G'day Guys.,

Just back from two weeks away in Merry Old England and Bali. I had a great time and did lots of good English walks (beach, lake, forest, downs, moors, hills, villages), investigated something of Roman England, spent time in great old pubs, did what interested me in London (museums, walks, parks and gardens), caught up with a good mate (Cheers Albert), meet and chatted with the locals and even chased up the village where "The Changes" where set. I still love that book.

The Lakes District was cool, lots of good walks and floating on the Lakes was very peaceful. I went on up the coast from there to Carlisle and then along the old Roman wall of Emperor Hadrian. Had a great time, even if the weather was a bit poor (cold and damp). I attended a Roman re-enactment day at Corbridge on my last day in the North of England. I had a great time and took heaps of pictures. My bag is getting heavier by the day with all the books that are going into it.

First day in London, I just did a short walking tour of the local historic buildings. Day 2, I did the British Museum (lots of stuff, but nothing interactive and no reconstructions), London Museum (very good with loads of reconstructions and interactive stuff - loved the Roman Era), and did the Jack the Ripper walk. That area is still creepy and I had to walk back alone to the tube through some very narrow and dark lanes. Day 3, was the Victoria and Albert Museum, Battersea Park, The Wine Museum (they even do free tastings) and Hampstead Heath.

I did quite a few Roman museums over the two weeks, even managed a few days trips from London to catch more Roman history. St. Albans, Vindolanda, Chesters, Corbridge, Roman London, Fishbourne, Chichester, Orpington. Also did the Sherlock Holmes museums, pubs and shops. The food in England was a bit lacking for me. Expected heaps of nice old style roasts and ended up with Chinese and Indian instead. Had the best baked spud with sour cheese ever while touring Hadrianís Wall. And the blue cheese quiche at Fishbourne was simply wonderful.

Had a good day in Bali, during my stopover on the way out. Did two Hindu Temples, Kuta Beach, had a seafood feed on the golden sands, toured through the city, had a few local beers and sampled some great seafood in the fading twilight on the way back to the airport.

The flight back was long and trying. I had a 5 hour transfer in Bali, couldn't leave the airport like I did on the way over, but made the most of it with a few beers, some duty free shopping, Japanese food in a cool restaurant and an oil massage (neck, shoulders and feet).

Bruce grabbed me from the airport and Vasu checked that I was OK this arvo.

July '02.