Tag Archives: adventuring

Allotmenteer Adventures Abroad


Go find a body of water, the horoscope said. Go somewhere near the seaside. The universe kept on signposting adventures, a getaway, a chance to take stock.

I headed to Lake Garda.

This is the second Italian Lake I have visited, with Como being the first. The lake is pretty, the town where we stayed was lovely and it was fabulous opportunity to have a some down time.

I also turned one year older and thirty three is a the same age as a certain other someone with whom Easter is associated. I didn’t and won’t dwell on the age, the getting older. The silver bothers me, but I’ve been going grey since I was sixteen and I won’t always carry off being a brunette or raven haired. Yes, silver, and not grey.  I have so far resisted dying the barnet; not sure quite how long this non-compliance with social norms will last.  Silver hair doesn’t make me so marketable…I guess.

Anyway. This adventure!

First there was Verona.

This place piqued my interest from the Shakespearean angle. There is the balcony that (allegedly) inspired the poem behind the play ‘Romeo and Juliette’ so every where you see I heart Verona and ‘City of love’. (The cynic in me, took heart from the story about the merchant, who jumped the bandwagon with this is Juliette’s balcony, come have a look) I thought that was Paris, but anyway;  I didn’t feel the love for the love. Verona, yes; beautiful, lots of shopping and culture at ever corner.  I couldn’t help but think that that Romeo would have needed drainpipes for the balcony though. I’ll be damned if I’m shimmying up towards any balconies for a Romeo and anytime soon. The neighbourhood watch would be rather displeased to say the least!

Then there was the city of canals. Being a born and bred brummie, this was going to be interesting. Birmingham has more than Venice, we also have James Brindley. So you know, tough competition.

And this is where I felt the love. This is somewhere I would go back, and with someone special when he turns up. The Grand canal from the Realto Bridge is epic; the sheer size and the life that exists on the canal is pretty damned amazing.

As for the pigeons.


Seriously, they are low flying. Dodge them.


I recall Venetian masked balls…ahem as it were.  I bought one, as you can see; it’s not sparkly or has half a bird attached to it but when in Venice. Then there was Venetian glass. Again, this is meant to  be pretty epic.  I frequented pen shops in both Verona and Venice, and felt like a kid in sweet shop. I feel as though my pen collection is not yet complete. There was window shopping of the Parker Sonnet in matte black, just to see what the deal was. But for now, that would not be entering the writing implement collection.

Venetian Glass plus pen and notebook was going to happen. I kid you not, I sampled a glass nib and I nearly keeled over. But I like my nibs and pens metallic, so I found one that I liked.  Rather than being a cartridge/converter pen, this glass stemmed pen is a proper old school dip in well sort. The notebook is covered with the seal of Venice; a lion with a book. Two motifs, that I can only my best to appreciate. No idea what I might write inside, but it will all come in time.

Was a very interesting adventure, and by the water.

Spot of Adventuring: Brighton, rocks.


Stuffed with chocolate, squash and crisp, Petal’s bag accompanied me on a seaside adventure. The seaside adventure is slowly becoming something of an annual Summer Bank Holiday tradition. Last year, I was fortunate enough to go Bournemouth. This year, Petal and I pootled to Brighton. This was my second visit to Brighton, having travelled there for a Psychology conference. I liked to so much, I wanted to return and this time, for another and different jolly. (The conference was epic in its own right!)


Saturday morning, and I am standing on the beach. Normandy is about 80 miles ahead of me somewhere. The sun is only just coming up over Brighton pier.

It was positively magical.

With hardly anyone around-apart from the obligatory treasure hunter with their beeping metal detector-the beach was at it’s quietest. Was also quite warm actually, nineteen degrees and soon cranked up to be scorching.

We had travelled on Friday, and thankfully weren’t at the mercy of striking train staff. I made a return visit to Planet India; Planet India is by far one of the nicest Indian restaurants I have visited. Plus, for some daft reason, there is always an Indian restaurant frequented during a holiday. I remember being in the North of Crete and going to have an Indian dinner. It happens! Planet India is pure vegetarian restaurant, and the food is amazing. If you fancy an Italian eatery, then pop to Edenum; good food and lovely staff! Two places where I have enjoyed eating, and think are worth a mention if you are ever in that neck of the woods.

On a previous visit to Brighton, I had walked passed The Royal Pavilion in the evening and it was rather pretty as it was lit up. I actually managed to go in this time, and have a good look around. On the outside, the building does rather echo the architecture of the Taj Mahal. I’ve got the advantage of having seen the Taj, so I can see the similarity. On the inside, there is a heavily Chinese and oriental influence. I do rather like History, and the history of this building made it a good visit. We even saw a bride and groom who were celebrating their nuptials as we passed through the Music Room.(She looked stunning, and had a beautiful bouquet). I have to say, that it was the first floor that got my attention; the section on Indian Army soldiers who were housed there during the war and also Queen Victoria’s apartments rather left an impression on me. Plus, as I work with veterans from time to time, seeing how the Pavilion was used as war hospital did underpin the experience.

Then there was the West Pier. I do remember seeing pictures of this and even reading about it. There were some vague memories of it being burned down, and some rather grainy BBC footage of smoke. And there it was, as large as life. The structure is all bones, and because of that, it looks a little sad and unloved. I couldn’t help but feel that it needed a bit of hug. The obligatory walk down the main Brighton pier was taken; we didn’t have fish and chips, or ice cream for that matter, but it was a nice walk.

There was a lot of walking around Brighton, and that isn’t a bad thing. A lot of Brighton is accessible on foot. We wandered around the North laine and also the older lanes. If you need a rock, a shiny one and set in platinum, then the lanes is your ticket for finding one. (So is the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, to be honest, but that was my first thought.) A lot of Jewellery shops, and lots of shiny stones; but also lots of quirky indie boutiques. We ended up in ‘That little Tea shop’ and had a lovely cuppa with cake. This place is rather cool, with war-time inspired furniture and fittings. A real gem, and a cracking good cuppa.

As you can see, the weather wasn’t bad! I have the slightly burned and crispy feet to prove it. It is always such a gamble going to the sea side on August Bank Holiday weekend. Good fun was had, with good food and a very chilled atmosphere-well, actually no, the hotel was boiling, even with the constant whirring of a fan.

All in all, a lovely adventure. Cheers, Brighton, you were fab.