A long dash up to Dumfries to see Karen, Margo and Sandy.
We had a great time and did some local exploring and whilst in Dalbeattie we spotted this Red Kite out on the hunt.
Karen had fun playing with the dogs....
Tuesday 1st July 2014
We all decided to take a run out to John and \Tims place near Appleby. We decided to drive there via the Lake district. The views were wonderful.
|Tim, Enid, Margo, Ray, Phillipa, Karen and John.|
|A Eurasian Jay at the garden feeder.|
On the way down from Scotland we popped in to See Bruce and Lyn. Of their many dogs (currently about 45 - mailnly Siberian Huskies) they have a Manchester Terrier. It is completrely mental.For some reason it shows it's affection by trying to suffocate it's friends (victims).
|'Widget' the Manchester Terrier.|
|Pied Wagtail nest.|
Monday 7th July 2014
Once back in Roydon we decided to go and visit the 'Tour De France' which had started in Yorkshire and was now on its way through Essex, with Liz and Benjamin. We spent best part of the day waiting to watch about 30 seconds worth of bicycles woosh past. Having said that it was a fantastic atmosphere.
|The front runners.|
|...and the pack.|
|Tha walk home - no cars were allowed near the route.|
Gromit, our trusty Land Rover was now finally ready and this is one of the sales pitch photos. Gromit will be a sad loss but nothing lasts for ever. We will miss her, and have many happy memories.
|Gromit ready for sale - and no stickers.|
Sunday 20th July 2014
Today was British Super Bikes at Brands Hatch so we just had to go....
One of Karen's hero riders is a guy named Shane Byrne, commonly called 'Shakey'. He is a cheeky cockney lad and has a irrepressable sense of humour and smile to match. He is one of the oldest riders in BSB and one of the most successful.
|Shakey in giggle mode.|
|And here he is leading from the front #67.|
Thursday 24th July 2014
Today is my (Ray) birthday and it is also James Kingsbury's. So the Kingsburys went Go-Karting. We decided to join them. Despite offers we declined to have a go. These are proper race karts and the track is at Rye House, just down from our house and where Lewis Hamilton learned how to drive.
|James Kingsbury, the birthday boy (one of them anyway)|
Our friend Liz had organised a diving trip for us in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. We needed a refresher course and she had organised that too. Thanks Liz.
We attended Bishops Stortford dive centre, sat a diving exam wich we both passed fairly easily. The only problem we had was with new proceedured regarding dive computers. The books we had been cramming on for the past 2 weeks were a bitout of date and did not cover that aspect.
Then it was in the pool and practice about 10 different skills. We were finished by 2pm and then drove to Bob ab Liz's for a barbecue.
Sunday 3rd August 2014
Another Kingsbury and another birthday. This time it's Phillip's and it's barbecue time. Again.... Wohoo...
We spotted this pretty little critter on our bird table before pandemonium broke out and half of the Western World turned up.
|A Gold Finch grabbing some lunch before mayhem took over.|
They hired a bouncy castle from one of their friends and it was the centre piece of madness.
|Matt and Karen (another one) acting like 10 year olds.|
|Evelyn, Robert, Barbera and Peter.|
|Matt beating up his Dad.|
|Phillip, Anne and the kids, Jordan and Thomas.|
|Steve and Barbera.|
|Matt, beating up his Mother this time.|
|There's always and idiot waiting in the wings....|
Thursday 7th to 21st August 2014
The diving holiday Liz had organised to Sharm el Sheikh was upon us. We had stayed overnight with Bob and Liz and we made our way to the airport for our flight. We have had some very lovely weather in Britain up until now, but it didn't prepare us for the temperatures in Sharm.
It was very hot. Day time temperature were 35 to 40 deg C in the shade.
We spent a few days unsuccessfully trying to aclimatise. On the Saturday we went to the dive centre to sort our kit out in preperation for diving on Monday. The dive centre wis in the middle of Sharm so we went for a wander around. It had clearly seen better days and one shopkeeper shouted to us "please visit my shop, the worst junk in town". He was right.
|Ben in the main street of Sharm el Sheikh|
|I assume (hope) this place is better at night.|
|Whilst waiting for the mini bus back to our hotel we stopped for a beer. Horribly expensive but it was imported European beer so it is understandable. The hats were mandatory!!!!|
What did try to spoil it though was that both Karen and I had "the runs" (google it if you need to) but we soldiered on and it did not, in the end stop uis from diving. I cannot say the same for anyone in our wake but lets not go there.
Monday came and there we were, ready for our first 20m dive in as many years. Aside from one shallow dive that Karen and I did in Tenriffe in 2007, I have not dived for 20 years. We were both a little nervous but our fears were unfounded and we settled straight into it.
|In for a penny....|
|Karen exiting a small cave.|
|The boat photographer reading a magazine.|
|A Blue Spotted Stingray.|
|Ras Mohammed. One of the worlds best dive locations.|
|Surrounded by a shoal of Fusilier fish.|
|A Moray Eel with cleaner fish in its mouth.|
|Clown fish and baby. The parents really do come out to defend their young.|
|A green Turtle. It was about 5' long.|
|A puffer fish.|
|Liz, Ben and Bob|
|Liz photographing a shoal.|
|A Crocodile fish.|
|A Lion fish.|
|A clam. About 12"across.|
|An accidental photo but a pretty one.|