Monday, 29 October 2018

The Kymin, Museum and Admiral Nelson Gardens in Monmouth.

I've never understood the link with Lord Admiral Nelson and the Kymin as a Naval Temple in Monmouth. Although Lydney Docks are a mere 15 miles away over the boarder in England, there was no Naval Dockyard in Wales until 1815 in Pembroke, some 10 years after Nelson's death and the HMS Victory was built in Chatham Docks in Kent. 

However the nearby Forest of Dean was declared by Lord Nelson to be the 'finest timber in the kingdom'.

Nelson visited Wales to visit Sir William Hamilton and tour his Pembrokshire estates in 1802. The Kymin at the time was a hunting lodge.

At this point Nelson and Lady Hamilton the wife of Sir William, had been having an affair for 4 years.

The Kymin was reached up a very steep and narrow, windy road, it was a nerve wracking drive but worth the trip up the hill for the views alone.


View from the Kymin of Monmouth

Originally a hunting and picnic lodge, an extension was built for someone to live in to look after the property, it's now owned by the National Trust.

Nelson Museum located at the top of town in the Old Market Hall. Entrance is free and there is a magnificent collection of Nelson material. 


The Nelson gardens are one of Monmouth's hidden secrets, located behind lloyds Bank off the high street. It can also be approached via Chippenfield Park which used to be a race course.


Entry is via a10ft-long tunnel leading to the base of the old town wall, which formed the perimeter of medieval Monmouth

It was originally the site of a tennis court in the 17th century and a bowling green in 1718.
Further Roman and Norman remains are thought to be buried deep beneath the lawn.

Maintained by a team of volunteers there is plenty of information to be discovered as you walk round the garden from the people working there and information panels.


The gardens feature a hot wall, heated by hot water in pipes to encourage more exotic plants to grow.

Pavilion

Old town wall.

There's a lot more to see in Monmouth including the Castle which was the birthplace of Henry V and the Llangattock family whose son Charles Rolls was joint founder of Rolls Royce.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

The cladding is going on Dubai Metro - My Sunday Photo

Not long till the first of the two metro stations near us in Dubai is finished, cladding almost complete.

I've no idea of the official opening date other than it will be fully operational by Expo 2020.

The photos were taken:
 September 29th, October 14th, 21st & 27th.

Note the little blue hut in the bottom center of each photo, it's where they do all their measuring from.

For earlier photos of this project and other interesting construction projects in Dubai and around the world, click on the links below:

Week 158 Dubai Bluewater Islands and Dubai Eye. Man made island a 210m high Big Wheel
Week 159 Dubai Dubai Marina - Reflections
Week 160 Dubai Dubai Frame. A window between the Old and New Dubai and a 150m high glass floor.
Week 161 Dubai Dubai Marina 3 years apart.
Week 163 Dubai New Metro Line for Expo 2020
Week 164 Arizona and Nevada Hoover Dam 2002 - 2010
Week 165 Dubai Dubai Opera House What a difference a year makes
Week 166 Dubai Unfinished buildings. The Pentominium
Week 167 Coventry Mixing the old and the new. Coventry Catherdral
Week 168 Dubai New Dubai Metro Station 
Week 169 Dubai The new extension of the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa 
Week 170 Dubai Hotel fire After the Address fire 
Week 171 Dubai Unusual designs The Opus Building
Week 172 Dubai District Cooling. Keeping the desert cool.
Week 173 Dubai Can I visit the Burj Al Arab
Week 174 Dubai The Almas Tower
Week 175 Dubai The Cayan Tower
Week 176 Toronto The CN Tower
Week 177 Nevada The Paris Hotel 
Week 178 Dubai Ibn Battuta Gate
Week 179 A Wedding Our first child got married
Week 180 Dubai The World's Tallest Tower
Week 181 Dubai and Wales Al Fahidi Fort and Chepstow Castle 
Week 182 Dubai New Metro Station in Al Furjan 
Week 183 Dubai Ski Dubai
Week 184 Another Wedding
Week 185 South Africa Life in a township
Week 186 Austria Ski Jump 
Week 187 Dubai Green Plant Bio Dome 
Week 188 Dubai Update on the Metro Station
Week 189 Dubai My view from the balcony changed in 8 months
Week 190 Greece Just how instagramable is it?
Week 191-192 Dubai Before and After. 3 months out of Dubai
Week 193 Dubai Building a boat in the sky
Week 194 An African Sunset
Week 195 Building with boxes Charity work in South Africa
Week 196 Another family wedding and a year of travel
Week 197 What are they building now? World Trade Centre
Week 198 Building work in South Wales

Saturday, 27 October 2018

One Daily Positive - Week 43. Back in Dubai (again)

What I didn't say last week was that I was cleaning the flat within an inch of its life. My insurance company requires I empty the water tanks and turn the electrics off if the flat is left unoccupied for more than 60 days. Fridge freezer defrosted, oven cleaned, all cupboards emptied and cleaned, food taken to mum. All appliance doors left wide open to stop them going mouldy.

294 Sunday Did some more cleaning, cooked a roast at my mums with child 3, visited the Things and went to see a friend in the evening before a quick stop at the pub. Finished packing my case and watched Dr Who.

295 Monday Finished the cleaning, emptied the water tank and met mum and child 3 for a coffee. Left at 3pm, and sat at the airport reading. I prefer to get their early rather than worry about being late.

296 Tuesday Arrived home at 10am, Peter collected me from the airport then went to work, I had a shower and unpacked. The cat and dog were pleased to see me. Slept till 1pm, at 3pm I went out to food shop, get my nails done and walked Bob. I was in bed by 7.30pm, Peter went out to meet a colleague.

297 Wednesday Up early, walked Bob, unpacked my suitcase and had a general tidy round, bed in the afternoon and out for dinner in the evening for pub quiz.

298 Thursday Back to the Dr's for another blood test, met a friend for coffee, my ankle is really hurting now I'm not wearing my winter boots, will ask the Dr to look at it when I go back next week for my results. Looking forward to starting work in the garden on the weekend.

299 Friday It's our 16th wedding anniversary, Peter's turn to have forgotten this year. Had a lazy morning before heading off for brunch 12-4pm at a Japanese restaurant. Spent the evening watching netflix and complaining we ate and drank too much.

300 Saturday We spent the day working in the garden and cleaning the balconies setting it all up for winter use, looking forward to BBQ's and just just chilling outside.

On the blog this week:

Why I'm not frightened of dying, it's survival that scares me

I'm not back in the UK until February, i'll be interested to see how quickly they complete construction projects outside of Dubai



Tuesday, 23 October 2018

I'm not frightened of dying, it's survival that scares me

Last night over Prague we hit a patch of turbulence, it was that rough that the cabin crew didn't even have time to put the trollies away before the Captain told them to take their seats.

There were quite a few audible gasps from my fellow passengers, but I just sat there, looking out the window at the wing, tipping and bumping in the sky.

I used to be frightened of flying, I used to be frightened of heights, but that is an irrational fear and my true fear I faced all those years was my fear of actual death, but over the past year and a half I've come to realise that I'm not frightened of death either, I'm actually frightened of survival.

Last summer, my father died suddenly at home, I was with him within minutes of his collapse and I could tell he was dying. An ambulance had already been called, but I rang them back and went through the protocols with the operator, I was remarkably calm and in control of myself. I wasn't asked to start CPR or do mouth to mouth. I just followed instructions and sat there with my father watching him die until the emergency response teams arrived and took over.

Over the past few months, I've re lived that scene many times in my head, I've separated the sudden death of my father from the scene and I live with the feeling of helplessness watching a person die, not in pain, not aware, not communicating their wants and needs, no blinking of the eye, no rising of the chest, just life escaping them, slowly and there being absolutely nothing I could do to change the outcome.

I'm grateful my father died the way he did, quickly, painlessly and with his family around him, but as much as I didn't want him to die, I also didn't want him surviving and not having a quality of life, whilst waiting slowly for nature to take its course with every goodbye I made getting harder and harder for both of us.

My father died that night, I survived, but the events live with me, they haunt me. I have no regrets, July 11th 2017 was my father's time, he'd lived a full life. I know there was nothing I could've done, nothing different I could've tried that would have changed the outcome, but I live with a feeling of feeling totally helpless. His life was out of my control, like the turbulence last night was out of my control also. I've flown numerous times, I can accept the turbulence is out of my control. I wouldn't survive an air crash from 37,000ft so there was nothing to fear.

I've only watched one person die, I need a bit more time to accept that.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Building work in South Wales - My Sunday Photo

It's not just Dubai that I'm photographing in regards to construction, although it does happen a lot faster over there than any other where I've experienced.

These photos were taken on a wet and windy day in Monmouth, shortly before I left the UK to escape winter.

The land here is used by a variety of people for local businesses, taxi company, artist, car maintenance and parking. The land has been bought by a developer and notice has been given to vacate by the end of 2018.

This is the view from the communal landing. I can see the castle from the bedroom, but this is a much better place to document the changes from.


Outside the lounge window. The access road will be going through here, the house opposite is losing a parking space, with agreement at time of purchase, and I'll assume our fence will be removed also. There's been no further information given to any of the residents since the initial proposal was submitted and only heard about the land being vacated in the local pub.

I'm returning in February 2019 and I look forward to seeing what, if anything has changed on my return. I'll update you then.

Week 158 Dubai Bluewater Islands and Dubai Eye. Man made island a 210m high Big Wheel
Week 159 Dubai Dubai Marina - Reflections
Week 160 Dubai Dubai Frame. A window between the Old and New Dubai and a 150m high glass floor.
Week 161 Dubai Dubai Marina 3 years apart.
Week 163 Dubai New Metro Line for Expo 2020
Week 164 Arizona and Nevada Hoover Dam 2002 - 2010
Week 165 Dubai Dubai Opera House What a difference a year makes
Week 166 Dubai Unfinished buildings. The Pentominium
Week 167 Coventry Mixing the old and the new. Coventry Catherdral
Week 168 Dubai New Dubai Metro Station 
Week 169 Dubai The new extension of the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa 
Week 170 Dubai Hotel fire After the Address fire 
Week 171 Dubai Unusual designs The Opus Building
Week 172 Dubai District Cooling. Keeping the desert cool.
Week 173 Dubai Can I visit the Burj Al Arab
Week 174 Dubai The Almas Tower
Week 175 Dubai The Cayan Tower
Week 176 Toronto The CN Tower
Week 177 Nevada The Paris Hotel 
Week 178 Dubai Ibn Battuta Gate
Week 179 A Wedding Our first child got married
Week 180 Dubai The World's Tallest Tower
Week 181 Dubai and Wales Al Fahidi Fort and Chepstow Castle 
Week 182 Dubai New Metro Station in Al Furjan 
Week 183 Dubai Ski Dubai
Week 184 Another Wedding
Week 185 South Africa Life in a township
Week 186 Austria Ski Jump 
Week 187 Dubai Green Plant Bio Dome 
Week 188 Dubai Update on the Metro Station
Week 189 Dubai My view from the balcony changed in 8 months
Week 190 Greece Just how instagramable is it?
Week 191-192 Dubai Before and After. 3 months out of Dubai
Week 193 Dubai Building a boat in the sky
Week 194 An African Sunset
Week 195 Building with boxes Charity work in South Africa
Week 196 Another family wedding and a year of travel
Week 197 What are they building now? World Trade Centre

Saturday, 20 October 2018

One Daily Positive - Week 42

My last full week in the UK before I fly home on Monday. I had the benefit of car hire for the rest of my trip so spent it catching up and saying goodbyes, dropping off Christmas, Birthday gifts and cards as I won't be back until mid February.

287 Sunday Spent the morning shopping for food for Thing 1's birthday on Monday. Finished wrapping gifts and writing cards. Popped into say bye to my niece Mini Me as I won't see her again until February. Child 2 and 2a came for dinner and we popped into the pub to see child 3.

288 Monday Off to visit child 1 and onto meet Sarah (Mumof3World) for a coffee and catch up. Visited Thing 1 for his 5th birthday for tea and cake.

289 Tuesday Coffee in Ross-on-Wye with instagram friend Alison (rubbishwife) posted a couple of parcels and complained to the local specsavers about them using the private car park as their own.

290 Wednesday Spent the afternoon with child 5 in Cirencester. Had to return the car hire to Birmingham and collect a new one. It was £127 for 2 weeks, but they wanted to charge me £524 to extend for an extra 5 days. So I booked new car hire for £71 plus the cost of fuel to get up and down from Monmouth. Popped into a friends in the evening on the way home.

291 Thursday Took mum to Newport for the morning, had dinner with a friend at her home in the evening.

292 Friday Visited child 2 and 2a's friends in a near by town as they invited me over for a cuppa. Lunch with child 3. Afternoon spent cleaning the flat preparing it for winter.

293 Saturday Spent the morning cleaning the flat some more and after a coffee called in to see ex MIL and niece, then headed off to the local coffee shop to blog and called into see child 2 and 2a who live nearby also. Child 5 flew out to the US this morning for a week with work. I'm so proud of all the children, their achievements, places they've visited and their future ahead.

On the blog this week:

A walk round the Forest of Dean in search of the stain glass window on the Sculpture Trail
A book review with Clever Tykes
What are they building now in Dubai?






Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The Sculpture Trail, Forest of Dean

We used to live in the Forest of Dean from 1994-2002. We did make the most of woodland walks, activities and facilities while the children were growing up and we love to revisit when we're in the area.

One of our favourite areas when the kids were small was Beechenhurst and the Sculpture Trail. Unfortunately the kids weren't too intereseted in walking around the trail, prefer the play areas and cafe instead, so on our last trip Peter and I decided to walk the whole route. Sadly there are very few sculptures left, so we gave up looking for them and concentrated on the walk and foraging for chestnuts, that were falling with speed from great heights, meaning we spent most of our time looking up at the sky to avoid injury.

It was a bright sunny autumnal day and crunchy underfoot.










Reading with Clever Tykes inspirational story books for kids

I was asked by Clever Tykes if I wanted to read these Inspirational books for kids with my great nephews. I refer to them as The Things. 1, 2 and 3. They are 5, 3 and 18 months.

When I visit the UK, we do a lot of reading and Thing 1 often has a book or two waiting for me to read with him, his brothers also love to snuggle up on the sofa to join in.

Although these books are aimed at slightly older children aged 7+ they were perfect for reading with younger children also, as they do relate to day to day activities, such as healthy eating, making changes, taking responsibility, problem solving and realising one's potential and having a go. The books also promote important values through morals and role models.

We started with 'Change it Cho' and by the 3rd chapter I had Dragon fruit on my shopping list, we'd discussed why fruit and vegetables are good for us and how too many sweeties damage our teeth and took to google to find out what calcium was and where we get it from.

As a teacher also, I would use these books in my lesson planning if I wanted to promote a change in thinking and encourage class discussions. There are teacher packs available to support the books as well as activity packs for the children available online to support learning.


Sunday, 14 October 2018

What are they building now in Dubai? My Sunday Photo.

Help needed.

Just what are they building now in Dubai?

Located by the World Trade Centre, if anyone knows what it is, please let me know.

April 2018

September 2018

For all the other construction photography photos i've been taking over the year, please click on the links below.

Week 158 Dubai Bluewater Islands and Dubai Eye. Man made island a 210m high Big Wheel
Week 159 Dubai Dubai Marina - Reflections
Week 160 Dubai Dubai Frame. A window between the Old and New Dubai and a 150m high glass floor.
Week 161 Dubai Dubai Marina 3 years apart.
Week 163 Dubai New Metro Line for Expo 2020
Week 164 Arizona and Nevada Hoover Dam 2002 - 2010
Week 165 Dubai Dubai Opera House What a difference a year makes
Week 166 Dubai Unfinished buildings. The Pentominium
Week 167 Coventry Mixing the old and the new. Coventry Catherdral
Week 168 Dubai New Dubai Metro Station 
Week 169 Dubai The new extension of the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa 
Week 170 Dubai Hotel fire After the Address fire 
Week 171 Dubai Unusual designs The Opus Building
Week 172 Dubai District Cooling. Keeping the desert cool.
Week 173 Dubai Can I visit the Burj Al Arab
Week 174 Dubai The Almas Tower
Week 175 Dubai The Cayan Tower
Week 176 Toronto The CN Tower
Week 177 Nevada The Paris Hotel 
Week 178 Dubai Ibn Battuta Gate
Week 179 A Wedding Our first child got married
Week 180 Dubai The World's Tallest Tower
Week 181 Dubai and Wales Al Fahidi Fort and Chepstow Castle 
Week 182 Dubai New Metro Station in Al Furjan 
Week 183 Dubai Ski Dubai
Week 184 Another Wedding
Week 185 South Africa Life in a township
Week 186 Austria Ski Jump 
Week 187 Dubai Green Plant Bio Dome 
Week 188 Dubai Update on the Metro Station
Week 189 Dubai My view from the balcony changed in 8 months
Week 190 Greece Just how instagramable is it?
Week 191-192 Dubai Before and After. 3 months out of Dubai
Week 193 Dubai Building a boat in the sky
Week 194 An African Sunset
Week 195 Building with boxes Charity work in South Africa
Week 196 UK wedding and a year of travel

Saturday, 13 October 2018

One daily Positive - Week 41

Busy week, lots of walking, driving and spending time with family and friends. Finding the weather cold, but enjoying wrapping up and wearing jumpers and jeans for a change, not enjoying the rain and the wind that nice.

I'm still getting pains in my thigh, I can only describe it as cramp in my bone. I had a migraine on Thursday and fell over in Gloucester after twisting my ankle on a loose drain cover, my ankle is badly bruised and swollen.

280 Sunday Drove home after the wedding via visiting child 5 in Cirencester, went to the pub in the evening.

281 Monday Collected child 2 and visited child 1 in Gloucester for the day.

282 Tuesday Met friends for coffee and had a wedding invite for June 2020, took ourselves for a walk around the sculpture trail in the Forest of Dean, met child 2 for coffee and my nephew joined us. Out for a meal with friends in the evening and saw child 3 for a drink.

283 Wednesday Off to Bath for the day, then visited MIL, met friends for a takeaway on the way home.

284 Thursday Meeting with child 1's carers, then took child 1 for lunch, called into visit friends in their new home and had a couple of drinks.

285 Friday Took mum, Peter and child 3 to Trago Mills for the day, visited the Things in the afternoon and saw child 2 and 2a in the evening.

286 Saturday Took Peter to the airport and spent the afternoon with Mary before heading home.

On the blog this week:

A visit to Cullinan Diamond Mine in South Africa.
Our last wedding of 2018


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