D Day encounter with ‘The Allies’ on the Isle of Wight

Seaview on the Isle of Wight

The sun shines, the island is brand new to us, and the day is ours…perfect for a wander. We decide to search for Priory Bay.

“Our favourite, not far, and you can probably get a cup of tea at the hotel there,” was the advice from a frequent visitor to the island.

So off we set, via the High Street and the purchase of a few supplies.

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St Dunstan’s is gone – Blind Veterans UK is here

In the summer of 2012 I visited Blind Veterans UK. Its story fascinated me…this is what I found.

The Phraser

The logo for Blind Veterans UK The logo for Blind Veterans UK

Changing names is never easy. St Dunstan’s has had to move very carefully. Nearly a century old, and trusted by the blind, it shed its name in February to become Blind Veterans UK.

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Letter from Leicester – Gelato included

Gelato Village Leicester, England

Gelato Village Leicester, England

The trip to Leicester was an impulse – something to do with the heatwave, and meeting Antonio De Vecchi and Daniele Taverna in Turin. All we talked about in Turin was food, and their passion was gelato…so much of a passion that they started Gelato Village in Leicester, England.

I’d never been to Leicester. Now I had two reasons to go.

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In St Ives as Emma storms the beaches of Cornwall

The cold breath of Storm Emma reaches Cornwall

The cold breath of Storm Emma reaches Cornwall

Should we go? Shouldn’t we go? Mad to go! Mad not to go! Outside the window the snow drifts … ominous and unsettled.

“If we can get out of here the middle looks quiet.”

“No storm here yet,” they assure us in St Ives.

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Gloucester – an ancient English city with a strong heart

Gargoyle on Gloucester Cathedral, England

Gargoyle on Gloucester Cathedral, England

Gloucester is a city with heart and a sense of self. It knows its bones, and lays them out with pride.

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Sidmouth FolkWeek – sun, rain, sea and song

Sidmouth, Devon, England

Sidmouth, Devon, England

Happiness … a folk festival set in a patchwork bowl beside the sea.

Early August means FolkWeek when Sidmouth, in Devon, ties bells below her knees, plumps her seafront with craft stalls, and flies a few tunes up her hillsides.

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A thought on Liverpool as it catches Unesco’s eye

The docks in Liverpool, England

The docks in Liverpool, England

My first real visit to Liverpool was on foot this summer.  I didn’t walk all the way but I did do five miles through the outskirts to the cathedral as part of a fundraising walk on a hot, sunny Sunday.

It was only afterwards that I learned about the tension – that the city’s world heritage status was on the gangplank, and that Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was about to decide whether or not to give Liverpool the final shove.

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