I was picked up on a Tuesday in an Audi R8, or as a certain tweeple (nancetron) calls it – the pussy wagon.
Lovely car, only problem? The boot was so small my one medium sized suitcase did not fit in. Had to dump whatever I could into the boot and then enjoy a leisurely drive from Cambridgeshire to Shropshire with a suitcase on my lap. Finally made it to Shropshire to see the lovely Jess. I think there are still some dents in my thighs from the suitcase.
Was suitably inspected by Jess’s two cats – Prue & Sylvester. While dinner was still stewing on the stove we wandered over to the village Church, as it is a possible venue for the great Twitter Wedding of the Century – Geekie & Jess are getting married. I quite liked the churchyard as it is being maintained as a meadow. Wandered over to the local ruins of a castle, part of a chain of castles from the medieval period held by the Marcher Lords. Had dinner, which was quite delicious. I was then taken to some Lady Morris Dancer’s weekly practice session. Geekie was not allowed to attend, him being a man and whatnot. Met up in a pub afterwards for a drink and then an early night to bed as the next day it was to view a wedding venue – Rowton Castle.
Next day we had to leave early for an appointment at a wedding venue. The castle was lovely, and is run as a hotel. I thought it a little pricey, but after seeing other informational pamphlets for other locations I’ve just come to the conclusion that all wedding venues in the UK are in collusion with one another to charge as much as possible. In the afternoon we were off to Shrewsbury.
Shrewsbury is a lovely market town, with interesting nooks & alleyways. Spent a few hours here, did some shopping and then it was home to the cats. Next day, Wales!
Left for Wales, in particular Portmeirion in Northern Wales. It was a two hour car trip, and naturally we did not take the pussy wagon but instead Jess’s more reasonable 4-seater car, just like the day previous. Portmeirion was cute in that sort of fake village sort of way. Back in the 60s the television programme The Prisoner was filmed here, so many of the gift shops do sell Prisoner tchatchkas. Luckily I found the onion marmalade that Tarotcub had requested. Plus 2 dalek pens for Jenn & Fraser.
Portmeirion I think is worthwhile to visit, so long as you get out of the fake village and take one of the two suggested walking routes – woods or seaside. Saw some lovely examples of nature, got my toes wet in the surf, and used a toilet carved into the side of a cliff.
Next day it was Wilcott Manor for another wedding venue and then the lovely town of Ludlow. I quite liked Ludlow, the architecture there was astounding – all this amazing Tudor and pre-Tudor era timber housing. Much of this part of England was not bombed during WW2 by the Luftwaffa – all that amazing architecture which got bombed to shit in the south-east, in the Shropshire area survived virtually intact.
Next day it was to London for our Tweetup at Hawksmoor.
Observations I made while out and about – the concept of distance is just amazing. For me a 3hr car trip is nothing, just means you take a wee before you get into the car and assume you can’t wee again until you reach your destination. Because the UK is so small, 3hrs is considered a major trek, so the service stations along the motorways are much better equipped than the sorry excuse for a gas pump & manky toilets we get here. Stopped at one along the way to London which had a WH Smith, Starbucks, McDonald’s, toilets, petrol, and other food vendors .. plus a play area for the kids, I believe.