Martine's Blogs (21)

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I’m not one for days on the beach. I don’t believe in roasting myself in the sun for hours on end (part of the reason I look much younger than my age). So why do I choose a cruise to the Caribbean? What else do you go to the Caribbean for?

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This was the second of two back-to-back (B2B) cruises that I had booked some 15 months earlier as an add-on to the Mediterranean cruise described in Part 1. It seemed like a good idea at the time to use up some extra Future Cruise Credit (FCC) that I had got when the original Mediterranean cruise I had booked was cancelled.

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Cruising again after a nearly two year break due to the covid situation, I did two back to back cruises in late 2021, the first being a two week cruise to the Mediterranean. The second of the two cruises to North Europe is in the part two blog to follow.

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This was the event that got postponed twice from March 2020 and the second one that I have attended. It took place at the Haddon Hall Hotel, Eastbourne over three days. 8th-11th October.

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This was such a wonderful weekend of dressing up and making lots of new friends. On Friday evening, there was a fashion show with entertainments and an auction of some very special items. A ‘Meet the Frockers’ breakfast on Saturday morning, a procession in the afternoon and an FUF Ball in the evening. Finally, there was Sunday cocktails and relaxation on the beach but unfortunately, I missed out on the Sunday fun.

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Another Steampunk event! This was the third one I attended in two months. There was Kelham Hall in May, Papplewick Pumping Station only two weeks previously (see photos on here), but I could have been to several other events too. Just about every weekend recently, there has been a steampunk event not too far away from me. And there are several more to come in the next few months!

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For the last several years, the largest Steampunk Festival in the World has taken place in Lincoln over the August Bank Holiday weekend but this year it has had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. However instead, the Ministry of Steampunk (the organisers) arranged a socially-distanced steampunk gathering at Kelham Hall, near Newark, Nottinghamshire.

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Only 5 weeks after my first ‘taster’ cruise on the Queen Victoria (see separate blog) I embarked on a one week round trip cruise from Singapore up the west coast of Malaysia to Phuket in Thailand, preceded by a 3 night stay in Singapore.

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I took my first ever cruise aboard the Queen Victoria in early January; just a short 2-nighter from Southampton to Hamburg. The Queen Victoria is reckoned to be a good choice for a first-timer and I thought this cruise would be a good taster to see how I would take to cruising life. Well I loved it and I think I have become hooked!

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I thought our first Dumbleton Days event at the Dumbleton Hall Hotel last year was very good but I feel our second one in November 2019 was even better. Everyone I spoke to said how much they enjoyed it; and that included the staff at the hotel who told me how much they are looking forward to us returning next year.

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The Asylum Steampunk Festivals, started 11 years ago, have become the largest Steampunk events in the world. It is held over the August Bank Holiday weekend and this year I was joined by Rachel, Amanda and Maxine.

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Most people are amazed when I tell them my age but I really was 80 this June and to celebrate I held a garden party on Saturday 22nd June (my birthday was actually the next day). But besides my age, I wanted to celebrate the completion of much of the work on the renovation of my home and a significant part of my garden. I also wished to show off the mural I had completed on my garage wall. All off which I’m pleased to say was well received.

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Since giving up Repartee, I have had more time to go to events other than my own and one I had long fancied going to was the TransLiving Weekend at Eastbourne. It was quite a distance for me, a four and half hour drive, but I was very glad I made the effort as I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend.

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I think I can claim that our first Dumbleton Days event at the Dumbleton Hall Hotel in the Cotswolds was a huge success. Everyone was saying, as they bade farewell, how much they enjoyed it and how much they were looking forward to coming again next year.

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