Tuesday, November 18, 2014


We made an unexpected trip to Salisbury this weekend.  The Builder's mother went into hospital on Friday for an operation on her hand and shoulder.  She had to have cancerous growths removed.  We knew she was going in.  We knew when the operation was.  But it was only after I had got home from work on Friday that I thought - you know, we really ought to go down and visit her in the hospital.

I had a look at my diary and discovered that I had no appointments on Monday, so I put in a leave request for Monday and booked us into The Swan in Stoford on Sunday evening.  Visiting hours at the hospital are from 2pm so we took ourselves off at about 11 and got down there in time to go and visit for an hour or so.  Gwen was looking quite cheerful but was a bit cold and a bit bored.  She's not used to spending all her time cooped up in bed but can't get out of bed because of the drainage tubes and so on.  Anyway, we warmed her up with some extra blankets and left when she was beginning to look a bit tired.

We used to stay at The Swan in Stoford very regularly but haven't been for quite a while.  It was rather nice to stop by again.  But we didn't stay long after we had checked in.  Jeanette and Matthew had invited us to go to their place near Portsmouth for a Sunday roast.  And very tasty it was too.  Bailey their puppy is now six months old and nothing like as scared of things as she was the first time we met her.  It was good to see Rebecca and Evie too (as well as Jeanette and Matthew, of course!).  Then back to Stoford, time for a glass of wine in our room there, and so to bed.

I slept very well.  It was quite a comfortable bed.  But not for The Builder.  The doona was too short for him and his feet well and truly poked out from underneath it.  He woke up several times with frozen feet!!!! He should have put his socks back on :-D

We had a plentiful breakfast, which really should have seen us through until we got home again.  And we pootled into Salisbury and went shopping and browsing in Waitrose (which has been refurbished and completely changed around since last we were there!!), and in Lakeland, and in Dingham's, a tardis like cookshop on the market square.  But what to do then?  It was much, much too early to go back to the hospital.  It was only 20 past 11.  So we got into the car, out of the rain and drove off pondering where to go.  Then I saw a sign to Stonehenge and remembered that there is a brand new visitor centre there which I quite fancied seeing.  So we went there.  And it's beautiful!  Fortunately, we could go just for a short time because we have National Trust membership cards.  You wouldn't want to spend £15 just to look at the visitor centre!!!  However, entry was free for us and we had a lovely time pottering around, even if we didn't really feel much like going to inspect the stones themselves in the rain!!

The new visitor centre in the rain
They've built huts like the ones the original builders of Stonehenge would have lived in

Inside a hut
It's quite a cosy little neolithic village

Right.  Hungry work, exploring visitor centres and the gift shops of ancient monuments. Breakfast had definitely worn off, so we headed back into Salisbury and had lunch at The Old Mill.  Simon and Steve have now decamped off to Monmouthshire and there are new owners.  But unusually for new owners, they have kept pretty much all of the old staff, who remembered us from our previous few visits.  The food is as good as it was before too. An excellent lunch.  Then we made a quick visit to the hospital to visit Gwen and then headed on home.

It took FOR EVER to get home ;-(  There were hold ups everywhere, caused by broken down trucks, minor bingles, big bingles, and (very excitingly for us, although not for the occupants of the car) a vehicle on the motorway absolutely and positively ablaze!!!!  I've never seen a car quite so comprehensively on fire!  But eventually we did make it home, where the cat was very pleased to see us.

Back to work today.  Can't say I feel like going.  I'd very much rather stay in our cosy bed, where the king sized doona is more than big enough to cover The Builder's feet!!
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