Obligatory holiday entry times! I did actually write the bulk of this over the holiday and didn't think to finish it until now. Today was the first day back at work after two weeks, but thankfully it wasn't half as guff as I expected. Anyway, cool stuff first,..
The last thing I should really be doing on holiday is writing a journal entry, but it seems like the first chance I've had to write anything full-stop. The past few months have been pretty shitty. Work has been becoming awkward as the department fragments even more under the pressures of a potential takeover and there's been some really tough times in regards to Die's current situation. Thankfully we seem to be getting somewhere with that and I hope that when I do eventually return to work I'll be in the correct mental place to actually start to give a crap again.
So, the holiday thus far has been fantastic. We split the week away into five short trips as an experiment this year and although the itinerary has had it's strengths, we've decided to go back to the whole week in Boscastle next year because y'know, it's fucking Boscastle and nothing is quite as good.
Friday - Early start, arrived at Snowshill in time to visit the wonderful St Eadburgha's Church which had some fantastic features. Obligatory Snowshill visit which was amazing as always. Long drive down to Bath, which on first impressions is a nice looking place. The B&B we stayed in was nice and owned by the campest straight man ever - he was a delight. We had a quick wander about before heading over to Bristol to see Los Savages play, supporting the surprisingly good Terrorsaurs. It was great to see Joxa, Dave and Slappy again, really can't wait until the DLH day in August! With help from the GPS, we got back into Bath just after midnight. Sleepy times!
Saturday - Full day around Bath. I'm not really into the Georgian historical period or it's architecture (why the hell are you in Bath then dickhead) but it's a fun place to explore. We managed to visit the Costume Museum and several wonderful antique shops. I very nearly found the skull I've been searching for for the best part of five years, but the particular one on sale didn't feel right. Bath Cathedral, although stunning externally, was empty of all charm inside. Mrs Lunn's Buns was also an oversell. The evening's ghost walk however was fantastic and we were spoilt by having the guide all to ourselves.!
Sunday - After stocking up on Hommity pie, it was a brief drive south to Glastonbury. It's a place that I've always wanted to visit due to it's dubious mythic connections and ruined Abbey. However, the reality is that Glastonbury is a bit shit. The Abbey is wonderful, the Tor is a great walk and there's two excellent bookshops (picked up both JSK's Geosophia and C.Abrahamson's Resonances!) but it's not enough to combat the stink of commercialised spirituality. That said, we did discover the wonder of courgette spaghetti and hippy hot chocolate which was pretty special! I had the most vivid dreams I'd been invited to the Faery Court that night too - fuck you Glastonbury.
Monday - Before heading to Boscastle, we did a final tour of Glastonbury, discovering via heavy earwigging that coeliacs cannot take communion bread. We decided at the last minute to pass on the Chalice Well and headed to Dunster Castle instead. Dunster was much bigger than expected and had some amazing features. The was an amazing portrait of an unknown Cavalier and some interesting painted leather panels which I've never seen anywhere before. The gardens were also really nice and it was good to finally get to see a little of north Devon. Picked up another cozy blanket and some milled oats before leaving. The drive from Dunster to Boscastle was a bit of a nightmare as most of it was single track roads through national parks. We finally got to Boscastle around 6ish and after some emergency fish and chips, crashed out.
Tuesday - CLIFFS! WITCHCRAFT MUSEUM! LAVENDER ICE CREAM! Best day of the year. The recent renovations in the upper gallery of the museum have definitely freshened the place up and it was great to see the Richel collection renewed as there was some amazing pieces brought out of storage that had never been on display before. Very much hoping we can get down there again for either the AGM or the October event later this year. We spent the afternoon down in Tintagel, lazing on the beach and watching Champion, the Wonder Dog eat meat bubbles and refuse to retrieve balls. Best part of the day was the huge meal we had at the Nap back in Boscastle. Perfect day.
Wednesday - Left Boscastle around 10 (boooo!) and headed to Constantine Bay to hassle sea-creatures, hunt for interesting sea-guff and read on the beach. After pretty much a whole day and a little snooze, we set out to Sennen. Sennen is pretty much Land's End and the entire area of Penwith has an air of wildness about it. After dropping our bags off, we drove out in the evening twilight to visit the Men-a-Tol standing stones and Lanyon Quoit. Men-A-Tol is a special, wild place, but has too many slugs for my taste, and Lanyon Quoit was very over-worldly but had too many cows for Die.
Thursday - Accidentally waking on the threshold of missing breakfast, we headed out a little later than planned to Boscawen-Un Stone circle. What the previous two sites lacked in slug prevention and cow-traps, Boscawen-Un made up with genuine magic. If I needed proof of anything, this place gave it to me in the form of three, boundering Jack Russells appearing after a third mediative lap of the stones. Proper amazing. Leaving via a brief stop at Creeg Tol, we visited Madron Well, which was although interesting, definitely had more of an aura of people about it. It was also too boggy to reach the actual well which was a shame. From here we drove to Longrock Beach and after a brief walk, headed to St Michael's Mount. This was sadly, like Bath Cathedral, another incident of the building appearing to be much more interesting from the outside. The whole place was brimming with tourists (how dare there be any other tourists!!!!) and the property itself lacked the abundance of Civil War arefacts we were led to believe existed inside. That said, the views of the sea and coast were great and it was nice to finally tick that one off the list!
Friday - Long drive North to Totnes where we actually got to visit the costume museum after 6 years of turning up to find it closed. We had the annual lunch in The Wild Fig and after a turn around the surprisingly good town-square market, ate more cake in the Castle which we had to ourselves. The B&B was booked at the last minute and it turned out to be an amazing little 17th Century Coaching Inn nestled in an equally tiny village. Will definitely keep the Durant Arms on the list of crash places in the future! We had little walk down to the River Dart before getting another early night.
Saturday - After the last cooked breakfast of the holiday (reduced to just eggs on toast, consecutive full English breakfasts are too much!) we paid one final visit to Totnes, picking up vital trip home supplies (mainly biscuits). The trip back was really quick and we paid a quick visit to Liz and Frank before falling out of the car at 7ish. Knackered, wash on and early night!
The second week of the holiday was mostly spent jetting around the local(wish) area. We did try and keep up with the exciting itinerary of the first week, but weather and Antique shop closures kinda ruined the day trip out to Pendle. We did however, have a rad day out wandering around World's End with the longbow as well as a rad lunch in Liverpool with autumnpsyche. I'm also stoked at getting through a load of painting too - just need to keep up the hype!