The Boaty Weekender – The Bands

Last week (how is it a week ago already!) we set sail on the Boaty Weekender. Four days at sea with some of our favourite bands!

Thursday

The first band we saw was The Vaselines in the Atrium. It was a great start!Next we saw the solo show by Stina of Honeyblood, also in the Atrium.

We were so excited to see Belle and Sebastian on the pool deck just after we had set sail.

Tracyanne & Danny played in the Atrium.

We only saw a bit of Teenage Fanclub on the pool deck as we tried to fit too many things in! We quickly followed them up with Django Django in the Spinnaker Lounge, awesome and very loud!

Friday

The first band we saw was Alvvays on the pool deck, it was very hot!

The Belle and Sebastian Q&A session was good.

Camera Obscura on the Pool Deck was one of my highlights of the weekend. So good to see them play again!

Honeyblood at the Spinnaker were really excellent.

Hinds in the Atrium were so much fun!

Saturday

This was the day in port at Cagliari so there weren’t any bands until the evening. We stayed on the boat and had a bit of a rest.

We saw Buzzcocks with other artists joining them. So good!

Camera Obscura in the Atrium was next, a really intimate and fun gig.

Belle And Sebastian were playing on the pool deck again. This time we stood on the walk way behind the stage, it was fun to see them play from behind and be really close to everything.

Afterwards there was a B&S dance party, we danced around a lot!

We popped over to Magnums to catch Wojtek the Bear, our new favourite band! We went back to the dance party and carried on dancing all night!

Sunday

We woke up a bit tired from our very late night dancing.

We drank coffee and watched The Vaselines from the shade as it was very warm on deck!

In the afternoon we had the Belle and Sebastian Fold Your Hands show in the Stardust Theatre. This was for the people who booked early.

Later on, we also saw Camera Obscura in the theatre, another great performance, so happy to have seen them 3 times!!!

We had a little bit of time to catch a couple of songs from Mogwai on the pool deck.

We went back to the Theatre to see Alvvays again. That was the last gig we saw of our Boaty Weekender.

There were more bands we didn’t get to see, it was hard to decide which ones to go to at some points! If only we could have gone to all the gigs!

Ambleside Part 2

We walked from Ambleside to Grasmere and back on the Saturday. It was a long but enjoyable walk.

In Grasmere we visited Allan Bank again as we really like the house.

We bought some Gingerbread as it is so yummy and all our friends wanted some too!

We had some refreshments before outer return journey.

Unfortunately we had a very wet Sunday. We spent most of the day eating and staying indoors!

We travelled home on the Bank Holiday Monday. We decided to go to Hawkshead before we left the Lake District behind.

The Beatrix Potter Gallery was very interesting and worth visiting.

Bank Holiday Weekend in Ambleside

We had a long weekend trip to the Lake District over the bank holiday weekend.

We stopped at Sizergh Castle for some lunch and had a good walk around the garden and explored the house.

We went on to Ambleside and arrived our lovely B&B, Haven Cottage.

We had a bit of a walk around town even though it was a bit wet, and then had an early dinner at Dodds.

The evening light was beautiful on our walk back.

The next day started with an amazing breakfast!

Friday was showery so we planned some indoor activities, starting with Brantwood House, home of John Ruskin.

It was a bit too wet to look round the gardens so we had a coffee and decided to go on to Blackwell House.

We arrived and had lunch, cauliflower soup.

It was an amazing Arts and Crafts house, full of beautiful details.

We had fish and chips for tea and saw an excellent rainbow while we were out.

Oxford

Zoë and Pauly went to Oxford for a couple of days to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. I, of course, went with them.

We traveled by train and had a pleasant journey.

The first thing we did was have some coffee at Ratio Cafe.

We did a bit of shopping and then had lunch at George Street Social. Zoë and I had pancakes.

The weather was wonderful and we enjoyed exploring in the sunshine. We went to the Covered Market, Objects of Use, and the Shop at the Old Fire Station.

We checked into our hotel, Malmaison, which which used to be a prison!

Our room had a little balcony with excellent views.

We did some more exploring in the late afternoon sun.

We had ramen noodles for dinner. The steamed buns were excellent!

The next day was grey, damp and a bit chilly. I prepared myself with a big breakfast!

We went to the Ashmolean Museum.

Next we went to the Museum of the History of Science. A very interesting museum with lots of cool brass instruments!

Zoë spent ages in Blackwell, she does love a bookshop!

We finished our trip with pizza at Franco Manca.

We had a brilliant time and look forward to going back again soon.

Texas

For a few years now, Paul has wanted to go to the Lone Star Le Mans event at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, Zoë thought the weather would be too hot for her, but I went along too for the adventure. We started early on Thursday morning at Heathrow Airport, we had a Bacon roll and Coffee for breakfast while we were waiting for our flight. Once we got on the plane, it was quite an empty flight, so I got a seat all to myself!


After arriving in America, one of the first things we did was to go shopping, Paul wanted to get some things for Zoë, we went to this enormous Walmart.


After our shopping trip we went into Austin and had a local speciality, Brisket with BBQ sauce, it was delicious.


After a good night of sleep after our long day travelling, we went to the Circuit of the Americas on Friday to see some motor racing, we could visit any of the grandstands we wanted and we got to walk in the pit lane before the racing got underway, it was very hot, I think Zoë made the right decision not to come!


Saturday was the main race day. We went to visit the Corvette Corral where the Corvette owners park their cars, there was so many of them! A friend of Paul’s kindly organised for us to go and see the racing Corvettes in the garage, it was very exciting!

While we were at the Corvette garage I got to meet Olly Gavin, one of the drivers of the #4 Corvette!

After all the excitement we were quite hungry, so we stopped for a hot dog. 


Finally it was time for the racing to get underway, first of all the IMSA race, I was cheering on the Corvettes as usual.


Before the WEC race there was a meet the driver session, I got to meet my old friend Bruno Senna again.


After even more excitement, we needed more food, so we stopped again for another hot dog!


The WEC race went on into the night, and they even had a fireworks display as it was going on.

After two days in Austin at the Motor Racing, we went to Dallas to do something else Paul enjoys, watching Baseball, the Texas Rangers were playing the Oakland Athletics, if anything it was even hotter here than at the Motor Racing, Zoë would have melted.

On our last night in Texas, we went out for Steak, with Fries, and MacNCheese, one of Paul’s favourites.

I am glad I went along on the trip, I had a great time!

Exploring Norfolk

We went on a trip to Norfolk. We tried to visit Oxburgh Hall, but part of the roof had fallen in so we could only walk around the moat and see the outside of the house.


We went into Norwich instead and had some yummy food at Fig Bar where pudding is the main course!

We took a trip along the Norfolk coast towards Sheringham.

Zoë and I had a big burger for dinner.

We spent a fun day at the seaside in Mundesley, sand castles, crazy golf, arcades and ice cream!


We went to a Blickling Hall, National Trust property. We had a walk around the house and then a cream tea.


We stopped in Norwich again on our way home. We explored the city and ate cake!

Summer Holiday in Sussex

We went on a little holiday to stay with Zoë’s family in Sussex. We did lots of things! 

We went shopping in Lewes on a grey and overcast day.


Had a picnic on Firle Beacon and enjoyed the views, it was sunny, but really windy.

Always need to visit Brighton!  We did some shopping and went to the beach.

Took a trip to see the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle statue in Crowborough.

I enjoyed a massive piece of cake!

On the way home we stopped at Polesden Lacey on our way home. We had some tasty lunch while we were there.

Le Mans 2016: The Race

We had Grandstand tickets and went to our seats for the start of the race so we could get the best view. Unfortunately it started raining just before the race was due to get underway. The race was started under the safety car and stayed that way for most of the first hour.


The sun came out again and we went racing!


We walked further around the track to watch from Tertre Rouge and the inside of the Forest Esses.


We went back to the pit straight and timed it right to see both Corvette Racing cars come in for pit stops.

The sun set and we walked back to the Porsche Curves where we could watch from the Travel Destinations campsite viewing bank.



The number 47 KCMG LMP2 car went off in front of us and we watched the marshals recover it before getting a bit of sleep just before 2am.


About five hours later we were back! Unfortunately our favourite car, the 64 Corvette, crashed out of the race just as we were getting up again.

In the daylight we could get a good view of the 47 car behind the barriers.

As the morning went on it got sunnier and warmer. Sunday turned into a really nice day.


We listened to Radio Le Mans all through the race so we always knew what was going on.


There was so much still happening in the last couple of hours of the race, but nothing more dramatic than the race leading number 5 Toyota LMP1 car breaking down a few minutes before the end of the race when it was so close to winning. 

The number 2 Porsche won from the number 6 Toyota and the number 8 Audi was in third.

It was a great race in LMP1 but the way it ended was such a shock! 

It was a shame that Corvette Racing didn’t have a better race, but there was a lot of action in LMGTE Pro with the Ford GT cars battling with the Risi Competizione Ferrari.

After the race we drove to Calais on Sunday evening and stayed at the Novotel Suite hotel that is very handy for the Channel crossings.



On Monday morning Zoë and I enjoyed the buffet breakfast before catching our P&O Ferry back to the UK.

Le Mans 2016: Before the Race

We set off for France last Thursday on a P&O Ferry to Calais.


We drove down to Le Mans stopping a couple of times, including at our favourite services in the countryside.


We arrived at about 10.30pm in a very heavy rain shower! We stayed with Travel Destinations in one of their Event Tents, a very nicely fitted out bell tent. We were extremely happy that we didn’t have to put up a tent in the rain!


The final qualifying session was disrupted by the rain, but we got to see the last fifteen minutes before the end of the session at midnight.

The next morning we could admire the field of bell tents and have some coffee at the campsite food tent.


On Friday the pit lane was open so we were able to go and see all the cars up close. 


As always we were supporting Corvette Racing in LMGTE Pro and the two other Corvettes in LMGTE Am, but I was also excited by the Algarve Pro Racing number 25 car in LMP2 that has Sir Chris Hoy as one of its drivers!


After walking down the pit lane we could go on the track up to the Dunlop Bridge. It was fun to walk on the circuit!


We also got to see the race winners trophy.

On Saturday morning we watched the support races from the Porsche Curves.


Now we just had a couple of hours to wait until the race start!

Travelling North

Pauly and Zoë have taken me on holiday to Scotland. We went as far as the Ibis Styles Haydock on Tuesday.

We arrived quite late so we had a quick sherry and went to bed.

We had some breakfast and set off for Glasgow. We had a stop for coffee at Tebay Service and watched some birds.

We arrived in Glasgow and went to the Sparklehorse for lunch, Zoë and I had a massive burger and a glass of wine.

We stayed the night at the Ibis hotel.

In the evening we went to the Tiki Bar for food and cocktails.


On Thursday morning we went to Kember and Jones for a very good breakfast.


We walked back from Byres Road to our car at The Kelvingove.

We then set off for part two of our trip …