Easter (2019)

Heckington‘s most famous attraction – the eight-sail Windmill

This year, we spent most of Easter with Denis in Heckington.

Good Friday

We left home fairly early (8.15am) and there was hardly another car on the road. As a result, we made record time and arrived just before 9.45.

We’ve got plans to catch-up with Bev too whilst we’re up here, but that’s tomorrow, as we’ve got plenty of jobs to do for Denis in the Garden to keep us busy today!

Scorchio!

And it looked like we had perfect weather for it! After a quick coffee, we got to work. Our two major chlenges were…

…paint the newly installed fence panel…

… and (my speciality!) jet-wash the patio.

So, whilst Ann sorted the fence, I got stuck into the delights of a Patio that hadn’t seen a pressure-washer for a good few years!

Three hours later, it was ‘job done’ – the Patio had never looked so clean and in Ann‘s case, all the fence panel needed was a third (or maybe a fourth) coat.

Easter Saturday

Another hot day forecast – this is turning into a very atypical Bank Holiday weekend!

Scorchio (again!) 😁

We had a lie-in until the impossibly-late hour of 7.15am! Another day, another two challenges presented themselves – the shower attachment and (because it’s Heckington) a wildly unpredictable interweb signal of any kind (unless the wind was in the right direction). In fact, the strongest signal was actually in the bathroom, but juggling a mobile in one hand and the shower head in the other, was clearly not an ideal strategy! ☺

We somehow survived and spent the morning sitting out in the Sun soaking up the glorious sunshine!

11.00am: Time to get Denis ready for our Lunch where we’re catching-up with Bev too! Bev had booked The Swan Holme nearby, and after picking her up, we headed for our 1 o’clock table.

Swan Holme Tavern, Lincoln

We were super-early (12.15) but we were seated without a fuss. Service was brisk and we were soon tucking-in.

Score Draw! Gambles 2 : Palmer 2

1.45pm: After our feast, it was back to Bev’s for teas and coffees and to catch-up with neighbour, Lynne.

2.30pm: Time for goodbyes and then we headed back to Denis’s to appreciate the remaining sunshine!

3.30pm: Back at Denis’s where Ann re-organised the Kitchen and Utility Room whilst Denis took on the role of Observers!

5.00pm: Time to catch the last of today’s Sun and put another coat on that fence panel – will we EVER darken it down? (it’s now had about five coats!)

7.25pm: The Sun went down and it turned a lot cooler – so we retreated to the Lounge and watched a bit of TV for the rest of the evening.

Easter Sunday

Scorchio again (again!)

8.35am: With another hot day in store, our plan today was to complete a few more of the smaller tasks in the Garden.

The extra coat we’d put on the fence panel last night, finally (finally!) seems to have done its job – it’s toned-in nicely!

9.15am: First job today is to turn the soil and plant ‘a crop’ of sunflower seeds

Before…
After…

10.30am: Statutory tea-break!

10.55am: Final job of the day was to prepare the legendary ‘Gambles Dahlias’ ready for planting on our next visit…

Job done!

11.30am: A quick vacuum, strip our bed and then prepare Lunch for Denis – and we’re done!

Our work here is done!

12.45pm: Lunch is served! πŸ˜‰

1.25pm: We said our goodbyes and had one of the best runs home ever – 1 hour 15 minutes.

2.30pm: With the car unpacked, it was a quick cuppa, washing on…

6.00pm: …and then dinner in the Garden. I can’t recall the last time we had so many hot days in a row over Easter! πŸ‘πŸŒž πŸ‘πŸŒž πŸ‘πŸŒž

Easter Monday

Ann went off to her volunteering morning at Kelmarsh Hall, whilst I caught-up with my reading. Tonight, Conor dropped by to have Dinner with us.

All-in-all, this has been a superb Easter break! Weather-wise, it couldn’t be beaten with wall-to-wall sunshine from Good Friday right through to Easter Monday! 😁

Visit to Bletchley Park (2019)

The Mansion at Bletchley Park

We haven’t been to Bletchley Park since, well, I don’t know when!

It was certainly before I started blogging regularly – a rough guess was back in the early 90s!

We set-off just before 9.30, picked up Conor C (our treat for getting himself into the Army), and headed-off to see what had changed there.

Since that first visit, a lot of money has been spent on preserving and improving this iconic location – a location so important in the 2nd World War timeline. It received a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant back in 2011, as well as various other donations – and now looks all the better for it 😍

The Lake at Bletchley Park

Initial impressions were good excellent! First of all, there’s now a reasonable-size car-park (I think we parked in a side-road back in the 90s!). Additionally, there’s a proper Admissions/Ticket area (a converted Hut) leading to a short, but powerful audio-visual introduction of the significance of Bletchley Park – a great start!

It’s not difficult to appreciate the significance of the great work done here. Home to almost 9000 staff at its height, history has recorded that the efforts of Bletchley’s staff, shortened the War by almost two years.

The Admissions/Ticket area

The next thing we noticed was whereas, during our 90s visit (where the Mansion was the focal point) now, all the main attractions were housed in the numerous Huts.

Still, the Mansion is most definitely worth a look! It’s beautifully restored and it’s now a place for various code-busting-related exhibitions and an outlet for their Bletchley Park Gin launched just yesterday. Luckily, for Gin-lovers, there were free samples today too! πŸ₯΄

After a thorough look round the Mansion, we headed for the famous Huts. There was plenty to see here. The Lottery Grant and donations from big names such as BT, Google and even Steven Spielberg, has, IMHO, been spent wisely and appropriately, So-much-so, I think it’s one of those attractions that’s worth a second (or even third) visit to take it all in.

And if authentically re-created code-cracking rooms from the 40s aren’t your thing, there’s probably the most comprehensive exhibition of various code-breaking machines that I think I’ve ever seen! πŸ‘

…and a general history of super-computing from the perspective of code-breaking too, using a wide variety of static displays, AV presentations and touch-screen interactive screens…

‘The Bombe’

In fact, there was an awful lot to take in, and I’m pretty sure we’ll be returning before too long (helpfully, tickets are valid for a year!) 😁😁

To complement the machines, perhaps, as expected, there’s a very comprehensive set of displays outlining the genius of Alan Turing.

Statue of Alan Turing

“The Geese that laid the Golden Eggs and never cackled” – Winston Churchill


So many Huts, so little time! πŸ˜‰. We’d now all ODed on those, and after about an hour-and-a-half, we headed for our penultimate stop – the National Radio Centre – a brilliant showcase for radio communication technology…

“10-4 Good Buddy!”

…from valves to 5G, it had it all !

Our final stop was their new D-Day Exhibition. Perhaps a little smaller than we had imagined, but there was still plenty to see!

The ‘D-Day’ Exhibition

To finish, it was the obligatory look round their Gift Shop. It sported a good range of the normal tat, plus plenty more far more intelligent choices! πŸ€”

Surprising Fact of the Day

I didn’t realise how important pigeons
were in World War II!


There’s an interesting article HERE


1.45pm: We headed home and dropped Conor off at his. Reflecting on the day, we concluded it had been a very enjoyable experience. It’s fair to say Bletchley Park has been completely transformed since our first visit, 25+ years ago – and what an experience!

All of today’s photos but none of my chat HERE πŸ˜πŸ‘