of the ordinary.
Life is a journey. We aim to enjoy it in nice places, eating good food. Join us on some of our travels.
Where do we Travel?
Living in England we take the opportunities we can make to see this land where we have made our home.
Family and roots take us to southern Africa from time to time.
Europe is a big attraction for an odd week or weekend away.
When do we travel?
Preferably when there are no tourists and holidaying families.
How do we travel?
At home we are not above spending a few hours in the car just to go somewhere different. The train is a good plan too, sometimes, especially when London is a short train ride away.
Budget airlines do feature, but thoughts are moving to more trains!
The Airbnb where we we staying in Glanmire (Cork in Ireland) was in a beautiful spot looking over the Glanmire Valley. We had gone to Cork for a friend’s landmark birthday party.
Like all good birthday parties it finished late. As we arrived at the Airbnb we were greeted with this view, under a full moon, looking towards Cork. Despite a little vodka I was able to grab the shot.
St Colman’s Cathedral totally dominates the skyline in Cobh, in Ireland.
We recently visited Cork in Ireland for a long wekend. On our last visit, some years ago, we explored Kinsaleand Charles Fort. This time we decided to investigate the little town of Cobh (pronounced like Cove).
Located on the Great Island in Cork Harbour, the town is a fascinating place with some interesting history. Actually we found it interesting enough to visit two days in a row. After all it’s only 20 minutes drive from Glanmire, where we stayed.
While we were there we visited Spike Island (more to come on that trip). As we returned across Cork Harbour, this view of Cobh greeted us, with the town dominated by St Colman’s Cathedral.
Our crazy summer of 2019. What more do you want from an English summer – heat, rain, coffee, mud, country trips, more coffee, fast cars, aeroplanes, coffee, That was our summer of 2019, as predicted in an earlier post, Sourdough, Coffee and SEO.
Bretts Own Brews Coffee
The main event of our summer was travelling as part of the coffee team with Bretts Own Brews. We’re the backup team for when things get busy or someone needs a break. Great fun, sometimes hard work, but an opportunity to go to places we would never otherwise think of going. There were a few events for which we went along, but here are some of the most enjoyable and interesting ones. Being on the “other side” as a trader gives a totally different view of the event and the people attending it. You get the odd chance to wander around and see the event, but you are not part of it in the same way as visitors. The trader gets to see people at, shall we say, their most interesting. Sometimes at their best, though not always.
Cowley Road Carnival
A riot of colour, music and food from all over. The Cowley Road Carnival started in 2000 as an idea to help regenerate the Cowley Road. The first Carnival happened in 2001, with just 5,000 visitors. The 2019 Carnival organisers expected a crowd of at least 50,000 people. We had a spot right next to the main stage, so saw some of the music acts and the procession.
Silverstone British Formula 1 Grand Prix
To anyone with an interest in Formula 1, the British Grand Prix must feature on the bucket list. Silverstone Circuit, though much changed over time, is where modern world championship Grand Prix racing was born in 1950. As part of a trading business my access to the track was limited by how busy we were, so I couldn’t go far. Located between Woodcote and Copse corners, I was able to grab a few photos of the cars on track, using various methods to shoot through the fence. Around 351,000 vistors to the track, over three days, created a tremendous atmosphere. With 150,000 of those attending on race day, coffee service can only be described as manic, until the race started. That was weekend to remember!
Standon Calling – Summer Music Festival
Located in the Hertfordshire countryside, Standon Calling calls itself a boutique music festival. Certainly it proved to be a full-on family affair with a great atmosphere. I saw a few families with at least three generations all together. Like all good music festivals, rain featured strongly, and muddy feet became the standard for a few days. Not that it spoiled the fun. Sleeping out in the back of a double cab, and staying dry, did prove a little tricky. The downside of working at a festival is limited time to see the music acts. We enjoyed a great show by Rag ‘n Bone Man on the Friday. Unfortunately we had to head home on the Sunday, fo Monday work, so missed Nile Rogers and CHIC. Next time, maybe. With the trailer in the Wild Wellbeing area, we were very close to the hot tubs. Spending an hour at the end of a busy day in wet weather (with a couple of beers) comes with strong recommendations! That was great.
Castle Howard – BBC Countryfile 2019
BBC Countryfile Live at Castle Howard was the event. We managed to avoid the traffic jams on the first day by arriving late in the evening and meeting the rest of the crew at a charming AirBnB, The Arches, in Slingsby, a few miles from Castle Howard. Friday dawned very wet. While the rest of the Brett’s Own Brews team headed to the event to open up, we went shopping in nearby Malton. The rain kept people away, so we had a free day. A little Yorkshire country drive took us to Hovingham, where we enjoyed a light lunch, and to Helmsley, for a bit more shopping, then back in a loop to Slingsby. It’s an interesting part of Yorkshire, deserving of another visit. The beautiful stately home of Castle Howard forms a backdrop to the event. There seemed to be good quantities of food and outdoor equipmenton display. I understand around 40,000 people visited Countryfile Live over that weekend.
Sourdough Bread Baking
After a few failures and a few “frisbee” loaves, my sourdough baking has finally reached a level of consistency, and a great fit to my lifestyle in general. Watch this space. If sourdough bread interests you, I will be writing more on this subject.
Our various travels over the summer gave us the opportunity to sample some interesting, and some perhaps not as great, foods. We dined out in Brackley at the new Marstons pub, the Paisley Pear, and the new Turkish restaurant, Little Istanbul, on its opening night. There will definitely be a few more visits to both.
Never one to simply follow the “standard” approach, I acquired a Chromebook, an HP 14A G5. I deliberately chose a low end, low cost device. More on that in a later post. On a different track, behind the scenes, and maybe not so visible, the whole SEO approach to this site has been tweaked. Search engine results are slowly improving, AMP is working, and search engine visibility has improved.
So that was our crazy summer of 2019. Summer travels come at a higher price and destinations more crowded than we enjoy. The Summer of 2019 offered a great way to have fun and experience something new. The rest of 2019 will see us travelling to a few interesting places, Watch this space! (Hint: The trips have been booked!) And don’t forget to drop in and buy some BoB’s Coffee.
Following on from our 3 Counties Saturday, with a visit to Market Harborough, we decided to tag along and visit Holistic Harborough to see BOB (Brett’s Own Brews) and Betty (the coffee shop on wheels, pictured above) in action.
Bretts Own Brews – It’s All About the Coffee
Of course the coffee is the main event for Betty. Take your pick of the usual – flat white, espresso, cappucino or latte. I have to admit to being spoiled – I drink their excellent house blend and dark blend every day as filter coffee.
Brett’s Own Brews coffee is 100% Arabica, sourced from reputable Fair Trade suppliers and roasted in the UK. Take your pick of regular milk, or a selection of non-dairy milks, such as oat, almond or soya.
If you prefer your tea, choose from a number of biodegrable pyramids from Tea People.
Keeping it Sustainable
Bretts Own Brews is a strong supporter of sustainability, using Vegware cups, which are compostible, and bamboo stirrers. That goes even to the point of separating the compostible rubbish in the bin and sending that to a recycler.
Plastic packaging, not totally avoidable in a commercial food environment, is kept to a minimum.
And A Snack Alongside Your Coffee
There is a good range of snacks available from various places:
Sourdough based biscuits from Modern Baker, specialists in healthy baking.
Cakes, brownies and flapjacks from Nat’s Kitchen. I love that lemon tart!
Though we saw some sun, it was a cold day, due to a cold wind. The Square in Market Harborough is, however a great spot for a small festival of this type. People on their way to do their shopping and the like have little choice but to pass through the square and see the festival stands.
Though small, the festival attracted a number of interesting stands covering health, hemp and similar clothing and plastic reduction. A great idea was the Festival Bookshop in its distinctive blue Citroen van.
I’ll let the photos tell the story.
And the Next One
I believe Bretts Own Brews will be at the the Holistic Harborough events in June and September, as well as a number of other markets.
Given a sunny day, they should be good events.
One to pin to your board
Grab A Mug
Love your coffee? Drop in and check out this selection of coffee mugs from my store.
I use these myself to drink my Bretts Own Brews house blend coffee every morning.
They are a quality mug. Mine has now lasted around 3 years of daily coffee and dishwasher treatment.