Bookmarks on this page: Little Marlow, Queens Head, The Kings Head, Holmer Green, Hatfield Heath and Colchester, Turville, Windsor, London, Penalty Charge.
Henley on Thames
, Legoland, Stonehenge, Stourhead Garden, Beer, Pecorama, Lyme Regis, Chesil Beach, Osmington White Horse, Bournemouth.
Leave this page for the front page at

United Kingdom in May 2007

A week long journey that felt like a moment, or an eternity! A journey that we will treasure in our minds and hearts!

This page has taken almost half a year to make complete! I have had about 1300 pictures and almost six hours of video film to go through.
There are short stories with pictures and movies from London with surroundings like Little Marlow, Henley on Thames, Windsor with Legoland (an entire day in sun), Beer in Devon (Pecorama an entire day in rain). Lyme Regis, Chesil Beach, Weymouth, and Bournemouth in Dorset.
Many months afterwards, that eventually has become years, we still sometimes have to tell each other that it wasn't a dream, our journey was for real!


Little Marlow in Buckinghamshire


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The Green in Little Marlow.

Little Marlow Cricket Field and Old Barn Cottage.JPG (348616 byte)

The Cricket Field with Old Barn Cottage in the background.



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The most picturesque cottage imaginable!
And we got the opportunity to stay here for a whole week!

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The garden is a delight.

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Pure joy every evening arriving back to Little Marlow, knowing we will get a full nights sleep, and the next morning a full English Breakfast!

The white house in the background, The Manor Farm, has a little green in front, with the entrance to John the Baptist Church to the right from here. It has been used for scenes in the Midsomer Murders Television series.


The Garden.JPG (401749 byte)

Flowers seems to be at least a month ahead of us, at least compared to our own neighborhood.
The Nightingales however, seems to be singing the same tune in both England and Sweden almost simultaneously!
This goes for the Blackbirds too!
I couldn't help noticing that English Pigeons are singing the same interrupted tune like the Swedish and Russian counterparts for instance. The tune starts and ends in the middle of a sentence. :-)



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Early morning view from our bedroom, over the cricket field, the asparagus fields, and beautiful oat or wheat fields north of the village .

You can surely understand why I didn't want to go home again.
Quentin and Anthea's Full English Breakfast was also a part of it! :-)

View a short movie from an evening promenade along a footpath on the hill behind the cricket field.



Little Marlow at Wikipedia



Anthea and Quentin opened their door for us, and their hospitality was almost without limits! We had to try to set the limits ourselves, especially for Henrik. :-) When Henrik and GT found each other, the entire house and property was explored.
We felt very much like a part of the family!

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GT (Gin & Tonic)



And just around the corner...

Queens Head



 Queens Head Road Sign.JPG (329717 byte)

Queens Head First Glimpse.JPG (407081 byte)

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I should for sure keep the secret about this Marlow's little secret Queens Head, but I can't, it wouldn't be fair to neither presumptive visitors, nor the owner of the Inn.


This is the first glimpse,
beyond the huge Tulip tree!



And here a full view!

This is also the place where scenes for the Midsomer Murders were taken, both outside and inside Queens Head.

 Sharp-eyed viewers may notice on the board that the village Little Marlow has entered the competition for "Best Kept Village" in Buckinghamshire again.
As first prize winner in 2004, and second prize in 2005, the village has an earned reputation to live up to!
Let's keep our fingers crossed!




Oh! It has taken me a long time to get the proper information, but now in December I dare tell you that "Big" Marlow seems to have won one of the awards in 2007, for the second time in four years!
Congratulations to the people in Marlow!


This achievement also seems to have caused a small amount of envy in neighbouring villages, at least from a part of the Hazlemere area! ;-))

I had no idea that it actually seems to be a certain amount of jealousy or arguments around the High Wycombe postal address too, in both Hazlemere and Holmer Green? I can understand that!

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Henrik found a mate to play with in the garden. He was out on a bicycle excursion with his parents.

Note the marvellous tandem bicycle!



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We had a nice chat about the neighbourhood and bicycles and the Red Kites flying around above. They told us it was much thanks to a successful governmental supported breeding program.


Earlier in the day we counted to 26 of them in one sighting, or more correct, we lost counting at 26, there were more of them. An astonishing sight from the car out on the M40 I couldn't photograph!

Now afterwards I have red that in 1989 there was actually six Swedish Red Kites released in Scotland and four in Buckinghamshire for a re-introduction of the bird.
It has been followed by released birds from Spain, Germany, and Wales.


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Heading back over the fields home to Marlow.


What a coincidence, especially since we never have sighted a Red Kite here at home! Not even when we visited the village Mölle in Skåne, which is supposed to be the stronghold for these birds!

Now, When I know there was in the entire England counted to a total amount of 388 birds in 2006, it's even more spectacular to have seen more than 26 of them in a single occasion! Don't you think so too?



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Beautiful interior!

I can't resist enclosing the menu from Queens Head, from the last week in May 2007.
It may have been altered since, but after tasting four different courses with the same delight, I dare recommend it, highly!

Enjoy their website at


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In case you get totally lost in the neighbourhood of Marlow, look in the sky for this balloon, and it will lead you to Queens Head!

After a Foster, or two, you will surely find your way home safely!



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And just around the other corner...

The Kings Head


Unfortunately I can't find the pictures taken in The Kings Head's back garden. Henrik and I tried to catch a glimpse of the pub's own mole in the far end of the garden, while waiting for dinner. We did only find the piles of soil. But they were so fresh that we believe we were only a few minutes late.



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Good Food!
Good Mood!

Serving food on lunch times and evenings every day, and all day on Sundays.



There was a fun "incident" on our second visit to the pub, when we entered the almost full bar and I leaned towards the bartender and asked if we could order dinner, I can swear the buzz in the room disappeared so one could have heard a needle fall on the floor between my words. When the other guests realized I was a foreigner, but still from planet earth, the buzz rose back to normal level again, and I could relax.  :-)

A link to their website:


The journey began actually...

 Stansted Airport in Essex, where we picked up a Toyota Prius, considered one of the most environmental friendly cars in serial production. It's driven by an electric motor which is assisted by a petrol engine that also drives the generator. This engine starts automatically when needed, and shuts down completely at low speeds. It's a wonderful experience to just cruise through villages without the noise and exhausts from an engine, or standing still in a traffic jam without letting out exhausts. It feels just right! A little strange is that after eight days and around 900 miles, I still can't stand the sight of the car from behind or in profile, I have to think about its inner values instead. But it works!
Heating and AC works fine all the time.


Holmers at Holmer Green.JPG (383270 byte)
Wouldn't you stop by if you found a village with your name? I liked it, seemed to have a good pub too, The Earl Howe! The village is a part of the town High Wycombe. I had noticed the name earlier, but it was Quentin that reminded me, and persuaded me to go, it was just 15 minutes away from Little Marlow.

I had to test the acceleration once on the motorway, and surprisingly it did feel almost as good as my 170 hp Volvo at home, and with the advantage and amazing feeling of not having a disturbing gearbox changing gears at all. I tried it up to just above 100 miles an hour.
I love this car! I want one!
When the Volvo is worn out.

Holmer Green in Wikipedia





The car we rented had the steering wheel on the right side, which for me is wrong side! And so was the driving too, on the left side. This had been my biggest concern since we decided to go to England. But we talked about keeping left all the time. Margarita often reminded me in crossings and roundabouts, "think left" "keep left". And we never took the car after dark.
I think my driving was approved by the other English motorists. Only two honking in roundabouts (justified, because I was in the wrong lane), and one guy that said a few well chosen words, when I wasn't attentive fast enough to let him out.
He may have been talking to somebody else in a hands free cell phone, but he had sunglasses so I can't really tell.




Six Month Later

 Now, half a year later, we are the happy owners of a Toyota Prius!


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Waiting for us on delivery day!


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I can't really say Love at first sight.
We ordered the car in late September, and didn't get it until early February 2008.
The long wait was to blame the Guvernator of California!
When he bought one he created such a rush for the car. ;-)


The car is almost fully equipped, it does even park itself, backwards, normal parking on a street, or in a parking lot. The park assist software works, but I'm doing a better and faster job myself! ;-)

This is the first time Henrik is using the front passenger seat, it's just because the rest of the car was loaded with summer tyres.

The view in the display however, is much better than in the back mirrors, so I think it was a good choice anyway.


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We weren't going to park here,
just waiting for Margarita as you actually can see hurrying to the right in picture. :-)







The last farewell!
It was sad to leave our Volvo to strangers like this.


Hatfield Heath and Colchester in Essex

I have previously referred to Harlow, but just found out where on Earth we have been, and corrected it.
I hope there wasn't too much harm done in the meantime!

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The White Horse in Hatfield Heath.
I took the liberty when parking a car for the first time in my life on the British Isles, to use a patrons parking place.
It felt all right to do so!

Since we arrived to England in the morning, and had been up since dawn, and I mean dawn in Sweden, which is an hour ahead of England, we felt we deserved something to eat, but the Pub wasn't open yet, so we made some shopping in the convenient store next door, and only used the Pub's table. (Besides the use of their patrons parking place) :-)



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We would call this a "Mobile Open Preschool" where everyone is welcome, and think it's a fantastic idea for smaller municipalities, or any municipality that can provide this service wherever and whenever it's needed. For long term, or short term use. And fun too!

The bus arrived and parked on the green in Hatfield Heath while we had our brunch outside The White Horse.

Now, In late autumn 2007, I read in our local newspaper, that the Botkyrka municipality in Sweden where we live, actually has purchased a bus for similar purposes!
MobileOpenDayNurseryBotkyrka.JPG (200770 byte)
I believe this is it, The Field Bus.
It's said to be out in the forests with kids every day!
Not as charming or spectacular as its English counterpart, but a step in the right direction.

Ho Hoo! Now it has gone almost a year, and I have discovered that I was totally wrong!
The "Field Bus activity" is nothing new, they just purchased a new bus last autumn.
The mission started in 1988, and the goal has been that every fifth grade student in the municipality will together with an ecologist do excursions during two days. One day each for forest and aquatic ecology.
The bus is designed for 27 students and teachers, with a laboratory and a library.
When time allows the bus is used for other excursions, like archaeological or for new immigrants, and tailored ones for high school classes. A number of excursions for the public is performed every year, free of charge for Botkyrka municipality citizens.
I hope I have corrected my previous mistake  by bringing you this information!
I do promise a mistake like this will never happen again!  :-)




When leaving Hatfield Heath we were out on the motorway discovering the sun on the wrong side of the car, and realizing there must be some fuss with the GPS, because it could not possibly be the button pusher's fault!? What the h... , let's have a look at Colchester too then!

Tide in Colchester.JPG (251364 byte)

Colchester's Celtic name was Camulodunon, which means the fortress of the war god Camulos.
It is probably Britain's oldest town, and was conquered by the Romans in the year 43 AD. The town served as first Roman capital of Britain, but was destroyed only two decades later.
We met a modern town, and we met tide for the first time in real life. It was so strange to watch the ships standing on the river bed along King Edward Quay.



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All three lanes on M25 came to a complete halt, and after 20 minutes I opened the window and asked a neighbouring motorist -Sir, we do have eight days only in England, and would rather drive around the whole country than sit in a traffic jam, since we already have enough of them at home! 

He came smiling out of the car and told us it was an accident ten miles further down the road and it probably would take an hour or two to clear up.



He was on his way home to Bournemouth and thought the best were to stay put. We had a pleasant talk, and then motorists in the other lanes moved a little, so we could squeeze ourselves out to a nearby exit, and find other nice roads through London suburbs all the way to Little Marlow. 

Later on we came to think of this man from Bournemouth as a look-a-like to the Chief Inspector in one of the British criminal series we use to watch on TV, we just can't figure out his name right now, it's not Chief Inspector Morse, and certainly not Chief Inspector Barnaby. Hmm. I'll be back.

It was a look-a-like to Sir David John White, with the stage name David Jason, who plays the role of
Detective Inspector Jack Frost in
"A touch of Frost" of coarse!
I remember first meeting him in the hilarious "Do Not Adjust Your Set" in the late sixties.







Later in the afternoon we passed the reason to that this our journey became a reality at all, the TAC-Satchwell plant on Farnham Road in Slough, that I visited in January this winter.
A short trip that awoke my curiosity about England! Not the curiosity, because it has always been there in the background, but the feeling that one could actually go to England without a reason, just to have a look! :-))

My first trip to England

Turville in Buckinghamshire

From the movies "Went The Day Well?" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"
and the TV-series
"The Vicar of Dibley", "Midsomer Murders", and "Marple"
among others...



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Up through the Chilterns.



On narrow calm roads. Another Pub on the way.
The Chequers Inn in the village Fingest.
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Right? Left?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, No!
Right then? Right! Keep on the left side then?
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, Yes!



At last! Just around the bend! Or next bend?
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The Green with the Pub to the left and church in background. The Bull and Butcher

Unfortunately not open for dinner for another hour. We couldn't stay that long because Henrik really needed something to eat.


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The School Lane



The Cobstone Windmill

From Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.



Turville is situated at the bottom of a narrow valley in the Chiltern Hills.
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It was so quiet and tranquil in the village this afternoon that we got a feeling our presence were annoying.
Our talk and gravel crunch under our feet was so loud and disturbing.
We didn't stay long.

However, We did ourselves enjoy the short visit very much!
A sort of a once in a lifetime experience!









Windsor and The River Thames in Berkshire

The Castle is still too big to visit for Henrik. Next time!


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The Crooked House in Windsor, from the backside.



Margarita and Henrik are trying to fit into the environment by leaning, even if it's hard to decide in which direction. :-)



The backside of both The Guildhall and Crooked house are even nicer than the front.


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The Guildhall on High Street.


When I heard The Queens Guard coming, I called a workmate and asked him to see if he could take a picture of us through the web cam on High Street. They change view now and then, and it only refreshes every 5 minutes, so this is the result. Margarita was standing to the right of me out of the picture.


This is the only picture I've got.
When I switched to film function and started filming another tourist stepped in front of me. I said EXCUSE ME! I'm a quick learner! But when he moved and I started the camera again it didn't start, and this without me noticing its malfunction. Better luck next time!


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French Brothers took us for a 30-minute sightseeing upstream to the next lock.



HODI No 3 from the river


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Mimosa, A famous yacht that participated in the evacuation at Dunkirk in June 1940.

More photos...

Natalie Imbruglia's home on White Lillies Island in Windsor.

and her website.

Enjoy this movie clip!





Windsor Castle and Qantas Boeing B747 seen from the river Thames.

Windsor Castle


London Town

The title may be an exaggeration, our visit was around the London Eye. Trafalgar Square, Picadilly Circus and Buckingham Palace was seen from the car only. Hyde Park, however, we explored on foot, and while doing so we discovered a new tree! A species unknown to us. 



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The Golden Lady at the Waterloo Millennium Pier.

Such wonderful movements, and perfect expressions between the movements as well!



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Look, There it is!

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This is a view I've never thought of being able to photograph. It's not especially well depicted, but it's mine.
This is my view now! :-)




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I believe the performance lasted at least six hours.
Admirable endurance!

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Enjoy The Golden Lady, and a few other performers at The Waterloo Millennium Pier in this short movie!



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The Wizard was amazing too!
It's a pity this isn't a sound photo,
because it was a lovely beep from the bulb on the stick, when he tapped it on Henrik's head!



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Salvador Dali's timeless clock.


Lord Vader visiting Sweden



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Who can resist an invitation from the Galactic Empire Storm Troopers?
Neither me, nor Henrik have got the powers with us to do anything that even remotely resembles any resistance.
Margarita however, have got powers from Salvador, and made a certain amount of resistance. Even if she has one foot in the Star Wars camp like us, Dali's powers were stronger this time.

We had to split, Margarita went to the Dali and Picasso exhibition, and Henrik and I joined the storm troopers for the Star Wars exhibition in the London County Hall.


Watch the short movie
Death Star Canteen with
Eddie Izzard.




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Can you imagine? We were introduced to Obi-Wan Kenobi!


Can you imagine this then? When I was away to pay more money to the parking meter, Dart Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi came out together on the quay to greet Henrik and Margarita, and no one but strangers were there to depict it. So, If you see a picture of Henrik, Dart and Obi-Wan elsewhere on the Internet, please, let me know!



London Aquarium
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A fantastic event! The fish seemed to enjoy us as much as we enjoyed them. They actually came forward to be touched by us.
A once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Enjoy a movie from our visit in the Aquarium!



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Dense traffic, but in a good mood!



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Trafalgar Square.



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Lot's of buses.


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Piccadilly Circus.







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This view I recognised all by myself! :-)



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We did take a walk in Hyde Park in the afternoon, and discovered a tree, a species unknown to us.
Join us in this movie and discover the Plane tree!








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A part of Buckingham Palace.


A few well chosen words!

The London Borough of Lambeth has neglected to keep the standard of their parking meters at an acceptable level, in compliance to what a modern society require, frankly, just the simple fact of accepting credit cards! The meter did only accept coins, and by a strange reason £4,20 per hour only, and only in multiples.
This in combination with shopkeepers in the neighbourhood that reluctantly exchanged notes to coins, made me run back and forth three times during the day and after having paid around £18 in total, I get a fine of £100 one (1) minute after the last ticket went out.

It's strange, but the reason we were late was actually because of a discussion with a ticket sales lady for a sightseeing tour on the Thames and that she would only accept my card for an amount above £20, but on the other hand she couldn't offer a tour above £20.
 Her annoyance was probably because she realized how stupid the rule was. She even refused to change my last note to coins which I should have used for the parking meter.


 In addition to this is that I had to pay a congestion fee of £8 when entering London Town.

All this for a Toyota Prius, which in other countries, and world cities is released from both congestion and parking fee's, just because it's considered the leading and most environmental friendly serial produced car in the world!

I sincerely hope that my penalty charge will contribute to modernize London Town!
I know it's an utopia, I just had to say it!

Since I paid swiftly the charge was reduced to £50, and considering the inflation rate there will not be more over than to pay the parking attendant's salary. I was the only motorist parking on Waterloo Road that day! ;-))

I had to waste one and a half hour during this day, just to exchange money and walk back and forth to the car three times for £18,

Parking 1
Parking 2



Penalty Charge Lambeth Borough.jpg (397796 byte)

I don't count the penalty charge now, this is just to calculate that the tourist industries probably lost more than twice as much on me this day, because I didn't get the time to join Margarita to the Dali exhibition, or get on the tour on the river!

Think about that London Town!
And think about who's the looser, in the long run!
I lost this day, but you loose several times every day, and I'm probably not the only one with a good remembrance of things long past!  :-))











Henley on Thames in Oxfordshire



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I found this sign on our street.

SKHLM website


Waitrose Parking Place.

They tried to make us pay a parking fee to shop in their store. Outrageous!

In the seventies Skärholmen Centrum in Sweden tried to charge us for parking. We made them go almost bankrupt.
No one has dared to try it ever since.

You Englishmen are too polite!



It's hard to believe, but the imbeciles running our mall dared once again!

Today it is Scandinavia's largest indoor mall  Skärholmen Centrum (SKHLM), also claiming to be the "Capital of shopping" and they introduced once again a parking fee this spring 2009. A huge investment with a fulltime staff, new computer system, and new computerized entrance and exit gates.
At first three hours for free, then when the system was working properly they charged us from first hour. 
Poor souls! They did not realize what a power we the customers are!
After a six month long trade boycott they have shut the system down. It's too late though, for the Christmas shopping, we have already done that, in other malls.


And, They are not going to get out of this with a couple of cardboard road signs. Most of us will not go back until it's published that the CEO and her staff has been sacked!

Once again it can be said: 
If you don't know your history, 
you can't create the future.

Think about this you polite Englishmen!
Power to the customers!

Waitrose update!
I have very recently got the information, from an Englishman, that Waitrose probably pays back the parking fee when you shop in their store.
If they had informed about this procedure, on the parking meter, or in the store, I would never have mentioned Waitrose at all.
In some circles they say that even bad advertising is good advertising! :-)



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I'm pretty sure this is a Storö from Storebro Bruk in Sweden.



"Snögås" translated to English is "Snow Goose".
I wonder how she came over here? 
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This mother Swan was so incredibly gentle!



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Must have been a Dutch boat in the beginning.
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The original narrow boat.
Lady Donna


Lady Donna was so familiar at the first glimpse, but I thought it was just because she is a type of boat I recognised already in the late sixties, in a British ad for the "Carribean 34", which I believe is the prototype for all modern English houseboats, HenleyLadyDonnaStern.JPG (372954 byte) HenleyLadyDonnaBow.JPG (413209 byte)


HenleyLadyDonnaSternSide.JPG (309384 byte)


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but, judge of my surprise when I back home, found Lady Donna on my pictures from the first journey to England earlier in January this year.
Then she was layed up on the dock in Datchet for the winter.
View my night pictures of her!






Australia's Possum


HenleyAustraliasPossumStern.JPG (382471 byte) G'day! Said a gentleman in an armchair on the lawn.
G'day! Not until later I realized that he probably was the owner to "Australia's Possum" and wanted to talk. I regret my slow ability.

In September 2007 I got to understand that the gentleman and owner greeting me was
Mr Alastair Wight-Wick.
It was so sad to read that he had past away in late summer after a short time of illness.


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Traffic jam when we left Henley, for miles in the opposite direction, again!
It was not the first time.
Lucky us!







Legoland in Windsor, Berkshire

We spent most of the unforgettable day here, from ten to five.


IMG_6811.JPG (886194 byte) There are not many pictures from this day, since I was occupied with the video camera all the time.
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IMG_6806.JPG (1029746 byte) Enjoy a long long movie from the event.


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We did find a Batman's water scooter that still half a year later not has come to Swedish stores yet, and Henrik's mates still envies him. :-)



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Windsor Castle in the background.



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Stonehenge in Wiltshire

a glimpse at least

a wonderful landscape to travel through


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Impressive building, especially the thatched roof!
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There were many erected stones in the fields long before we arrived to Stonehenge itself.



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A beautiful rolling landscape.



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Wich way?



I think I got the message, and here too!
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Fun, at home it's equally important that the signs say's "Swedish", despite the contents may come from Denmark or Germany.
I suspect the English berries may be French sometimes! :-)



They can't hide anymore! No, not the police car, Stonehenge! To the right of the bus, just below the horizon! I think this was the most exciting view of Stonhenge for me.
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Looks clear, but it was a dangerous crossing, because it was so easy to get one's attention enticed by the Stonehenge silhouette on the hill.



At this point I'm beginning to realize... ...they will not allow us closer than around a hundred yards or so.
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I have better views of this spot on TV or Internet at home.
I refuse to walk like sheep put out to pasture!



The amount of policemen in the area indicates that Stonehenge is under a constant threat.

Heading west instead!

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I like the landscape of southern England very much!



A cute name!
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Good! An extra lane uphill. But...

 one dares to use it, because of the speed camera in the middle of the sloap!
What did they think about when putting up that camera?


Little Chef
I can't really expect you to believe me, but this is the story, as we experienced it.


With an exit directly from the motorway it was a perfect opportunity for a quick meal.
Good parking around the house.

Well inside we discovered it was table service, in a road restaurant? OK, we got a table after a while, and the menu, nothing exciting, but after fifteen minutes or so we got to order. Now people are beginning to really gather in the hallway, casting hungry eyes in our direction. They don't know we haven't got our food yet, they only think we are taking up space, probably.

About 45 minutes later we finally get our food, a hamburger with bread and chips, nothing more. We are stunned! Just sitting there, not knowing what to do, or say, laugh or cry. There is a ketchup bottle on the table, old and dry, but we have to try it...

Now the mutter from the couple next to us awakes me, they sat here when we came, and they call the waiter that has to admit he has forgotten them totally.

Without any clear apologies (as I could hear) the waiter asks if they would like to order again, and the couple just say's no thanks and starts to walk out of the restaurant!

The waiter doesn't even offer them the best the house can get, for free! He just stands there looking like a goat!

He doesn't do anything to prevent them from leaving the restaurant in that state, can you imagine?



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Well, when it came to our turn to pay, I went to the cashier, in the very inner part of the locale, stood in line after two other guests. When my turn I stated our table number, and got the question:

-Sir, cash or credit? Cash please! Then Sir, I have to ask you to at first go to the other cashier at the entrance.

OK! I went there, empty, stood for a while until a lady arrived and asked for my table number? Number 8 I said!

Then she began to calculate from a handwritten note found on the wall.
She calculated at least three times, it was really complicated, three hamburgers with chips, one water, one Coke, and one Apple Juice.




 When she was finished I got a note that stated an amount, and I got her verbal instruction of going back to the cashier in the inner most part of the restaurant, where I by the way had to stand in a new line, even if only for a few minutes.

After being released from my debts I passed through the entire restaurant for the last time and on the way picking up Margarita and Henrik that had been occupying the table for other presumptive guests all the time. 

I think it took us about one and a half hour to achieve something that normally shouldn't take more than 20 minutes!

The main reason I have written this is not the worse fast food, made in the slowest pace I have experienced as long as I can remember.

 The reason is actually that middle aged couple that had so much politeness and way too much of their upbringing left to just leave the restaurant with the words "no thanks".

It's for their sake I will tell the "world" what actually happened at the Little Chef this afternoon.

To Little Chef I can only say:

It's never too late to give up!

Sell to someone that really wants to do this kind of business.


Listen to this!
In March 2008 I stumbled over an article that mentioned that, believe it or not,
Heston Blumenthal will try to improve things at Little chef, or at least one of their 186 joints. Wonder if that will help?
I still think they should sell, cheap,
to McDonalds! :-)








Stourhead Garden in Stourton in Wiltshire

Probably the most wonderful garden and park we have ever seen. Breathtaking!


It's silly actually, but the beautiful walk was like in a dream, so I totally forgot to take photographs.
It was pure luck I remembered to start the video camera.
The movie is as is, hardly edited at all. Everything was so beautiful so I didn't know where to cut. :-)


Join us in a movie for a walk in the park!






Beer in Devon

 A very special village, in a very special landscape!


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We will soon be leaving Dorset...



...for Devon! Watch out for Mr Bean!
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This is the first time in more than a decade that I have seen a BP station.
The Norvegian Statoil bought all BP stations in Sweden in the mid nineties.


This is for comparison. A rather new station in Russia, with all facilities, including bakery. Mmmm!
 The pictures were taken with one and a half months in between, so they are even good for price comparison.
The Russian petrol costs only half the British price! The Swedish price at the time was about two thirds of the British.


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Now we are crossing the double decker tramway crossing in Colyton



Typical! When I turned my head, there it was!
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Listening for his master's voice?
3 Queen Street, Seaton.
31 Queen Street, Seaton.



On top of the hill, now it's 

downhill all the way to Beer.

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This is the road Barline in Beer, where we stayed for two days.
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Unfortunately I have lost the pictures of the house Bay View Bed & Breakfast where we stayed, so you have to settle with the views from the house instead. :-)

I want to tell you it was a good looking house with large windows towards the sea, and an open designed interior.


Can you imagine that this is the view from our bedroom windows?


I think there was a retired lighthouse keeper living in one of the three houses in centre of the picture, or maybe a lighthouse keeper wannabe, but one of his outdoor lanterns were twinkling all night! :-)



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A very nice garden behind the house!

Behind the property is the road up to Pecorama. It was steep, it's only 125 metres from here, and 20 metres difference in height! I assure you we felt it in our knees! :-)



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I think this is my luckiest photo of the whole journey. The sun came through the clouds in the morning on the third day, departure day!



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Downtown Beer


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It was so picturesque

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Beer (26).JPG (328037 byte) We encountered a reluctance from pub owners, to let people with children in, there were actually notes on the doors that we weren't welcome with children.
We have never experienced it anywhere at home so it came almost like a chock to us.
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Beer (28).JPG (265620 byte) Finally we gathered around six families at an Italian restaurant that seemed to be the only restaurant that accepted children.

But the good mood was gone, and still is!


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The fishermen's area
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Sea Hill



Beer (37).JPG (560915 byte) The East Beach



A panorama of the East Beach
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All the fishing boats look so nice when they rest on the shore.

I understand how they winch them out of the water, but not how they push them back into the sea again.



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Well maintained, and a smart rudder solution!
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Barbara Jean took Chief Inspector Barnaby in Midsomer Murders out to sea in Down Among The Dead Men.





Pecorama in Beer

The most wonderful tropical garden, with lots of trains in all sizes, both indoors and outdoors!

Please, enjoy!

If you have some time to spare, enjoy the movies too, further down in this chapter!


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Beer Victoria Station, where also the wonderful restaurant coach were put up for display and use as café.



I wonder how on earth they managed to get the coach to this spot. Probably from over the hilltop, because the narrow and steep roads in the village must have been impossible to use.


Space for three locomotive engineers.




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Scale 1, or 1:32
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British Rail, 50 years or so ago.


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British Rail, 5 years or so ago.


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A part of Switzerland.
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The thatched cottages here in Highwater Downes are so incredibly well made!
I asked the staff how the roofs were made, but they had no idea.
I wonder so much about their secret?



Note the aqueduct in background.
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The narrowboat was slowly moving back and forth on a string in the aqueduct.
It was a delight to see!



Pecorama (21).JPG (220644 byte) Very well made models! Pecorama (22).JPG (168043 byte)



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Weal & Drew
Brewers of fine ales

From around 1870 according to the engine moving back and forth on different tracks. :-)

A beautiful display too!



The man in the shed was actually taking a sneak smoke.

A LED in his mouth disclosed him. :-)

Catalunya in Spain.
A very spectacular display, with seagulls singing, and lights showing day and night, and dusk and dawn in between.



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You are most welcome, if you have 24 minutes to spare, to view a movie from all the scenes depicted above.
Just click here





Beer Heights Light Railway



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Pecorama (31).JPG (112354 byte) Despite the amount of rain falling this particular day, or maybe thanks to the rain, without it the queue might have been too long for train rides. 
We managed to take two rides, the first in pouring rain, the second ride for us, and last for the day was almost dry!

It doesn't matter, it was a once in a lifetime experience!


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Join us for a 38 minute long train journey with BHLR engine #9 Claudine, on the wonderful one mile long, 7¼ inch gauge track, around Beer Heights!



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A real surprise to us was actually the tremendously beautiful and intriguing garden, with flowers and tropical plants and tropical birds in their own house with large outdoor cages, and dedicated garden rooms with art and sculptures on terraces on the slopes of the Beer heights. Not to mention the marvellous shell grotto.

Exhausted in late afternoon, after a whole day with so many new impressions, we were all happy to have managed to get to Pecorama this very special day, the Pecorama Day Of The Year on Sunday May 27 2007.

This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime event for us!















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The Pecorama Garden itself is well worth a day excursion.
I think it's the most beautiful garden I've seen!

So, if you like gardening and trains, Pecorama is heaven on earth!
Even during a rainy gale! :-)






Lyme Regis in Dorset

I could have stayed here!


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We made two visits to Lyme Regis, the first time was during a lunch brake from Pecorama, when it was raining. The second visit was the day after in a mostly sunny weather.
This is the reason there are so big weather differences in the pictures, as they are posted more or less as if you travel through town from west to the centre, and out of town to the north. :-)



A spectacular house on Sidmouth Road!
View this house in Google Maps!
The Mad Hatters downtown.
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Bridge Street down to the sea.



Bridge Street was a broad street all the way down to the bus station where this building stood in the middle of the street. Funny! I think this CoastLinx bus had a very nice paint scheme!
Behind and below the bus there were a parking lot in the form of a roundabout just beside the beach. We just drove in and got the last free space. It never happens at home! :-)



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This is from down the parking lot. The bus stood up there a moment ago.



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Henrik together with a few other guys, tried to through back what the sea just had flushed up on the beach.



Spot this stone wall at Google Maps! The Cobb in the background, where Meryl Streep stood in the storm in the movie "The French Lieutenant's Woman".
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The powers in each wave scared me.
If Henrik should stumble...



The pebbles came rolling in with a roar in each wave. It's no wonder the pebbles were so polished and smooth.
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The Cobb again. The entire pebble beach, with a small part of white smooth sand in the far end.
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We walked along the narrow streets, and along the brook through town.

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The Lyme Fossil Shop was a real experience to visit!
The staff were so nice and helpful.



I believe an explanation is in its place here!
The larger shells and the coral branch in our showcase at home shown to the right, was brought home a long time ago, long before thoughts about, and regulations for environmental protection was introduced in our societies.
Now, in the days of enlightenment even higher demands has fallen upon us to protect and take extra care of the things that in ignorance already has been picked from their rightful places in nature.


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The Sea Stars and the grey Ammonite to the left of them was purchased in The Lyme Regis Fossil Shop. The fossilized shell in the outer left, and the stone to the right that looks like candy we picked ourselves on the beach.


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This is a fossil of a mollusc, a common genus of Dactylioceras, an Ammonite from the Jurassic period (about 180 million years old). This one was found on the coast at Lyme Regis.
This Ammonite is abundant in Europe



This stone, and what we think is a fossilized shell to the right, we found on the beach, together with many other beautiful pebbles and shells, so many that when we were departing England we were afraid of getting our luggage too heavy, so Margarita took it all in her handbag.



It was both funny and embarrassing at Stansted Airport when a member of the staff, in the security check after the x-ray, turned Margarita's handbag upside down, stared for a while at the content, and then shouted out in the big hall full of people, "Who's got pebbles? And shells?

We were allowed to take the pebbles and shells with us, but they kept a small bottle of perfume and a nail file, and happy were we!



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Lyme Regis Town Council Offices.



The Gables.
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Do join us in this movie, for a stroll on the beach, and down town!






Chesil Beach in Dorset

What a sight!


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I'm not used to signs like this.
It's a little scary at first.



Chesil Beach ending with Portland Bill to the right at the horizon. Such a beautiful landscape!
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It might be Lyme Regis to the right in background.



A wonderful sight! St Catherine's Chapel with Chesil Beach and Weymouth in the background


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Seventeen percent is steep!



The Atlantic Ocean. Road to heaven!
It was belly tickling when we passed the summit!
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Chickerell Hill.



Thatched cottages in Abbotsbury. The thatched roof looks almost brand new!




Osmington White Horse in Dorset Downs



P5284287.JPG (265746 byte) Margarita saw it first, on the other side of the valley.
Now we know it's King George III, carved in 1808.
He was a frequent visitor to Weymouth as one of the first sea resorts.

The carving is about 100 metres high.



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Bournemouth in Dorset

I could have stayed here too!


BournemouthRhododendron2.JPG (342521 byte) Somewhere between Weymouth and Bournemouth, for mile after mile we had this breathtaking view.
It was difficult to concentrate on the traffic for all the beautiful Rhododendrons..
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Can you believe this?
The Royal Bath Hotel has used this very picture, my very leaning picture taken through the windshield for their advertising!
I thought they could afford a professional photographer, or that in the worst case someone in the staff could step out on the street and shoot a picture with their cell phone. 
I am not complaining, not at all, I am honored!
Permission granted!



One hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants and a nice calm pace.
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Can you imagine?
Normandie just below the horizon!
Only 110 km away.
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The sun came through!
And the coffee was good!

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Now, Join us in a movie on the beach, finding beautiful pebbles and shells, and on a train ride along the Undercliff Drive.


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We were fortunate!
This was not the first time the traffic jams were in the opposite direction.
This one kept on for a (few) miles.

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Ok, Heading north again.
They forced me!