FROM THE BLOG

The Ancestors

I had it drummed into me from an early age that family and knowing where your roots come from are vitally important. My Grandfather, Edward Gordon Gedge, told me fantastic stories about his aristocratic life and my parents often said to me that I had ‘blue blood’ in my veins although I had no idea what they meant, and that I could trace my ancestry back to William the Conqueror.  Living in New Zealand, I didn’t have any appreciation of my ancestry until I first came to England and visited Whitmore Hall – my roots; the ancestral home in Staffordshire.  […]

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Giant storks and drunken bees in Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech, Morocco 2007 Our trip began with the most amazing breakfast on the rooftop terrace of our riad. Birds and bees flying around and we were surrounded by pots of colourful bougainvillea and pink hibiscus flowers. Our breakfast consisted of brown bread and traditional rghaif – Moroccan pancakes, mint tea, fresh strong coffee in silver pots and home-made fig or orange jam which the bees went bonkers over while tiny birds bounced around the table snapping at the bread. The bees turned into clowns – they would perch on the edge of the jam pots and suck at the jam[…]

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A lush life in Kenya, Africa

This was one of the earliest posts I’d written – in diary form – about my first trip to Africa in 2005. Photos were taken by a Samsung digital camera so are a bit grainy and dark! Somebody Pinch Me! I’m in Africa! Have just woken up beneath a huge mosquito net in a massive room with a private balcony, our own en-suites and the most spectacular views overlooking a tropical garden and the ocean. We’ve been here only one day but had the most amazing time. We were met at Mombasa Airport by a driver who took us to[…]

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Thieving monkeys and grumpy vice presidents in Transylvania

By Jane Wynyard – Poiana Brasov, Transylvania, 2005 Forget Dracula, vampires and werewolves. The most menacing creature you’re likely to encounter in Transylvania these days is a thieving monkey dressed in a blue suit that hangs around nightclubs. A resident at the ski resort of Poiana Brasov in the Southern Carpathian mountains, the jittery, red-eyed primate with the sharpest fangs in the business, is usually shoved by its Dracula-like owner into the arms of gullible and unsuspecting tourists. If you don’t pay the 150,000 lei (three pounds, fifty) for a photograph, the monkey bares his fangs, extends his long spidery[…]

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Fresh off the boat – the Adventure of a lifetime begins

December 24, 2003 – Roma The adventure begins!!! Had a great flight from New Zealand apart from the fact that I was bitten on the hip by a spider that was in my bed the night before. As a result my leg was in absolute agony and I had to lie across four seats and keep moving to stop the pain. The wound got really itchy and ulcerated . . .Amazing what a little arachnid can do to a leg! However, most of the plane was empty from Bangkok so slept most of the way. Thai airways is average –[…]

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Caipriniha and Caiman: Travelling by riverboat on Brazil’s Amazon River

By Jane Wynyard – Amazon, Brazil 2004   Roaming through the Amazon jungle with its piranha-infested waters and riverbanks crawling with caiman is no longer an adventure just for the Tarzans or Indiana Jones of this world. For a few hundred pounds and with plenty of adventurous spirit, lots of mosquito repellent and the willingness to smell as bad as a wild baboon, tourists can now spend days, even weeks, travelling through the dense tropical forest. And you don’t need whips, primitive knives or swinging vines to venture through the trees. Eco-tourism in the Amazon has opened the door to[…]

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Sailing down Egypt’s Nile

Egypt 2004Following in my grandfather’s footstepsMy grandfather grew up in the royal palace in Alexandria, Egypt so this trip was very poignant for me. Gordon, my grandfather, died at the age of 95 in 1991 and was an Olympic medal winner (Antwerp Games) and a decorated soldier. But it was his stories of growing up in Egypt that I remember the most.My great grandfather was an Admiral and naval adviser to the King of Egypt – Abbas II. He was also honoured with the title of Pasha in 1912. The family moved into the Royal Palace and my grandfather (we[…]

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