A long, self indulgent post ...
So, the day he was dreading finally arrived and my man turned 50!
After dropping little man at school we spent the early morning wandering along by the river, stopping by a weir and taking some time to watch the numerous azure blue Damselflies skitting through the air.
Our patch was sheltered and warmed by the sun so we both took advantage of the rare 'me time' to read a magazine and Mr looked at one of his favourite birthday presents.
Another favourite present was the gorgeous Bay Tree he received from Grandma and Grandpa to replace the one killed last winter.
A light bite to eat at the local smokery restaurant at lunchtime, followed that evening by a divine leg of lamb and all the trimmings with the best of friends, the E's. Thanks again guys.
Saturday was beach party day and the sun did indeed, "put it's hat on". We arrived mid afternoon to set up camp and for Mr to start hubble bubbling his curry. Yes, curry at the beach! Spices were ground and prepped and along with salads, naan, poppadums and chutney we feasted in the sunny, salty air.
50 sausages were consumed too! Oh, and puds of course.
Spoon handcarved by Mr Slovakia. Thanks one and all for making Mr's evening special ... the Fruit's, Chef's, NZ's, Slovaks (shame you couldn't come Little Crooked's) and all the muddy little urchins. He will, of course, share some of his fantastic present with you some time!
The following day was spent at a lovely 65th birthday garden party lunch for a dear friend who entertained us admirably by singing his speech, along with the three friends who make up their (very good) barbershop quartet. Priceless!
After the weekend of merrymaking, revelry (and hangovers) came to a close, we set off for a few days of much needed relaxation. My present to Mr was a night at the Hotel du Vin Bristol followed by a night in a lovely boutique hotel in Bath (Dorian House). However, it didn't quite go to plan with the one hour journey to Bristol taking three and a half hours, after we got caught up in the mass Glastonbury Festival exit, despite taking what we thought was a sensible detour!
We did very little in Bristol, just wandered, watched, ate, drank and relaxed. We were going to visit the newly opened M Shed museum but decided it would be better as a 'wet day excursion' with little man. Must say, breakfast at the H du Vin was one of the best I have ever had and am ashamed to admit I gorged!
Bath was as beautiful as ever. One of my favourite places in the world. Here I am outside our second home (ha, ha, in my wildest dreams ... I wake up, throw open the shutters and gaze at the park outside and the architectural beauty of MY city!). If only ...
We did a little shopping but mostly avoided the centre, wandering from the Royal Crescent to The Circus...
... taking a sweep around the shops to Pulteney Bridge, then descending the steps to walk past the Rugby ground and along a section of the riverbank.
We ascended again by the Catholic Church to sit and watch a Peregrine Falcon pair, high up on the spire, attempt to teach their juvenile how to catch a pigeon in mid flight. After several attempts the young one still seemed to have no idea what to do. Its desperate squawking, as its parents disappeared out of view with a talon skewered pigeon, was heart wrenching despite the bloodiness of the hunt that we had witnessed. They would return again later to continue with their teaching. No photos I'm afraid - too high and too quick!
We then continued our walk by joining the canal at Widcombe. The greenery on the locks get a ride every time they open!
We have been promising ourselves this walk for some time and it didn't disappoint. The barges were so quaint and the riverside gardens a joy. We stopped at a little tea shed along the way and took a few detours along lanes to admire the residences and wish they were ours.
Through long, impressive tunnels and under pretty white ironwork bridges, the towpath affords impressive views of the city all the way.
Back through the park - love this hidden Palladium ...
We had a quick look at the Holborne Art Museum with it's newly opened glass extension, but as time was running short we decided to come back for a proper look another day.
All in all, a perfect few days.