Day 5: A post Boxing Day outing……!
There was excitement in the air this morning for today we were heading out to one of the bigger towns or maybe even a city in the locality, we hadn’t decided which but our choices were; the ‘book shop’ market town of Hay-on-Wye over the border in Wales, the cathedral city of Hereford here in Herefordshire or a last minute contender for our day out was the market town of Ludlow just over the border in Shropshire. We’d have a think about it over breakfast but first things first, we had things to do before breakfast like take Winston out for his morning ablutions and partake in Day 27 of our Yoga with Adrienne.
We soon found ourselves sat at the kitchen table enjoying a) a shot of Berocca for energy b) hot water infused with a slice of lemon to cleanse the system c) Activia yoghurt for gut health d) a selection of cheeses for protein e) bagels for our daily intake of carbs and f) a cheeky glass of V8 to ensure our intake of vitamin A and C. You see, there’s nothing quite like a balanced breakfast to kick-start the day!
Maice was on sandwich duty and as we thoroughly enjoyed yesterdays sandwiches she decided to make the same again but with a twist…….she used croissants instead of bread! Winston was taken out for another walk, we packed up the car, me at the helm of the steering wheel again, Maice navigating as she’d done such a good job yesterday and Winston in the back, atop all of our coats. Maice shouted out the directions and I proceeded to the route, the route to Ludlow, our chosen destination.
We arrived in Ludlow thirty minutes later, our eyes scanning the signs for directions to a carpark. We found a sign which took us through the narrow cobbled streets of Ludlow and through the market square, fortunately there was no market on today, and then we turned left, assuming the carpark was in that direction. We realised it wasn’t as we’d just driven in a circle and hadn’t come across a carpark, so where was it? We tried again and decided to park in the market place itself. It didn’t say you couldn’t park there and there were lots of other cars parked so it must be legal. We looked around for a ticket machine but couldn’t find one, we looked at the other cars to see if they were displaying a ticket and they weren’t so just to be on the safe side, knowing our track record for being fined, we enquired in the local book store across the road. The guy was very helpful to a point. He told us it‘s illegal to park there but everyone does and we‘d be parking there at our own risk but, he said, there was a car park on the other side of the market place, which we’d completely missed and, he said, it would be better to move the car and park there, although he did say there weren’t likely to be any traffic wardens around today. We thanked him, deliberated over what to do, take a chance and stay or be the good citizens that we are and move the car to the car park over yonder? Ah, what the hell, let’s take a chance. So that’s what we did. We locked the car and went in search of a much needed cappuccino. We found a lovely little cafe, The Old Bakehouse where we enjoyed the most delicious cappuccinos perched atop the most uncomfortable bar stools you could imagine. Honestly, the things you do for a shot of caffeine!
Unlike yesterday, the weather was middling, it being much warmer than yesterday and it was raining but not raining. There was a dampness in the air but we didn’t get wet, thankfully. Just a stone’s throw from the market place were the ruins of Ludlow Castle so we headed that way and looked through the castle gates. It looked like it dated from the Norman period and was very impressive. At just £8 per person entrance fee, can you believe this, we deliberated whether to go in or not! Honestly, come on M&A you’re on holiday. So we paid the fee and in we went and we can honestly say it was £8 well spent. What an amazing castle it was. We explored, or should we say Winston explored all the nooks and crannies, he took us up all the stone spiral staircases to the top of the towers which commanded some amazing views over the castle and the countryside beyond. We even searched for the Dragon and the six ‘Elves in the Castle’ who’d all hidden themselves away waiting to be found. Okay, we may not be naturally gifted with working out treasure trail clues but we did manage to find all the elves and the dragon so hey, high five to us! We were also correct in our thinking that Ludlow Castle dates from the Norman era. It was built in the 11th Century as a Norman Fortress, extended over the centuries to become a fortified Royal Palace, was abandoned over the years and left in ruins until 1811 when the ruins were purchased by the second Earl of Powis. Since then the Earls of Powis have arrested further decline, and allowed this magnificent historical monument to be open to the public.
We enjoyed our dabble with history but brought ourselves back into the 21st Century by ordering a cappuccino to-go from Costa Coffee. We were hungry so decided to get a take-away coffee , drive somewhere and stop for lunch. In reality what we did was sat in the car in the market place, laid out the tablecloth, strung up the bunting and ate our lunch in the car! It was lovely and the filled croissants were delicious.
We returned home at 3pm, made ourselves a hot-water lemon drink, sat around the table and indulged in some social finance and admin. Winston, bored by this whole process proceeded to fall asleep at the table…….was he trying to tell us something? We were so engrossed that by 5pm we were starting to become a tad peckish. Maice took Winston out for a walk, I prepared the evening supper……Toad in the Hole on a bed of mashed potatoes, we cracked open the Prosecco and sat down to another of our Michelin Star meals. Yummy. There’s nothing quite like a bit of comfort food when its dark and drizzly outside.
Winston must have been possessed by something after supper for he couldn’t keep still, wouldn’t settle, wanted our attention all the time, would wander back and forth between the two of us until finally, just as he’d settled down and had dozed off we woke him up to take him out so he could carry out his final ablutions of the day. He wasn’t happy but he managed a long wee before bedtime and with that we switched out the lights and made our way to our respective bedrooms. Would Winston choose to sleep with Maice tonight? Of course not. It was straight up the rickety staircase for him and straight into my bed……some things never change!
M&A and Sir Winston xxx