Memory loss

‘Do you remember what we did in Tours?’ Mum and I still question each other but either of us can’t recall anything in detail. It was because we were more concerned about mum’s injury than paying attention to our first French city since our road trip eleven months ago.

From Caen Ferry Port to Tours was about 274km and the journey took us just under 3 hours.

Fortunately, the hotel we checked in had a lift so it made our life a lot easier, especially mine as I had to carry all the luggage.

After unpacking, we shared a bottle of beer and discussed how the day went. ‘Hope I will feel less pain tomorrow.’, mum said longingly and I nodded very hard because I couldn’t agree with her more.

One thing I remember clearly was the receptionist at the hotel. He told me that Aikido was his hobby and I taught him typical Japanese greetings such as konnichiwa, konbanwa and matane.

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Uncertain beginning…

My mum had done it again. So what had she done?, you may ask. Well, let me explain.

Everything seemed to be going swimmingly then…

After finished checking in at the gate, we moved to a security check-point and a staff there asked us to step out of the vehicle. ‘Mum, he wants us out of our car.’

I didn’t see what happened because I was occupied with the security guy and mum was at the other side of the car but she stumbled as she was climbing out of the seat and took a rather awkward tumble.

The security was all clear and we were allowed to return to the car. As I buckled up and started an engine, mum confessed what she had done to herself.

‘You did what?!’

She showed me a red mark on her knee as she recounted the circumstance of her little accident. ‘Were you hurt?!’ ‘I think I twisted my hip when I tried not to fall.’ Oh no, mum…

The journey to Caen Port was to take five hours and her injured hip started to bother her as soon as we settled ourselves in our reserved reclining seats.

‘Don’t worry, mum. I’ll fetch painkillers from the car!’

I went down to the car deck with a steward and brought back the medication and a yoga mat. ‘Mum, lie down flat on the mat.’ Even though she found it a bit embarrassing at first, she admitted that resting on the mat felt much more comfortable than on the reclining seat.

The ferry was busy with school children. It looked like there were at least three separate school trip parties on board and the kids were everywhere except the reserved areas.

You go and entertain them!

Good luck, Mr.Teddy…

Then, I went to the upper deck to take some photos so I could show them to mum…

I wished if she could come with me because the views around the upper deck area were spectacular.

We are almost there!

‘Oh, why did this happen to me?’ Mum sighed as she did her seatbelt. ‘I’m sure it will get better soon if you take it easy for a while.’ I tried to sound optimistic even though I was not sure at all.

It was hardly an auspicious beginning of our road trip…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Sound & well!

My apology for not updating a blog for a long time. Mum and I are very well and enjoying our road trip through France enormously.

Initially, I was planning to write posts everyday as we travelled place to place. However, Wi-Fi I connected at each hotel wasn’t very fast nor strong enough to upload pictures, and I decided not to blog while I was on the road.

Today, we are staying at Sisteron, a town with spectacular ridges and boulders!

I shall blog about the place properly once I am back in London with a faster broadband connection…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Unhappy Bella

Apparently, Hubbie and Bella are not very happy in London. He complained about Bella’s excessive barking when I phone him from Toulouse to find how they were getting on.

‘She doesn’t stop barking!’

Oh Bay-Bay!

I imagine she is very bored and also confused about my absence. I wish if I were there to entertain her so both Hubbie and Bella would be happy. However, I am in France and doing my best to make mum happy. Oh I don’t know what to do…

BTW, wi-fi at most of the hotels we stayed so far are terrible! The signals are so weak and mum and I are very frustrated!!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

HMS Victory @ Portsmouth

Our annual mum & daughter road trip kicked off from Portsmouth. The ferry we were to board would leave the port city at 8 o’clock Monday morning, so instead of leaving London in the early hours on the same day, we decided to stay overnight near the ferry terminal.

It took about 4 hours for us to drive from London to Portsmouth.

My new holiday bag!

I bought it at Urban Outfitters on Oxford Street because the colour reminded me the blue often used by Matisse:)

One place I always wanted to visit at Portsmouth was Historic Dockyard…

And especially, the world famous HMS Victory was an absolute must. Ever since I watched the film, Master and Commander, I was fascinated by the warship during the Napoleonic War period.

‘Do you think we have enough time to visit HMS Victory and Mary Rose?’ I asked at the ticket office. The staff advised me to opt for the battleship alone as the place was to close in an hour’s time.

Admiral Nelson, a hero of the Battle of Trafalgar…

There were a very few visitors in and around the attraction…

It was because the masts of the warship were modified to the half of their original heights, the vessel looked rather small and less intimidating…

However, we came to face to face with rows of guns as soon as we stepped into the interior…

There was a staff on the gun deck and he explained to us that those formidable weapons were manned by a team of up to 14 men and the highly trained crew could fire them every one and half minute.

There were guns everywhere…

A view from the top of the quarter deck…

There was a brass plate near a quarter deck which indicated the exact spot where Lord Nelson was shot by a French sharp-shooter…

A steep staircase which connected the sunlit upper deck to the more clumped and perpetually dark lower deck…

Life as Nelson’s seaman must have been a very harsh one. Can you imagine how one can survive on a battleship in which every available space was stuffed with guns and explosives?! It sounds already pretty hazardous as it is and once a battle commences, it must be very very hellish…

The broadside of HMS Victory…

You definitely don’t want to be on the receiving end of those guns…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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