Archive | April 2021

Friday smile…

Smile for the day, Burford, The Cotswolds

Look east packing…

Not every day was this sunny!

Packing for trip around East Anglia was a last minute affair as we waited to see what the BBC’s twelve day forecast was predicting weather-wise.

The bags were our usual Osprey Farpoint 40 packs, but there were a couple of additions as we were car packing, so we had a shopping bag with our stainless steel coffee presses plus reusable plastic plates, mugs and cutlery, a newly acquired travel kettle and some bags of Taylor’s coffee.

Clothing choices reflected the weather outlook – sun at first then light rain, heavy rain, breezy days and also ensured that we didn’t look out of place in the backpackers hostel, hotels or inns we were staying in.

Personal choices were simple – a trio of cotton t-shirts from Gladstone Motorbikes, Uber Moose and Weird Fish, three tech tees from Rohan, two shirts/over shirts plus jeans, Trailblazer and Stretch Bags (all Rohan) plus M and S socks and undies. Jackets were an Alligin fleece, Troggings soft shell hoodie and an Ascent waterproof – all by Rohan.

Footwear came courtesy of Merrell and Oboz whilst hats came from Uber Moose and Lowe Alpine.

Tech taken along included the Nikon digital compact, my Sony Alpha DSLR, the iPhone, iPad and respective chargers. Kindle software is on both of our tablets along with a varied set of books too.

Caroline’s packing was similar to mine with Rohan jeans, fleece hoodies, tech tees and her Troggings hoodie being packed along with Bamboo socks, Rohan camisoles and underwear plus her Nike Gore-Tex, her Healthy Backpack handbag, her Samsung phone, tablet and chargers…

Shoes came from Ecco, Merrell and Reiker…

As we were staying in different types of accommodation, wash kits were taken along (inc battery operated toothbrushes) and travel towels for the nights in the backpackers hostel ensuite.

Was everything used?

Oh yes, especially when the rains came and we had to head out to a pub for our evening meal!

Look East…

Normous Newark, but no Cole or Lovegrove
Wells & Walshingham Railway
A grey day at Sea Palling
Southwold Pier
Sixties travel classic at IWM Duxford

The above pics are a taster for what’s to come over the next couple of weeks

We spent time exploring the east of England last year heading off towards North Norfolk, Lowestoft, Southwold, Woodbridge and IWM Duxford.

It would have been a full two weeks, but the forecast for the last days was not good, especially as we were supposed to be exploring Cambridge on foot. Thankfully we’d booked a chain hotel on, so I hit the cancel button on the iPad and cancelled the two night stay.

We will head back there, it’s just a case of when…


Small, but perfectly formed…

When our car was written off by a supermarket delivery van in April last year, the choice of replacement vehicle came down to a shortlist of two – the Kia Picanto and the Skoda Citigo.

The dealer selling the Picanto screwed up big time when I was trying to see it when the first UK lockdown finished and the car showrooms reopened for viewing, so I got the bus down to the local Skoda dealer and took a look at the Citigo Monte Carlo that I’d seen online.

To say that I’d done some research would be an understatement. Not only had I looked at reviews for the Monte Carlo version and the standard model, I’d also looked at reviews of the VW Up! and the Seat Mii as well.

It’s the first time I’ve bought a car without taking it out on a test drive, but with with sound understandings in place, the car was bought, insured and taxed before driving it off the forecourt and heading back home the long way round.

The Citigo may be small, but it goes well thanks to the gutsy engine and aerodynamics and has been known to see off a few white vans at traffic lights since June last year.

The one thing we were worried about at first was the size of the boot/trunk. We knew that we couldn’t get a road bike in, but we could get the folding Dahon in and our bags if the back seats were down.

Osprey Farpoint 40 – 2013 model still doesn’t disappoint!

What we did find however was that it swallowed both of our Osprey packs, a bag of shopping and the usual gubbins that are kept in the car most of the time – foot pump, tyre repair aerosol, window wash/water bottle, hand gel, baby wipes/paper towel (both handy when checking the engine oil) and cleaning stuff for the interior surfaces.

Now this wasn’t to cope with two or three days away, this was also good for the two weeks we spent in East Anglia in late September last year. Yes, the camera bag was placed on the back seat when we were travelling, but it was handy for when I needed to use my DSLR at planned or unplanned stops.

With good mpg (@50+), low insurance costs and Vehicle Excise Duty of £20 a year at June 2020 rates, the Citigo is a good low, cost pre-owned option (new ones are now electric only whereas ours is petrol only).

That visit to East Anglia confirmed the decision to buy was a wise one!

Southwold lighthouse…

Next up, Packing days are here again, then East Anglia, here we come!