Thursday, October 31, 2013

The so often unexpected happenings in Life ..........

The weather forecasts having issued dire predictions of  the worst storms since 1987 we were perhaps fortunate in this part of the UK as we had very strong winds with lots of rain but no major damage.   I very carefully took down all the hanging baskets to protect the contents from the wind so the garden suffered little ill effect other than an enormous amount of leaves requiring continual clearing up.

On the plus side, it has been an interesting week with a great deal of fun and laughter,  several much needed outings away from the grind of completing orders and finally yesterday,  an adventure of epic proportions.  I celebrated my birthday on Tuesday and my precious family gifted me with some lovely things including silver charms for my Troll bracelet and way to much sweet stuff, which I will have to ration out for several months.  Lovely cards from special friends,  one containing a couple of very pretty vintage handkerchiefs and lace.

Having read about 'The Orchard' some years ago Megan suggested that it might be a good place for lunch.    Situated in Grantchester just south of Cambridge, The Orchard became a tea garden purely by chance.   In 1868 a group of students asked the owner if she would serve them tea under the fruit trees and this became a great Cambridge tradition, soon becoming a popular 'up-river resort' for the students.  In order to supplement their income the owners took in lodgers and in 1909 the now well known poet Rupert Brooke took up residence.   I did not take photographs as unfortunately the orchard has been allowed to deteriorate and is rather uncared for but we had a wonderful lunch and will definitely return in summer to sit outside under the trees.

Yesterday we visited Bath, a journey of some three hours from our home in Cambridgeshire. Our plans to leave very early were somewhat upset by feeding cats,  walking the dog etc and unfortunately the usual traffic hold ups meant we arrived later than anticipated.  Rather foolishly I had forgotten just how icy the wind blowing across the plains can be in that part of England.  Leaving home on a fairly mild day with just a light jacket and scarf was not wise and subsequent events later in the day proved to me that it is worth dressing for all eventualities.

Bath is a fascinating and very beautiful city.   Named Aquae Sulis by the Romans sometime in the AD 60s they built amazing structures around the hot springs.   It became popular as a spa town during the Georgian era with beautiful architecture crafted from Bath Stone.  Here is a selection of photos I took of the Abbey with some of the sculptures on the front facade including a ladder of angels, the Roman Baths, an avenue of autumn shaded trees and the park.  Rather a surfeit of pictures, perhaps I will share more next time.

and on to the epic adventure section of my blog update.   By the time we set off for home the rain and cold wind had set in and we also picked up all the evening traffic.   Not far into our journey Bronwen's car started beeping dire warning messages about needing water.   At that stage we were on the hectically busy M4 and we managed to exit near an office block with a selection of shops and hotels.  Calling for roadside assistance (included in the motor insurance) proved a long winded interesting procedure.  Fortunately we were right outside a 'Subway' and hot chocolate warmed us up for a short while.  Eventually someone arrived,  took a cursory look and said the water pump had died and we definitely could not continue our journey home as it would 'kill' the engine.  We waited for quite some further time for a truck to arrive which loaded the sick little car and the three of us and off we set.   Milton Keynes is known as the city of roundabouts as there are some twenty seven all within a few yards from each other on the one section of the road.  By this time I was totally exhausted and the constant voice on the Garmin of 'enter roundabout and take second exit' was becoming extremely annoying.   Due to health and safety regulations in the UK, the driver was not able to take us all the way home.  We eventually arrived at some obscure place with 'services' to await collection by another driver.   This one had no Garmin voice but had a radio station with the most awful music at a somewhat high pitch and who wants to listen to Frank Sinatra at 1am in the morning!  We arrived home cold, wet and somewhat tired at about 1.30.  Not the most exciting way to end a wonderful day but my daughters are both strong hardy colonials and we had to see the funny side of the whole saga.

I am way behind on my orders and the bears for Witneys so no more gadding about for some weeks,  lots of work catching up to do.

To end a lighthearted photograph specially for All Hallows Eve.

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.
~Author Unknown


Elizabeth said...

Sorry you had such a problematic day, hopefully you visited the bear shop in bath..? and you are fully recovered although a little jaded. All safely home is the important outcome.

Wendy Chamberlain said...

Hi Elizabeth
I found a business card for the Bath teddy bear show which I kept for future reference. Unfortunately as time was limited I did not manage a visit but spotted the shop on the bus back to the park and ride. Maybe next time.


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