Welcome to my blog everyone

Welcome to my Travel Blog everyone. I hope you Enjoy... please don't forget to visit my other site for the photos. www.pixie-constance.bebo.com.

have fun, we are...


Friday, 31 August 2007


"One of those massive Catch Up Posts..."

Well i did promise oh so faithfully to update this blog as soon as i could with the events of the past few days. (Which have been absolutely awesome!)

I will therefore start at the beginning of the saga which would be Friday last week. Bank holiday weekend.

We left sometime in the early afternoon to go to Paddington Station where we caught our train down to Chippenham. just for mum - "4:50 from Paddington" came to mind as i was reading a Agatha Christie at the time. It only takes about an hour and a half.

We were met by the lovely Laura at the station, who having just finished work "HurRAH" was going down a few hours after the rest of the party. We bundled into the little car and set off for a supermarket in search of rations. included in the weird items that i bought (that, by the way, feature later in this missive,) were a Jar of Vegemite, a bag of "still in their shells" peas, and a large box of beer.

The drive down was beautiful. Chris who was still feeling a little off slept the ENTIRE 3 hour journey down through some rather lovely countryside.

***3 hours later***

Three hours later we made it to where ever we were going in time for a BBQ dinner. (the party were well into 2 large crates of "Fosters" (of all things) when we got there.) Setting the tone for the weekend.
overall we numbered hmmm.... let me count..

Mandy, Andy, Spike (the cutest baby alive), Bear - the puppy :-)
Katie, Andy
Anna, Kieran
Laura, Dan
Tony and bumble (the car)
Sarah and Matt
Chris and Me...

BBQ-ing out of the way, with the seaside breeze a -flowin, and the very pretty sunset going down over the paddock in front and the quaint city to the side, it was time for more beer and more clothes. Two hats, two trousers and a good measure of "blankie"

By about 12:30, i'm sorry to say i was colded out and followed those who were of to the land of nod, making a quick detour to the room of perpetual mud and grime... (the toilets) on entering our palatial tent ( no sarcasm there as it belonged to Barabara and Steve and was massive with two rooms) i fell asleep only to be woken many hours later by some funny gurgling sounds...


....the funny gurgling sounds....
Happened to be Spike half escaping from his tent still in jarmies. I got the biggest smile ever and he started to crawl towards me (over the wet grass). At this point i went and scooped him up and didn't relinquish the little cutie till the end of the weekend. (sorry for stealing and monopolising Mandy...)

By about 9:00am we realised that the day was going to be "a stinker" a real summer day. We hadn't really had any till this point, but England pulled out the best day ever in time to make our weekend the best Bank holiday weekend ever!!! (Ok so i've only ever had one Bank holiday weekend...)

After much application of sunscreen, and finding of the coolest clothes we owned, our attention turned to two things. One - what are we to do today??? and Two - How to keep the beers cool during the day??? (Spike meanwhile was dribbling all down Chris's top and trying to pull his ear off.)

We eventually decided to go into the town (i mean seaside country village) and have fish and chips on the beach and eat ice creams and go for a paddle. Everyone had kind of split up at this point to do there own thing, but quite by chance we all met up again at the steam train station. Many of us by this time were well heading towards being "burnt" and it was soooooooo hot.

(back of the steam train.... i was sure Chris got a better picture...but no)

after a ride in the pretty little steam train, we bundled out and set off to the beach where we went for a paddle. Me - being shorter than everyone got soaked to my waist in a larger than normal wave. I ended up with soaking clothes for the rest of the day, which, apart from being slightly embarrassing, was nice and cooling.

( it was soooooo hot and soooo beautiful...ahhhhh precious....) sorry for LOTR reference:-)

Fish and chipped, we went for a beer, then an ice cream before doing the inevitable food and beer shop. I can't believe how much we bought. It took all the guys carrying crates of beer, boxes of beer, and some rum i think to get it all back to the camp site. (A portion of the liquid refreshments...)

well i'm sure you can guess what happened next, beers were opened and people were sunburnt and hot. (spike continued his mission to remove Chris's ear and tried to get at every beer can he could find. We had to play " quick pick up that beer can!!!!!")

Our amazing "Chef de Cuisine" cooked us a wonderful dinner yet again and the sun went down in magnificent style and the woolies came out again.

Bumble at this point had an accident when he decided to explode in anger giving everyone a bit of a fright, however quick thinking on Tony's part saved the day (and Bumble) and we all lived to see another hot and beautiful day.


yep - another beautiful day!!! who would have thought that England could do that!! (well after our past 7 weeks we were loosing hope...)

We hung around the campsite for a while deciding what to do. Some nursing sore heads, some nursing sunburn, and some crawling into the tent and scoffing plums while were distracted for 2 seconds. (Least it wasn't beer!!)

we trouped off to Tyneham eventually going in a road trip style, camper, the little Bumble Bug, and the "forbie". Tyneham, is a little village that has been stopped in time in the 1940's. Early in WWII the Army took possession of the area including the very interesting bay, to use as a training ground. The residents were given a month's notice to get out. They pinned notices on the door asking the army to treat their homes with respect as they wanted to return. They never did!! The army kept it. Today it is a village with no roads running through and everything except the church and little school is in ruins.

(this was taken inside the only classroom in the village school. I hope no one minds this photo of all everyone going on the blog, but i figured that no one is recognisable. I have the proper photos of everyone "grinning" at the camera if you want them)


We went off to Worrbarrow Bay, which is still army controlled, via a lovely little walk. It was hot and burny. very strange noises were coming from the pram as spikles loves bumpy terrain and the noise his throat makes when going over the bumps... We had to carry the pram down the rocky path and got to an unspoilt little beach. (no one is allowed to build there and it's only open when the army says it can be..)

we all went for a paddle and came and sat down on the beach burying people in the stones interspersed with popping stones out of a naughty little boy's mouth! Question - do the different stones taste different!!!!

Tired and hungry and in much need of a sneaky beer we walked back to the car in search of a beer garden, found one, and had a cheeky beer before going back to the campsite...for more beer... somepeople - who shall remain nameless - were rather worse for the beer having snuck into town to watch the game. Several pints later, came back to the campsite and amused us with a good show of "I really can't stand up straight" and "I only drank lemonade - i swear!"

more food was cooked by the amazing chef...

the next morning was pack up morning. which we manged rather well! Chris decided that it was a good idea to give a 'little" someone his vibrating pillow. It was dribbled on and Spikles was well impressed!

*******ok nearly there******

on our way home we detoured for ice cream and swapped emails and hugs several times before road-trippin our way home.

had yummy food thanks to Babara said goodbye to all and caught a national express bus home!!


think i'm done for bank holiday weekend. Now i have to start on Hampton court Palace...think that can wait.


Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Back but no internet

Back from the most mega awsome weekend ever!!!!

thanks to everyone who came/invited us for making the longweekend the best!!!

Will post details later.

internet is gone..waiting for new internet to arrive.... post later...

going to france on sunday

Friday, 24 August 2007

best laid Plans...

Well i know that in my last post i faithfully promised detailed pictures of Hampton Court, but after all my bragging about going we ended up not going. Chris, poor thing, woke up feeling quite unwell with a really bad stomach. He insisted that we still go...

After several attempts to stay in be we trouped off to the rail station but didn't get very far.

*enter London Tube*

We arrived at the tube station to find it closed due to emergency repair work caused by a slip on the tracks that happened over night. Great. Rush hour too mind... So we walked up to the next tube station, which im sure you can imagine was absolute bedlam with Three of the main lines from east london into the city out of action. For those that know london the district, circle and hammersmith and city lines were out. The only one available was the already overused Central line.

We were on the look out for a chemist for Chris but didn't see one on the way.

We cued up to get into the station and arrived on a platform about 10 deep in front of the train. this would have been ok if there was room for more than 50 people on each train (with about 15 carriages...) so we waited about 4 trains. people were pulling each other onto the tube and squashing each other in like sardines. Just because your feet were in didn't mean all of you was in as the door curve over at the top. so people keep getting stuck when the doors closed which slowed the process considerably.

about 4 trains later we made it onto a tube. As i'm short i ca't reach the bars in the middle of the train, and as i had no hope in hell of reaching the sides of the train i was stuck holding onto chris and trying not to topple into everyone else. I didn't even have the room to spread my feet apart for balance!

about 4 stops into the journey chris had to get off as he was (quite rightly) feeling rather unwell and hot. I had taken off my jacket and things before i got on but chris was still in a warm jumper and was overheating.

We jumped off at St pauls and eventually decided to give the tube a miss (and i told him there was no way we going to Hampton court and we were going to a chemist. ) We found a chemist and had some tea next door.

*enter shopping*

we found the street with all the second had bookshops and boarders books and spend the day reading. not a bad day all up.

came home about 3 and chris went to bed ( nothing unusual there)

It is now about9:30am and he is still in bed and says he is feeling better. a good thing since we are on a train today to Chippenham to go camping!!!

This brings me to another point! We are away for a couple of days and will have no Internet connection. Repeat. * NO INTERNET CONNECTION* until at least Monday night, maybe longer. We should be back on Wednesday - ish. we are leaving for France a couple of days after that though.

well that ends this missive.

better get packed for camping.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Found at Last...

Sometimes information just pops out and hits you when you least expect it. Yesterday i though i might as well check my messages on Genes reunited and found someone who had shared their tree with me. Out of interest i looked for the infamous "Brittain Cousins" who my mother has been looking for for years.

and low and behold.... Children of James Brittain and a "Margaret" (last name now know as Allison) are Judith Alison, Barbara Jenifer, and Mary Deborah. My mother remember them from when she was younger and knew one was Judith but couldn't remember the others.

Now armed with this information i need to actually find them. Current position unknown.

I also found out that James Brittain had another sibling called Kenneth born in 1920.

very interesting and i will keep looking for their contact details mum!

.........on another topic......

today we watched the documentary about the 9/11 bombings talking about how they didn't make sense that it was terrorists. Pointing the finger at the American government for contriving the whole thing so it could launch it's war on terror. It was very interesting and i suggest it as an interesting documentary. Like all documentaries with a view to convince people of a particular view, the evidence given is one sided and carefully selected to omit any evidence contrary to the writers views, however it does show some very very interesting point of view. It is well documented.

...............another topic..............

the weather is shocking

.............another topic.................

we are going to hampton Court Palace tomorrow. :-) ha ha ha... :-)

.............another topic........

It is 5pm and chris is in bed with a beanie on reading a book on stonehenge.

well thats it for me will be back with another instalment of...."Beautiful Palaces and I'm here and your not..."

Tuesday, 21 August 2007


Well Chris is now officially 25... mental age....well i'll let his general acquaintance decide on that one!!!

we were awoken this morning to James clanging away in the kitchen to make us breakfast. (very nice) and we had lots of proper coffee... yummmm.....

Last night was such a surprise we were expecting a really quiet evening at home with take-out and wine... but James got a phone call from his sister who was here for one night! so we all trouped off to the docks to meet her and have a Tapas meal.

Tapas is something i have never had before but it is great! The restaurant had a deal which was 10 pounds a head for unlimited Tapas off a set menu. (which unfortunately for the restaurant included the calamari...) we pigged out on calamari, and other insanely wonderful things and guzzled out way through 2 jugs on very yummy sangria. i like sangria.

at this point James's sister had to go back to her hotel, so we walked back to the train. It was great to see her at last!! :-)

and here we are..... drinking coffee and eating breakfast this morning. It's a bit grey outside so not sure what we will do today.



Sunday, 19 August 2007


No introduction needed... Chris took this photo...good huh...
Out on the boat..

Pirate Anna...

looking more sunny than it was sarah...


Avebury where we had picnic

Avebury stones

West Kennet Long barrow


Stonehenge (duh!!)

well actually now that i have written the title i understand that it was Friday that we went out as Saturday we spent all day at home recovering. (Sunday was the boating day that was in the first post but i forgot about this important day.)

Friday - We went to STONEHENGE and Avebury and the West Kennet Long Barrow and other barrows!!


not much time to talk as again i'm sneaking time before dinner while no one is home.

pics are above..

drool away

Captain Chris...

Well after a late night and an early morning.... we were fortunate enough to be invited out on Steve's boat. It was a pretty miserable day, but we wern't going to get another chance.

It was awesome.

even in the rain.

(photos later)

we went down the river and through a lock which Steve and Barbara made Chris and i do. That was fun as it was a hand winching one. We went down the river and drank beer and talked about weird medical things. chris attempting to match the Anna who ta ra ta ra... has just become a nurse. (grats)

now home, and chris is cooking chilli for 8. i think he has over done the heat in the chilli. (typical)

anyway we had better be going as they will be back from the pub soon and i shouldn't be on here when they get back.

anyway, we are back to London on the Paddington Train tomorrow morning with Anna.

we are staying with James for a couple of days so email and photos and film uploading will be much easier. and hopefully i can fill in all the gaps that i have left. Please ask for photos of things that you have heard about and i have not provided.

It has been really great staying with Steve and barbara, and meeting all the family and especially little spike!!! we had a really awesome time! THANKS EVERYONE!!!


Saturday, 18 August 2007


King Arthur's Round Table

Avery beautiful house. We saw everything from Kitchens to attics!!

Edgecumbe House - rebuilt in 1950's after being totally destroyed in wwII



Leeds Castle

Dover castle

On the way to Calais


Cothele - the most amazing place ever!!! my favorite place so far

Hever castle

Our castle

Under Leeds Castle maze

Leeds Castle

for more details and photos go to my bebo pixie-constance.bebo.com

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Alive.... but soaking...

It's raining here today...

But this had better be quick. I am sneaking in a few mins on the internet before people come home for dinner.

We are alive! the reason for the lax communication for a few days is that we hae been camping with no internet (or electricity for a week)

we are now staying at Babrara and Steve's place called Gastard, just outside of Bath. We are having a great time. I had forgotten what a bed (a real one not an airbed) looks like. It is the first real bed since weeks before we left Aussie.

We were in BATH today, and it was beautiful. Not sure i like the mineral water that comes our hot for you to drink.

very pretty city and worth a visit.

will update later with photos. (hopefully tomorrow) but for now i must go.

hope everyone around the world is fine

sarah and chris

Thursday, 9 August 2007

So don't know where to start....

Well i guess i can start with, "We are back from France"!!

But i should probably start with the start of our trip.

Chris picked up the car on Monday and we managed to get out of the center of London and back to Bow with no even one wrong turn!!! my navigating skills were awesome!!

We said goodbye to james who was was sad to see his playmate go, they have been racing toy helicopters around the flat for days! That was untill James got his BEBE gun out and started to fire at the helicopters while they were flying. He got one and it flew into the curtains. two mins later it was back flying and irritating me while i watched telvision.

Monday we drove over the big toll bridge and out of london! Oh my god! center of the city was easy. Finding the motorway was a nightmare... not helped that we had a map of london and a map of the country that was not detailed enough to show the roads... we made it to Maidstone and the castle was closed. So we went on a tour of the 4 meter wide English village roads.

those of you that know how Troy from "Midsomer Murders" drives will understand the perils of the tiny roads! chris was so very amazing, i couldn;t even have walked down the roads with another car coming.

We popped into a post office i a little village and the lady told us where another castle "Hever Castle" was. This was about the most fantastic thing. A really old little castle. Fully decorated and blah blah blah... pictures will follow at a later date. (this is a dorm computer in a hostel and we can't connect the cammera.)

We then camped at Pine Lodge, (irritating children.) THEY SHOULD BE SUPERVISED IN THE TOILETS!!! a group of four siblings (german with no english) spent about 20 mins cleaning their teeth running up and down all the 8 sinks spitting into each one in turn!! they didn't understand and thought it was a game to make we wait as long as i could. Igave up and had a shower and they were still scrubbing away when i got out! how can you clean you teath for that long.

anyway next day we went off to Leeds Castle, Which i suggest you look up on line, as it was one of the most beautiful places i have ever been to. There was even a maze which in the middle led to an underground tunnel that led you through waterfalls and caves to get out the otherside.

(running out of my 30 mins credit on computer)

we then drove to Dover and went to Dover castle.

we went into the old WWII tunnels and the old castle. The view from the top of the cliffs was perfect.

we camped again and went to sleep early in preparation for our trip to FRANCE>

we went to Calais yesterday which was great. I got to talk in French. We had baked Brie in a pub and he chatted away because i spoke to him in French. some other git comes in and askes a question in another language, and he didn;t even look at them shouting "non" "non"

I had to call a taxi to get us to the dock on the way back, so i went into a pub and asked to guy to call one... they were all smiling and helpful and we were chatting away about wine (the bar tender had just corked a bottle) They understood eventually.

Taxi came (poor chris didn't understand a word except rugby, kangaroo and australia) but we talked for the entire trip and he said he could understand me very well. (good practice for Paris in a month.)

Now we are in Portsmouth South England at a hostel about to get food.

have about 4mins left on credit, need to read email.

will update with more info later... going towards Plymouth tomorrow!


Sunday, 5 August 2007

some of the harry patrick photos...

Just to throw you a very quick taste of the documents many more to come but ineed to go have a shower.

Back and Off Again

We have just got back to James's place! Where i just cooked a very yummy dinner. the credit must go to Katie however who cooked this meal for us when we were there. thanks Katie!!

we have had a great time over there for the past few days, lots of beer to be drunk!

Yesterday we went out to watch the Wales / England match at a pup in Richmond. It was about an hour away on the bus on a very very hot day!!! we got there and eventually ended up down a lane on the bank of the Thames drinking and a pretty little pub. It was very pretty with trees lining the bank and little boats going up and down. It was piping hot too...


i went into the pub with beautiful weather outside... and came to to everyone running inside as the Thames had gone up 1meter in 10 mins and had breached the bank and the curb of the road.

we moved to the next pub up the river. were there for one round and had to move closer to the pub as the waters keep coming. eventually we looked round and found that the water was surrounding us outside the pub. so we followed the mass of people leaving the waterside and going up the grass bank. where we had another couple of rounds and ice cream for me!

It was really strange, with the burning hot sun, and the river rising at the same time.

it was lots of fun.

well we had better go and pack as we leave for the south tomorrow morning. on wednesday i shall be in Calais France, so excited


Friday, 3 August 2007

Records Office - mark two

Went back to the records office today and took photos of EVERY page in that file.... hundreds of them.

I can't currently upload the photos onto this computer and therefore the Internet. I need to hook up Chris's laptop to a network. When i do that i will load the photos.

Just out of interest, his family make a massive petition every year for his release, and go all their friends, family, neighbours, local politicians, to sign it. Each person had a name and an address....

I have the letters from his sister and an uncle begging for his release.

i can't wait to get into the data and find out more about the family and the streets they lived in.

Just as a side note, the murder took place only a few streets away from James's place in Bow. If you go to google maps http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&tab=wl&q=

and type in Eterick street you will see in next to Canningtown. James lives just above the Bow Road tube station.

Anyway i had better get back to looking at the photos. I have work to do.


Thursday, 2 August 2007

Harry Patrick - the convicted murderer

Today we visited Fort Knox!

Otherwise named the ~ Public Records Office~ at Kew, London.

We arrived at a new shiny building set amongst very expensive buildings and Kew Gardens. After the obligatory bag search which we have everywhere we go, we had to register with the Office and have our photographs taken and put onto ID cards.#
next ~ leave everything in lockers

next~ take a pencil (no sharpener) a PRO writing pad through the security and up to the research room.

next ~ we eventually found a record and ordered the documents.

Today's Mission was to find court proceedings about my great grand uncle Harry Patrick, who murdered his girlfriend Rachel Bailey on 22 November 1885.

Was i expecting to find anything ~ no ~ did i find something ~ yes!!!~

We were told that it would take about 30mins and were given a readers seat and coded document locker. When the documents appeared they were put into a glass locker with my code on it. we could then take the documents to the assigned reading chair.

I was expecting to have either:

  1. Have to look through a large book for a small entry on Harry
  2. Or, to have a few sheets of paper in a small folder.

What i got was a great stack of documents about 10cm high. ALL Harry Patrick's prison files!!!! the witness statements, police and medical records, his hand written pleas to the courts to release him. And Monthly reports from the prison about what he had been doing in prison.

He was also due to be hanged on Monday the 4th of December 1885.

I found a family connection to a family called Cooper.

I had no way of copying this 300 page file which was so brittle that if i had breathed to hard it would have blown away.

I have reserved it again for tomorrow and am going back to photograph the entire contents of the file.

despite the fact that it was old and crumbled and had been handled for many years til 1901, i doubt that it has been opened more than once or twice since! It had practically melted together.

The following are two excerpts from the files:

Police report at trial

"23 November i went to 34 Beckstone Tce, Canningtown, about 1/2 6p.m.... He
said he was just getting himself ready to hand himself in... and that he was
just informing his family in person."

Recommendation for release in 1901

"On the whole i suggest that a merciful view may be taken of his case in
consideration of his contrition and unvarying good conduct.

In 1898 he said he could have a home with his uncle Mr cooper in Canningtown
and a year before his sisters and friends said they would do all to help him
lead a good life and to earn an honest subsistence..."

with the amount there and the hand writing, it was impossible for me to copy any more than that. Hopefully tomorrow i will be able to fully photograph this document so i can study it in more depth.

off now, talk to you all later

At Katie's and Andrew's...

Well we are finally here staying with Katie and Andrew for a couple of days. Katie cooked us an awesome meal last night and we had proper english strawberries and icecream for afters. Very yummy.

We are off out today, probably to the Kew records office to find records about the Old Bailey and Harry Patrick


Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Victoria and Albert..

Off to the Victoria and Albert Museum....

should be lots of fun

ha ha ha......

This place was totally AWESOME!
Angela you will be so jelous of everything here.

have to go out now will post pictures/film later