This was the first trip where we planned for Paul to work whilst I “swanned” about. The main purpose of the visit was to see my Aunt, who is my dad’s only surviving sister. She has not been so well lately and has just had her 88th birthday. She has also moved out of her home county (Herefordshire) to Powys and I wanted to see her in her new house.
We left, as planned, around 10 am (after Paul had completed a last few pressing work tasks). He was available by phone on the journey up and was able to field all the usual tech support calls. With stops, the journey to Snead (pronounced like shed, not seed, I am reliably informed) took around 5 hours and we quickly got checked in and set up on our favourite pitch. Yes – we have been there quite a few times and favour K2. The pitches are fully serviced and thus Paul was plugged into the free internet by 4 and hard at it, work-wise. Hardly a disruption in service.
I popped off to the local branch of Harry Tuffin’s in Church Stoke for some dog food and came back with so much more. It’s that kind of shop. Also had a chat with the parrot (a blue and gold macaw) in the vestibule. Sweet – although I am not a fan of a caged bird. I feel they should be flying free (unless its a conservation issue). I returned heavily laden, lighter in purse and exhausted from my retail exertions. Snooze time. I dozed as Paul tapped away at the keyboard. Bliss. For me anyway.
We had a table booked for dinner at our usual haunt in Bishop’s Castle – The Three Tuns. It’s dog-friendly, has good food and is home of the Three Tuns brewery est. 1642. We probably should try others but as this is always so good, why would we? Paul made light work of their IPA and pronounced it delicious. Home to a DVD – great film. Sightseers. Funny but more than a tad “noire” and odd to be watching it in a caravan!
Friday dawned sunny and warm. Very springlike and Paul was at the keyboard by 0800. I had a leisurely shower in one of the award winning (deservedly so) wet rooms that Daisy Bank is renowned for and left at around 10.30 for the short journey to Aunty V’s new house, which is a converted barn in the grounds of my Cousin’s house just outside Kerry. Foolishly and annoyingly, I did not take any photos of the entire day. Something which I regret, although I do have the “movie in my mind”. Miss Saigon anyone?
I left Paul hunched over the keyboard with instructions for his lunch (soup) and ventured out into the beautiful countryside. The road runs parallel to the Kerry Ridgeway – and ancient path that leads from Bishop’s Castle to Kerry. I called in to Tuffin’s on the way for some flowers (tulips) and another quick chat with the parrot, but was at my destination by 11, as arranged. My step-mother Lynne (known to all and sundry as “Nanny Lynne” ) was joining us for lunch from her home just outside Oswestry and she arrived shortly after me. The house is lovely and has everything you could wish for including lovely views of the surrounding countryside. My poor Aunt has osteoporosis and her knees and hips cause much and excessive pain, poor dear. But she makes little of it, which is her way. Moving around is quite a trial for her and she now uses a wheelchair when out and about.
As it had recently been her birthday, lunch out was in order and we went to Coed-y-Dinas garden centre (known as Charlies) just near Welshpool (where Wales begins, they say). It’s a hee-uge garden centre and I’d be interested to know what it doesn’t actually sell It’s also very wheelchair friendly. The restaurant there is very good and we had a lovely ladies lunch. My Cousin Sarah had also joined us and we had loads to chat about. After lunch it was back to Aunty Vera’s, where I stayed until around 5.30. I had to rush off as we were scheduled to be at my Cousin Andrews in Leominster at 7. This meant leaving Snead at 6 or shortly thereafter.
As I suspected, Paul was still hard at it so I shoo’ed him off to shower and we set off down “Pheasant Alley”. to Leominster. So many dead ones and so many with a death wish. Badgers, too. Very sad. Had a very pleasant evening and a very scrummy Chinese with Andrew and Pam. Always lovely to see them and never often enough. We got home about 1.30 (dirty stopouts) and tiptoed to bed.
Saturday was another lovely day and we planned to go to Bridgnorth, as Paul had never been. We couldn’t resist taking our usual trip across Long Mynd though. The road over the top has an “abandon hope all who enter” feel to it (see below) but we love it.
It was very breezy on top and there were some great views – as usual. The gliding club there is very popular – for obvious reasons.
We drove on to lovely Church Stretton and thence to Bridgnorth, via Much Wenlock which, as you may recall, was the home of the chap who conceived of modern Olympics. You might also remember Wenlock the mascot? Clearly a mistake to attempt to visit Bridgnorth. I had fond memories of the town, both High and Low, joined by the Cliff railway, but perhaps we didn’t go on a Saturday? It was utter pandemonium and parking seemed to be pretty much unobtainable. After queuing for 2 separate car parks for ages and not finding any spaces we reluctantly gave up. We’ll go on another less busy day some other time. How cute are the cars on the Cliff Railway. though? These ones were built in 1955, so I’ve definitely ridden them, in the past.
We drove home via the Ludlow Food Centre (a foodies paradise) and bought some fresh Mushroom Soup and a lovely freshly baked Fougasse. Lush. A very late lunch – sorted. After a busy morning it was snooze time again and we awoke to witness a beautiful sunset.
All too soon it was morning and time to pack up for the trip home. We managed another 10 0’clock departure and ensured that we arrived home in plenty of time to unpack in daylight and mow the lawn!! Until the next time Daisy Bank (our most visited campsite). And roll on Easter when we are off to the Isle of Wight.