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October 2017 - Spain

This year we decided to take a two week trip to Spain. The first week was just Marie and I going into Malaga and then moving on to Cordoba and Cadiz for a couple of nights in each. Our second week our grand-daughters and their parents joined us for a week in Benalmadena. The girls are 6 and fours old this was not only their first trip abroad but also their first trip to the coast.

August 2017 - Tower Bridge

South Tower

Our Wedding Anniversary

To celebrate our 9th Wedding Anniversary Marie and went to London and stayed overnight on the Sunday and returned home on the Monday evening.

On the Sunday we firstly visited Tower Bridge and took in the exhibition along the walkway between the towers well above the road. You get some terrific insights into the construction project and some fantastic views in both directions along the river.

After that we made our way along to Greenwich to visit the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College. Here we went on the guided tour of the restoration work being carried out on the ceiling.

In the evening we had dinner at The Ivy At Tower Bridge and that was absolutley fantastic.

On Monday we went to the Geological Museum, The Natural History Museum and then St Paul's Cathedral, so quite a busy couple of days.

We also had the rest of the week off to go out and about in.

Westwards along the Thames

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On the opposite bank we can see the building dubbed "The Walkie Talkie" which is 20 Fenchurch Street, the London Address of my current employer.

Looking East Towards Docklands

St Katarines Dock and Thames from the top of Tower Bridge.psd

On the North bank in the foreground you will see a little clutch of boats around where the entrance to St Katherine's Dock can be found. In the distance you can see the towers of Docklands. I used to work there for a company called telent. It was not with one of the banks or other financial institutions found there but an engineering company maintaing safety on the London undergound network.

HMS Warrior


HMS Warrior was built in 1860 and was Britains first iron-clad warship.

HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizaeth is Britains latest warship and is only recently launched.


June 2017 Back To Madeira

Quinta Boa Vista - Orchid Gardens


These Orchid Gardens ar absolutely fantastic!

These gardens are run by a dear old British lady and they are easily reached from the centre of Funchal by either a 20 minute walk ro a 5 minute taxi ride. There is always something to see here all year round as this garden is home to a wide variety of ochids and other plants. Something is always in season.

The estate is now looking a little run down and in need of some repair to be honest but the flowers are just there to be admired and wondered at. There really is a huge variety on show here. These are not gardens as such but a huge greenhouse and provides cut flowers to the world over.

Pico do Arieiro

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The Pico do Arieiro at a height of 1818 meters the third highest peak on the island and is the highest point accessible by car. Views are spectacular up here and when there is very good weather, it is even possible to see Porto Santo, the neighbouring island, which is situated 30 nautical miles to the north.

It is quite spectacular to see the peak bathed in sunlight whilst the clouds roll in below you from the North Coast and watch them creep up towards you.

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Quinta do Palheiro Ferreira

These Gardens are also known as Balndy's Gardens after the winelodge and they are spectacular not only for the planet but for there setting high up in the hills above Funchal.

Jardim Tropical


These gardens are located high above Funchal in Monte and can be easily reached by bus, taxi or by the Cable Car.

View From The Cable Car

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May 2017 Birthdays

In The Garden

A little fall of rain brought out the roses in our garden to their full glory

May is also Marie's birthday month and these are some of the flowers She was sent

April 2017 - Portugal

We decided to make the most of Easter by going to Portugal for a week and spent 4 nights in Lisbon, 3 on the Algarve and one night in Alcacer on the way back.

Now I did enjoy my stay in Lisbon and I would go back but.....

I had my pocket pinched and wallet stolen within a few hours of getting there

Yes you are warned, yes I was aware but it still happened.

Thank you for asking but no I did not lose much cash but had to stop my credit card and also lost my driving licence so we had to reorganise our cire hire. Not so easy when all you are left with is a debit card and need to change a driver.

There are a great many things to see in Lisbon but for me I just as much like the views across the city and looking at all the different colours of the buildings. Lisbon from a viewpoint can make other cities look quite drab. Mind you though there are some parts where down at street level that story changes.

The Algarve is a truly striking coastline and this particular beach is at Beliche which is between Sagres and Cabo Sao Vicente on the Western stretch along the Atlantic. Even in April it was actually quite warm but also very windy.

This place is called Alcacer Do Sal which is near Setubal. The reason we went there is that the Castle you see on top of the hill was our hotel for the night.

February 2017 - Murcia Region - Spain

For Valentine's weekend Marie and I decided that we would return to La Escondida as we had enjoyed our stay the pprevious year. This time though we decided that we extend our brak by starting off in the Murcia region. We stayed at one of the Paradores hotels in Lorca which is a spectacular setting of its own.

Here though you can see the Cathedral of Murica and I thoroughly recommend a visit to this little city.


I have a fondness for Roman history and so a visit to Cartagena and a view of it amphitheathre was a must.

November 2016 - Cambridge

November 18th is my birthday and the 19th is the birthday for my tow friends Nick Keates and Steven Manser so we decided to share a treat for our birthday. Unfortunately Steve could not join us but Nick and I decided that we would see Glenn Hughes perform his new album material at The Junction in Cambridge. Unfortunately the gig was cancelled but fortunately we had already booked tickets for our wives to go and see Nathan Caton at the same venue so we just got two more tickets and had an infinitely better evening than would have been the case. I bought the album and do not rate it, sorry Glenn

November 2016 -

A visit to Duxford to see the Imperial War Museum's Aircraft collection on the 20th was a n absolute must. Two hints here

  • One - there is an awful lot to see
  • You need to keep you partner involved too
so maybe looking at two visits to get it done is all I am saying.

November 2016 -

I took a week off for my birthday and spent a day at RAF Hendon, a museum documenting the RAF from its inception in the days of WWI all the way up to the current date. It is an absolutely fantastic place to visit and it is free!

The place was actually undegoing an overhaul of its Battle Of Britain Hall and same for the British half of the Bomber hall. But all this is readiness for a relaunch to celebrate the centennary of the RAF. SO looks like I will have to visit again soon.

Unfortunately my pictures did not really do the place justice so I have bought a flashgun so hopefully better results on the next visit.

October 2016

Like I have said before we like Madeira and we found a deal too cheap to resist and went back a second time this year

The picture you see above is at a tinly little secluded spot called Ribeira De Janela. When you get down on to the beach you discover that people have built all of these little stone stacks all over the place - there are hundreds of them. I felt that when I was getting down low for this shot I was looking at some sort of album cover for a prog rock band.

The deal we found was for the Pestana Grand Ocean and I can honestly say it was a most enjoyable stay

One of the consequences of going to the same place so often is that you tend to eat in the same places timie after time. Marie and I like to try new as well as having the comfort of knowing places we like. Here are some links to places that we tried that were new to us this time around.

June 2016

We have been going to Madeira for a number of years and now the place really feels like home!

The picture above is of Cabo Girau where there are spectacular views to be had. We had not been there for a few years and this was our first time since the have built the glass bottomed observation point. Oddly enough it was not so populated before the platform was built and to an extent I think it has diminished the experience slightly. Now it is just too populated to spend a good amount of time with your camera there. The popularity with the tour groups from the liners (which is again a relatively new event) makes it just a little busier. If you had not been before you will neither know nor care as it is still a wonderful view.

This year we managed to try 2 or 3 restaurants that were new to us, not easy after so many years and you do tend to fall into going to the same places over and over. For me the best one was a place called Cris's. Now if like me you think that it is worth taking 5 Star Trip Advisor reviews with a pinch of salt then I have to say this was rated #1 and we tried it and loved it. It really was excellent food and value.

The other restaurant we went to for the first time was the Restaurante Do Forte and that was every bit as good. Both of these restaurants and the also excellent Restuarant Goya offer tasting experience menus where you get a 3 Course meal with Amuse Bouche and wine for €40. It really is bargain.

May 2016

For Marie's birthday we went off to Rome for a short break

We spent four days and nights here and managed to see most things we wanted to; The Colosseum, The Forum, St Peter's Square, The Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountains for starters. There is so much to see and we could not possibly see eveyrthing we wanted to so I dare say we will go back at some point in the future.

For Marie's birthday meal we went to the Hotel Forum Roof Garden Restaurant and the meal was excellent. Some nights the forum is lit up but not the night we were there. However until the sun set you did get a rather good view towards the Capitolino.

Why have one hobby when you can have two

Ever had a day when you wanted to go out with your camera but the weather was too foul?

I had promised myself that I was going to use my camera that particular weekend. I had intended to go out with it but it just tipped down with rain from the get-go. I was quietly sharpening my colouring pencils when I noticed that the shavings looked quite interesting when I tipped them out of my sharpener and just decide to see what I could with some shapes and colours.

April 2016

Febraury 2016

For Valentine's day my wife had arranged a surprise trip to Spain for a long weekend break.

What a wonderful surpise this was!

We stayed for 3 nights at the Hotel La Escondida which is near a village called Penaguila in the Alicante region in the mountains halfway between Valencia and Alicante.

Check out my review of our stay at La Escondida at Trip Advisor

We enjoyed our stay there so much we have already booked again for 2017


My name is Michael Gaylard and these are my personal web pages.

I have nothing to sell

I have nothing to offer or provide free

And I certainly no wisdom to impart.

These pages are pretty much for my benefit but if you find something of interest here then all well and good.

Aside for the blurb all about myself you will find here some of the results from my family history research. I have researched rather more than just my immediate family and have cast my net fairly widely over the Gaylard family name so if you have an interest in the name then please ask as I may have some information to share.

My Main Hobby - Photography

I love taking photographs especially of places visitied. I am not so keen on portraits, snaps or pictures of my cats. Don't get me wrong I do all of these things but they are not what interest me. But as Marie and I like to go on holiday then I look to look to capture the sights for memories.

My Photo's Around the net

I guess that partly because they are free it is possbile to come across my photographs in a number of websites - mostly travel. Here are some links to ones I know about:

I have also started to think more and more about taking different styles of pictures and so you will see some of my considered compositions.

The Ivy At Tower Bridge

Read my review on trip advisor

Then make a booking and go there!

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

What a full day out!

Actually there is far more to see here than you can manage in one day. In the day we were there we managed to see the Mary Rose, have lunch, visit Boathouse 4, see the Jutland Exhibition and then tour HMS Warrior. That leaves an awful lot still to see. Which is why we bought our All Attraction ticket online (it is cheaper online) and the ticket is valid for 12 months so you can go back and revisit and see the other stuff you missed. Bargain!

Arundel Castle

So local and I pass it by when I go to visit my mother but not visited for so long. Well it's a castle so not much changes! It is a really good day out on a nice day so you can walk around the gardens and Chapel too. But there is more to see in Arundel too, quiet little old town that it is.


ibis Lisboa Centro Saldanha

As a hotel this one come at a good price and has all that you need without anything that you don't. It is in a reasonable location in that there are places to eat, close to the metro and not far from the city centre. I would stay there again I guess but it is really only for a short stay and a place to sleep for the night.

Lisbon Airport (T2)

See my review of this terminal on Facebook

Mercado Da Ribeira

You may have seen this place covered on Rick Stein's Long Weekends and been intrigued or apetised. We had and were so went to try it out and what a wonderful place to eat it is!