ENGLAND 2022 ROUND-UP | Elderly people, the rise of USB ports, Platinum Jubilee dessert flop and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic

June 2022. Making the best of four weeks off, after the Mediterranean cruise for Danny and Mexico for Timothy, we organised a train trip in England. On the menu: Bletchley Park, the night train to Penzance, the Dartmouth Steam Railway and the Isle of Wight. On the last day, we roamed around London to sample the new Elizabeth Line.

We had joy and we had fun in England, back in June 2022. Initially, we were supposed to travel to Scotland on the Caledonian Sleeper, and have a sumptuous lunch on Great Western RailwaysPullman Dining. But announced industrial action – i.e. a strike – made us change plans. 

Danny was quick to formulate a great alternative, involving the Isle of Wight and the Dartmouth Steam Railway.

A few phenomena caught our attention.

1: Pre-pension

The whole week, we were surrounded by pensioners. The youth were still having school, the elderly were out and about. Maybe the areas we visited were particularly popular with the elderly. Are Cornwall and Devon popular with the seniors? 

In places such as Paington, there were road signs warning for elderly crossing. I rue not having a photo of that.

The elderly.

2: USB ports

In trains, in the family hotel which was Channel View in Paignton and even in London restaurant Magenta. Often power outlets also had a USB port to charge you devices. It seemed almost standard. 

Why isn’t this the case in Belgium? It’s so easy for travellers and for locals.

USB port

3: Pudding 

For Queen Elizabeth II‘s Platinum Jubilee – she’s 70 years on the throne – a dessert was designed via a contest. The winner, Jemma Melvin, designed a lemon and amaretti trifle with Swiss rolls

It sounds and looks pretty good. But it’s a flop. It’s too complicated and time-consuming to make, you can’t make individual portions, which bars it from being sold in let’s say Marks & Spencer and it turns out to be too expensive.


So we couldn’t find any. Bummer.

But(t)… we did find spotted dick. And I am talking about food, not a hook-up. 

Spotted dick.

4: Corona as an excuse… and a reason

The COVID-19 pandemic still is an excuse for less service. For instance, there is no afternoon tea at Osborne House anymore. At least not when we were there.

And then there’s the staff shortages which can be felt everywhere. When travelling, you can feel it in restaurants, pubs and hotels. You have to wait longer for being served.

Brexit will also be a factor for staff shortages. We surely saw some patriottism in Devon. Paington was full of Union Jacks. 

Breakfast hours are limited and we had to book a time slot. So the breakfast staff could manage better. The earliest we could have breakfast, was 8 AM. When you have full day planned for an excursion, that is late. 

Fill in the form.

You can sense staff are stretched, patience is running low and stress levels are high. Let’s hope things get better. But I’m not sure that will be anytime soon. 


We enjoyed this trip. But we couldn’t help but notice 2019 is not coming back.

England 2022

  1. ENGLAND 2022 | Bletchley Park.
  2. REVIEW | GWR Night Riviera sleeper train from London to Penzance.
  3. DEVON | Cruising River Dart from Totnes to Dartmouth.
  4. DEVON | Dartmouth Steam Railway from Dartmouth / Kingswear to Paignton.
  5. DEVON | Paignton – Totnes – Dartmouth.
  6. REVIEW | The Channel View Boutique Hotel in Paignton.
  7. ISLE OF WIGHT | Osborne House.
  8. REVIEW | Haven Hall Hotel in Shanklin on the Isle of Wight.
  9. ENGLAND | Isle of Wight 2022.
  10. LONDON | The Elizabeth Line and the Crossrail Place Roof Garden at Canary Wharf.
  11. REVIEW | The Gyle London.

24 Comments Add yours

  1. elvira797mx says:

    Interesting post! Wonderful cake recipe! Love it!
    Thank’s Timothy for share.
    Lovely day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      Thank you Elvira.

      Would you try it?

      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. elvira797mx says:

        Always a pleasure Timothy.
        Looks delicious and inspiring me…
        I love to try it sounds amazing.
        Great day as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. icefogger says:

    Nice post. I came to the same realization on my recent trip about 2019 not returning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      … and unfortunately it’s not better…


      1. icefogger says:

        No, it isn’t

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Timothy says:

          Let’s hope it does get better eventually…

          Liked by 1 person

  3. pedmar10 says:

    And they left the EU !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      Yes! Mistake of the cetury.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Matt says:

    As a Brit, I can only apologise for your experience… But what you’re describing is unfortunately the reality of living in the UK at the moment.

    I must say it baffles me that we still get any visitors at all. 🤷🏼‍♂️

    Unfortunately the UK is a shadow of its former self, and each day more bad news seems to come out, rising costs, workforce shortages, extreme right-wing decisions pushed through by government. It’s a bit bleak living in the UK at the moment, pretty much entirely because of Brexit (and corporate greed).

    Many of us brits, especially the younger ones, are still pro-EU and open minded.
    I’m proud to call myself a European and count myself very lucky to live right next door to Europe.

    London is cool, and we do have some nice places – Bath for instance, and the Cotswolds. But generally there are far better places to visit than the UK, just a stone’s throw away!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      No need to apologize. But indeed, the effects of Brexit are very visible.

      Danny is going to Bath in August. We haven’t done the Cotswolds yet… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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