Chichester UK

I had decided that after my week in Cornwall I would head back to London via Canterbury. Penzance to Canterbury by train is a seven hour trip so I wanted to break it up somewhere along the way. I chose Chichester, mainly  because of its famous theatre.

It was my fault, even after all the trains and buses I’d used in the last fortnight, that I still thought I would get on a train at Penzance and get off, relaxed and rested, at Chichester. Actually it took over six hours and three different trains.

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Ely Cathedral

I had discovered while researching my trip to the UK that just 14 miles out of Cambridge was Ely, famous for its cathedral, and where  Oliver Cromwell lived for ten years of his life.

The bus took an hour and a quarter to get there, the consequence of stopping at every local bus stop along the way but I had a good look at the suburbs of Cambridge and the surrounding countryside, and watched the locals coming and going, noticing the change in their accents the further away from Cambridge we got.

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New College Oxford UK

On my second day in Oxford, I was wandering alongside the old city wall when I came upon a set of heavy wooden doors, a smaller door cut out and open, the same as mine at Balliol College. It seemed an odd place for them, surrounded by nothing but high stone walls, and I had to investigate where they could lead. Peering through, I saw a pointed arch, framing an emerald green lawn, turretted buildings rising behind. A sign said Welcome to New College.

New College Gateway

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William Ricketts Sanctuary Dandenong Ranges Melbourne

After my serious dose of nature in Sherbrooke Forest, and my communing with my first-ever lyre bird, I headed up the Tourist Road to Mt. Dandenong and the William Ricketts Sanctuary.

Entrance to the Sanctuary
Entrance to the Sanctuary:  God Love – pulsating in a rhythm that moves and sweeps through all life. To understand your highest self you must live in that rhythm.

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Wycoller Beck Lancashire England

The morning after my visit to Skipton, I was having breakfast at Rosebud Cottage, my B&B in Haworth, when my host asked, ‘Have you heard of Wycoller Beck?’ I hadn’t. ‘Wycoller is the village and Beck is the river that runs through it. It’s a beautiful spot and has a Bronte connection, if you’re still looking for those.’ I was. ‘Turn right out of the driveway, then, and just follow the road. You can’t take your car into the village, though. You have to park and walk down the hill.’

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Sleep-deprived and Jet-lagged in Manchester

In September, 2011, I arrived in Manchester, with a view to hiring a car and working my way down to London, but after two days of more-or-less steady rain, I felt like I was still home in a particularly wintry Melbourne. On the third morning, as I was leaving to catch the train to York, I was greeted by another downpour. My runners had dried out from the day before but it was obvious that wasn’t going to last long.

A man pushed past me, squeezing me against my case in the hotel doorway, raised him umbrella, almost poking out one of my eyes and took off into the deluge. I launched myself out as well, crossed the road through manic Monday morning traffic to the cafe opposite the hotel and ordered my first English breakfast, scrambled eggs and bacon on wholegrain toast. Delicious. Over coffee I prayed that the rain would ease just long enough for me to make it to the station. The prayer worked. As I left the cafe it stopped and I reached the station damp, as opposed to dripping.

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