In case her Ladyship gets bankrupt because of the continuing story of cruising, there is a solution to earn some money: she is a master make-up artist for musicals. As in a recent production of CATS in Somerset.
Visiting North Curry, day 4
All times are in GMT + 1 (Nijmegen time 🙂 )
A sunny day: at 11:30AM the day revenue was already 6Kw and current input level 1.14Kw. So far no worry about the solar panels during the last days. But I am curious what the technical people will discover 29 March… 😦 😦 😦
The day starts with packing the suitcase and handluggage:
A sunny last meal together:
NCY 03:00 PM – TAU 03:25 PM by car:
Upon Mary’s request we have extra time in Taunton at the fuelstation next to the busstop. I have to check the pressure in the tires, as Mary never does that, and the car had been out of use for 2 months. Front 2.15Mb and back 1.65Mb. Driving with Pierre has made me an expert with that machines… 🙂 😉 🙂 😉
But, upon arrival, the air machine at the BP station was out of order!
TAU 03:56 PM – BRS 04:53 PM, by bus South West Falcon:
BRS 06:25 PM – AMS 07:45 PM, by KLM Cityhopper KL1054:
AMS 08:30 PM – QNQ 10:02 PM, by train National Railways IC3575:
Visiting North Curry, day 3
At 08:00AM I went down to open the house to the world, setting the table for breakfast and knocking on Mary’s door. We had breakfast “en négigé”. I left Mary behind, looking at the piles of emails and… bills. After shaving and showering, and dressed for a weekday in jeans, I came down at 10:00 to check on the solar panels.
At local time Nijmegen 11:30 the day revenue was (only) 813 Wh and a present input level of 428.09W. But we had records in the days before:
From 1 March till mid 19 March the panels were out of order, the same situation as 1February till 14 February, and 31 January. The company, who installed the solar installation, will come 29 March . When I call SolarNRG, they can see a lot more than I. There is -according them- a failure in panel 9, but I can see on a separate screen on the computer and mobile phone, that panel 9 is working: e.g. at the moment panel 9 has produced for today 70.75Wh. Then there is a communication failure. I hope it is over by the end this month. however according to the installation calculator we got already > € 100 back from the investment of € 4,000 (2.5%).
And a farewell dinner in Taunton, in the Castle Hotel & Restaurant.
Visiting North Curry, day 2
View over Southampton harbour at 06:08 AM from my window:
The Balmoral will arrive at the City Terminal approximately 06:00AM. Disembarking will start after clearence of the ship by the custom officials.
First there are the groups disembarking, followed by the passengers for long distance coach transfers. Then the regular disembarking will follow: starting at the top deck downwards. As Lady Helen Mary is on deck 4, it will take a time. She has to pass customs on shore. After that the taxi driver Paul and I will be waiting for her in the luggage hall of the terminal. Paul will drive us to North Curry, where QUINCE COTTAGE -Lady Mary’s humble residence- will be waiting. There will be a pile of mail waiting, as she was only on a relative short cruise: 2 months 🙂 Mary instructed her house keeper Yvette to make up my bed in the guestroom with the great view:
And her Ladyship insists that I wear pyjamas. And my Rituals 🙂 bathrobe. So I carry a large suitcase, as I can not travel “light” on the plane. I can carry a small case in the cabin, containing among other things my LAPTOP for the daily updates from Somerset…
Upon arrival we paid a visit to the village grocery store, as there was totally no food nor drinks, apart of a bottle of champaign, to celebrate the reunion. As a treat I invited Her Ladyship for dinner in the local pub, with the name: “The Bird in Hand”. The name is an enigma to me, but the food is good. We (Pierre and I) were there with Mary in the past.
The Bird in Hand is a classic traditional pub, and its low beamed ceilings and open fireplace creates a warm, friendly atmosphere. The bar serves a wide range of drink including traditional ales, a wine list is available, and there is a range of fresh coffees. The various menus provides something for every appetite and budget, but fresh fish and seafood dishes are a speciality of the house, with produce sourced locally whenever possible.
As I was for seven years the treasurer of the volunteer circle of the Saint Stephan Church, I had an account at the Dutch National Postal Services. I designed stamps of the church and had them printed on sheets of 10 stamps. Everyone in the Netherlands can design and order his / hers stamps. But I used the account also for personal stamps.
Self designed stamps through the past ten years; from left to right:
In about five weeks there will be the decision: a hard one, a soft one, a new referendum or no Brexit at all. English people tend to think that it is only UK politics. It is much more. When I visit her Ladyship from 21 till 24 March, I can travel as usual under the present rules. But when Pierre and I visit her Ladyship in June for a full “Somersethian” week, we could be obliged to have a visa. And the present situation at Labour, where seven people leave Jeremy Corbyn and start a new party, that gives only more confusion. There is no business any more at Brussels. The European Union has had it with everything about “Brexit”. I was happy that her Ladyship told me, that she was a “remainer” just after the cruise in 2016. But she has other problems now: the Balmoral docked in San Diego for three unexpected days, as the ship got caught up in fishing rope, and broke a propellor seal!!! The stays in San Francisco and Los Angeles are due to be shortened.
January 19: Southampton, 23/24: Funchal, 31: Bridgetown, February 02: Kralendijk, 04: Cartagena, 05: Colon, 08: Puntarenas, 13: Puerto Vallarta, 14: Mazatlan, 15: Cabo San Lucas, 19/20/21: San Francisco, 23: Los Angeles, 24: San Diego, March 01: Acapulco, 03: Acajutla, 08: Oranjestad, 10: Philipsburg, 17: Ponta Delgada, 20: La Coruna, 22: Southampton.
Today: Lady Mary in Bonaire. She did not know that the Netherlands had also overseas colonies, like Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçau, St Maarten, Saba and St Eustatius…
And here Lady Mary in formal dinner outfit, with my bridge teachers Carol and Terry, during the worldcruise 2016.
Lady Helen Mary Stewart-Wilson is on cruise again; this time not on the beloved Black Watch, but on the largest ship of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines: the Balmoral.
Southampton – Atlantic Ocean – South America – Mexico – Panama Channel – United States – Panama Channel – Atlantic Ocean – Southampton.
The Balmoral departed on 19 January and will arrive 22 March.
She encountered some well known faces / friends:
Left to right: Lady Mary with choir master Margaret Rae from Edinbourgh.
Left to right: Lady Mary with Assistant Maître d’H Ramil, in 2010 a waiter in the Observatory Lounge of the Black Watch.
As the Wi-fi on the vessels is expensive, slow and of an inferior quality, Mary has to work with her mobile phone when she has a stop or overnight. So pictures are sparse this time, and stops / overnights depending. The first stop was -after four days sailing- in Madeira. Here Mary at lunch in Funchal (Madeira), on 23 January:
Lady Mary Stewart-Wilson has sent to her Companion Luke by registered mail @ £ 9.05 (€ 10.20 !!!) a cashmere shawl. With his initials on it. Have a good look at the right bottom of the picture! This is a birthday present for 28 February 2019, three months to go… But the reason she has sent it now, is that she will pass the Panama Canal on that date.
But for her Ladyship her companion had chosen a set of Svarovski pens, to be used to write a diary on her upcoming cruises. The envelope was much heavier than the shawl, which can be seen by the 10 (TEN!!!) stamps of each € 0.84. The stamps are designed by myself, and I use a picture that Lady Mary took on our honeymoon cruise in 2016.
Lady Mary’s visit day 8.
Travel schedule for 13 September 2018:
Dep 08:13am GMT – Arr 09:42am GMT Train Nimwegen – Schiphol Airport [Mary + Luke]
Dep 12:00pm GMT – Arr 01:15pm GMT KL1051 Schiphol Airport – Bristol Airport [Mary + Luke]
05:25pm: KL1054 ready for departure. But the captain tells us that because of heavy passenger traffic at Schiphol Airport the departure must be postponed.
Dep 05:50pm GMT – Arr 06:45pm GMT KL1054 Bristol Airport – Schiphol Airport [Luke]
STRIKE OF BORDER POLICE and several hundreds of people are waiting in vain to be accepted at the border control: only 10 passengers each time, and only with European passports. ID-cards were not permitted. Crazy action to get more salary!
Dep 07:34pm GMT – Arr 10:06pm GMT Train Schiphol Airport – Zwolle – Nimwegen [Luke]
Lady Mary’s visit day 7.
A draidfull rainy day with a lot of Rummikub! And guess who is winning each time, after training for 6 days: Mary!!! one game after the other!
In the evening we went to the Ferryhouse in Oeffelt, for the farewell dinner, offered by Mary:
And after our return: Rummikub till bed time 🙂
Lady Mary’s visit day 5 & 6.
Lady Mary’s visit day 4.
Lady Mary’s visit day 2&3.
Friday 07 Serptember was a complicated day: at 08 AM Luke had to call his GP for the remaining pain, or better, the remaining absence of any sensibility in his left upper leg, after the finish on 20 July of the Walk of the World marches. But, luckily, there was a possibility to see the GP at 3 PM. First, Mary had her book (Pride and Prejudice), Pierre had the morning paper, and I had the blog. AND welearned Mary a new game called Rummikub. She picked it up very fast and is quiet fanatic 🙂 🙂 🙂 . When I was at the GP, Pierre and Mary went for a stroll to the Goffertpark. Mary asked if she could have her holy hour and appear at the dinner table dressed in a nice robe over her pyjama. And we could not refuse that. Also the neighbours Peter and Marie announced a farewell before their departure for six weeks in the South of Europe. But they did not make a fixed appointment for that evening. Friday it was my turn to show my Chef’s qualities. In May I showed at Marys’ the Chili con carne, during my visit for the royal wedding. Now it was Nachos todos grande. And just when I put the plate in the oven for the last finishing touch, the doorbell rang and the neighbours were there. As I could not stop the preparations at that time, an appointment was made for a visit around 10 PM. The nachos were a great success. And when Peter and Marie arrived, we had a nice evening, with a Lady in a housecoat….
Saturday 08 September:
Lady Mary’s visit day 1.
The itinerary of day 1 was a bit different than foreseen 😦 😦 😦 🙂 🙂 🙂
Travel schedule for 06 September 2018:
Dep 09:28 GMT+1 – Arr 10:59 GMT+1 Train Nimwegen – Schiphol Airport [Luke]. Dep 13:30 GMT+1 – Arr 13:30 GMT+0 KL1051 Schiphol Airport – Bristol Airport [Luke], the delay caused by heavy rainfall at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol [Luke].
Dep 14:30 GMT+0 – Arr 16:40 GMT+1 KL1052 Bristol Airport – Schiphol Airport [Mary + Luke], the delay due to the late arrival of the incoming flight from Amsterdam. The luggage came on belt 9 at 17:00 GMT+1, and we entered the railwaystation 5 minutes too late 😦 😦 😦 A chance for Mary to pick up a double espresso and a plain decaf at Sturbucks, conveniently situated next to platform 3 to catch our train.
Dep 17:30 GMT+1 – Arr 19:02 GMT+1 Train Schiphol Airport – Nimwegen [Mary + Luke]
The rest of the day (evening 🙂 ) went as foretold.
Today Lady Helen Mary Stewart-Wilson flies from Bristol on flight KL1052 in European business class seat 2a, to Schiphol (Amsterdam Airport) where I am supposed to meet her; together we travel by train to Nimwegen. At the railway station Pierre (PP) will pick us up, and at home there will be drinks and a lot to chat. For dinner Pierre will serve his world famous QUICHE LORRAINE. So far the plans. What Lady Mary does not know, is that I take a plane Amsterdam-Bristol, and on the return flight to Amsterdam I will appear as a ghost in seat 2c, next to her. That is a way to spend your MILES from the loyalty program Flying Blue!!!
Travel schedule for 06 September 2018:
Dep 09:28 GMT+1 – Arr 10:59 GMT+1 Train Nimwegen – Schiphol Airport [Luke]
Dep 13:00 GMT+1 – Arr 13:15 GMT+0 KL1051 Schiphol Airport – Bristol Airport [Luke]
Dep 13:45 GMT+0 – Arr 16:05 GMT+1 KL1052 Bristol Airport – Schiphol Airport [Mary + Luke]
Dep 16:30 GMT+1 – Arr 18:02 GMT+1 Train Schiphol Airport – Nimwegen OR
Dep 17:00 GMT+1 – Arr 18:32 GMT+1 Train Schiphol Airport – Nimwegen [Mary + Luke]
North Curry is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Taunton in the Taunton Deane district. The parish, which includes Knapp and Lower Knapp has a population of 1,640. North Curry sits on a ridge of land, 7 metres (23 ft) above sea level. North Curry is a fairly large village, but is quietly tucked away on the southwestern side of the Somerset Levels, well away from the main highways. The buildings, history, and village life make North Curry a surprising gem amongst the winding, hedgerow-bordered country lanes that tie it to surrounding villa-ges. North Curry Meadow is a 1.3 hectare (3.1 acre) biological Site of Special Interest, notified in 1989. The parish was part of the North Curry Hundred. North Curry was settled in Saxon times and was a royal manor in the 11th century. Around 1194, Richard the Lionheart (Richard I of England) deeded North Curry over to the Bishop of Wells, along with other possessions, in exchange for cash to pay off his ransom to the Austrian Emperor, Henry VI. North Curry parish traditionally included the hamlets of Helland, Knapp, Lillesdon, Moredon, Newport and Wrantage. In 1231 Henry III granted a licence for the Bishop of Bath and Wells to deforest the manor of North Curry and enclose the lands as parks. Reclamation of the surrounding moors before 1311 allowed the village to expand. A market village since the 13th century, North Curry’s sources of wealth have included hunting, fishing, and wool trade, with access to other markets via the nearby River Tone. Evidence of the prosperity of the village can be seen in the exemplary architecture, including 68 listed buildings. The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish council’s role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council. The village falls within the Non-metropolitan district of Taunton Deane, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of Taunton Rural District.
The district council is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.
Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning. North Curry is in an electoral ward called ‘North Curry and Stoke St. Gregory’. Whilst North Curry is the most populous area the ward stretches through Stoke St. Gregory to Burrowbridge. The total ward population taken at the 2011 Census is 3,226. It is also part of the Taunton Deane county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d’Hondt method of party-list proportional representation. North Curry Parish Church, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, is nicknamed ‘The Cathedral of the Moors’. Parts of the large, airy church date to the 14th century, and the church was erected on the site of an earlier church. Episcopal records in Wells mention a church in North Curry as early as 1199. The church has a good view of the Levels and moors, with benches placed for walkers and other visitors to enjoy the view from the slightly higher grounds of the churchyard. To assist visitors tracing their ancestry to North Curry, the church has posted a map of the graves in the cemetery. In August 2007, North Curry Church was incorporated into the Athelney benefice of the Church of England. The vicar of the Athelney benefice covers the parishes of Burrowbridge, Lyng, North Curry, and Stoke St Gregory. North Curry has an active history society, village hall, playing fields, primary school, doctor’s surgery, Women’s Institute, cricket club, gardening club, musical and theatrical groups, and a luncheon club. In 2006, villagers opened a coffee shop, staffed by 70 volunteers, in a converted barn. The coffee shop offers artwork and crafts by local artists, along with hot food, homemade cakes, and good cheer. Proceeds from the coffee shop go to charity. The coffee shop is part of the refurbished Town Farm Barn, in the loft of which are housed the North Curry Archives. Apart from artefacts from the past, the records of people and places going back centuries are being sourced daily for those seeking Family Tree Information. In 2009 the Parish Council opened a new 12-acre (49,000 m2) Sports Field in White Street with cricket and football pitches and a pavilion.
Since 11 Januari 2016 North Curry is also a part our lives (Pierre & me), as Lady Helen Mary Stewart-Wilson lives there. On the cruiser we were soon considered to be a couple, although living in different suites: Lady Mary in 8802 on the bridge deck and me in 7004 on the Lido deck. Starting at leg 2 of the 5 leg cruise Lady Mary joined me at the dinner table. There was a “Florence Nightingale Incident” in the night leaving Oman. Visits followed:
August 2017, Mauritshuis, The Hague. From left to right: Pierre Bormans, Alice Young, Luke Barkhuis, Lady Mary Stewart-Wilson.
Harvesting in Somerset 🙂 🙂 🙂
Visiting Somerset day 6 – the voyage (all times: GMT+1)
NCY 11:00 AM – TAU 11:20 AM by car
TAU 11:45 AM – BRS 01:00 PM, by bus South West Falcon
BRS 02:45 PM – AMS 04:25 PM, by KLM Cityhopper KL 1052
AMS 05:00 PM – QNQ 06:32 PM, by train National Railways IC3177
Visiting Somerset day 5
Visit Dunster Castle
Visit Dunster Gardens
Visit Crowcombe church
An unknown visitor will stay over tonight…
Visiting Somerset day 4 – Pentacost
It is not the “traditional” Dutch Pentacost, with Sunday & Monday off, and big celebrationss in church. We consider still to assist the Evening song in the church of Thorn Falcon. We have a lunch at Nick and Sarah. Since I am here the weather is absolutely fabulous, as you could see yesterday on the wedding.
Visiting Somerset day 2 – variety of duties 🙂
Already before the alarm clock went of (08am) there was a knock on the door and a fully washed and dressed Lady Helen Mary walked in. We decided to have my speciality for breakfast: scrumbled eggs with cheese and bacon. Breakfast was served outside. Then, after my shaving and showering rituals, I should come down in shorts, as I was supposed to do some gardening.
Mary meanwhile was busy with the last Royalty news in the Daily Mail.
The result of my gardening efforts was quite satisfactoring 🙂 🙂 🙂
Then lunch, sausages. While Mary is taking a nap, I work on the blog. The afternoon till 5pm we have to ourselves, tonight is the first social engagement.
The todays’ edition of our Dutch newspaper is also in full Harry & Meghan & Windsor-mood 🙂 🙂 🙂
At 07pm off to Taunton for dinner with John and Pat. As John is very ill we were home at 10:45pm. The picture of me gardening had finally come through. Internet is a crime in this small community, as British Telecom assings a certain quantity of data processing for the whole community. The evenings and week-ends are the worst. So I wonder when I shall be able to put next Sarurday and Sunday on line.
I mailed Pierre about a visit of Mary to the Netherlands. When we came back Pierre had answered: his consent for the stay from Thursday 02 September till Thursday 13 September in the guest quarters in the sousterrain floor (garden and pond level 🙂 ). That includes the Byzantine liturgy on Saturday 08 September 🙂
Visiting Somerset day 1 – the voyage
QNQ 08:28 AM – AMS 09:59 AM, by train National Railways IC3130
A Cava at Schiphol KLm Crown Lounge
AMS 12:00 PM – BRS 01:15 PM, by KLM Cityhopper KL1051
BRS 02:45 PM – TAU 03:50 PM, by bus South West Falcon
TAU 03:55 PM – NCY 04:20PM, by car.
And Lucky times revive with a white wine & Gouda cheese.
Today (Saturday 05 May 2018) at 2:00PM and 7.30PM and tomorrow (Sunday) at 1:00PM and 5:30PM the final performances in a serie of eight of:
Oliver! is an English musical, with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. The musical is based upon the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. It premiered in the West End in 1960, enjoying a long run, and successful long runs on Broadway, tours and revivals, after being brought to the US by producer David Merrick in 1963. Major London revivals played from 1977–80, 1994–98, 2008–11 and on tour in the UK from 2011-13. Additionally, its 1968 film adaptation, directed by Carol Reed, was highly successful, winning six Academy Awards including Best Picture. A prominent musical in British popular culture, Oliver! received thousands of performances in British schools, particularly in the 1970s, when it was by far the most popular school musical. In 1963 Lionel Bart received the Tony Award for Best Original Score. Many songs are well known to the public.
In the Taunton production Lady Mary Stewart-Wilson plays the part of Mrs. Bedwin.
Mrs. Bedwin is Mr. Brownlow’s housekeeper. She took care of Oliver when he was sick and taught the boy to play cribbage. After Oliver was kidnapped by Nancy and Bill Sikes and having heard Mr. Bumble ‘s false information, Mrs. Bedwin still adamantly refused to believe that Oliver is a bad boy. Later on, Mrs. Bedwin accompanied Mr. Brownlow and Mr. Grimwig to West Indies. After they returned to London, Rose Maylie brought Oliver to them and told them the real story. Mr. Brownlow adopted Oliver and they lived happily.
In act II there is a famous song of Mrs. Bedwin: “Where is love?”
It was the last full week of April (last week 😉 ) and so I presume that Steward passed by Lady Helen Mary with a Royal Mail and a letter from Buckingham Palace…
The content of the letter is not TOP SECRET: the pension will rise (I hope in these turbulent Brexit times) a few pounds per month. Or -as in the Netherlands can occur- will be the same as last year. However, my dear companion H.M.S.W. has already booked a round the world cruise for January 2019. Long ago.
Quotation from “The Telegraph”:
Leading bookmaker Coral is continuing to see a flurry of bets on:
Mary – it is now the 4-1 favourite.
Alice is second best in the latest betting,
Victoria is 8-1 and
Albert can be backed at 12-1.
Mary is one of the Queen’s middle names, and it was also her grand-mother’s name – Queen Mary – who was married to George V. So, apparently a girl is expected at the Cambridges. Lady Helen Mary Stewart-Wilson will be pleased with all the references to her (second) Christian name 🙂 .
Pleasing the guest…
To please the guest for the Royal Wedding, Lady Mary is looking after matching accessories. I will find this in the guest bathroom to wipe my butt… 🙂 Her ladyship is very picky about things like this. She found the Dutch windmill at Marks & Spencer, I presume in Taunton.