Penguin Cafe Waiter (livingarmchair) wrote,
Penguin Cafe Waiter

Holiday, Holiday!

We went to Somerset for a week, the first holiday (Apart from the odd weekend away) since we've had Christopher. We stopped in a cottage near Cheddar, which was handy as my Dad's sister and her family live around the area. They have not seen the sprogs. The farm was a working farm, and the cottage was pleasant, but previous users had been dog owners. I am not the biggest fan of dogs. In fact, they make me sneeze. So does the countryside, it seems, and the stench of manure was quite sickening. The kids seemed to like the play area more than the farm animals, although we did get to see two freshly born Alpacas... And Christopher had to be dragged away from any tractor activity.

Saw the relatives, which was good, and caught up on family history. Since my Dad died, we've been a bit out of touch with his side of the family. My Aunt gave me my Great Granddad's WWI service medals, which was a surprise. He was killed during the battle of Loos after being on the front for barely a month, probably gassed by his own side.

Of the sights we saw, Bath is perhaps the most famous, but I always find it a let down. It's a nice town with some scrumptious architecture, but I find it suffers from being too touristy, and there's nothing spectacular - the Cathedral is OK, but it's not York. Maybe I've seen too many. A new development down at the bottom end of the city is a dismal fake set of streets in pastiche Georgian style, filled with chain stores. It ay look a bit like the old stuff, but it's just as soulless as post war shopping developments that infect th UK.

Weston Super Mare is, frankly, a dismal place - despite some fine streets with a vaguely med feel about them and some decent architecture, the actual seafront is horrible. No fine frontages, but some rather dismal open spaces and horrendous 1960s monstrosities. The kids enjoyed the beach (Mud). For the next beach visit we went down to the south coast to Lyme Regis, which is far, far better. An old town with character, and a nice sandy beach. The only problem was some idiot nearby had dug a huge moat around a massive sandcastle and we couldn't keep the kids away from it. It was twice the height of Christopher, and looked as if it would cave in at any moment. It was attracting a lot of other kids and the Dad digging it was going deeper and deeper. To cap it all, the pratt was a brummie. Not that I'm a kill joy, but kids have been killed when constructions like have caved in on them. 

At one point I was watching Talia from a fair distance. She ran at a discarded sandcastle, launched herself at it and flattened it. Christopher was doing the same as well.


I wanted to visit the Jurassic coast to get some fossils, but the sprogs were getting ratty so we decided to head off back to the cottage instead.

We did a day trip to Bristol, which I enjoyed just wandering around the city's streets, and realising how much I dislike post-war Coventry with its zones, precincts and soulless road system. Bristol has streets that go places, and a lot of character, and also quite varied.

Glastonbury was OK, but not somewhere I'd ever visit again. Some decent cafes and a chilled out atmosphere, plus drunks rolling around outside the church. We visited the abbey which was good, but then the boss wanted to go to Street, which is joined to Glasto, to visit "Clark's village", a horrendous factory outlet filled with fashion stars. At least there was a Starbucks, so I could get a coffee, although it was quite mediocre without an extra shot of espresso.

We also did a trip to Wells, which is pretty nice. I've been there loads of times before, but I'd forgotten most of it. The Cathedral area is filled with gateways and old buildings, right up my street. It's quite sad seeing it's high street filling up with Starbucks and other chains, though.

Overall, a enjoyable, but utterly tiring week.  I managed to finish off a short story and a read a JG Ballard novel as well... keeping two little growing minds occupied is hard work, but ulimately highly rewarding. Certainly does put a different focus on holidays, but  I did sometimes wish I could just wander off an explore like I used to do...

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