20 August.  We have arrived in England in Staines-Upon-Thames. To go through customs was a quick and painless exercise. Te taxi was waiting only we did not know exactly where. When we arrived we found a house that is set up for guests. All information about how to use appliances, how to find your way around is neatly displayed. Whatever you want in a house is here. Not as luxurious as the previous house but very comfortable.
Day one a random drive through the countryside. Coming from Holland which also has narrow roads but are maintained well. Just the opposite here. The roads so far are a patchwork of bitumen. Also the drivers here don't like to wear out their indicators. Where we are is only a ten minute walk in to town which I have to do to get the paper. When I Googled what to see in Staines there was only one thing apart from pubs and shops and that was a statue of people carrying a roll of linoleum. Frederick Walton invented it in 1855 and started a factory here and was the main employer for many years.



                     Staines linoleum statue                     Part of the seven sisters                   Midsummer Murder location


23 August. The weather is either cold and raining or subtropical. Today we went to Windsor and the castle. Dark blue sky and a beautiful day to walk around. No photo's allowed in the castle and I kept comparing it to the Versailles in Paris. Not fair offcourse but on the other hand it only took us 20 minutes to get in and not millions of people inside.
Next day early away because we wanted to hit Brighton and the limestone coast east of it. Brighton a tourist mecca. Despite it being school holidays and the warmest day so far this year 32 degrees, there were not many sunbaking yet. One of the famous landmarks is the Brighton pier. We only spend a short time here, more to see and parking is very expensive. It is not only the cliffs of Dover. Here they have the highest limestone cliff in England. The seven sister. I expected a similar view as in Australia with the seven sisters bits of limestone peaks sticking out of the sea. Here it is a number of hills with a sharp drop-off to the sea. There are several walks to the ocean. If you are really keen you can do the whole coastal walk and take the bus back. Not us. On the way back I experienced for the first time what a traffic jam really is. Cars waiting for miles and miles.
26 August. Weather still good. There are a lot of places around here where the TV series Midsomer Murders was filmed. We followed a few cities around Thame and Henley on Thames. Wherever there is an information centre they have pamphlets setting out the locations. There are tour operators doing bus trips. All in all an interesting day. Next day to a Royal Show. We have not been to one in Australia for years and this was a very small one. Not a lot of people despite it being good weather.
We looked at vegetables, old cars, falconry display and jumping motorbikes. Next day rain but we were going to visit family of Susan. Matty van Rooden. A pleasant ride to her and we had a scrumptious lunch. Back over the motorway.
29 August. The day started dreary so cleaning and laundry. In the afternoon we visited the place where the Magna Carta was signed. (The basis for our constitution) An old working lock and a medieval Roman village which constituted nothing more than the ruins of the wall.


                       London Eye and Big Ben                                       Typical street scene               White Cliffs of Dover


30 August. A beautiful day was forecast and we decided to go to London. This involves a 20 Min. walk to the station, a half hour train ride and 10 min walk to the London Eye. Fro here you can walk to a lot of famous sights. We paid for Westminster Abby. Whatever you do here the entrance fee is around 20 Pound. And we paid this with another million people. No photo's allowed as with all the other castles. When we got tyred of walking we took the hop on hop off ferry. They have a very lively and entertaining commentary. One disappointment the battery of my camera packed it in. We will be back. The train ride back was not as relaxed as the one up. A million people waited for the announcement on which platform the train would depart and as soon as this was announced everyone pounced on the train. I am happy that I don't have to go through this every day. Next couple of days we just explored the little places west of us. You find that the next place is only 15 miles away it still takes a long tome to get there. Traffic lights, roundabouts. England must be the roundabout capital of the world.

3 August. This was supposed to be a castle day. Highclare castle is famous because Downton Abby is filmed here. Tickets are sold out for the few days it is open each month but they suppose to have a few for people who have not ordered one. We rose early and were there well before opening time but the castle was closed, bummer. Next one, Donnington castle. At least this one is always open. Ruins only but interesting. Next one Basildon Park. This is a large estate, build in 1777 and still lived in till 1979. We spend a few hours here. 
Next few days lousy weather and we did not do much. 6 August Back to London. This time we took a hop on hop off bus. It was overcast but dry and not cold. Traffic is a nightmare especially when you are not used to a large city. But it also meand you spend a fair bit of time on the bus without getting very far. First stop Tower Bridge. When we passed it a wee earlier the battery of my camera packed it in and I had to have some piccies of this. Followed by a visit to the Tower of London.
Susan wanted to walk through Harrods. We waited for ages to catch the next bus but in the end got there. The prices in here are ridiculous not that we wanted to buy something but to look around at this is no joy for me and Susan did not want to spend too much time here either. Just to get back to the train station in the bus took forever. Home again at 8PM.
7 August. Dover. All I knew about this were the white cliffs but when we drove in to town we saw a sign castle and drove in. This was the best decision. The displays are fantastic especially the hospital and tunnel tours. After this the cliffs. The castle was the highlight the cliffs a disappointment. The Seven Sisters we visited a few weeks ago were stunning. The cliffs are high but ragged and the view not spectacular. I walked to the lighthouse and when I got back Susan was fast asleep in the restaurant. On the way back we visited Canterburry cathedral. It just closed when we got there but the whole area around the cathedral has a lot of old houses, very interesting.