"WELCOME TO MY WORLD" BerniShand's Profile

Berni Shand 30 August 1955 - 23 March 2007

Hello fellow VT members it is with great regret that I must inform you that our beloved wife, mum and grandmother, Berni passed away in the early hours of this morning. I would like to to take this opportunity, on behalf of the whole family to thank you for the support that you have shown Berni and Carl throughout the last fifteen months, they loved you all and considered the VT crew to be an extension to thier quite small family. Rather than let this wonderful page that our mother devoted so much of her life to whilst both 'researching' and writing her tips, we as a family would like to take over where mum left off. Carl, Carla, Christian and I will all add our own Shand family magic everytime we go away. We probably won't be as good as Mum but atleast when we are out and about on our hols we will always have Mum with us as we think 'That's a good tip for VT!'. We won't take anything away from Mum's pages as it should be you guys that do the taking.. Taking advice from the most travelled and knowledgeable person we have ever known.

We will be saying farewell to Berni at Peterborough Crematorium on Monday 2 April at 1300hrs. We will forward any donations received to the Sheldon Ward Fund. This the cancer care ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn that Berni visited throughout her treatment.

Over to Mum:

Hello and thanks for stopping by, please leave a comment to let me know you`ve been. Just because theres a smiley face by my name it doesnt always mean Im here, it means Ive forgotten to turn the computer off or that I have fallen asleep at the keyboard [I do that a lot]

2006 was a busy year for us, a weekend in London in January for the big VT meeting, March found us at Disneyland Paris with two of our children and grandchildren, in April we visited the US for the first time, renewing our wedding vows in Las Vegas with a bunch of VT friends, then on to Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon and Sedona. In late June we took our lovely grandchildren to Turkey for fun in the sun and July found us in Rome
Late August, early September we visited South Africa to do a safari near Port Elizabeth and explore the area around Cape Town and we had a wonderful trip to Toronto, New York and Niagara Falls in October made special by meeting a bunch of our VT friends, all this and visits around the UK too, we did some adding up on New Years Eve and were amazed that we`d travelled just under 40,000 miles in 2006, with all that plus several of our VT friends coming to stay, hospital treatments every three weeks, rebuilding a Classic car [OK thats Carl not me, but I have to listen to blow by blow accounts of work in progress] ..... how can I ever say Im bored ?

I have recently started to have to use a wheelchair from time to time so Im very grateful for advice on travelling with one, we havent discarded the L plates yet*


dont worry, lm not going to get all evangelistical, but l have definately changed since finding VT

I used to run away from a fight, or sit on the fence
now if I have a strong opinion I will voice it

to the suprise of many people here l am at heart a shy person who is useless at small talk, however in this silent faceless world of virtuality l have the courage to `talk` to strangers and reach out and make new friends, this has spilled over into my real world giving me more confidence and communication skill

while l have always loved travel l now find myself looking at destinations which will enable me to meet with some of the wonderful people l have met here, if you had told me before I joined VT that l would travel half way around the world and stay with people l have never met, whos voices l have never heard, and whos faces l have never seen but who were as dear to me as any old friend l would have thought you were mad, but I do and its wonderful

ln several areas l have become more tolerant and more open to other peoples viewpoints, l feel less British and more of a World citizen, l have mentioned before that one of my favourite VT moments was sitting at my computer crying with laughter at some silliness in the Misc forum, and realising that people all over the world were laughing with me, perhaps we should try and persuade our respective governments to join so they can see what a real global community is like*


l am not a natural blonde

l have been a mother since l was 17 and have four grown up children

l have a phobia about bristle brushes - the sight and sound of them being used by someone else makes me feel ill, although l can use them myself

l love laughter, jokes, puns and word play

l dont read or rate pages when people ask me to, and l dont ask people to read or rate mine

l dont reply to emails asking me to send money, give out personal information or start relationships with men, however Im happy to hear from people who want to talk about just about anything else

l am useless with technology and have never felt the need to understand the more complicated workings of my computer

l didnt start to travel properly until l was 40, despite being bitten by the travel bug as a small child

l have been married to Carl, VT member camcorderman, since 1978, he is my best friend as well as my soul mate, you can read a very special tribute to him written by a wonderful lady by clicking HERE

the other love of my life is shoes, l used to have have three times more pairs of shoes than l had outfits to wear with them, sadly I cant wear heels any more so the shoe collection is now shared between my daughter and daughter-in-law

l love to cook and my favourite foods are Indian and Italian

although l love reading l do not like Classical literature, soppy love stories or Chick Lit and have absolutely no desire to read War and Peace. l enjoy travel books and thrillers

l hate talking on the telephone

l have had the honour of being photoshopped several times by RobDavis

my favourite drink is Bacardi and Coke

lm ashamed to say that after all this time l am still only typing with one finger, the touch typing course is still in its wrapper,
this is why l dont venture into Chat very often, but you can usually find me laughing in the Miscellaneous forum and that will probably never change, if you are new to VT and want fun and friendship its a great place to find both*


I have been blessed with my friends
they have cheered loved prayed for and supported me through some dark days and l dont think l`d have got through the last two years without them

l dont need to name them here, they know who they are

thank you all*


Take an unbrella with you, even if you are going somewhere it never rains, they are great for giving you your own bit of shade

Before you leave home write everyones name and address on sticky labels then just stick the label onto their postcard

Touring? pack your clothes in bin liners inside your suitcase, you arent going to be anywhere long enough to unpack and if shorts, tee shirts and undies are all in their own little bag it saves rootling through your case

Choose one of those brands of skincare products that periodically give away sample sizes and use them when travelling

If you are going to a hot country take plenty of rehydration treatment with you, when you sweat a lot or get a touch dehydrated they really help you feel better

Take acidophillis capsules with you [available from health food stores and herbalists] replace the helpful bacteria in your body after a bad case of upset tummy. We take one every day while away and never GET an upset tummy

B Complex vitamins are helpful as an insect deterrent, please dont ask me why, think it is something to do with pheremones, but taking the maximum dose daily does seem to help repel them

Please, wherever you go have the courtesy to learn how to say hello, goodbye, please and thank you in the language of the country you are visiting



I like reading travel pages, particularly travelogues, and especially like those with a wry or humerous slant
some of my favourites can be found among the pages of the following members [in no particular order]

for stunning albums of watercolour paintings ......Sir Richard

how to survive swimming in polluted rivers, being bitten by rabid dogs and generally getting home again in one piece.....Travelinxs

for pages that really bring Goa to life, recommended reading on a cold wet winters afternoon.....Eddie101

for a wry look at Asia and essential tips on the smoking lounge in Kuala Lumpur Airport lan-in-Bangkok

for a great insight into small town Australia.....craic

all you ever wanted to know about Skegness, and quite a bit you didnt, from a writer who will never be givin the Keys to the town [much to his relief].....Sourbugger

join Larry in Switzerland in the tracks of James Bond, then go into misc and try and make him laugh out loud at work.......Littlesam1

this lovely lady`s pages about Slovenia made me long to visit, and it was wonderful ....KristaB

a newish member with a great narrative style and an liking for beer [always an asset here, especially in misc] is johngayton

read the India pages of Canadienne and its almost like taking a journey there with her

Sim 1 writes her tips in order so that you feel you are with her on her trip, I particularly enjoy her Sabah pages

this is not a definative list, more will be added soon*


Rufus is a Miniature Schnauzer, of course he doesnt know he`s a dog, he thinks he`s human, when we travel he goes and stays with his Aunty Mandy and is fed bacon for breakfast and roast dinners. He`s probably the most clumsy dog in the world and has never understood the concept of a glass door, if there is one there he`ll try to go through it when its closed, but he has a loving soul and when I am here he will be close by either sitting on the sofa or asleep on the floor with his head on my foot so that I cant move without him knowing

Thousands of thanks to Ron, VT member RonTocknell, who sent me this cartoon of Rufus, Ron is an artist and cartoonist, I did try explaining to Rufus what an honour it was to have his portrait done but he was more interested in sniffing my keyboard for biscuit crumbs*


This is probably the best travelled and most adventurous chocolate hedgehog in the world, it arrived one Friday after a 3 month journey from Canada via America and Scotland, sent by our own dear Darby and delivered by Gillian
it was almost a shame to eat him, but he was soooooo yummy Im learning to live with the guilt


Thank you to my mate grumpybum for my new member picture, My husband and many of my friends call me B*

  • Intro Updated Mar 23, 2007
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