the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

Holiday 2013

Back from holiday in Somerset. A great week, as always far too short. Highlights:

  • we stayed in a converted gaol, slung up circa 1693. The cottage was beautiful, but in keeping with the 17th century charm, all the interior door frames (even through false walls) were just over 5' high, and by the end of the week the top of my noggin was a patchwork of cuts and scrapes and bruises. As I said to Ronwen, 40 years of expecting to walk through doorways upright and unscathed does not magically evaporate within a couple of days, no matter how much blood you've lost.

  • got to see Glastonbury, and Glastonbury Abbey. The abbey grounds are amazing and the numerous ruins that remain are beautiful. Glastonbury is apparently some great vortex of ley lines and stuff and so the bits of the town around the abbey are a mass of shops flogging the esoteric and spiritual and occult. Woo. The town is very nice though and we visited a proper aufentic British tea shop which made awesome cheese scones.

  • we visited Bath. I got to see Bath in September last year, so I was quite the show-off about knowing where we were and what there was to see, but the missus one-upped me and knew exactly where we needed to go for lunch. Bath remains one of the most beautiful and architecturally fascinating cities I've ever seen.

  • we went to Wookey Hole, which is a cave complex and if the spelling isn't obvious enough, has nothing to do with intergalactic hairy teddy bears. Caves themselves pretty cool (but not perhaps as deep or hard core as the Sudwala Caves, say). The other side of the caves had a circus museum (inter alia) and one of the weirdest 360 degree mirror passages I've ever walked through.

  • Longleat Safari Park and Longleat House. The safari park is pricey, but the day was well worth it. One of our car's windscreen washer nozzles remains in the rhesus monkey enclosure. Little buggers. Apparently lions are completely unfazed by zero-degree temperatures. Who'da thought? A heap of wild animals, and then to the 'adventure park' which included a tour of parts of Longleat House and a real live hedge maze.

  • a plug for the Oakhill Inn in Oakhill, which we visited for a most excellent lunch after our nth unsuccessful attempt to eat at the much-recommended place up the road (fully booked, busy painting, closed because so popular don't need to be open 7 days a week, &c &c).

  • we were planning to see Stonehenge on the way home (having last been there when Leo was a few months old). It was freezing cold and windy, and we got halfway across the parking lot before our child informed us in no uncertain terms that he did not care for the present atmospheric conditions and fully intended to moan non-stop until we were back within the warmth of the car. I, for once, was quite in agreement with my son's prognosis for the expected enjoyability of proceedings, and quickly agreed that it might make sense to return to the place in summer when it was a bit warmer. And so we went back to the car and came home.

  • there wasn't any snow while we were in Somerset, but there have been flakes falling (but not sticking around) on and off since we got home on Friday. A fine and fitting way to end a late-winter holiday.

Also noteworthy is that I finally got a new cell phone before going on holiday, only to find that our village was in a valley and had no reception. My phone takes great pictures, but somewhere along the line the 'upload' functionality for my blog got broken, so no pictures to accompany this post (yet). Some snaps will make their way to Facebook as the new toy makes it all but unavoidable for me to get my social networking groove on.

{2013.02.24 22:46}

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