Sunday, 1 August 2010

Bruges, Blakeney and Holiday Snaps

Do you remember when you had to wait at least two weeks for the holiday photographs to be ready and then when you went to collect them most of them were duds? Well mine were anyway. Now I can look at a photo instantly, take a whole stream of shots until I get it right, email that perfect picture round the family at the press of a button. It’s clever stuff.

Dad used to have his snaps developed onto slides. When guests arrived he would draw the curtains, set up the screen and get the projector out. Mum always complained. She wanted printed photographs to hold in her hand. She makes the same complaint now when I get my mobile out or sit her at my computer for a photo show. Some things never change... including the post-holiday blues.

It’s always difficult when you get back from holiday, washing to be done, food to be bought and you’ve even got to cook the stuff yourself, but this time we topped all the usual problems. We arrived home to hospital messages calling Rod in for extra tests before next week’s stem-cell transplant and, something we weren’t expecting, Josh-the-dog was rushed into the vet’s to have a lump removed from his thigh. We’re hoping it’s going to be ok. We’re hoping it’s from the fox bite he had a few months ago. It never really healed properly.

But this blog is meant to be about holidays not illnesses. 

Two weeks ago we went to Blakeney in Norfolk. I enthused at length about Blakeney here so I won’t bore you with repetition but it is my all time favourite holiday resort and this time we treated ourselves. We stayed at The Blakeney Hotel.

I could get used to living like that. We lounged in their lounges and Josh-the-dog walked all his favourite coastal-path walks. The restaurant overlooks the creek and we watched the tide rising and falling while lovely young waiters served up three-course meals every evening, followed by coffee (or mint tea in my case) and home-made chocolates.

Talking of chocolates, last week we visited beautiful Bruges. It’s a place where the sound of bicycle bells and horses’ hooves on cobbles merge with the aroma of artisan chocolate. Bruges has managed to retain its old-world look unlike any other place I’ve ever visited but I wouldn’t have been able to say exactly why until our tour guide pointed out that there are no aerials, no satellite dishes, or electricity wires. All the 21st century services, including internet connections, are ducted beneath the cobbled pavements...

...and there are very few ‘impossible to walk over’ cobbles. They’re mostly modern ones which are easy on both the feet and the eye. Why can’t our pavements look as good at that?

Bikes seem to be the favoured method of travel for the locals. For the tourists the horses are continually ‘doing the circuit’.

Our guide was keen to impress upon us how well these horses are cared for, never working more than one day on and one day off, and having numerous rests and meal breaks.

The canals contain very little traffic as only the local tour boats are allowed to navigate them...

...along with the swans which, our guide assured us, are almost as well looked after as the horses.

And so we move on to next week and all the hospital treatments but we have these lovely memories, not to mention megabytes of photos, to remind us... and I don’t even have to warm the projector up to view them.


  1. SO glad that both holidays went well. I now want to go to both those places. Lovely photos! Sorry that Josh has been unwell, though. Just what you didn't need. Winnie sends love, and so do I.

  2. Hi Pippa, yes both places were well worth a visit and Josh says thank you to Winnie.

  3. Brilliant photographs Ros - love the horse having his meal break. Beautiful memories to treasure. Oh I so remember those slides - how wonderfully quaint it all was. Give Rod my love and loads of good wishes for next week. Hope Josh is on the road to recovery and lots of Love and Hugs to you all. x x

  4. Thanks Rifka. I suppose quaint is one way of describing those slides. They were quite frustrating too!

  5. Gorgeous photos! I always love looking at people's holiday snaps so thank goodness for blogs and Facebook!

  6. Hope Josh is okay.

    Love the photos - Bruges is absolutely gorgeous!

  7. Thanks Jemi, and yes, Bruges was even more beautiful than we had expected.

  8. Great photo's Ros. Send my love to Rod and I hope all goes well next week. Hope Josh gets better soon. Gosh it never rains but it pours. Love Karan X

  9. Wonderful photos. You have sold me on both locales. Hope all works out well for Rod and Josh too.

  10. Hi Karan. I called my blog Writing in the Rain when Rod had recently been diagnosed with Amyloidosis. It seemed appropriate. It still does. Thanks for your kind wishes.

  11. Thanks Ann. Both places are indeed worth a visit.

  12. I well remember hours watching projected photos in dimmed rooms to family and friends too and my first teenage return home slightly drunk and trying to stay focused and not give the game away!
    It is still good to print up the most memorable shots...

  13. Hi Susan, those slide shows were certainly memorable. I agree that it's good to print some photos but I rarely get around to it.

  14. Lovely photos! I remember those back-in-the-days, having all those rolls of film rolling around waiting for me to finally take them to be processed. Such surprises sometimes!

  15. Beautiful photos, Ros, and obviously a wonderful holiday. It's good to have those relaxing, pleasurable memories during the tough weeks ahead.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Rod.


  16. Hi, Bell, that was the same with me. I'd take old rolls of film to the chemist without knowing what was on them.

    Thanks Ann, I really appreciate that.


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