Good evening and welcome to another weekly blog… How have you been this week? Done anything interesting or exciting? Been working away on something? Eaten anything particularly good? Started something new?
I’ve been off work this week. And it’s been wonderful. We had talked about potentially making use of the relaxed restrictions and going camping, but made the decision to stay at home and concentrate on getting the bedroom decorated and having some time walking and motorcycling from here. It worked well. The bedroom is done, more on that below, and we were able to explore some places close to home and head out on a much overdue motorcycle ride. We also found time to rest and relax at home, which was very much needed. Retirement is great… … …
Rain-Free Bourton on the Water
The last week I took off work back in June was supposed to be all about walking in the Cotswolds, but as I wrote on here in episode 23 of my weekly blog, heavy rain got in the way somewhat. So on Monday morning we headed to Bourton on the Water for a rematch with the route that got rained off last month. We parked in the centre of this hugely popular Cotswold village, arriving before the crowds did, and headed north along the River Windrush before picking up the Macmillan Way and heading over to Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter. The five-and-a-bit-mile circular route was flat (well, flat enough), easy walking along well-kept footpaths, through farmland and through paddocks, along country lanes, passed manor houses and watermills, and even over a ford. We did bits of the Windrush Way, Macmillan Way, Warden’s Way and Head of England Way – this is a really fantastic area for anyone who wants to walk!
We had a lovely and peaceful walk in the countryside, only coming across lots of other people once we reached Lower Slaughter and even then people seemed to be going in the opposite direction to us and there was plenty of space for everyone. I’m glad I kept hold of that route and we were able to go and do it this week. If you fancy following this route yourself, I plotted it over on OS Maps (start here if you haven’t yet bought a subscription). I can now write up my three short walks in the Cotswolds blog post now I’ve done them all, so watch out for that coming your way on Splodz Blogz soon.
After we’d done our walk, we had our first trip into a café since March. We chose A’Moore Coffee House on Moore Road just off the main street in Bourton on the Water, for one simple reason; one of the reviews we read on Tripadvisor as we were choosing said they had the “best brownies the world”. No other reason needed! It was a lovely and relaxed experience, we had a cream tea and a brownie (of course we had a brownie!), there was space, it was calm, the service was friendly and quick, and the food (and tea) were excellent.
I have to say I think the brownies that were served at The Cheese Society in Lincoln are a touch better (especially as they’re served warm), but this one was certainly excellent and I would very happily go back for another one sometime.
A One Day Motorcycle Road Trip to Wales
One of the things we’ve been missing the most during lock down is being able to go on road trips. Despite the fact riding motorbikes has been absolutely within the allowances for a good while now, I haven’t ridden my motorbike since just after Christmas – terrible, embarrassing even, what kind of biker even am I?!
On Tuesday we took the whole day out and headed over into Wales for a lovely ride to the Elan Valley. We spent most of our day winding through country lanes and over hills, from our home in Gloucestershire, through Herefordshire, through the Brecon Beacons National Park, over to the Elan Valley (chips for lunch at the visitor’s centre), passed the derelict Cwmystwyth Mines, ending up at Devil’s Bridge, before heading back home.
It might have only been one day, and limited to a couple of hundred miles, but it was wonderful to feel the wind in my hair and become part of the scenery once again. Okay, so that wind in my hair was SO cold, much colder than it should have been in July, but you can’t have everything!
I’m feeling optimistic that we’ll get away for our (slightly different than planned) road trip in September, taking notice of the conditions at the time of course, but it feels like we should be able to do something good and fun and memory worthy. It’s amazing what some time off and a motorbike ride can do for the soul; getting that headspace really has refuelled my wanderlust in a good way and helped me see things without the muddiness of tiredness and lethargy.
This week’s header image was taken at Cwmystwyth Mines, deep in the hills along a beautiful single-track road with sheep and views well worth a visit, I’m glad we went.
The Perfect Shade of Green
If this was a weekly vlog and not a weekly blog you’d be watching time lapses of us moving into the spare room, preparing walls, painting woodwork, putting colour on the walls, having an argument with the paint as it peeled off with the masking tape (apparently a common issue with Farrow & Ball paint, what an absolute pain in the proverbial), fixing said peeled edges by cutting in by hand instead (too stressful), putting up our new curtains, and eventually moving back into the room again. We’ve been living with the original builder’s magnolia since we moved in, and I am so pleased to finally have the room looking good and feeling like we’ve properly arrived. We worked on it every day this week except Tuesday, and now it’s done I’d say it was a job well worth the time and effort.
I definitely got my own way on the colour. I chose what I think is a beautiful shade of sage green, in a finish that is slightly chalky so it soaks up taking the colour right into the wall (no sheen here), which makes the room feel cosy and luxurious. It’s a traditional colour, something you might find in a large manor house, but I think it works very well in our modern build. It just seemed like the perfect shade for a bedroom.
Okay, I admit that now it’s a lot darker in the room, we might need a lamp in the corner as our ceiling fan light isn’t the brightest thing in the world – I’ve seen a couple on the John Lewis website that look like they might do the trick, but that is a decision that can wait for another day. We’d also like some new bedding. I guess it’s not quite finished after all, but these last few touches can wait for now, I’d still say that’s one big lock down job done. Next up? The bathroom… which should be a lot less time consuming.
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