Travel, Gardens, Food, Photography, Books, Shoes

Great Expectations

 

A Young Daphne du Maurier

A Young Daphne du Maurier

No this is not about the Charles Dicken’s classic novel. It’a about how I always have such “Great Expectations” before I set off on a new adventure (vacation)!

My new adventure is Cornwall in the United Kingdom and I am really looking forward to it. So I have been doing some research (as always) and this time was led to books by Daphne du Maurier, an English novelist who wrote between 1931 and 1989. She was born in Cornwall in 1907 and died in Cornwall in 1989. So I think she would know about Cornwall! Three of her books were written specifically about life in Cornwall; Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, and Frenchman’s Creek. So I ordered a book from the UK that contained all three books. It was published in 1939 and the book itself was a treasure. The binding was like new, so someone cherished this book. There was that musty smell that old books have, with the pages yellowed on the edges. I felt the book had just left the library of Miss Jane Marple’s cottage in St Mary Mead! I have a good imagination, don’t I? Agatha Christie is another author I enjoy! Imagine my surprise to find out that the sweet looking, Daphne du Maurier, who wrote these fantastic romantic novels, also wrote The Birds, which was made into an equally famous movie by Alfred Hitchcock!

I read all three novels (they were romance) and I did get a good perspective of the sea, coves, bogs, moors, smugglers and inns in Cornwall. I got a good idea of the Cornish people as well; very sturdy those folks! So now in my mind I have “Great Expectations” for Cornwall. I googled Jamaica Inn with the plan of going there, since it still is a working inn. The reviews, however, were very dismal. The location is off a very busy road (as it was in the old days) but the Inn is more like a rest stop on a toll road. Very touristy. It did not meet my expectations, so rather than ruin my dream I’ll think of Jamaica Inn as written in the book.

Another book I read before my vacation was The Lost Gardens of Heligan by Tim Smit. Wow, this garden has been in Cornwall since the 1600’s and there is quite a story here! Heligan is on my “List of Gardens” to see during my Second UK Garden Tour. I won’t spoil it for you, but I must say, I think it will be the first garden I’ve ever visited that had an exorcism by a priest in the 20th century! Now that should interest you, it did me!

One of The Lost Garden of Heligan Sculptures

One of The Lost Garden of Heligan Sculptures

I was also inspired by all the documentaries, mysteries, and great TV programs to be found on the Acorn App (all British TV) that is streamed to my TV! I hardly watch anything else now! No sex, no violence, no filthy language here! How refreshing! I especially like all the Agatha Christie, Miss Marple series, with my favorite Miss Marple being Geraldine McEwan, who was the sleuth from 2004 to 2009. What a darling old lady she was! I am glad I got to peek into her cottage at St Mary Mead (on TV) because I know I will see small villages that are very similar on my Garden Tour and I just know my book came from one of those cottages! Hopefully, I’ve offered some inspiration for your pre-travels, it’s good to know something about the place you’re visiting, so you get a feel of it before you arrive! Great Expectations To You!

Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple

Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple

 

 

 

Sitting On My Porch Today

The Dog Walker

The Dog Walker

I saw……. The same gal I see every morning walking her canine. The thing that puzzles me is the big rucksack she always has strapped to her back. It looks like she is trekking in the Himalayas! Also today she has added a new item, a very large branch from a tree! I do not know what this all means exactly. Dear readers, any ideas? Who says a Small Town is boring?

PS  I am trying out this post to see if I can actually post from my phone! I may be trekking myself in the future and a post from the hilltops could be awesome!

AnyList: A Must for Planners!

Make a List

Make a List

I am a list maker! And an itinerary maker, a book reader, a blogger, a plan maker, and oh yeah, a grocery shopper! So I am always looking for a better way to keep it all together! And I want it on my IPhone, my IPad and my computer, simultaneously. And all in one place!

This week I have been experimenting with the App ANYLIST and I love it!

Here are the reasons why:

I can quickly create any Organized Custom List I want and find it on my IPhone, my IPad and my Computer in one place. I can make Folders and keep lists in each folder. For example; I have a “Travel Folder” and in it I have a “Travel To Do List”, a “Packing List,” and an “Itinerary List,” to name a few. I also have a custom “Book Folder” with lists in it, and a “Blog Folder” with lists. All kinds of Lists and each in it’s own Folder! I can mark items off the Lists one by one or create a “Favorites List” to save items for the next time I travel and I won’t have to make each List over again. I can just add new items to the custom “Favorite List.”

I can share my lists with friends or family or mark them private.

It makes a FABULOUS Grocery List! It automatically puts your items in a grocery category and you can customize the categories to the Layout of your grocery store and how you shop there! For example; if you go down the vegetable and fruit aisle first at Kroger, the fruits and vegetables would be first on your list at that store. Do you shop for different items at different stores? Do you shop for bulk items or at vegetable stands? You can customize your grocery items to different stores or locations.

If your husband is like mine and wanders a different way in the store, the list can be set up for him with his shopping pattern!

You can import recipes from the web or write your own and save the ingredients to your List. It also saves the actual recipe and instructions too, and shows which item goes with what recipe. And puts the Recipes in categories too, like,” Main Dishes, “Breads,” “Pasta,” whatever category you want them in.

You can take a picture of an item, if you want a specific brand of anything. This is good too if your husband is shopping for you, as he will most likely come home with the only product you didn’t want, or buy several different kinds of something because he had no idea what you wanted! I know this from experience ladies!  You can also add a note to the Grocery item, such as to remind yourself you have a coupon.

You can add anything to any List by Voice by using Siri! I Love this, I don’t even have to open AnyList to add something!

Location Reminders alert you when you go by your Grocery Store, etc. that you have items on a List for there. So you won’t get home and say, “I drove right by the grocery store, or CVS, or the cleaners, and forgot I needed some things!” Your Lists can be categorized to your local store, how cool is that?

So, if you are a List Maker like me or an Organizer, this is the App For YOU! Enjoy!

PS…… I needed some help with one of the instructions and a real person answered my email promptly. Another great thing. And they send out new messages periodically to review a feature of the App, so you will get full use of it! Absolutely LOVE IT!

PSS… I am posting this under my Tuesday Travel Tips even though it is not Tuesday. I have too many tips to post and not enough Tuesdays right now.

 

 

 

Before you Go on Vacation You Might Want to TEP!

Let's TEP!

Let’s TEP!

Where are my emails? What info did I have in my Itinerary? How can I send a post and a picture to my family? How do I see all the maps I downloaded? How do I call my vacation host? What’s the weather for today? I need my Wi-Fi!!!

Does this sound like you when on vacation?

It’s that time of year again when I’m off for a vacation and absolutely DREAD turning on my International Service on my phone! The roaming rates are sky high to begin with and I am at the mercy of internet service at my place of lodging! We do not EVER use the free Wi-Fi services offered at coffee shops or other places. They are not SECURE!

So this year we are using TEP, a portable Wi-Fi, for Smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Why are we going this route?

Here are the benefits:

  1. It is a small hand held device that provides internet access with your own Wi-Fi network and your own personal password. It will fit in my husband’s pocket or my small purse!
  2. It will connect up to 5 devices at the same time, in every country that I would ever think of going to! Even on a cruise ship!
  3. It has 8 hours of battery life with a 20 hour standby time. It comes with a battery charger too.
  4. There are no set up or cables required.
  5. There is no Data limits or caps.
  6. You can rent the device or buy it. (We travel a lot so we bought one, the fees are lower per day and you are only charged for the days you use it. If you rent one it is mailed to you and then you are charged a flat fee for every day it is in your possession, whether you use it or not and we didn’t want to have the hassle of sending it back every time)
  7. There are no ROAMING FEES!
  8. 24/7 customer support. Get in touch via phone, email, chat, or social media!
  9. 100% No BS money-back guarantee, guaranteed.
  10. The reviews were fabulous!

This is going to be one less headache when traveling! And with the money saved I can buy another plane ticket for a vacation! Yipee!

PS I am posting this under my Tuesday Travel Tips even though it is not Tuesday. I have too many tips to post and not enough Tuesdays right now.

 

 

JustPark: How To Find a Parking Space ANYWHERE in the UK!

My Abarth, Zoom, Zoom!

My Abarth, Zoom, Zoom!

Time for the annual Garden Trip to the UK! YEAH! For Americans there is the thrill of driving on the wrong side of the street with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car! Now if that is not enough to say you are having fun then let’s add looking for a parking space in a village with unknown, very narrow streets where you pull in the side mirrors to keep from hitting the cars that are double parked on the only main street. And these are the villages that have only one main road!

Last year, after driving from Heathrow Airport to Tenterden, we thought we were well into the feel of the wheel so to speak. The hardest part is pulling out onto the road, we tend to forget and go back to our old ways on the wrong side. It’s good to have another person with you to remind you, “You are on the wrong side dear,” or more like, “What the hell are you doing? You’re on the wrong side!’

When we arrived in Tenterden we immediately began our quest for a parking lot. We wanted to go to the grocery store and have a look around town before we went to the B&B. We pulled into a lot and a spot after waiting for someone to pull out. It was a very busy lot to say the least, but we were so glad we had even found a parking lot! We got out of the car and noticed quite a few people were sitting in their car. Well that was good because we couldn’t figure out how to pay the meter. There was only one at the end of the lot. A very nice man came to our aid and said we had to put in the number of our license plate to correspond with the number marked on the pavement of our spot in the lot. Back to the car to get all the proper information. Then back to the parking meter and after having to get the correct change made from quite a few of the car sitters, we were making quite an impression. Then I noticed a very sick looking woman walking with crutches from across the street to the car park. As I looked up I saw the sign, “Surgery Parking.” It was what we call, the doctor’s office parking lot. OMG! So we went and moved the car. We drove down the street a little further and found the entrance to the grocery store parking lot. Imagine our amazement that you pay to park here as well! But at least we knew how to pay the meter and after again getting change from some more of our new car friends, we were able to get out and about. Now picture this scene, to some extent, in every town we visited. At least after that first day we always tried to keep a lot of change with us!

This year I found the App, JustPark, an app for parking in the UK. I tried it out to see if it would actually work in some of the places I was going. It did. Just put in location. The map pops up with the location of the lot. Then pick a lot, if there is more than one. Sometimes in really small places there is no lot, you may be parking in a private drive close to your location. It also shows how far you are from particular sights or events. Good to know! A virtual camera shows you the actual parking space. It asks you what day you want to park there and for how long, and you can extend it without returning to the lot to put more money in a meter, so no parking tickets either! The App shows you the fee to park there. Because I have put my credit card info into the app, at home on a secure computer, my spot is paid for when I get there. The map screen shows me exactly how to get to the lot! I hope this works as well as I want it to! It will make my day so much easier! Check out JustPark.com! Oh and how do I always have wi-fi everywhere abroad? Without the roaming fees that drive me crazy? See my next post on TEP!

PS I am posting this under my Tuesday Travel Tips even though it is not Tuesday. I have too many tips to post and not enough Tuesdays right now. And no I am not taking my Abarth!

 

 

Thursday Doors; The Hidden Doors of Italy

 

 Italian Door

New Doors Set into Old Door Opening

 Italian Door

Italian Door Blocked Up

Blocked Up Italian Door

Blocked Up Italian Door

 Italian Door

The Wrought Iron Italian Door Covering

New Very Narrow Italian Door

New Very Narrow Italian Door

Today for Door Day I thought we might look at some more of the fascinating Italian Doors! Sometimes when I am looking for doors I come upon doors that look like there have been different doors in that spot in the past and new doors have taken their place for whatever reason. I always wonder what was the previous door like? Some have an arch where the door would have been and some entrances have been bricked up!

 Italian Door

Italian Church Door Within a Door

Then there are the doors within the door.  I see these quite frequently at churches. The main doors are massive and quite heavy, so there is a little door in the big door, making it easier to pass through. Look for the pull, that is still above your shoulder! The heavy, giant, door usually has a bolt system on the inside. Is it to keep out unwanted guests?

 Italian Door

New Italian Door

And then there is the door that looks like it is in the mouth of a grotto!

This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0!   Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors? See you next week!

 

One Word Photo Challenge: Camel

Camels at Great Pyramid of Cheops Pyramid of Chephren and Pyramid of Mycerinus Cairo, Egypt

Camels at Great Pyramid of Cheops Pyramid of Chephren and Pyramid of Mycerinus Cairo, Egypt

Camel by Pyramid of Chephren. Cairo, Egypt

Camel by Pyramid of Chephren. Cairo, Egypt

Go to the source I say! Here are the camels!

Look here to participate the One Word Photo Challenge presented by Jennifer Nicole Wells!

Monday Window: Montisi, Italy

 Montisi, Italy

Montisi, Italy

Is this a window of a house or a prison?

 Montisi, Italy

Montisi, Italy

This window is in a small park. Is it for puppet shows? There are always interesting windows to look for!

For more photos of windows, by fellow bloggers, just look at Monday Window!

IPhriday Photo Challenge: Pictures Please; The Changes on the Porch

The White Wicker Porch

The White Wicker Porch

The White Wicker Porch

The White Wicker Porch

The New Black Wicker Porch

The New Black Wicker Porch

I am always yapping! Sometimes when I look at blogger’s photos I think, I have that same so-and so! Then I just HAVE to tell the blogger, “hey I have the same thing!” Well that happened to me this week with some wicker porch furniture. The response is always the same. Pictures Please! Well I have not figured out how to send photos in a reply message. If anyone out there can tell me how to do this please let me know! So Lisa, here is the porch wicker set, just like yours! The white set went to my upper porch and the green is now on my lower porch. I think the white looks so romantic, but it was showing wear and tear, because we sit out on the porch so much, so upstairs it went!

Here is also one of my zinc galvanized buckets, which Lisa also collects, in my Woodland Garden. I have also used it to put a small Christmas tree in at Christmas time and brought it inside.

The Zinc Fern Pot in the Woodland Garden

The Zinc Fern Pot in My Woodland Garden

The Zinc Fern Pot in My Woodland Garden

The Zinc Fern Pot in My Woodland Garden

Now, I just have to show my teapot collection to the gal who wanted to see my teapots. AND my cookbook collection to the blogger who wanted to see my cookbooks. AND my poster that I carried all over Ireland to bring home to my poster collection, that was exactly the same poster as another bloggers! I will never be done! I think I’ll keep my mouth shut for awhile!

I hope you enjoyed my porch and garden today! Get out there and see what’s going on in your neighborhood and post it for the IPhriday Photo Challenge!  All photos were taken with my IPhone!

 

 

Thursday Doors: The Medici Family

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

Here we are in Italy, this time in Florence, seeing fantastic doors!

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

The Medici Family was an Italian banking family, and political dynasty that produced three Popes of the Catholic Church, and two Queens of France. The family ruled Tuscany from 1513 until 1737. We find their symbols,(balls) first displayed on their crest, then prominently displayed on buildings all over Florence and Tuscany, which were financed by Medici money. Some say the balls represented coins, others say medicinal pills that recalled the family’s origins as doctors or apothecaries. This door represents everything that the Medici family represented: the Popes, the Queens, The Dynasty! Balls, balls, and more balls!

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Ball, Florence, Italy

Here is another interesting door! This one can be found at one of the churches sponsored by the Medici family. Do you know what this door was used for? The poor would knock on the door and receive scraps of food!

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door at the Duomo, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door at the Duomo, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

A Medici Door, Florence, Italy

I hope you have enjoyed our walk through Florence today seeing some of the Medici Doors! If you go to Tuscany be on the lookout for them!

This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0!   Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors? See you next week!

 

 

 

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