The International Steam Pages

Points of View, 2012

For convenience I have now grouped lifestyle illustrated features by topic:

This page is just one of several describing aspects of our '2012 new life', for earlier and later pages use the West Gloucestershire link above.

While Yuehong's Aunt and her husband were mainly based with us in Mitcheldean, a London tourist visit was unavoidable, we showed them around for a day, spent another day getting Yuehong a Malaysian visa for our next Penang trip and then left them to it for a week. On the appointed day, I spent a morning talking with an immigration lawyer while Yuehong took advantage of some unusually fine weather to get the kind of pictures that will have kept the folks back home satisfied. Never mind that millions of other tourists do the same every year, without them this country would probably be even more bankrupt than it is.

However, even before they set foot in London, it was clear that this was just a box ticking exercise and what they most wanted to see was a few views of the our countryside at its best. Fortunately, not only do we live in an area where view points abound, for most it isn't necessary to work up a sweat to get to them and in one afternoon, we collected '3 of the best' in our area at Yat Rock (Wye Valley), the Kymin (Monmouth and the Welsh Hills) and Littldean Hill (Vale of Severn and the Cotswolds):

Twice we ventured into the Black Mountains further into Wales, here the countryside is more rugged and as the name suggests they are high enough to be cloud covered most of the time:

And within reason and despite their age, they would go 'the extra mile' to get to the top of a hill, particularly as we kept showing them our local landmark May Hill:

Geologically, May Hill is related to the Malverns some 20 miles away and both are separately visible from a field near Linton to the south-east and north-east respectively.:

And finally almost at the end of the holiday we took them there, this is how it looks from the ridge looking east to Great Malvern and Worcester.:

Unfortunately, the climb up to the iron age fort at the south end was more than their bodies could take so we took this one for them:

On their last full day in Britain, I took them to Painswick Beacon for one final view - this shows Gloucester and the Malverns, to the left out of sight and against the light are May Hill and the River Severn.

Next day, we drove them to Heathrow for their flight home, for the first time on the trip they were silent. I would like to think that the prospect of returning home to a polluted and grey Beijing was not totally appealing.

Rob and Yuehong Dickinson