Wednesday, 4 January 2012


December 29th. We awake to grey skies and cold wind in Southampton and make a leisurely light breakfast before heading to  our members only departure lounge just after 8 expecting quite a wait before being called to leave the ship. No! We are told we can leave immediately and make our way to the gangway and descend to the luggage claim area. Hello Jean, says Erica, one of our table mates – so glad to see you. Erica has a memory problem and could not remember her case checkout number so I accompanied her to a member of staff to help her. Whilst I was doing this Mike had found our cases and was very impatient as he waited fro me to go over with the luggage cart. The member of staff called him “nasty” which shocked him & me – but in this instance, correct.

We left Erica in the capable hands of staff and left the terminal expecting a long wait in the cold for our taxi to the car park. However, he was there within a few minutes of our phoning and we were reunited with our car and set off for Poole in Dorset.

Our friends have rented a posh pad in Sandbanks  until they return to Spain in May. One of the most expensive property areas in the country it once was a wildlife haven of sand banks now covered in million pound plus properties. It is a narrow spit of land, water on both sides and is likely to be under water if global warming is to be  believed so why they have built on it the way they have is a mystery to me. Of course, mega money has been attracted to the area which provides employment etc. but the mish mash of buildings is quite ugly. Some gorgeous, others hideous.

BEFORE How I remember Sandbanks from my childhood.

Beach at Sandbanks.



L&B’s apartment is very modern and has some sea views. It is ideal for a holiday home but would be rather cramped for full time living.

We were made very welcome, taken for lunch in a very crowded pub in the New Forest which just proves I guess how very popular the area is – especially compared with Torbay. The village was called Burley and quite pretty in the drizzle.

We sat at a table near to a comforting log fire. The one on the left in this picture.



We were rather astonished when 8 people with very hairy large dogs came in and walked right through the pub.

Who in their right mind would bring 8 smelly dogs into a pub at lunch time? They were quickly ejected and were later seen outside in a covered area – looking cross!

We shared our different starters ( like Tapas); Mike enjoyed his first decent pint and we returned to the apartment for a cuppa.

Early evening we walked to their local, Cafe Shore , not a pub but a modern restaurant with a separate bar area. Very swish but very noisy as there was a wedding party in there. Then it was home for our eagerly awaited dinner and B surprised us with BBQ ribs A LA Alan in Spain. Gorgeous they were to. We enjoyed a video of Calpe in Summer which we have never seen. Very busy and the beaches packed with mostly Spanish people. We also saw C & A’s new house which looks very inviting – hint hint.

We had an early night and we parted company next day – us homeward bound and L & B off to family in London for New Year.

To be reunited on 10th January.


  1. How can these land developers do this? Same thing happens on the NC coast where multi-million dollar properties are built on oceanfront property just awaiting the disaster of the next big hurricane!

    Glad your cruise was great for the most part and that you're home safely. Hard to envision you guys in a different house - look forward to seeing it perhaps at the end of the year!

    Been laughing about the balloon - you and Bob are funny!

    Fabulous doggie photo here Jean - you could do a lot creatively with that shot!

    Happy New Year to you both - hope it's healthy and prosperous! Let me know what's going on with E and kids. J/A/H were in Teignmouth to visit S & J just before Xmas when they were in Cirencester for the holidays.

    Love and hugs - Mary xx

    P.S. Lovely Xmas card - many thanks - I just didn't get around to sending any, too late when I got back from Asia and now it seems foolish to even bother - sent e-cards but of course they are not enjoyed by many!!!!!

  2. That's really interesting, when you were describing this area I thought immediately of the North Carolina coast. Glad you're home safe and sound after such a lovely holiday. Happy New Year!!!


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