Jill and I went down to see Dan – as his flying visit last week had not satisfied my maternal lurve for him – no the truth is that we had already booked the Travelodge and we wanted to go away for a few days!
We set off – as usual later than we intended – and came off the motorways to mosey down the A roads at Oxford. The first A roads were huge and more like motorways, but by the time we got to Cheltenham it was a little more scenic. We had completely forgotten that the clocks had gone forward, and didnt realise until we had left the motorway and were committed to the A roads. We were supposed to be meeting Dan at around 1730 – but we agreed that as he didnt finish work until 1700 he was just being polite about us being there that early and would be just as happy to see us later.
We phoned him once we got to the Travelodge – and no, he was wanting us there FOR 1730 – something to do with visitors on site. We dumped our stuff in our room and left, and after only one turn-in-a-cul-de-sac found Boreatton Park in all it’s glory.
Dan was waiting for us and we went straight out in search of a Pizza Hut and some petrol as the orange warning light had just come on in the car. We had a drive around the ring road around Shrewsbury but not only were there no Pizza Huts to be found – but every petrol station was shut. We even got lured off the road to a huge lit Tesco sign saying ’24 hour petrol’ – only to find that the only part of the store that was built and finished was the sign.
In the end we decided to go to Telford as we knew where the Pizza Hut was there – and it being a town built on roundabouts and roads with the houses as an afterthought – there must be loads of petrol stations!
We found both within one retail park, and the nice man in the Sainsburys petrol station said that the Shrewsbury store had run out of petrol anyway. We went into the Pizza Hut – only to be told that they were only selling takeaways as their boiler had broken and they couldn’t do any washing up. (My Best Friend later asked why they couldn’t just serve the Pizzas in the restaurant in take away boxes – but I only have half her brain and didn’t think of that – and they possibly wouldn’t have been able to work out a pricing option anyway)
So we headed back to Shrewsbury with a vague idea of where the Pizza Hut was – found it – and Dan partook of the whole Pizza Hut experience including the Icecream Factory and was a happy man.
Jill and I went to Blists Hill Victorian town the next day and had a lovely time wandering around and chatting to the workers there. We bought fresh bread, dipped fingers in warm candlewax, and Jill stood in front of the ‘Laying hens for Sale’ sign so I wouldn’t be tempted.
We agreed with the lady in the squatters house that the world had gone mad as Health and Safety had told her that she could only hoover up the dust in the house in case her sweeping the dust caused the dust to rise and give visitors a bad case of museum lung.
We had a Very Nice Day.
We went back to pick up Dan again – having told that we had to be there at 1700 Or Else – we scraped there after following the slowest driver down a country lane Ever.
Jill had mentioned to Dan in a sisterly way that he hadn’t got me anything for Mothers Day – and when he met us he said that he had got a Mothers Day surprise for me – and took us down to an abseiling tower! Anyone who knows me knows that my fear of heights is legendary – but stupidly I have always said that if I was tied on then it wouldn’t be a problem for me!
So when I was presented with a harness I had no excuse – and really the worst bit was climbing the ladder up to the top.
Dan’s friend Stuart was very reassuring and pushed me over the edge – and it was great! I am sure that really I was not abseiling at all but was being gently lowered on a string like a large fat spider – but I enjoyed it. If I had been tied on going up as well as coming down I would have done it again!
and landed safely.
We took Stuart and Dan out for a meal in a pub a few miles down the road and had a great evening.
Next day Jill and I went home via the Forest of Dean sculpture trail – the original sculptures were the best – the new ones were rubbish. I will label them old and new!
I love the big chair – it looks brilliant against the skyline and the view from the ridge is fantastic – one of the originals.
This looks like an old boot to me – but is supposed to be a heart cutting through the earth and other such pretentious twaddle.
Then this strange conglomeration – which was meant to represent an archaelogical dig.
And anyone who says that last sentence wasn’t mine is not that perceptive!
Now this one Icould get all pretentious about – I love the dark block against the trees, and the fact that you can walk up it, and the pure ridiculousness of having a flight of stairs in the middle of a forest.
This wasn’t a sculpture at all but should have been – an old road or track through the forest leading nowhere.
Phil says I never cuddle up to him like this!
So good I had to show it twice – although stupidly it is placed near to the road so that the traffic noise spoils the peace. Some yob also broke some of the stained glass so it has had to be enclosed in plastic.