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Showing posts from February, 2009

22-02-09 '100 Acres - Part II'

On Sunday we headed off to 'Hundred Acres' again to have a good look at the 'Forest of Bere' (called it Bere Forest incorrectly before...learning slowly). On arrival we headed down what looked like a walking track to discover that it was a big clearing area for tree farming....big mess, lots of mud & a little disapointing. On this path we noticed people walking a fair distance from where we had set off & so went back to the beginning to find their track.
Very easy to find (had we looked properly) was a huge walking track....& WOW! What a Place. It was everything we had imagined & much much more! Fir trees everywhere with a dense ground cover of dead leaves fallen over Autumn & Winter (they crunched underfoot), ivy growing around trees, holly growing everywhere...& rope swings tied in all sorts of places. It took us around 2 hours to go on our 'short stoll' & we really didn't want to hurry back. It looked like a big playgroun…

20-02-09 '100 Acres'

After a quiet morning at home,settling Storm into her new environment, we decided to head out for an afternoon expedition to '100 Acres'. Storm seems to really be enjoying the walks & doesn't seem to mind the car travel either. As it turns out 100 Acres is one of the main access paths into Bere Forest, which takes up a huge part of Hampshire.
We found the most amazing forest scene...like something out of Lord Of The Rings & all the Fairy tales ever told. I can see how authors in the past & present have been moved to write these wonderful tales around forest scenes. It is so inspiring. You could just sit there for hours and have it feel like mintues only.
We found a great low ropes play area for the kids (& us, of course) and Storm had a wonder around, off lead, close to our side. She seems to really enjoy the freedom dogs have here. As long as you carry poop bags & clean up after your dogs they are welcome in most places....all parks (unlike Aust…

19-02-09 'Stormy Girl Arrives'

Today we took a long drive in to London Heathrow Airport to meet Storm. She arrived at 5.10 this morning & had to go through more tests before she could be cleared into our care. We arrived around 9.30 & thought we would try our luck to see if she was ready yet (the whole process can take up to 5 hours)....& she was ready to go! We were all so excited as we waited to see how she would be.

She was so timid at first...as if she didn't recognise us. The lady from Animal Control was so lovely & told her reassuringly 'it's ok girl, Mummy & Daddy are here to take you home now'....they really love their dogs here...it's awesome! Once she had a smell of Matt she livened up a bit. She seemed a little groggy from the trip (probably all the sedatives). Matt carried her out to the car & put her in the back close to the boys. She looked around, smiled, & nestled close to them on her blanket which the transit company gave her for the trip.

About…

17-02-09 'London'

What a day! Beyond words of any description! Today we headed off from home to visit London for the day. We learnt straight up that lots of research (again) is needed before setting off. The train from near home to London would have cost Matt & I £28 each & the boys £14 – little too much for a days outing. Finding this out, after paying £4.50 for parking, we headed off by car to find our way to a Railway station closer to London. All good from here on in. We not only saved time by going by car, we found a station only 4 stops from central London, & then spent only £12 total (all 4 of us) on tickets that allowed us travel on trains, buses, ferries all day....much cheaper!
London was like something out of a movie. First we headed for the London Eye for a peak at this man made wonder. It was so big! Each carriage holds around 30 people & it stands so high that you feel very tiny indeed. It’s located on the Southbank alongside the River Thames. All along the prom…

15-02-09 'Porchester Castle'

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Wow! History is amazing! We just visited Porchester Castle in Portsmouth. It was built in the early 1100's, though the original fort was built by the romans in around 270BC...amazing! It has housed many people, including Edward II, Henry III, Henry VIII with his then wife Anne Bolin. It has been a battlement, a prison, a hospital, a friary & who knows what else. The feeling walking throughout the castle was eerie to say the least. Can't begin to describe how it feels to walk over ground trod by so many significant people from times gone by. Makes you feel kind of insignificant in comparison. We climbed right up to the top (by various stair cases & finally a narrow spiral stone stair case). Could see so far...right across the water toward France.

The Neopolitan wars were fought from the castle along with the 200 year old war against France, which France won the first time. The castle was supposed to be burned to the ground after this but, obviously, this didn…

14-02-2009 ‘Fishbourne Roman Palace’ & ‘Chichester Cathedral’

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Zane here. Today we went to the Roman Palace (what was left of it) in Fishbourne. I could see the Palace walls and pillars coming up around me... it was awesome!!! There were mosaics all everywhere. We walked around outside where there once were beautiful gardens which have been replicated. We also walked on ground that was once part of great buildings. Once inside we walked around on boardwalks overlooking all the mosaic flooring. There was a burial place with a skeleton still in it that was found when they escavated. We looked in the library. There was loads of cool stuff. My favourite things in the library were the carved gems.
At Chichester Cathedral we saw lots inside the church. We saw what we think was King Henry’s crypt with a sword engraving on top and his name, in latin, on the outside. His latin name was Henry Kino. There was a replica of a knight and his wife buried holding hands. He had a lion at his head and at his feet. All the old Bishops are buried in cry…

History Surrounds Us

What a day!! We spent the day looking at a number of historical sites that were no more than 15 minutes from where we live. The first was a place called "Fishbourne Roman Palace" where, in 1965, a farmer was digging up his fields and uncovered and archeologists dream. Almost an entire outline of a 2nd - 3rd century (200AD) Roman Palace. This place houses the largest and most perfect piece of history you can image. While walking through the grounds you can't help but feel so small against the ravages of time!! Both boys were also amazed, Zane taking many photographs and Darian capturing it all on video!! They soooo love history.

After spending 3 hours at Fishbourne, we spent 2 hours at the Chichester Cathedral which dates back to around 1000AD, when the first area was consecrated by the then Bishop. Although we were there to look at the Cathedral, Darian enjoyed searching for hidden wooden mice, created by a sculptor many years ago. All of us were lost for words a…

08-02-09 'Waterlooville'

On Sunday we headed off to Waterlooville to work out which school was closer for the boys and to work out a walking route to get them to school each day. It was a beautiful day. The house is a lovely walk of about 20 minutes to the school which is great. Will only be about 5 minutes by push bike so we will be buying some bikes very soon. Hoping the boys can start school on Wednesday next week as that’s the day we get the keys for the house and it would make moving and shopping much easier if they are school....here’s hoping! We walked around the area near the house for about 2 hours because it was just so lovely and easy to roam. We heard birds and saw our first squirrels so this was very exciting. The little squirrels just looked at us for a moment, seeming very curious, and then quickly scurried up the trees when we came a little too close....so cute! Everywhere we walked there were bulb plants coming up among the glorious green grass...can’t wait to see whether they’re tu…

07-02-09 'Winchester & Stone Henge'

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This weekend we had a wonderful time driving around some of the many sights there are to be seen. On Saturday we drove out of Portsmouth and headed for Stone Henge...about 1 hour drive away. On the way we stopped on a side road to play in some snow. Everywhere, as we drove, was a white winter wonderland. The snow is just so beautiful. A little farther on we decided to take a pit stop at Winchester. Once there we realised we could visit the Winchester Cathedral as it was a small walk from where we stopped. The Winchester streets were amazing. Cobble stones line the roads between shops and the streets are really narrow and littered with the most amazing old buildings. Once at the Cathedral we walked around the grounds looking at the various tomb stones and crypts. We were absolutely amazed to find graves dating back to the 1500’s. The Cathedral is so beautiful. We went for a walk right around it and discovered that it was built on marsh land and that the very rear of the cat…

Starting a new life

What a week! This week we left our comfortable life in Australia and began a new, uncertain life in the UK.

Since leaving the hot dry conditions of Oz we have seen snow, rain, sleet, hail and (believe it or not) sunshine, all in 1 week. The boys (and Kerry and I) thoroughly enjoyed seeing snow fall and had our very first snowball fight.

Although there have been a great deal of ups, it hasn't been without its downs too. Leaving family was hard but staying in a 1 bedroom, no private bathroom, B&B for over a week is starting to grate on us. We now know we are moving soon into a 2 bedroom, semidetached house in Waterlooville. This will be the highlight next week.

So far we have had only one moment where the boys have become homesick, missing their cousins, grandparents and friends. No doubt this will happen regularly. They have assured us though, that they would not swap the experience for anything!!

We will continue to post many updates, hopefully more than once a week. So sta…