Every time I have been here I've had a couple of disappointments.
This time is no different.
Actually, I've had a lovely day here. I've got to do the things I love most, which is wander around old shit and sit on trains. I love long distance train travel and the hour and a half journey to Bath is really pretty.
First job when I got here was to replace dodgy zebra bag. Dodgy zebra bag broke a wheel in Malaga, twelve hours after purchase and after a day of dragging it round the wheel had pretty much disintegrated and there was a large slash in the bottom on the bag. A trip to M&S sorted this and a new, equally ugly but sturdier suitcase has been purchased.
Next stop, the Abbey. Bath Abbey has always been a disappointment to me. It's one of the most picturesque cathedrals in the country - and very time I come here, something stops me from seeing it properly. First time I was here in 1992, I was away with my current boyfriend for the weekend. The abbey was closed for major reconstruction and cleaning. No access was to be had. Never to mind, I remember sitting on top of one of those tourist buses, about three degrees outside, Dave's arm about me. It was a great trip but there was the disappointment of not seeing the abbey.
The second time I came to Bath was with Gareth. My father had died about three weeks before. I was still in shock mode. "Fire bad, tree pretty," was about the extent of the conversation you could get out of me. I remember very little from that trip other than Gareth's eternal patience with me - something he's not normally known for.
Well, this time, I got in to Bath Abbey. For about five minutes. I made it ther around half past two only to be told that unless I wanted to listen to a children's concert I'd better get cracking - or come back tomorrow after ten.
Roight. I have to be back in London to meet somebody for midday. Not going to happen.
Seems the elusive Bath Abbey doesn't want me to visit her properly. I'M A CATHEDRAL JUNKIE - HOW DARE IT!
I did get in for a bit. I had a brief look around. I sat down in the pews and tried to get a feeling of the place, which was a bit hard when there's fifty eight years old jumping around in a sponsored epileptic fit to the beat of the tombola and jembai. (Actually they weren't too bad) After looking about, not feeling or finding anything new - the gorgeous fluted vaulting are still there - and it will be there when I come back at some stage to try again to see what all of the fuss is about.
The other thing I did like about the concert was it was really good to seem some noise and energy in the place. The African rhythms gave a wonderful juxtaposition to the austere stone. I really like that. Cathedrals should be used, not just revered or pondered over by rubbernecks like me.
Bath Abbey - I will see you one day. Just you wait!
The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around the Roman Baths - which has to be one of the best tourist sights in Britain. It's exceptionally well done. I remember coming here with Dave - they were good then, they're even better now.
If you ever come to Bath, this is the place you have to go - it's brilliant.
So my penultimate night in Britain was spent having a quiet night with my book in my super-heated hotel room. Something that doesn't change - the Brits overheat their hotels. I opened my window as far as I could - they will probably hate me for it, but I nee fresh air. My pint of milk was out on the window ledge so that it wouldn't spoil, an old winter trick from years back, though it often freezes in the depths of the season. There was a lovely deep bath to be indulged in - I only have a shower at home and with water restrictions, baths are only for holidays abroad (and at my mother's place where they're on bore water). Breakfast this morning was in a dining hall with lots of other odd bodies. The sausages were had with cold toast and brown sauce and coffee that had been over brewed. It all tasted WONDERFUL. Nobody does breakfast like a British B&B.
And now it's back to London for my final full day. The fact that Singapore Airlines won't let me check in is ominous.Supposed to be taking an A380....
Oh well, that's another adventure for another blog.