40th Wedding Anniversary

Margy and Bernard’s special wedding anniversary

The main reason we were in Cleethorpes was for the 40th wedding anniversary of David’s sister Margy, and her husband, Bernard. Members from both sides of the family gathered together for the happy event at the local Golf Club. Her two bridesmaids flew in from South Africa, and the two flower girls also arrived one from Abu Dhabi, and one from Mongolia.

40 years ago in Zimbabwe

Now, celebrating with Margy

 The bride and groom with the Bridesmaids and Flower girls

 Margy and Bernard with their 4 children

Cutting the cake

After the cutting of the cake, it was time to eat.

 Margy’s side of the family

Bernard’s side of the family

The Coughlan cousins

 Finally, we all lined up for a memorable photo of that memorable day,
One we will never forget.

Elizabeth Coughlan


Cleethorpes, North Lincolnshire, UK

It's official - Cleethorpes Beach is named the most beautiful place outside of London.

We arrived in Cleethorpes ready for a special family gathering. But more of that in my next post. Cleethorpes is a seaside resort on the Lincolnshire east coast of England, on the south bank of the mouth of the River Humber. The Humber has big tides, so the sea goes out a long way, as you can see from the image above, leaving a vast expanse of mudflats. It is wise to check the tide times before venturing far out, as the sea comes flooding back in very quickly, and can fill channels behind you to cut you off.

Cleethorpes began as a fishing settlement but evolved instead into a seaside resort when the 19th-century fashion for sea-bathing developed. This was greatly boosted by the arrival of the railway. It thrived until the 1960s when the Med became accessible to British holidaymakers, and traditional resorts declined.

While in Cleethorpes, we visited the Boating Lake.

The Boating Lake is actually two lakes joined by a connecting channel.

The lake abounds with wildfowl like ducks and swans,
but also, more exotic ones like Barnacle and Greylag geese.

Two Barnacle Geese

 A pair of Greylag geese

We really enjoyed our stroll around the lake. As we came out of the parkland around the lakes, we noticed The Signal Box Inn, also known as the Smallest Pub on the Planet.

The Signal Box Inn measures 8x8 feet

Another interesting landmark nearby is The Bus Café, run by Emma and her sister. Emma used to run Emma’s Café from her home, providing homemade meals, cakes, customized salads, fruit pots, and much more.  Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, Emma’s daughter didn’t like working from home as she felt she was living at work. They thought of running their business from a truck, but then there were many people doing that, so they thought, “How big can we go?” That’s when they thought of a café in a double-decker bus.

 Emma and her sister, Amy, run the Bus Café in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.

Within a week of coming up with the idea, Emma had bought her bus and acquired the plot, so she was up and running. She opened her Bus Café on June 2018, and it was very popular.

Emma in The Bus Cafe

Unfortunately, in October of that year, some low-life scumbags broke into the bus one night, stole whatever they could, and then set fire to the bus. Emma was devastated after all her hard work, but the amazing person she is, determined to fix it all. She ran the café through home deliveries, until she was able to refurbish the bus, and had it up and running again the following March, with the help of her family.

The upper deck of the Bus.

Customers enjoying a coffee

Today Emma has a thriving business. You can follow her success on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/The-Bus-Cafe-1302146153257892/ and get a glimpse of the wonderful food on offer.

Elizabeth Coughlan


Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia Revisited

Darling Harbour is a great location for any tourist visiting Sydney.

We stopped off in Sydney, on our way back to Abu Dhabi from the Upper Hunter Valley, and decided to go for a walk around Darling Harbour. It really is an interesting area; Darling Harbour is constantly renewing itself, there is always something new to see, or experience.

(If you are interested in the history of this area, here is a link to my previous article: http://geriatricgapper.blogspot.com/2016/04/darling-harbour-sydney-australia.html

One thing we noticed immediately on arrival, was the Ferris Wheel. This is a new attraction on Darling Harbour, and definitely wasn’t there the last time we visited.

Although much of the harbour is surrounded by high-rise buildings,
there are lots of trees, and cool fountains to calm the atmosphere.

The Chinese Garden of Friendship is close by, with its Guardian Lion at the entrance.

You could easily spend a whole day in Darling Harbour, with all the activities and sights to see. Here are just a few:

1 Australian National Maritime Museum
2 WILDLIFE Sydney Zoo. ...
3 SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium. ...
4 Madame Tussaud's. ...
5 Flight Experience Flight Simulator. ...
6 Chinese Garden of Friendship. ...
7 LG IMAX Theatre and 9D Action Cinema. ...
8 A multitude of Shops and Restaurants.

Reflections in the glass front of the International Conference Centre, Sydney, in Darling Harbour

Although buildings are sprouting up all over Darling Harbour, innovative architecture has ensured the area isn’t overwhelmed by them. The International Conference Centre (above) is Australia’s largest convention, exhibition, and entertainment centre. It has over 70 meeting rooms, three theatres and two formal ballrooms. Large spaces in front of the building, and the glass front reflecting the sky gives a feeling of light and air.

Darling Harbour’s relaxed and laid-back atmosphere,
makes it an ideal place to stroll around

Tourists, and locals, enjoying the open spaces.

I particularly enjoyed this angle of the ICC,
Where the building seems to vanish into the sky.

We plan to be back in Sydney in November. I can’t wait to see any new developments. I am sure there will be some.

Elizabeth Coughlan


Memorial Walk, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Memorial Walk, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

We spent a week in Newcastle while our grandson was having his tonsils out. The weather was stiflingly hot, so we didn't get out much. One thing we did manage, though, was to take the clifftop Memorial walk, constructed to commemorate the centenary of the first major military action by Australian and New Zealand forces during WWI. The walkway spans 450 metres from Strzelecki Scenic Lookout to Bar Beach, with outstanding views of the coast and the city.

Plaque at Strzelecki Scenic Lookout

The walkway is decorated with steel silhouettes of soldiers which are engraved with thousands of family names of men and women from Newcastle and the Hunter Valley who served in the Great War.

Silhouettes of soldiers along the walk...

...can be seen on both sides

Memorial Walk has two main sections. The first section starts at the Strzelecki Lookout and takes you over the bridge to the next major viewing platform. The second part of the walk is a stairway that leads down to Memorial Drive and Bar Beach.

Stairs lead down to Bar beach from Memorial Walk

From one side of the walkway, there are views of the City...

…from the other side, you look down the steep cliffs to the Pacific Ocean

A coastal walkway leads north to Newcastle Beach

After all this, if you need to walk some more, there is another walk to the north of Strzelecki Scenic Lookout that leads along Newcastle Beach and round to Nobby’s Beach at the end of which is a lighthouse that has been active for over 150 years.

Nobby’s Lighthouse ensures the safety of ships going into and out of Newcastle Harbour.

Newcastle is Australia's second oldest city, and a fun destination, with beautiful beaches, fine dining, and a true Aussie welcome feeling about it. It is definitely somewhere I will want to go back to again.

Elizabeth Coughlan

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I couldn't resist this one!