Summer in England 2015 – part 8: Aylesford Priory

Sadly, time always passes by so quickly and our time together was almost done.  We had a few hours to spare on the last day, so I thought we could have a quick trip just down the road to Aylesford.

I used to play in a band when I was about 17 and 18 and we used to practice in one of the band members houses in Aylesford, so I know the town well – and it has a very interesting history with an active Carmelite Friary that dates back to the Crusades. Read More

Easter in England 2015 – part 1

It’s that time of year again – another trip to England to see my children.

I arrived in England early in the morning and Heathrow was packed.  As in 2 hour queue to get through passport control.

Luckily, I knew the epassport gate was on the left of the line, so I wiggled through to the unloved machines and was out within 15 minutes.

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Summer holiday in England – final part

My time with the kids was coming to a close, so we went back to our favourite place – the woods – for another walk around and one last go on the rope swing.

These woods are a part of me, having grown up there and spent so much of my childhood and teenage years criss crossing every nook and cranny. And for my children to love it as well gives me great pleasure.  I can’t even describe.

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England Summer 2013, Final Part – Minnis Bay

My last day with the kids was lovely and warm.  We had wanted to go fossil hunting, but we were woefully unprepared for that (I didn’t research enough beforehand) and the organised tours were suspended because the main guy had hurt himself and wasn’t up to clambering about over rocks to show eager children where they could find fossils.

Instead, we just kinda headed for the north Kent coast and winged it. Read More

Back to England, Summer 2013 – Part 1

So, after 12 months, I’m back in England seeing my children.  For reasons I wont go into here, I was unable to get back here in February or Easter as originally planned, so I had to wait until the long English summer school holidays until I could get back here.

I was flying Singapore airlines via, well, Singapore.  5 hours from Perth to Singapore, then 13 hours to London.

Its a long day. Read More

Back to England – part 4

The weather was unusually kind to us, so we had plenty of time to lark about – we went swimming where Henry actually learned to swim properly (rather than just flailing) – Ella is a fully fledged dolphin already and there’s no stopping her, but it was really nice to see the boy graduate into the swimming camp rather than the sinking camp.

Anyways, with all this fine weather, we spent a lot of time in the woods walking, exploring, making dens and camps and having fun. Read More

Back to England – part 2

The weather was beautiful, so we made the most of the local parks and my parents garden (which has a teeny freshwater crayfish in the brook that runs through it), playing with the kids and generally having fun.  We made good use of the village shop and bought all kinds of yummy treats – thats the one good thing about living in a village – the trusty shop, which sells all kinds of esoteric stuff, including some yummy Kentish beer 🙂 Read More

Back to England – part 1

It was time to see the children in England.  I’d booked the flights ages ago – but as the Olympics were on, they were massively expensive and only the less desirable flight times were available.  I worked all day Friday and then caught the flight out at 2am *bleaugh* was a very long day.  I got a bit of sleep, did the 2 hour stop at Singapore and then the next leg – the joyous 14 hour hop to London.

Anyway, it was all good – the airport was unusually quiet and I popped out into arrivals into 32 degree heat – rare for England and almost summer temperature for Perth!  Picked up my hire car and drove to my parents house where my children were waiting for me.
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Holidays, part 6 – mini golf, mini trains, castles and trees

We had almost come to the end of the holidays and there were so many fun things still to be done.  I decided to go see what one of the locals parks had to offer as I’d heard it had been done up since I was last there.  And done up it had been – lots of new play equipment, remodelling and the two decade old mini golf had finally been redone.

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Three go on an adventure

A little tale from the motherland..

Towards the end of the time in England with the kids, they were nagging that it was sunny out and dinner wasn’t for an hour or so and can they have an adventure.

So, we hopped into the car and I took them to Knole Park – a Medieval deer park that survives pretty much intact – to see if we could see some deer.

There are usually hundreds of them about – even though its a pretty big place (1000 acres, 4 sq km) you can pretty much rock up at one of the entrances and there’ll be loads of them right there.  They might be wild, but they’re not stupid – people bring food.

Here’s some photos I’ve taken before



Anyway, we arrived, parked up and walked a short way to where I have always known the deer to hang out.

No deer to be seen.

Now, thats fine if you’re me – its a beautiful park – if we don’t have deer, its no big deal.

Not so if you’re 3.

When you’re a 3 year old small boy, its the end of the world.  Henry had decided that as there were no deer, he had a headache in his legs, he was hungry, it was cold and he had a sore throat.  All at once.

Ella, however, being 8, although disapointed, is more flexible and wanted an adventure anyway.

So, she set off down an impossibly steep hill through the head-height (for me) bracken in order to find her some deer.  Henry was busy laying face down bawling at this point, so I scooped him up on to my shoulders (with no regard for my now popping spine) and followed her.

Ella had no trouble following what turned out not to be a path as such, but was really a deer track into the ever thickening forest of bracken, trouble is, she had no idea where it was going nor was thinking about me, carring a bag, camera and a Henry down a 45 degree slope.

Anyway, we got to the bottom unscathed and had fun along the way, even though we didn’t see any deer.  Henry recovered his dignity and decided that life was maybe worth living after all and was running about happily after his big sister.

On the way home, there are a couple of other spots where wild deer and such hang out, so I took them back via the scenic route and had a couple of pit-stops and into some fields to see if we could see any where I know they sometimes hang out.

Again, a pic from a few years ago from this spot (see, children, you do believe me, don’t you?)


This time. however, no deer.

The buggers have all gone on holiday!

Ah well, the kids started to find it funny that Daddy was totally hopeless at locating deer and also learned that wild animals can’t be relied upon for fun.

Good times.