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Published: October 18th 2013
Well the freezing cold weather did arrive at Ampney Crucis and I was grateful for the warm but very ill-fitting coat that I bought. It’s actually a very stylish woollen coat made for someone about 10 sizes bigger than me, but cold trumps elegance every time! I look a bit like a badger, a very warm one though!!
So as you know our friend Chris died last week but in a serendipitous turn of events his son Daniel was staying in Oxford about an hour from us. We picked him up and he spent 2 days with the Willows and ourselves in Ampney Crucis. Despite the horrible circumstances it was good for us all to be together and was a very special time. Much wine and beer was consumed while we talked of our memories of Chris. Floss and Daniel who were childhood friends hadn’t seen each other for about 15 years and had a lot to catch up on. We are unfortunately missing Chris’ funeral in Beijing and the wake in Adelaide. Looking forward to our own memorial on the back veranda.
Friday was a huge shopping day. We went to Cheltenham which is an elegant Roman town and bought Bessie a pink bag, a pair of boots and a pair of red slippers. I believe I have started my granddaughter’s obsession with shoes and bags J.
The shopping fun continued with a trip to the makeup shop to get Floss some new cosmetics. She looked beautiful after the makeover. We left Bess and Peter at a coffee shop for this part of the proceedings. They had several coffees and babychinos and were apparently bored stiff. We think Peter was more bored than Bess Please no jokes about Peter’s attention span.
I had such incredible fun buying spoiling my two girls. It’s rare treat for me because they live so far away. I decided not to wear my glasses when I signed the MasterCard slips which meant everything was free (I think) J . We had great fun playing with everything that night. This included having tea from a miniature tea set. It’s probably 50 years since I last did that. Where did my tea set go Mam?
So on Saturday we set off for Southampton for our cruise. It was absolutely freezing and rainy when we set off. Yes, I know it’s England so what else did we expect. We stopped off at Winchester on the way and went to Winchester Cathedral where I sang the song. We were very grateful for the British habit of ignoring people doing strange things. Although, I didn’t have the backing band, The Gamers, but I did my best to stay in tune!!
After this “performance”, we then headed for Southampton about half an hour away. We stayed at the Dolphin Hotel which is famous for hosting Jane Austen’s 18th
birthday party. I was disappointed that we weren’t allowed to go into the ballroom but I suspect we wouldn’t have passed the dress code. Unfortunately I didn’t pack my crinoline and gloves! Oh yes, and the place is apparently haunted http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14314869
. Check this out!
From this elegant establishment, we went to a couple of doors up to a very huge, rowdy pub. It was warm and dry and had wine so all in all it was pretty good. Peter continued his regional beer tasting extravaganza. There are a great number of craft beers brewed in the different towns. Peter is enjoying this aspect of the trip immensely
On Sunday we went to the Southampton Sea Museum. The focus of the museum is the Titanic story and the exhibits are extremely interesting and well curated. We both enjoyed sailing the Titanic (simulation) out of the port. Unfortunately, I beached the ship a few times. We have been to the Belfast Dock where the ship was built so it was interesting to see the story from another angle. Peter did note that it was a bit macabre to visit an exhibition about a sinking ship when we were leaving on a cruise later on that day.
During this trip I have embraced the pound shops. They are a bit like Crazy Clarke’s but things cost a pound. These shops have moved from naff to mainstream as a result of the financial downturn in the UK. It’s Halloween soon and the shops are full of scary costumes and accessories. I decided to buy some lollies for Bess (2.5 years old), I managed to buy a bag of body part sweets. The amputated finger is partocualrlry realistic. I’ve decided that I need to go to Nanny school to ensure I can identify appropriate lollies, but where would the fun be in that!
Well we’re off now to Southampton docks to sail away from the British cold to the Mediterranean sun. So bye for now and we’ll talk to you from the high seas!!
Love pj and sandy
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