CCP Aberystwyth to Borth

26th August 2017

Early breakfast in Coffee 1. Drove to and parked up in Borth. Bus back to Aber. Whilst waiting for the bus, a young lad started talking to me and I am still wondering about him, I thought he was getting on the bus but when I looked back he had disappeared. I think he wanted something but he didn’t get it whatever it was.

In Aber, I went on the Cliff Railway because the last time I went on it was with Chris about 30 years ago, it was just the same, the newer cafe looked just as rubbish as the old one did.

Then I walked to Borth. After the Llanrhystud to Aberystwyth stretch being devoid of people, this was like being on a motorway. It’s a short walk but with a lot of up and downs per kilometre. It took me a bit over 2 hours.

I just walked as far as my car. I decided to finish my CCP at Borth. Drove to Ynyslas to eat my lunch because Chris loved it there, it was pretty busy in the bank holiday weekend sun.

Had a coffee at the community cafe, started for home and then called in at the Dyfi Osprey Project that Chris also loved. I never managed to make it there with her and wanted to see it, what a brilliant place, and I saw Monty the osprey who will shortly be setting off on his travels.

I’m raising money for amyloidosis research which is vitally needed, to help with early diagnoses, joined up care, more than one amyloidosis centre in the whole of the UK, and treatment that works. It’s a vile disease and it would be great if we can do something to relieve people’s suffering. Please visit my JustGiving page.

Some of the ups and downs
Possibly another lime kiln, near a huge house
What a location
Sunny Borth
Accidental photo

Ceredigion Coast Path Aberaeron to Llanrhystud

23rd August 2017

Andy and I both drove to Llanrhystud and then he taxied me back to Aberaeron. We had some lunch and then I finally dragged myself onto the path away from Kaye’s temptation of ice cream!

It took me just over 3 hours to walk back to my car, a little longer than I thought because I stopped and chatted to some very pleasant folk along the way. First a man with a huge beard who was clearing the path with a brush cutter. He plans to reach Cwm Tyddu by Friday, it looked hot heavy work. Next a woman walking the path in memory of someone who had died from sarcoma, then a young woman who was great and asked if I minded dogs, she had a very well behaved youthful husky.

It was gorgeous walking weather. I didn’t like the last bit where there was about a kilometre along the road. I managed to skip under fences where a great many cows were coming, I decided not to be scared of cows. That said, once I got on the road, there was a bull behind a little fence who gave me some very leery looks.

Checked into Penybont B&B in Clarach, clean, comfortable and welcoming. Into Aber for saucy meatballs at Little Italy on North Parade. Bottle of Peroni.

I’m finishing off my CCP which is from Cardigan to Borth. It does continue to Machynlleth but I’m stopping at Borth, don’t want to do the flat bit along the bog, and then drop in at Ynyslas because Chris liked it there.

I’m raising money for amyloidosis research which is vitally needed, to help with early diagnoses, joined up care, more than one amyloidosis centre in the whole of the UK, and treatment that works. It’s a vile disease and it would be great if we can do something to relieve people’s suffering. Please visit my JustGiving page.

Back to Aberaeron
Forward
One of 4 lime kilns
A dingly dell

Goodbye, darling Chris 

22nd August, what would have been her 64th birthday.

We gathered at Mwnt, some travelling across the world. There were people from all parts of Chris’s big shining life. It was good to reconnect after 30 years, with Roselle. The first place that Chris and I lived together was with Roselle and Pascale in Hinton Road in Bristol and I haven’t seen her since then. Beginnings and endings.

Marc Treanor rocked up with sticks, rope and rakes. Those who wanted to, joined in with creating the sand circle. It was Chris’s tattoo with her name at the top. It was amazing watching it take shape from above.

When it was done, we formed a human circle around the circumference with Chris’s family, friends and complete strangers from the beach. I had Andy in one hand and a very small sandy hand belonging to a skinny little boy in the other. We sang happy birthday to Chris.

As the tide came in those of us left gathered around Chris’s name. Andy scattered her ashes in the lettering. The tide came in and Chris took her last swim.

A beautiful day for my beautiful soulmate. Champagne as the sun went down. Let your love lift me up.

In Antwerp for a Bruce gig

Video of the sand creation, by Marc Treanor

Music: Lift me up by Bruce Springsteen

CCP Llanrhystud to Aberystwyth 

24th August 2017

I stayed in Penybont B&B in Clarach. John kindly drove me in to Aber. I had a coffee in Coffee #1. Hopped on the T5 I think. Anyway it took me to Llanrhystud. Carol rang just as I got off the bus, great relief as had been having no response to messages for 2 days. It turned out she had been sleeping a lot.

Back on the path. I felt like an old donkey all day and did it very slowly. There were a lot of ups, seemingly more than downs! Used my poles most of the day because the grass was slippery after the early heavy shower. No rain on me, sunny and windy. I only saw 2 people on the path all the way to Aber so it felt oddly remote. It took me about 5 and a half hours to get to Aber but then I felt pretty tired so had an ice cream in Pizza 25. John came and retrieved me.

There were signs where they weren’t really needed, e.g. Straight on or in the sea and also a lack of signage when it was. The path went through a field of cows but I coped.

I ate in Medina. Good food, good service. I had 3 salads and a Hell lager. Felt calmer.

I’m raising money for amyloidosis research which is vitally needed, to help with early diagnoses, joined up care, more than one amyloidosis centre in the whole of the UK, and treatment that works. It’s a vile disease and it would be great if we can do something to relieve people’s suffering. Please visit my JustGiving page.

Just loved this tunnel
These were massive, dinner plate size
I think it’s a chaffinch but please correct me if I’m wrong
Gateway to the sea

In Memoriam Chris Howarth November 2016

Weds 16th

How long has it been? The first time was maybe 28 or 29 years ago. The last time maybe 15 or more. The Royal Oak in Rhandirmwyn seems exactly the same. Even the furniture is in the same places. The village shop is now part of the pub and no longer part of the house next door. Same smells of woodsmoke, same dark darkness.

Beer was excellent, a very welcome surprise was that Sue and Rachel had left me the price of a pint behind the bar! I was sorry to miss seeing them. The food was ok, it was a veggie bake with salad and a bread roll. It didn’t have much in it and was mainly tomato and goat’s cheese. Tasted fine just not what I was thinking it would be. I followed it with a choc mousse which arrived with loads of cream on it. I don’t like cream. But the choc was good and dark and not too sweet. The room is ok, cold at first so I left the electric heater on. Still not madly hot so have wrapped myself in the car blankets.
Thurs 17th
I didn’t sleep very well. Lumpy bed although nowhere near as lumpy as the bed for visitors at Tregaron hospital which was worse than camping. At least not sleeping meant I read a lot of The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. I like her books but this one is boring me to sleep. Perfect.

Breakfast was horrible instant coffee pretending to be ground coffee. Laverbread mash with a poached egg and a grilled tomato. This was fine. Last time I ate laverbread was with Chris before we moved up north so fitting for this trip. This time it was edible because hidden in mashed potato.
I parked up in Pen-y-rhiw-Rhaiadr near the gate to the forestry track. It was raining heavily at this point so I put all the gear on. Up the track and onto a footpath through the forest eventually coming out onto a swathe of moorland. Across this then up the side of more forestry before reaching a long stretch of featureless moorland (Carol’s favourite – not, but have talked to Kate who does like it).

30 or so years ago Chris and I were looking for a standing stone which we failed to find. We reached the moorland, Chris was surprised that there were bogs on tops of mountains. The rain drove at us horizontally and we decided to retreat. Chris opined that the mountain didn’t want us there! We took a different path back down through the forest that day by the side of water dashing over cliffs of slate. I fell over and ripped the palm of my hand open. So a memorable walk.

When Chris and I started hill walking, she was always the one in front, huge amounts of stamina. She was a strong walker and swimmer, it’s entirely thanks to her that I can swim at all. Becks reminded me that she and I both learnt to swim in the pool at Bristol Royal Infirmary where Chris got us in. Chris was a life saver when I first met her.

On our last hill walk in the UK in November 2013, Chris was struggling. It’s so easy with hindsight to see things you just didn’t really take in at the time, other than I thought she was tired and perhaps a bit out of shape.
Today I’d worked out that we simply didn’t walk anything like far enough to see the stone. It was a good 40 minutes from the edge of the forest. We gave up after about 10 minutes if that! So I plodded on, the big wind kept the rain off. Plod plod plod. You don’t see the stone until the last possible moment. But it’s there, it does exist! On the top of Mynydd Mallaen.

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At long last
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Seriously in the middle of nowhere

I tucked my flower for Chris in between the rocks at the base of the stone and as out of the wind as possible. If today’s tornado in Aberystwyth comes up here it won’t be there for long.

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It took 1hr and 50 minutes to reach the stone. I retraced my steps and 1 hr and 20 minutes to get back down with the wind behind me.
On reaching the gate there was a blown down tree branch, fortunately a few metres away from my car.

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I drove to Pontrhydfendigaid via Llyn Brianne and the mountain road to Tregaron. Dining there was high quality. Quorn and veg in rich tomatoey sauce with baked potato followed by a profiterole. Thank you, Kate.

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Chris Howarth, 22nd August 1953 – 27th October 2016

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Anyone who reads my blog will know that Chris has been my dearest friend, my soulmate and companion on a great many journeys. A love lasting for over 30 years. The last 2 and a half years have been unbearably awful, to see someone you love slipping away seemingly gradually but actually very quickly. Chris died peacefully on 27th October. I miss her more than words can say but am also glad that she no longer has to endure the horrors of amyloidosis. We are raising money for the National Amyloidosis Centre which needs money to research this rare disease. Please support the NAC: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Christina-Howarth-UCL-Amyloidosis-Research-Fund

The funeral

We played Thunder Road (Hammersmith Odeon 1975 version) as we walked into the crematorium.

Lift Me Up

Ending with Born to Run. The man controlling the music looked a bit taken aback when we all turned round and said “Turn it up! Turn it up! Turn it up!”. He did.

For me, this is now the beginning of life without Chris. She’s everywhere throughout our house from the knick knacks to the photos to Bruce. I still have no idea what shape my life has without her but I’m immensely glad I was on the receiving end of her love and her zest for life.

We didn’t play this song at the funeral. I did try to sing it to Chris not long ago but she said it would make her cry too much: Drive All Night

“but baby they can’t hurt us now
‘Cause you’ve got, you’ve got, you’ve got my, my love, girl, you’ve got my love, girl
Through the wind, through the rain, the snow, the wind, the rain
You’ve got, you’ve got my, my love, oh girl you’ve got my love

You’ve got, you’ve got my love, oh girl you’ve got my love
You’ve got, you’ve got my love, oh girl you’ve got my love
Heart and soul, heart and soul, heart and soul, heart”

Andy (Chris’s brother) and I wrote this tribute together, which Andy read out with some great ad libs, we knitted it until we were both happy with the final version.

“When we asked Chris what she wanted at her funeral, she gave us two simple instructions:

  • No religion, but a structure
  • And Bruce

It’s not possible in the time we have together today to do justice to Chris’s enormously full and exciting life; her wide ranging interests and activities and the influence she has had on others over the course of her 63 years.

You will all have your different stories to tell, but what is very clear is that she made a huge impact on a great many people.

It all began on 22nd August 1953 when Chris was born to Jean and Charlie in Dartford and she was to become big sister to Gerry and Andy, and eventually auntie to Alex and Christy.

Chris did alright at school and when she left Sixth Form College she did what a lot of Dartford girls do:

She left;

Got a boyfriend;

A flat in Putney;

And a job on Oxford Street.

She liked the work, Peter Robinson and the first Top Shop. But even then she was looking for the next challenge and moved on to setting up jewellery mini shops in Biba, and then all over the country.

Somehow she then grabbed a chance to go to Paris and work as a nanny to a very trendy couple: She was a model and he was a photographer and Kenzo used to pop in for tea.

(I/Andy visited her for a week in 1977…and managed to miss the jubilee!)

She moved with them to New York and, through them, met a few celebs: including The Four Tops, Arnold Schwarzenegger (and his mum).

But in late 1978 she was back, had started nursing and by Christmas she was in the Anti Nazi League: immortalised in Mark Steel’s account of setting up Dartford ANL as “a nurse from the Women’s’ Group”. This was when Chris started to develop her political self.

Chris did her stretch in the SWP while she was nursing in Dartford and Sidcup, and we all know that’s not all that happened in Sidcup!

This is when she came out and threw herself into lesbian activism. And she has certainly been an active lesbian ever since.

But then Chris was ready for another challenge and moved to Bristol in 1986 to take up midwifery training. And Chris made new friends along the way.

And the politics continued: for example campaigns to Stop Clause 28 / Section 28.

By the way, at this time there was only one cat, Pussy.

After Bristol, Chris and Jak lived in Gower for a year.

Chris practiced midwifery at Morriston hospital and in the late 80s led a successful campaign to “get rid of the stupid midwifery hats”.

It doesn’t get more radical than that!

Changing the world, one step at a time!

But then its time for another challenge:

She moved to Todmorden in 1990, with Jak, Pussy and 3 more cats and did her degree course at University of Central Lancashire in Preston.

Chris continued to practice midwifery but had a small career break to nurse her mum through pancreatic cancer until the end.

But then it’s another new challenge: taking the bold step from NHS practice to take up a job as a midwifery lecturer at the University of Huddersfield: from delivering babies to delivering midwives.

It was here where she got her masters in 2007 and where she worked until she retired in 2013.

The cats continued: Bumbles, Luna, Cagney, Kedi, Kitten McGitten and Blue.

And they are all still in the garden at Todmorden.

Lastly Jim, or Jimbob, and Patcho, distinguishable because “Jim looks like Errol Flynn and Patcho looks like Jimmy Stewart!” (Yeah right, Chris!)

Other animal interests were donkeys, birds, wolves, foxes, reindeer and hares. On her last holiday abroad in Finland she was thrilled to drive huskies and reindeer.

Political interests were a driving force, whether it was marching for rights, marching against war, writing letters to prisoners via Amnesty International, Chris’s heart stretched to practical help and raising and giving money. Her involvements included Nicaragua Solidarity, Cuba, including a trip to Cuba.

Closer to home there was Horton Women’s Holiday Centre and Spiral women’s gatherings held over many years.

Chris loved music from all around the world, not just Bruce, and was an enthusiastic member of Hebden Bridge singing group for several years. But Chris certainly did love Bruce and saw him live 15 times.

And he was a great excuse for travelling around Europe!

Chris didn’t do anything by halves, whether it was Tequila slammers or cocktails, solstice parties, wild swimming, swimming across Windermere to raise money for MIND, zip wires, cycling across Devon, triathlons, hiking up mountains, snow shoeing, husky dog sledding, or Christmas.

The parties always involved lots of lovely food and drink, fire and light.

There were various partners in Chris’s life over the years – Bronwen, Rita, Jak, Janet and some quick flings! (Did I say she was an active lesbian?) Chris loved us, her family, her gay families, her friends, – the letters, the postcards, the cards, the gifts, the phone calls, the emails.  She always knew the right thing to say even during the last few days of her life.

And the knickknacks: she claimed that she didn’t really want lots of knickknacks but we have boxes and boxes of them! Christmas candles anyone?

In the good times Chris was a heart stopping, pants dropping, house rocking, brain shocking, earth quaking, booty shaking, history making, love making, sexifying, electrifying nearly lifelong lover of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

“But there’s things that’ll knock you down you don’t even see coming”

And that was amyloidosis…..

Amyloidosis came just when Chris was looking forward to an active retirement with plans to travel the world, climb more mountains, and swim more. She moved to Borth, and even though she knew she was ill but didn’t know how ill or even what was wrong, she started rowing and getting stuck into Borth life.

The disease progressed very quickly.

Chris barely had time to come to terms with each new indignity before the next one came along. She lost her independence, and became resigned to not planning ahead, and eventually cancelling what would have been her 16th Springsteen gig.

It wasn’t at all the life she had wanted for herself. She spent 2 and half years of crashing endless fatigue and 2 and a half years feeling nauseous. And she very rarely complained. She knew all along that there wasn’t a cure.

It’s a reflection of how well loved Chris was that her friends in Borth and near and far –were so willing to help.  Especially her dear friends Nomes, Catriona, Kate and Bronwen, who were there to look after and care for Chris as she became increasingly disabled by her illness.

In the week before she died, Chris had a haircut. It gave her back a deeper sense of herself and restored some dignity that seemed to be taken away from her in Morriston.

Chris died peacefully in her sleep in Tregaron hospital, a place where she felt, in her words “safe and cared for”.

We included a few Springsteen tracks today, but its difficult to pin down what her favourites were. Chances are if you asked her, it would be the track that was playing.”

Linda (humanist celebrant) said this:

“In the hollow of the evening, as you lay your head to rest
May the evening stars scatter a shining crown upon your breast
In the darkness of the morning as the sky struggles to light
May the rising sun caress and bless your soul for all your life.”

(Bruce Springsteen)

Ways to raise money for amyloidosis research:

My JustGiving page

UCL Amyloidosis Research Fund

 

 

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Gothenburg and Bruce July 2016

Thurs 21st

Easy travelling to Gatwick airport. Seemed much less hassle than getting to Heathrow by train.

At the airport I just followed the signs and the Bloc hotel is actually inside the terminal. The room is small with no window. The wet room is also small but all good fittings. The lack of a window means that it’s like a cell albeit a comfy one.
Ate my samosa and salad from M&S and settled in.
Popped down to the Wetherspoons for a bottle of craft lager from Hog’s Back brewery, very good beer but a shame about the Wetherspoons as it’s the only bar in the south terminal. I guess I could have stepped outside and gone to a hotel bar but I was too tired and didn’t.
Cath and I usually start our navigation courses at a Wetherspoons because it’s open, quiet and cheap however we want to boycott them after their Brexit campaign support so we will now be going to the Bear cafe in Todmorden instead to do the first bit with our clients.
Went to M&S again to buy my breakfast and a mini bottle of wine. This made me suddenly overwhelmed and almost sick with sadness as I’d last been in this same M&S doing much the same with Chris before we went on our holiday to Finland. I returned to my room and got a message from Gary from the Romania trip who was in the Wetherspoons (!) so we had a message chat and then I popped down for a chat with him. Nice to see him and his fingers have recovered (see Romania blog post). He works near the airport and was there because he’d worked late and missed a bus. Funny because I’d seen someone earlier who reminded me of Gary and had been thinking also about coincidental meetings.
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Sunset over Gatwick
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Cell Bloc
Fri 22nd
Up at 7, Bircher muesli in my cell and straight to check in. Didn’t even get patted down at security! Free double espresso from Pret a Manger and a bit of a wait. Chatted to an American medievalist as we both tried not to be assaulted by 2 plump puffins who were “amusing” the kids. She was a nice 3 minute interlude! Amazing what you can learn in a short time.
On the plane I had a window seat next to Simon who did a lot of talking but was nice and funny and clever. So 2 nice, sensible people to amuse me!
Smooth flight, met Simon’s partner and friend who were seated further along. They were nice too!
The luggage took a while to come and mine was almost last off the conveyor belt.
Got some money with my Revolut card, bought a travel ticket for the city not a City Card and got on the bus.
About half an hour to the city. The stop is just a big bus park. A few minutes to orientate myself. I’d worked out I needed a number 3 tram so was pleased to see one straight away. I got on and followed my map, getting off about 6 mins walk from Tidbloms hotel. It’s in a quiet residential area. The hotel is on a hill so although the room was first floor it was actually the ground floor at the back. This meant that with the windows open (very hot here) it felt a bit exposed. Also a dark gloomy room.
Set out to the official alcohol shop to buy some beer for while I’m here. Not too expensive. 3 cans for £3.50.
Then supermarket for bottles of water. Back to hotel thinking about asking for a new room. Hungry so got a tram to go to the Haga area. It passed the Elite Plaza hotel and Steven van Zandt was outside with a few fans. I got off at the next stop but just missed him by 30 secs. Talked to a couple of Finnish women. Bruce is travelling back from Dublin where he’s been with daughter Jessica and a horse competition (she is top horse person) in his own jet, not Ryanair! I got back on the tram to Jarntorget which was a bit rough (old winos) so moved on to Haga which is an old, quiet nice area. Found a lovely restaurant, En Deli Haga and sat outside with a selection of salads. Less than £10 but the beer was £7. Walked to a better tram stop to return to Tidbloms hotel.
I asked for a different room so now on 3rd floor at front. It’s a better room, lighter, some road noise. Although the rooms are non smoking there is a lot of smoking going on on next door’s balcony but at least I can leave the windows open and mostly the wind wafts it away.
Haga
Haga
Haga
Haga
Haga
Haga
Haga
Haga
If it helps!
If it helps!
Sat 23rd
Excellent breakfast. Strong coffee, fresh orange juice, home made granolas and mueslis with pouring yoghurt and berry compote. Cold cuts, cheeses, hard boiled eggs with mayo and dill, lots of different breads, salads, hot food. I didn’t have the egg or the hot food.
Out on tram to Botanical Gardens, these are lovely. The city has lots of trees and suffers from litter as do most cities but the gardens were fine as is the area my hotel is in, mostly residential. On the way I stopped at Stevie’s hotel but no sign of him or anyone else.
Through the gardens via the scenic viewpoint route. Met English couple who have FOS (front of stage) tickets so they don’t have to queue all day in roasting sun for the pit. Bet they cost a packet. Then into nature reserve which is the forest and lakes and heathland in the city. Extraordinarily quiet, not loads of people. Walked around for a couple of hours then back to Botanical Gardens for an open cheese sandwich on rye with salad on top and an espresso. Excellent. Then an ice cream before heading back to prep for Bruce.
Tram to the Ullevi stadium a few stops away. The ticket I bought on Greasy Lake from Josef Mahmood got me into the lounge. This is a posh restaurant where you pay more for strong drinks because the ordinary folk are only allowed to have 3% beer. Despite this one man had managed to drink so much he couldn’t stand and he dropped one of his £7 beers all over the poor man in front of me. I’ve met some very nice Bruce fans but I often seem to end up at the gig with one or two total knobs nearby. Pissed up git was with man with enormously long arms which spoilt the view when he was clapping. He was well over 6′ tall so his arms stretched out that far too.
Before the gig I had a veggie wrap but it wasn’t very nice.
When you go in the lounge you get a wristband to show you can have strong liquor but you’re not allowed out again (can’t imagine why this could be a problem seeing as you clearly have the wristband) however I sweet talked several staff in my vain search for a 23rd July t shirt. Went on the pitch and out of stadium and got let back in!
Bruce started with Meet me in the city then did the whole of The River and then another hour and a half of solid R&R, not many ballads. No Patti. It was perhaps a good thing it wasn’t too emotional a show. I’m quite capable of doing that without Bruce. It’s still very odd doing something like this without Chris who is with me in my heart all the time. It’s just not the same, my love.
My favourites were:
She’s the one, my video on YouTube

The crowd were crazy even before the band came on. Bruce didn’t do any requests, no Sunny Day with kid thank god, but got several people up for Dancing in the Dark. Finished with Twist and Shout, no quiet solo last song for us. Bruce clearly nowhere near retirement! It was VERY LOUD. They were selling ear plugs and rain ponchos!

After buying a shirt I walked back to the hotel about half an hour away. At first a little unsure about doing this on my own but kept usual eyes in back of head and kept to lit streets. Lots of people around. Late to bed!

Nature reserve
Nature reserve
Nature reserve
Nature reserve
Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens
From Botanical Gardens
From Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens
Hotel stairs
Hotel stairs
Nature reserve
Nature reserve
Nature reserve
Nature reserve

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Bruce and Stevie
Bruce and Stevie

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Soozie
Soozie

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One side said "Welcome Home" and my side said "Bruce and E Street". The people in front of me are holding up the papers to make the sign.
One side said “Welcome Home” and my side said “Bruce and E Street”. The people in front of me are holding up the papers to make the sign.
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Panorama Ullevi
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Fireflies phones

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Nature reserve
Nature reserve
Goteborg by night
Goteborg by night

 

Sun 24th

Got up just in time for a shower and breakfast.

Out on tram for about half an hour to Saltholmen for the ferry to Vrango. Straight into big queue for boat but no trouble getting on. Direct boat no stops. Lovely sea breeze. Just under an hour. Island is small and has surprising number of houses. No cars allowed so people are on foot, on bikes with trailers in front or behind, electric golf carts and 2 stroke bikes with trailers behind or in front.

There are 2 cafes, one is entirely fish and the other ok but not brilliant. I walked a circuit of the island through a naturist area which was lovely and not a naked person in sight! Bought an ice cream from a man selling them from his garden.  Used a compost loo, not as nice as the Finnish one we went to. Found a bit of sea all to myself so had a paddle.

The land on the island and in the nature reserve in the town is largely glacial. Lots of big humpy bits (roche moutonees).

Back to village and harbour. Saw the fishermen’s sheds I nearly stayed in (until I realised I might not get back there after Bruce). Went to cafe, had not very good blueberry cheesecake.

Back on stopping ferry. Trams. Very very hot. Hotel.  shower. Walked to nearby pub Olstugan Tullen. Had vegan chick pea patty with roasted parsnips and carrots and salad. And soya mayo. Big glass of lager!

Hotel. Ice. Beer. Fan.

There are lots of bikes, they look quite heavy, step through and old fashioned. Some have kids in front of them in a sort of motorbike sidecar thing except in front.

There are a lot of very tiny dogs I guess chihuahuas. They have a fenced off poo park to go in and no poo on the streets and the dog area is clean too.

Man buns. Oh no! A lot of beards. And some face tattoos, they make the man buns look good.

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Slow boat
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Fast boat
The Stena boat kept popping out from behind little islands
Big boat! The Stena boat kept popping out from behind little islands
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A life on the ocean wave

 

House on Vrango
House on Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Boat for Chris
Boat for Chris

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Vrango
Vrango
Not a naturist to be found!
Not a naturist to be found!
Vrango
Vrango

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Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Vrango

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Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Entrance to cemetery on Vrango
Entrance to cemetery on Vrango
Vrango
Vrango
Donkey bikes!!
Donkey bikes!!

Mon 25th

Got up late only just in time for breakfast. I’m going to try making my own granola as so much nicer.

Packed up and checked out. Tram to central station and managed to heft my suitcase into a locker above my head height so not easy as now seems to be twice as heavy and full although what with I can’t think. Not really bought anything.

Went on ye olde fashioned Liseberg tram for a round trip (free on my travel card). Took half an hour. Rammed all the way to Liseberg funfair then just me all the way back.

Another tram to Haga area where I wandered. A bit more open and busy than Fri evening. Nice shops, nice cafes. Stopped for a while at one. Resisted the famous cinnamon roll because it’s massive, the size of a dinner plate. People next to me shared 2 between 5 but didn’t eat them all. Smelled amazing though. There was a big dalecarlian horse.

Back on my last tram to central station. I loved the trams! The travel pass is very good value, I went everywhere including the return trip on the boat for under £15 on the 3 day pass. Collected bags and chatted to man who has seen Bruce 167 times. How is that possible in time to take, in money? He is self employed. His partner has only seen Bruce 3 times because they’ve been together 2 years and she only goes to nice places!

Bus to airport. Check in and security all fine. Small amount of shopping. Long queue for passports. Wait to get on bus. 15 min wait on bus not moving. Drive to plane 10 more minutes not moving. Onto plane more time waiting. Smooth flight. Bobbie the bear films. Plane in holding pattern prior to landing.

All easy at Gatwick. Checked into room with window. No extra cost and all because I said I didn’t like the lack of window when they asked for my feedback. M&S for supper wine and breakfast.

On ye olde tram
On ye olde tram
Ye olde tram
Ye olde tram
Something very similar to these in Nice
Something very similar to these in Nice
On ye olde tram
On ye olde tram
Window view!
Window view!
Bloc hotel with window
Bloc hotel with window
Big dala horse
Big dala horse
Even when it didn't have a line through, I still found this the most baffling sign
Even when it didn’t have a line through, I still found this the most baffling sign

Tues 26th

Granola yoghurt and berry compote. Nowhere near as nice as Tidbloms Hotel’s. Going to try making my own granola.

Problem with fire at place controlling electrics for all trains from and to airport. Got onto first one. Crowded so standing and v uncomfortable. More people got on at Croyden so even worse hell. I hate being in contact with people and they probably do too. One woman was closer than my optician or dentist and accidentally touched my face as she got off. Totally hideous and I’m fit and healthy, would be awful if not. I feel a complaint coming on.

Had a cheese and tomato croissant with my espresso from Patisserie Valerie at King’s Cross to recover. Could do better but the coffee was fine.

Rest of journey all to plan. Home again, jiggety jig.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

MAPandCOMPASS

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