Anyway, Andy and I set off on Sunday for a much needed four day break in green and lovely Worcestershire/Herefordshire/Shropshire Shire. We found our cottage at the end of a long bumpy narrow track on top of a hill. Our neighbours were sheep. It was very quiet. Apart from the sheep. They were quite loud. But not as loud as rush hour cars, say, or neighbours having loud barbecues, or shouting matches, or, well, you get the gist.
On Monday, we visited Malvern spa town, because they were having a food festival, which was excellent and far better than any excuse for a food festival I have ever attended in Kent. We purchased much lovely food and thus have lost no weight this week. We got a bit lost coming out of Malvern and ended up right at the top of the Malvern hills, almost in Heaven's clouds. It was a bit scary because a) the roads were very narrow and steep and full of locals who drove like lunatics because, presumably, they knew their roads well and were unafraid of heights and narrowness and brushing the bottoms of Heaven's clouds and b) we didn't know quite how and when we were ever going to find our way back to the cottage because we kept having déjà vu moments as we went round and round in circles. But eventually we did. Phew!
And the only not quite nice thing about the day was witnessing a cyclist whizzing down a steep hill, all togged up in Lycra and stupid goggles and pointy helmet pretending he was all that, and being most rude and shouty towards some pedestrians who weren't quite quick enough in getting out of his way because they were (how DARE they!) crossing the road at the time. This isn't the first time we have witnessed such bad behaviour from these togged up 'look at me - I'm a Bradley Wiggins wannabee' cyclists. Ordinary cyclists seem fine, but add Lycra and shorts and elbow pads and ta-dah! You get a moron who thinks he has the right to cycle down the centre of the road at high speeds, swearing at pedestrians and generally behaving like a lout. Well, it ain't clever, big or funny. It is wazzock behaviour. Get over yourself. Grow some road manners. And stop riding three abreast on roads with your mates like you are a car. Rant over.
We visited Malvern Abbey, too, and a National Trust property which shall remain nameless only because I do not wish to embarrass them by nominating them as having the worst set of tea room staff ever, who did a lot of faffing around in a very disorganised and faffy way and the words 'p*ss up' and 'brewery' kept springing to mind. And that a spot of watching how the efficient staff at Worcester Cathedral managed their tea room would probably be of some benefit. Just a thought.
On Tuesday we went to Worcester. Lovely city. Lots of swans on the river. Magnificent cathedral. Interesting museum at the now sadly defunct Worcestershire Porcelain factory. They once had a factory cat called 'Pudding.' Great name for a cat, Pudding. No ego-cyclists. Marvellous cathedral tea shop. And no, I do not have a new job working for the Worcester Tourist Board! But their website did cause mild anger issues with Andy because of its general inadequacies. They might want to brush it up a bit. Oh, and on Tuesday we were almost hit by a small cow who jumped out of a ditch at us as we drove by, and we almost ran over an entire family of squirrels. But you will be pleased to know that no animals were damaged in the making of this short break. Phew! Oh, and Andy threw a bottle of wine all over a shop floor in quite magnificent fashion. But not as magnificent as the lady in the petrol station today who threw a whole crateful of Red Bull all over the floor.
Yesterday, we went to one of my favourite ever places - Ludlow. We didn't stay long because it was freezing cold and a bit rainy and mucho windio, and all I had with me was a flimsy cardie because I stupidly thought I wouldn't need my Winter coat in almost June, would I? Anyway, Ludlow was every bit as good as I remember it from our last visit. Did a spot of retail therapy in the form of a lovely floral jug (for flowers), a lovely shiny pink handbag (for lady writer accoutrements) and fluffy blue ballet slippers (for feet.)
And today, we came home. Good journey. No hold ups. The cats were not cross with us for long for our blatant desertion of their constant animals needs and I don't think the hens were even aware we had been missing. The house was still standing, the postman had delivered nothing but junk mail and within two hours I had taken two cold calls - one from British Telecom who are well getting on my nerves at the moment, and another from a website I had visited about taking a Tefl qualification and whose website box I DEFINITELY remember ticking in order to prevent receiving cold calls...sigh...
But it is good to be home! I feel refreshed and dynamic, and my rant reserve is fully topped up. Andy felt so refreshed he immediately went out and bought a new law mower and mowed both front AND back lawns.
And now I shall go and rustle up some dinner from holiday leftovers, which could be interesting...