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Sunday, 16 July 2017

Shadow and Light - July edition :-)

Roses in the front yard of my father's house

Hello again to everyone who's reading this - I hope you're well and happy at your respective end of the world! Welcome to yet another rambling post about how life has been treating me lately :-)

Again, it has taken me longer than anticipated to write on here - I don't know why I keep mentioning it as everyone knows by now that there is no real rhythm or regularity in my activities on this blog. I'm sure that you've all got used to my erratic writing rhythm. The thing is that I feel it should be different - but the truth is that I just don't always have the time or inclination to write up a post. I admire people who have a regular schedule and write - say - a post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, every week, every month, throughout the year - but I just can't seem to do that *sigh*

Well, as indicated in the header, this is yet another post about how life is a mix and how I'm trying to get on with it - without getting too many bruises along the way.

I'm writing this in my little study at home, surrounded by boxes and plastic tubs full of stuff - I'll go into the reasons later - and feeling a little despondent. When am I ever going to get some order back into this room - and into my life, for that matter? For a long time, I've been feeling like I'm careening and lurching about - or in other words, I've been feeling unsettled. I do know that it's part of life, and you can be quite happy in one department of your life while you're very dissatisfied with what's happening in another department. It's all a matter of perspective - sometimes you'll emphasise the clearly positive things despite being aware of the not so great stuff, at other times, you'll find it hard to look on the bright side although you know there's always, always something to be thankful for and you're just being a merchant of doom, so-to-speak.

But let me recap what's been going on around here so you'll get an idea of what's been keeping me busy and pre-occupied!

First of all, I have sad news to share - as you may remember from my last post, my uncle hadn't been doing too well for a while. Well, he passed away two days after that post. It wasn't unexpected, obviously, but still - when it happens, it hits you like a brick wall. In the end of this month I'll be going to the funeral service (actually, 'going' means 'flying' as I live far from where it's done, and going by train could get complicated due to having to change trains and running the risk of missing my connection)... I'll just stay for a night, so it won't be an extended family visit.

Now, that this is out of the way, there's room for some more positive and light-hearted news - I have been on another holiday. Yes, again! It was just a week, so nothing too lengthy, but it was fun, and it helped me to recharge my batteries (this year, they seem to be on a constant low... I hope this will change again eventually!!!). 

The husband and I decided that we'd like another break, and since being active always helps to get rid of the cobwebs, we went hiking and biking. We started with a little hike (roughly 4 km one way, so it's 8 km round trip) from a small village to Eltz Castle (more about that place here).
This is the view from the footpath when you arrive and look up to the castle. As you see, it was overcast!
The castle is furnished, but it's not inhabited any more. However, you can join a guided tour and learn more about the history and the family that owns the place. Once you've entered the inner ward, you get presented this view, so it's quite impressive altogether. Taking pictures is not allowed inside, so you might want to have a look at this site to get a better idea of what kind of attractions wait inside.
We stayed in our B & B for two nights, then we set off by bike and went to the town of Andernach on the Rhine. We wanted to go there mostly because of the cold water geyser there (more about the whole thing here!) - and it was well worth the visit! There's an information centre (it goes on about volcanoes, springs, geysers etc. and explains the local phenomenon - it's interactive and lots of fun!), and the ticket includes access to that as well as a 15 minutes journey via ship on the Rhine - that takes you to the geyser and back to the pier in Andernach again. 
I didn't quite know what to expect, but have to say it was rather impressive to see how the geyser rose from a very small spring (see above!) to quite the fountain (see pic on the right!)... There was someone explaining what would happen, and we were all offered a sip of the water that came out. I didn't try it, though - it didn't smell too great, I have to admit, and I got put off! The husband tried, though, and he said it was rather salty and a tad bit stale, so I don't think I've missed too much!
From Andernach, we went up the river Ahr to Ahrweiler (more info about the place here). It's the smaller part of the community Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, but in my opinion it's the nicer part! It's more tranquil and peaceful, I think. We had lunch sitting on this square - and yes, the weather was brilliant!

We decided to cycle on from there and try to find accommodation in the Adenau area - or thereabouts. We knew we'd have several options on how to continue our trip in that area, so we pedalled on... 

Eventually, we found accommodation in a small village called Insul (nothing to do or see there, so there's no link!). By the time we arrived there I was dead-tired, and since we hadn't booked anything in advance, we had to look around a bit... The first two places we appraoched were closed for holidays - quite frustrating! - but in the end, we had a lucky find in a large country inn. We were given the 'studio' which meant we could really spread out. You'd think that's not a big deal when you travel by bike because you don't have much luggage (true... each of us only had two saddle bags, I think neither of us had more than 7-8 kg of luggage), but the thing is that usually you'll have to wash your clothes because they're all sweaty and smelly, and you don't want to slip into them like that on the next day, so you need space for hanging stuff. For that reason, large rooms always are welcome!

We went on to Daun / Eifel on the next day - that was a pretty mixed tour as it was a lot of up and down, and it got fairly hot that day. We got lost a few times because our map wasn't precise and the signs were contradictory, so we weren't in the best spirits when we arrived. However, it all was good after we had found accommodation ('big room, but old-fashioned bathroom', as the receptionist said... we didn't mind! This sign was on the door of the bathroom, for that matter!) and taken a shower :-)
Our next leg was a trail that used to be an old railway line, so the inclines weren't too steep. For the first 5 kilometres, we went uphill (the incline was just 2-3%, so you cannot call it a 'hill'... still, with the luggage you do notice it!), then we went through a tunnel - and after that, it went downhill all the way for 40 km! 

We arrived in Wittlich in the early afternoon and had a light lunch there. Then we decided we'd go all the way to Traben-Trarbach (Moselle region) as it still was early - but we would have to book accommodation in advance so we'd know we'd have a roof over our heads when we'd arrive. So, we went to the tourist info in Wittlich, booked a room in Traben-Trarbach and set off. We knew we'd have to take a shortcut - and that meant we'd have to leave the official bike path and cross a hill full of vineyards. 

I'm still not so sure that this was a good idea. It was very hot (over 30°C), and I don't function so well in the heat. So, it was quite a struggle to get over that hill... but eventually, we reached the Moselle valley again. The last 15 km seemed to drag on forever, though. Since the Moselle valley is rather narrow, the heat accumulates there (great for the wine, obviously!), and you feel like you're in a sauna. At one point - halfway from where we had reached the valley -, I nearly passed out and had to take a break - fortunately, our final destination was only 8 more kilometres away, and I got there in the end. That day was really, really tough - it had started out so nicely with the downhill ride to Wittlich, but the afternoon had been a real struggle. Oh well, all's well that ends well, I suppose.

We set off for Bullay on the next morning (about 25 km), and from there, we took the train back to where we had parked our car, stored away the bikes and drove home.

It was good to be home again, but of course, duties were waiting here. The return to work went fairly smoothly, fortunately, but I was dreading the Friday... Friday is my day off, and usually I take advantage of that by making necessary appointments then - like seeing the doctor, going to the hairdresser, running errands etc. This time, I had scheduled another clear-out at my father's place - and that's always somewhat challenging and can even be traumatic. To make it a little easier, I had asked a friend to come with me, and that turned out to be a good idea. It was good to have her around as she looked at things neutrally and just helped me to get the job done and get on with what was necessary. We even shared some laughter - so that was good.

I took my mother's sewing machine with me, plus all her sewing supplies (we are talking about over 200 rolls of sewing silk and cotton here, plus buckets of hooks, press buttons, needles, bobbins, elastic band, bias binding etc., etc.), a box of candles, a huge bag of gift ribbons (I'll never ever have to buy gift ribbons any more in my entire life, I think! The picture shows only the lilac / blue / pink section of my supplies now! I have more in red, green, cream, white, silver and gold!), and my grandmother's good coffee / tea crockery set, including a coffeepot, a teapot, a specific little bowl for cookies, two sugar bowls (because one isn't enough)... and the whole lot. You know, I need crockery like a hole in the head, and it's not even dishwasher proof (my grandmother passed away in the early 1970s, and the crockery was bought throughout the 60s), but this set always was put on the table for special occasions, I grew up admiring and wanting to touch it (which wasn't allowed until I was a teen and my mother trusted me that I wouldn't drop a cup or so!)... I couldn't just leave it behind. Of course, I had to wrap it up in something for the transport - so I have over a dozen new dishtowels now as well (my mother had stashed them away in another closet, as I found out...)!

And now I'm sitting here, surrounded by the tubs, baskets and boxes, and I wonder if I'm ever going to get this mess organised. And looking at the items makes me both happy and sad - I know this is part of the normal grieving process, but boy, do I wish to be done and over with this! 

A friend asked me yesterday how I'm feeling these days, and I came up with 'tired'. 
Ah well. I'm not complaining. I'm simply describing how I feel :-)

So, this is where I am right now. 

Thanks for reading my ramblings, and as always, feedback is welcome. 

Until next time, take care and be safe!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Life is a mix

Hi everyone :-)

The 21st of June marked the beginning of summer in my part of the world (at least that's what my calendars say. Meteorologists say that summer begins on the 1st of June). 

Well, we've had a mini heatwave here just before summer began formally - temperatures were up to 34°C, and everybody was moaning about the heat... so, I'm not entirely sure who's right - calendars or meteorologists :-) Fact is - I hope the remainder of summer won't get all that hot any more - I don't function all that well in extreme heat! - If asked what my favourite season is, I'll usually say late spring and early autumn. But I also like the very beginning of summer... when it's starting to get warm, when the evenings are long and light, when there's a certain languour in the air and people put on light clothes and start thinking more seriously about their forthcoming summer holidays, garden projects or other leisure activities. That doesn't always coincide with the formal beginning of summer, obviously!
Whatever. Summer also is nice because we got married in the summer, and I certainly have happy memories of that. It's been 21 years now (hard to believe! It seems much longer and much shorter at the same time!) - and I'm still happily married to the same man. Someone recently said to me we're part of a radical minority these days as more and more people get divorced - that made me think! - This, by the way, is a picture of the flowers we got for each other on the occasion of our wedding anniversary this year!

What else has been happening around here? I have been mulling over a living room decorating project for a while now, but haven't been able to make my mind up about what I want so far. It's about new curtains, a new throw and other soft furnishing aspects, mostly. 

The bedroom decorating project is at a similar stage! I'd also like a new sideboard there but haven't been able to find anything that I like and / or that fits.

We have been in our house for over 15 years now, and I feel it's time for a change, but it's so hard to decide what to go for. Since it's about the 'concept' of the room, I can't just make one little change, and that'll be it. I'd have to go for a complete make-over. I find that a little intimidating!

I'm subscribed to a bunch of Instagram accounts that focus on interior design, and that has been helpful, but the fabrics I like never seem to be available here in Germany - or they are hard to get, or they are fairly expensive (or all of these apply). I mostly seem to fancy English designers (surprise, surprise), like Colefax and Fowler (google them! They have lovely designs!) or some stuff that Laura Ashley has come up with (not everything, I hasten to add! Some designs are too over the top for me, but they do have some nice things, I must say), and they don't have (m)any stores here in Germany. It's not always easy to translate the ideas that they come up with into what would be possible in our house, though... For starters, we have rather high ceilings (we live in an old house, and our rooms are 3,20 m high, instead of the regular 2,50-2,60 m) - so a coloured curtain has a massive effect on the whole atmosphere of the room, simply because of it's sheer length.

Last weekend, there was a fabric market in town, and I decided to go and try to get some inspiration. It was quite a challenge. There were so many fabrics, it was hard not to get into a shopping fever. For the records, I bought nothing. But here are some examples of what I liked.

I loved this paisley pattern, although I know it doesn't really fit into our house at all. Purple isn't a colour I'd choose for any of our rooms, but that doesn't stop me from thinking that it looks gorgeous, anyway!
These blue-green-turqouise shades don't fit into our house, either. We have mostly yellows and oranges and warm dark reds in the living area, along with light wooden furniture (and a very light grey couch! That's the only piece of furniture that would go along with these fabrics because it's so neutral) and white doors - the walls are yellow, and as much as I like the fresh vintage look of these colours - nah, it would look horrible. They won't work in the bedroom, either, as we have light lilac /lavender coloured walls there. So - duh!

Pretty much everything I've said about the other fabrics applies to this sample, too. But I loved it, anyway... :-)

So, for the living / dining room, I haven't come one step farther. It's a bit frustrating. Still, it was nice to see what's out there. We will get new chairs for the dining area some time in August, and that will change the atmosphere of the room again, so maybe it's a good idea to wait a little.

For the bedroom, I have kind of settled for something 'neutral' - i.e. grey / white. That would go along nicely with the three lilac / lavender walls (the window wall is white). Patterns and styles I consider are designs in this vein:

This is very simple, yet it could look sophisticated, provided you mix it so it doesn't look 'dull'.
This might be a bit too 'bold' as they pattern is quite large, but I still like it.
This is similar to the first pattern, yet it's different. It's a bit 'lighter', I think, and I might prefer it, if it boiled down to the other one or this.
Hubby thinks this is too ornate and 'squiggly'. I think that - although I do like it - he's got a point! I'd have to combine it with white, I guess - and maybe then the effect would be lost. Not sure!


We both quite like this one for drapes, despite this being a fairly large pattern again. It would go well with light white curtains.
This is another one that could work for the bedroom, if combined with light white curtains. The pattern is very bold and very old-fashioned, but with high ceilings and the right accessories, it could look very good. It's a light lilac, so it could be a bit tricky - but since the wall where the windows are is white and we'd match the drapes with light white curtains, it would probably work.

We might not find exactly the same patterns again (as I said, we didn't buy anything, and the fabric market isn't a regular event in our town, so we'd have to go to a store and choose something that resembles what we have taken into consideration), but at least we have narrowed down what we like and what we consider a no-go. Don't worry, I'll update you on what's happening when the time has come.

So far for the more general, slightly 'trivial' stuff in my life. Apart from that, what's new in my corner of the world? 

Work-wise, a few changes are around the corner, and I have mixed feelings about them. Since I can't take any influence, though, I try to keep cool about them. I try not to think of everything that could go wrong - getting worried won't help, it will just make me as mad as a box of frogs.

We're still in the process of going through everything in my dad's house. In the beginning of June, we had a major clear-out, with professional help. It was tough, but it felt good to have at least a part of it done and over with. I have taken a couple of things with me that I want to keep - and I need to go through a huge box of things that I'm not sure about. It makes me sad and emotional - so I've been avoiding it. But I know I have to tackle it eventually. 

There are more sad news - my uncle (dad's brother) is doing rather miserably, and when I spoke to my cousin earlier today, it sounded like he hasn't got much longer to live. Over the past 15 years, we have written letters and kept in touch on a more or less regular basis, and despite the distance, I've always felt there's a bond.

Now, of course, I have ambiguous feelings - I know that he has lived his life - he's 83 - and he's quite ill. The quality of his life isn't all that great any more, and we all know that there won't be better times ahead for him. And despite all that... oh, you know! I don't think I have to say more about this. Unfortunately, he lives very far from me, so it's not that I can just go and see him at any given time. However, I know that he's in good hands - my cousins are doing a great job in taking care of him, and knowing this is a big consolation. I couldn't do anything to help, anyway.

So... that's what's going on in my little world at the moment. As stated in the picture on top of my posting... life is a mix, just like DJ music... and sometimes it takes a while until a song comes up that makes you happy :-)

For now, this is all from my end. As always, comments and feedback are welcome. 

Take care & be safe :-)

Sunday, 11 June 2017

What I did on my holiday: a trip to the Cotswolds

So, it's been a while since I last posted, I know. I hope you didn't get any withdrawal symptoms or think I had disappeared altogether. 

I had plans to write sooner, but they fell through - obviously. The truth is that I have been busy (yeah, I know - an over-used term) with all sorts of things and didn't really have much of a chance to post on here - or rather, I knew I'd have to sort out photos etc. before posting, plus I had to get organised with a few other things as well. That took time - and so I'm only getting back to you now.

As indicated in the header, I have been away for a trip lately. Some of you may know that I had my birthday in May - and my gift to myself this year was a trip to the UK, namely to the Cotswolds in England. 

I hadn't been to England in almost 20 years. My husband can't be bothered with travelling there - he's just not interested - so it just never appeared on our joint list of holiday destinations. Last year, I spoke to a friend - 'C' for further reference - whose partner also isn't interested in travelling to England, and we decided we'd go on a trip there together this year. And so the planning began...

Before I say anything else - I apologise to all my friends in the UK whom I didn't inform before travelling there. I knew we'd have limited time, and I couldn't possibly get together with everyone, plus I didn't travel by myself, so had to take that into consideration, too.

View of the garden
So... why the Cotswolds? I have been there for half a day in the 90s, and I've always wanted to go back and see more of the area. Back then, I stayed in Oxford for a long weekend (a friend whom I was visiting took me there), and we went to Blenheim Palace together and did some more sightseeing in the area. I was very impressed, and ever since, the idea of visiting again has lingered in the back of my head. 

Instead of staying in a hotel or a B&B, we stayed in a self-catering holiday cottage for two - in Cirencester, not too far from the town centre. We found the place online, and it was perfect! It was located in a quiet street, and the landlords (lovely people!) lived on the same property, but the apartment was in a separate building (it was a former coach house), and we had lots of space, along with peace and quiet. There was a big kitchen / dining / sitting area on the ground floor and a spacious bedroom and bathroom upstairs, so we had everything we needed. There were all sorts of amenities like a TV / DVD player, an ipod docking station, all relevant kitchen appliances and even a wood burning stove (which we didn't need after all).

Cirencester, street leading to the market square
We had chosen Cirencester as it's big enough so you can find places to eat and shop, yet small enough not to overwhelm you. Plus it was recommended in several travelguides as the 'gate to the Cotswolds'. It seemed more practical than Cheltenham or other (larger) towns, and it certainly offered more variety than a small village in the middle of nowhere.

So, we flew into Bristol from Frankfurt (in a tiny plane with around 50 other passengers - and one flight attendant named Thomas... he was lovely, and when he came to remind me to put the back of my seat into an upright position, he advised me to 'just push the button, darling' - I loved that! If anyone here called me 'darling', I'd be very taken aback, but it just seemed to fit here!) and picked up our car there. Fortunately, my friend C was comfortable with driving - I was listed as an additional driver, but was glad I didn't have to step in. C did a wonderful job - she was well-prepared, had taken along her SatNav and drove like a goddess. It helps that she drives a lot - compared to me - so she had no issues at all. It took a moment to get used to driving on the left hand side, but once she had adjusted, everything went smoothly. 

Church of St. John the Baptist, Cirencester
We visited a number of places, and it's impossible to go into detail about everything that we saw. In regard to the weather, we were extremely lucky - it rained buckets on our arrival day, but then it cleared up in the evening, and we had a fantastic week with lots of sunshine, moderate to warm temperatures and hardly any rain at all. It was absolutely lovely! 

On our first evening, we just tried to get orientated and find our way around town - after having shopped for the essentials (there was an 'international market' going on when we arrived, so we bought some excellent French cheese and baguette, plus we got some other basics in a nearby store), we went for a longish walk around town.

Here are a few impressions of the 'river walk' and the Abbey Grounds:

Old Mill

River Walk

Abbey Grounds

Detail of a big wooden sculpture (Abbey Grounds)

We visited a lot of different places during our stay - C had worked out several 'routes' that we followed (I said she was well prepared, didn't I?), and it's impossible to list everything that we saw. Each day was full to the brim - and it's hard to say which place was most interesting, most exciting, most outstanding.

On our second day, we had tickets for the Giffords Circus (http://www.giffordscircus.com/), and they were staying on the grounds of Sudeley Castle, so we visited that, too. We got day tickets, so we could slip out for the circus and come back afterwards. 

The circus was fantastic - check out the link in the last paragraph - and we had loads and loads of fun. I love performances like that - you're right there, in the middle of what's going on! Afterwards, my hands and arms hurt from all the clapping, and I was a little hoarse from cheering... 

And Sudeley Castle also was fantastic. Here are a couple of impressions:

I will refrain from pestering you with all the pictures of plants and flowers that I took! - For something more 'substantial', you might want to check out their homepage here: https://www.sudeleycastle.co.uk/

Other places we saw included Winchcombe (very picturesque), Duntisbourne Abbots (small village with a romantic little church and graveyard), Painswick (and the Rococo Gardens there), Stow-on-the-Would (I bought funky socks there!), Chipping Campden, Broadway Tower, the Stanway Viaduct, Bourton-on-the-Water, the Slaughters, Rendcomb, Northleach, Bibury, Blockley... and we spent a day in Oxford, too. 

In Oxford we took a tour of the Bodleian Library and met up with one of my penpals - that was lovely! We had never met before, but we didn't need any 'warming up' phase - we got into talking immediately. We went to Christ Church College where part of the Harry Potter movies were shot, and afterwards we had coffee and cake together. It was huge fun!

I hardly took any pictures in Oxford, but the ones I did take are here:

 Lovely little lane off one of the main roads
 Bath Place Hotel Entrance

Historical house in the heart of the Pedestrians' Zone - I had the hardest time taking this picture as literally hoards of tourists were skulking around, and I thought I'd never manage. Then, for a splitsecond, it was less crowded, and this is what came out of it!

And here are a few more impressions and snapshots of other places that I'd like to share with you:

 Picturesque house in Winchcombe

A row of houses in Winchcombe - actually, this was gated property, and I had to take the photo by holding my mobile through the gate - not to mention that I had to edit out a row of most ungainly wheelie bins that was right in front of the first house of the row.

Bourton-on-the-Water in the evening twilight - we visited here twice: once at the end of the day when it was quiet and peaceful (all the day tourists had gone), and for the second time around mid-day when it was hustling and bustling with visitors.

Telephone box in Rendcomb - mind you, this looks like it's not used any more, but there still is an apparently fully functioning telephone inside!

We saw other phone boxes that were clearly not used for their original purpose any more, however, they had been 'rebranded' as defibrillators (quite an interesting concept, I felt)

Post office and 'mom-and-pop-shop' in Rendcomb - we asked about the way to the church here, and the gentleman there was ever so friendly! I have to say that everyone has been very friendly to us, and I didn't notice any resentments towards foreigners. When I had mentioned that I'd go to the UK for a holiday, people at home had raised their eyebrows and made comments on Brexit and how we might experience hostility, but no such thing happened. We only made pleasant experiences.

Driveway bridge in Rendcomb - I couldn't quite figure out what this was, but it seemed to be a bridge from a private estate over the main road. Quite interesting!

Entrance to the church and graveyard in Duntisbourne Abbots, a small village only a few miles away from Cirencester. It seems like time has stopped there. You wouldn't believe that it's just about two miles off from the busy dual carriageway.
 A lonely postbox in Duntisbourne Abbots - still in use!
A roadsign, overgrown with all sorts of greenery, in Duntisbourne Abbots. We saw lots of signs like this - you have to look really, really closely, or you'll miss them! Having said that, the roads were fairly narrow and 'small', so you couldn't rush, anyway.
Gotta love the English... This was in Painswick, at the church entrance door. You wouldn't find signs like this on church doors here. Shame, really. I love that sort of thing!


Entrance to the graveyard / church area in Painswick - unfortunately, there was no way I could edit out the bin here!

Strong and stable roots in Painswick Garden!

 The 'Red House' (a folly) in Painswick Garden
 Another folly in Painswick Garden
The Gothic Temple (I think that's what it's called) in Painswick Garden - yet another folly

 In Bibury
 Clematis and allium in Bibury

Lovely roses on a house in Bibury - and the reflection in the window is the closest thing to a selfie I've ever taken! To be honest, I wasn't aware of it when I took the picture, but here you go!

Lower Slaughter, village green
 Stanway Viaduct
 Chipping Campden, old market hall
 Rodmarton Manor, detail of the garden
 Rodmarton Manor, another detail of the garden

And this is the farm shop that we visited several times - the Jolly Nice Farmshop near Frampton Mansell 
(http://www.harrietsjollynice.co.uk/) - we got together there with an online friend and her husband (I had met them before nearly two years ago - it was lovely to see them again and catch up on their news), and since we enjoyed the place and loved their ice cream, we came back two more times...
As you see on the sign, they point you to a 'yurt' where you can sit and eat your food - well, this is the yurt from the inside. The place is there year round, and in the cold season, they obviously provide heating, so you won't freeze off your bum.

And here is the yurt from the outside. As you can tell, we had fabulous weather! We loved this farm shop as - while it was set near a busy road - it was rather peaceful there. There's a huge picnic meadow next to the place, and there's plenty of space for parking - that indicates that it's a fairly popular place, and indeed, it was rather busy each time we went there. The service was excellent, and everyone was very friendly... and as I said, the ice cream was outstanding.

So... this is a somewhat long-winded sum-up of my trip to the UK... It was lots of fun, and travelling with my friend C was great - we had a really, really good time, and I hope we can travel together again in the future. There's still lots to see in the Cotswolds, and of course, there are other places in England that I'd love to visit, too :-) So, stay tuned!

I hope I haven't bored you out of your wits with this lengthy posting. Feel free to send feedback, and until next time, take care and be safe!