Ireland led the way as Guinness recently celebrated its 250th birthday with live music in Dublin’s pubs. Singer Tom Jones began the celebrations at The Guinness Storehouse, one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen hailed the anniversary of Ireland’s unofficial national drink as “an excuse for having a great party!” As some of my readers know, I’m part Irish and do sometimes enjoy a drop of the “black stuff” myself, usually on St Patrick’s Day!
However Guinness isn’t just popular with the Irish, it’s now a global phenomenon with some 10 million pints being drunk every day in over 100 countries of the world! It’s hard to believe it’s now 250 years old! To read more about the history of Guinness and how it all started, follow the link shown below:-
I'm back blogging again after my break. I was only away for 4 days but we crammed so much in during that time. My Mum and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip. We spent the first day in Lincoln. It’s a really nice city. We visited Lincoln Cathedral which sits high on top of Steep Hill, dominating the skyline of this ancient city. Steep Hill, as the name suggests, is just that, a very steep hill in the heart of Lincoln. If you are fit, it is a bit of a climb to get to the top of the hill but well worth it! However for those not so able-bodied or if you just want to take life at a more leisurely pace, you can take a bus ride to the top of the hill and then back down again!
Day Two saw us in Cambridge. We had a wonderful visit to King's College and toured around the chapel and grounds. King’s College Chapel is a stunning piece of architecture and a “must-see” if you are visiting Cambridge. Founded by Henry VI in 1441, King’s is one of Cambridge’s oldest colleges and is best known for its chapel, one of the outstanding medieval buildings of Europe. Next on our list was Clare College, the second oldest college in Cambridge with the oldest surviving river bridge. We ended our trip to Cambridge with a leisurely punt on the river. Wonderful! We spent the remainder of the day in the relaxing surroundings of the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, a haven of beautiful gardens and glasshouses with the best arboretum in the East of England.
Day Three found us travelling to Norfolk. We visited Norfolk Lavender in the morning . It was a good chance to see many different varieties of lavender. I never realised there were so many! The Gift Shop is also well worth a visit. It stocks the full range of Norfolk Lavender’s famous products, together with a wide choice of other gifts to suit all pockets. The tearoom specialises in cream teas, freshly baked cakes and lunches. I purchased some lavender honey which had a delicious flowery taste. Apparently according to popular folklore, it’s particularly good for those with respiratory conditions or asthma. In the afternoon, we visited Sandringham which for me was the highlight of the trip. Set in 60 acres of stunning gardens, Sandringham is the Queen’s Norfolk retreat. It is neither a palace or a castle but a private residence of the British Royal family and not part of the Crown estate. The main ground floor rooms (which are regularly used by the Royal Family), are open to the public and it’s really interesting to take a peak inside. The Queen and her family regularly spend Christmas at Sandringham. The first televised Christmas broadcast (when the Queen addresses the nation) was broadcast from there. Apart from the vast and extensive gardens and grounds which are wonderful to explore on a warm, sunny day, there is also a church and museum which adds to the enjoyment of a visit. The Church of St Mary Magdalene dates back to the 16th century and is regularly used by the Royal Family and the estate staff as a place of worship. The museum holds a wonderful collection of unique artefacts and vehicles. I enjoyed looking at the royal cars on display, particularly a miniature silver Aston Martin that was on display. It was presented to the Queen for Prince Andrew when he was a child Those are the kind of cars that dreams are made of!
The fourth and final day of our trip was spent in Peterborough. We spent an enjoyable couple of hours visiting Peterborough Cathedral. Situated in the heart of the city centre, it provides a wonderful haven of peace and tranquillity away from the hustle bustle. The magnificent cathedral church was given cathedral status by Henry VIII in 1541. Prior to that it had been one of the great Benedictine Abbey churches. Henry VIII's first queen Katharine of Aragon is buried at the cathedral. We were lucky enough to see a special Henry VIII exhibition which was on display in the cathedral on the day we visited. It was very interesting.
I’m back home again now and will be posting some photos of my trip to share with you all very soon. Watch this space!
I'm heading off down South again tomorrow for another well-earned rest, so this will be my last post before I go away. Like many people here, I'm holidaying in England this year. I'm going to be spending a few days touring around the Cambridge and Sandringham area. Fingers crossed for good weather! Hopefully I'll be able to get some good photos to post on here.
Tomorrow will be September 11th, a day when we remember all the brave men and women who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks, the day the world changed forever. I watched a program recently which featured families remembering some of their loved ones who were trapped in the burning towers on that fateful day. One man still had the poignant voice message that his new bride had left him, telling him that she loved him. The young woman worked on one of the high upper floors of one of the towers. We can only imagine what went through those people's minds that day. It must have been devastating both for those involved and for the loved ones they left behind.
We will never forget the events of that terrible day, they will be etched in our minds forever. Our hearts go out to those who lost their loved ones that day. They are gone but certainly not forgotten. May they all rest in peace.
We celebrated Beatles Day here in England yesterday, with the news that the whole catalogue of Beatles hits has now been digitally re-mastered at Abbey Road Studios! A treat for Beatles’ fans everywhere! The Fab Four now sound better than ever!
In addition the Beatles Rock Band video game was also launched yesterday. It’s a game that children, parents and grandparents can enjoy playing together – a chance to be your own Beatle! Sounds good to me!
Who can forget John, Paul, George and Ringo. Discovered at The Cavern Club, they were four lads from Liverpool better known as "The Fab Four" to their fans. They became famous in the sixties with such hits as "Help, "Ticket to Ride" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and went on to become one of the most successful pop bands of all time. They also had a big impact on society through both their music and fashion style, with their collarless jackets, psychadelic fashions and "mop-top" hair cuts. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 40 years since the Beatles were together in a studio. The Beatles are still as popular as ever in the U.K. and indeed throughout the world. The Fab Four are now set to gain a whole new legion of fans as youngsters discover their music through the Beatles Rock Band game!
Today (being the 9/09/09), the Emergency Services have revealed details of some of the hundreds of time-wasting calls they receive every year. Amongst them was a call from a man about leaving his coat on the bus and another from a lady making a complaint about somebody drawing on the pavement! Unbelievable! The Emergency Services warned that lives are continually being put at risk by hoaxers blocking up the lines with minor complaints.