Tuesday, 29 September 2015


More train today! We love the train. We even have our fav ticket agent.

Off to Bristol. We got off the train and strolled down the walk a bit to the harbour. You catch the ferry there. Neither the harbour or the ferry are like home. The harbour looks like a big river. It had the second highest tides in the world (we have the first) but they dammed it all off to control that. If they let the water do its natural thing now the city would collapse. The water pressure holds it together.

The ferry is a little open boat that pulls up, you wave them in and jump on. A young man took our money and as the boat was almost empty he spent the 20 minute ride giving us a super tour and loads of tourist info and maps, etc. worth the day right there!

We did the aquarium and the M Shed. The M is a wonderful mish mash of local history and social history. Free and very well done.

The ferry and train home was equally fun. Dinner out at a local watering hole and my first taste of sticky toffee pudding.

Monday, 28 September 2015

The Train

As we start into our last few days we are just crossing a few more things off the wish list.

Today we took the train (our first!) to Bradford on Avon. It was a lovely town. Again it was located in the river valley, so all of our walking was straight up hill. But the views! We found an ancient Norman church that had been saved and made available for viewing. It's so amazing that these things exist!

After we explored we walked down the canal to the next town - Avoncliff. The walk was beautiful. In the 45 minutes it took we were never out of sight of narrow boats. These seemed to be longer stay people and less tourist. At Avoncliff the canal is bridged across the Avon River. Imagine boats floating high above the river! All on a beautiful aqueduct from a few centuries back.

There was a great pub there. It was our best pub experience. We were pointed to a table over by the glowing fireplace. Nothing in the pub looked any younger than Noah, and I'm sure the Ark pulled up there at some time. The food was excellent. We are getting quite fond of cider.

We strolled over the river to find our train just about to leave. At this station the platform was too small to load more than one car - so you need to seat yourself accordingly. I expected to catch the next train, but the driver leaned his head out the train window and yelled "you just hop in here Love!" He reached back and opened the door himself, while the conductor was also popping out of his car to beckon us on. Service!

These are things we will miss!


So we just returned from Another! pint in town. It's Monday, and that means the cathedral bell ringers practice from 7 pm to 9 pm, or until they like what they hear I guess. So we walked along the canal, listening to 9 bells ringing (just a little off course), bats whizzed around the shrubs and someone was playing the Pink Panther in the saxophone shop that is located in the bridge abutment .

Surreal! May have been the Wild Goat cider though.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

It's getting that fall nip over here, certainly cooler than it was.

We wandered today. Ran into some great shopping with antiques and vintage things. However prices are very high, and we can get great stuff at home.

But we did buy tickets to the opening rugby match for the Bath team. What an experience! There is a lovely stadium right in town by the river. It was pretty well full with 12,000 people. I still don't understand what's happening, but I'm getting better. People either had pints or pitchers of beer. Pitchers for individual consumption, that is. Awesome! Bath won, of course. The game started exactly on time. The crowd was polite, even clapping a bit to welcome the other team. We had 1 supporter from the other side in our section and we enjoyed him thoroughly. When they scored we laughed as he cheered, all alone. No pushing in lines. Everyone stood nicely to let people to their seats. Those going to their seats were polite and careful. We could learn a lot over here.

As soon as the game ended everyone headed to the pubs. The rugby club had a big screen up for the Wales/England game. As we walked home you could hear singing and cheering coming from the town as a unit! The pub windows and doors were open! What a unified town!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Slowing Down

We took our cute little car back. All in one piece! Yah!

We want to slow down and relax for our last week. We just walked the streets today and cat wrangled. The neighborhood cats still come for food. We may never get that settled in the time we have left. Leave it for the next ones, I say.

I did wear my new undies today. Lovely, but my own self made do feel more comfortable. It's hard to get that perfect fit off the shelf. But M&S make a darn good try, and it's nice to have the options.

I have been away from my sewing room for over 3 weeks. I am starting to get itchy. I sent my 2 main machines in for a day at the spa before I left on this trip. It was a difficult moment! My babies! If they aren't ready when I get back, I may be more than a little distraught. I think I'll send off an inquiry tonight. It never hurts to check in, eh?

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Cheddar Cheese

I have now been to Cheddar Gorge! The drive in is spectacular! MB, I can't believe you did that in a bus! I have a sister who could not have done that in a coma. The drive is, shall we say, challenging, and breathtaking.

Caves, nice town, high tower for viewing. And Cheddar cheese aged in the fore mentioned cave system! Delicious!

Good day.

Returned in time for my first visit to Marks and Spenser. Lovely! But the second floor was full of bras and such in my size! And at reasonable prices! I wept.

I bought one set but I shall return, methinks. I needed to recover, emotionally.

We went out to our pub for a pint of our Wild Goat cider. Staggered home happy.

Every pub and restaurant here is advertising Christmas dinner. Book your table now! It's a major campaign. I guess no one does their own turkey around here. Interesting.

We turn the car in tomorrow. Just as we were ready to go pro!  The driving is actually not too bad. Reading the road signs is hard. We'd be lost without the iPad. Follow the blue dot! Maybe one more trip tomorrow. See how we feel in the am.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Lacock Village

This is the village that starred in Harry Potter movies and others. Film crew setting up in the courtyard today. Really lovely. We spent most of our time at the Abbey and adjoining house. Wonderful gardens and stuff! The first photograph was done here. We are loving this relaxed, take your time pace. We interrupted our tour for lunch at the local. When we went back we were recognized by my quilted jacket.

It's a great traveling jacket. Cosy, comfy, good pockets and really easy to find in a crowd over here. People do not wear colors here. I get lots of compliments on it though.

Kleenex are more like printer paper. Toilet paper comes in every color. Mushrooms are cheap, but nothing else is. I have yet to see a hedgehog. I really want to see one.

In Lacock they drive down over the bank, through the river and up the other side of the Avon River. It's OK. It's paved.

We have now discovered why we are buying cat food at a fairly frequent rate. The neighborhood mooches are coming in, getting food pouches out of the box and escaping out the cat door. We interrupted this in progress tonight. Cat annoyed. Us too.

Don't ask where the washroom is. They have no idea what you want.

Pedestrians don't have the right of way here. Really. They don't. When you get a walk light you better trot right along, as there is only enough time if you hurry. There is a frantic beeper to hurry you along.

You often see craftspeople working at their jobs. Stone masons working carefully on walls, painters scraping doors by hand and filling pockmarks, thatchers working on roofs. This seems to be the norm. It's fascinating. I'm not sure we value this work as it seems to be here. Actually, the keeping of all this heritage is really making me ask questions. How does it come about that these things are still in use and seem to be the standard rather than the exception? We tend to tear down or 'renovate' things. Mind you, we don't have the age that they have over here.

Gardens are massive and ancient. Even little postage stamp plots are well established. We plant and if it lasts 10 years we are thrilled with the lasting and perhaps tear it out and replant for a new effect. We don't plant for the third or fourth generation from now. Maybe it's just me. I know I'm thinking this trip will have a lasting impact on me. I really need to do some major weeding when I get back.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Henge

We took on our most challenging drive today. We went to Avebury to see their henge. A henge is a stone circle. We knew we could get right up to this one, unlike Stonehenge. It's also a bigger circle than SH.

Well, it was large and easy to get around. But it was a big pile of rocks. We think we'll probably skip Stonehenge now. We did get to see a white chalk horse on a hill, though. Now that was amazing! And we have almost conquered the roundabout!

There were several large groups of school children all over. They reminded me I love retirement. However, they were very well behaved. All of them. This seems to be the norm whenever we see school groups out - even the large groups of teenagers.

Must be something in the water.