Monday, September 15, 2008

Warminster Break.


MTL drove me to Taunton where I boarded a coach for Bristol which is presently an enormous building site. Sky scraper office blocks are transforming the city into a concrete jungle and already there are lots of snazzy office buildings to let, besides lots already in use. The Bristol coach station was very good – more like an airport and lots of helpful staff.

Next I boarded a coach which was going to drop me at Warminster but the driver asked if I would mind being dropped in the street. The official stop is a large car park and my son had made sure I could be under cover and seated should he be late (he had a 30 mile drive from work). As I hesitated, the driver decided he would stick to the official stop, which was just as well as my son was not pleased when I told him. The whole journey cost £11.50 round trip.

It was great to see the family and next day we dropped in to see my step- grandson and his beautiful little daughter. Incredibly she seemed to remember me, sat on my lap and was very affectionate before serving me with pretend coffee and cake and cauliflower and sweet corn and anything else she could lay her little hands on. The weather seemed to be holding out so we – son and I – drove to the Downs up Zig Zag hill and parked the car on Win Green or Win Hill. My son told me to imagine we were walking round South America – starting at the top (ooh we could go and see Guyana Gyal) walking down the east side – past Brazil and at Cape Horn – having done the longer part of the walk, we would have a reviving lunch; then on up the west coast, past the Andes and back to the car.

We were plagued with enormous puddles but with the help of my pole and my son I managed not to get my feet wet. I was wearing light- weight Aigle boots – very comfortable but not water- proof. I’m going to try spraying them. We had an interesting and varied walk – I think we saw Madonna’s house and it was all very peaceful except for the pheasants which were hiding in all the undergrowth and make a hell of a din as you walk past – such prima donnas! At last we reached the pretty village of Tollard Royal and with joyful anticipation went up the lane to the pub. You know how sometimes you get a premonition that something isn’t quite right? The pub was shrouded in scaffolding and very closed. We managed to ascertain that the nearest hostelry was four miles away – in the wrong direction.

As we bravely continued out of the village, on up the west coast of South America a man shouted to ask if we had lost a dog and I shouted, in turn, that it had been stalking us but was not ours. It was a dear little gingery cairny type so I do hope it finds its owner. Although the second part of the walk was meant to be shorter, there was an eternally long path at the end which went on and on and on; I found myself singing ‘The long and winding road.’ To lighten my spirits my son told me about a dotty aunt who was asking M about his family. M is married to B who is quite a bit older than M and they have two children.

Dotty aunt ‘How’s B?’

M ‘Oh she’s fine – thank you.’

Dotty aunt ‘Young?’

M thought – what the ---?

Dotty aunt ‘Young well too?’

You had to be there.

On the way back we were on the road that son uses regularly and he remembered once being deviated because of an accident and had seen a nice village with a pub. We found it – another pretty spot - but it was after three and the pub was closed. Driving on we saw the hotel where, local legend has it, the disgraced politician – John Profumo, in the fifties, shafted Christine Keeler and was later himself shafted and consigned to political oblivion. The name of the place? Shaftesbury. And then Profumo redeemed himself by doing good works for the rest of his life.

Back in Warminster we found a pub that was actually open and had a refreshing drink before joining another branch of the family for tea and cake.

After showers and changes we met yet more family and then DIL, # 2 son and I had a delicious Indian. This involved quite a lot of extra walking which I hadn’t anticipated and on the long, late walk to the car park I was cursing my heels so my big strong son carried me. When you think of it – it’s only fair – I carried him for monthsJ


Kim Ayres said...

Sounds like a truly wonderful day :)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Talk about an "adventure" Pat....!
I love the pictures...Between the REAL Animals and the Faux ones....I'll take that sweet doggie and those four!
Madonna's house and grounds look like quite a place....!

Check out those two bottles in the Flower Bed in the Pub that wasn't open....Now, that is funny!

Z said...

'shafted Christine Keeler - Pat, you are naughty!

Didn't you bring your son up well though? What a gentleman.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Have you finished the tale of the star-crossed lovers or just taking a break? Last I remember you had just met up with YTL again after yonks apart.

Crabtree said...

Me which thought that Madonna lived in a cave "à Lourdes" (FR) Not !I remove it is one can stupid for Ritchie :(
I remember, à propos de Madonna ,One day when in "Parc de Sceaux" near Paris , She gave her(its) small panties ( rouge) à jacque Chirac j'y étais!

I see four cats Around their mess tins , are it false ?
As usual I find photographs very good !
The comment of day who goes out of the common place ,also!

kenju said...

Shaftesbury? How fitting!!

You had a delicious Indian? I know you meant dinner (at least I think you did), but at first I wanted to tease you and ask what his name was.

PI said...

Kim: looking back you're absolutely right.

Naomi: well spotted - I hadn't noticed them.

Z: it's not a word I would normally use but one can't let one's finer feelings stand in the way of a good story. My boys are by no means perfect but they are caring.

Daphne: the idea was to take a break so I could concentrate on finishing the book - so I should get on with it.

PI said...

Crabtree: naughty Madonna! The four cats round the mess tins are real . The two dark ones are the new kids on the block - the other two are much older and wiser. They all attempt to trip me up on the stairs and are quite fascinating.

Judy: no no you were right the first time. His name was Ahmed. Delicious:)

problemchildbride said...

Tollard Royal looks like a storybook place.

Glad you had such a nice time with your family.

savannah said...

wonderful! great pics, sugar! i had to go back a few posts to catch up and i am so glad i did. xoxo

rashbre said...

Sounds as if you packed a lot into that little trip! I'm just matching the photos to the storyline.

PI said...

Sam: yeah - pity about the pub. The great thing about walking with one's offspring for hours on end is you get through a lot of stuff which I think is healthy and healing.

Savannah: you're always very welcome:)

Rashbre: I wish I could present a more professional layout; it's a result of using Picasa, Word and Dashboard.

Ole Phat Stu said...

I was in Bristol last year, found it to be a very nice city. Did the SS Great Britain, Bristol (motors) museum, a boat tour etc etc just like a nerdy tourist :-)

PI said...

Stu:I can't seem to get the jpg either here or there. You really did see the best of Bristol - unlike me.

Guyana-Gyal said...

What a glorious hike. you sure know how to have fun, Pat.

Hike - that's putting it mildly, eh? Your son's imagination is just great, a trip around St. America! I'm glad you didn't encounter any snakes. Or jaguars :-D

PI said...

GG: no just the pheasants but we suffered from thirst and hunger:)