Neither would there be a need to borrow Nanny Goat’s Aygo this time. The Goat made himself useful chez Nanny Goat. As he is now the new expert in domestic waste water plumbing, Nanny Goat asked him to unblock a drain. Unlike the Crumbling Villa over Eid, the blockage this time turned out to be solidified detergent rather than chip fat. It was shifted using the traditional method of opening a manhole, getting a garden hose, and giving the waste pipe an enema. “They don’t like it up ‘em, Mr Mainwaring!” The Goat also had two goes at replacing the washing line so that all the seventeenth-century kit could be put on display to the neighbours. The first attempt involved el cheapo raffia; the second, a much more serious plastic-coated steel wire.
|The East Wing safari park and petting zoo.|
“The Master cannot come to the door at this time, Sir. He is on safari in the East Wing.
Off to Tiger Treats of Looe on a sunny day next, taking Nephews #1 and #2. They protested at first when the idea was mooted, but decided to quiet their objections once they’d worked out that a trip to the karting track at Menheniot was contingent on visiting Looe first.
Beloved Wife is a culture junkie, and Nanny Goat exhumed a National Trust book from her personal library and suggested venues from the comprehensive list of nearby abbeys, stately homes, and castles. Beloved Wife settled on Saltram House and Buckland Abbey.
Saltram is in Plymouth, and after finding somewhere to park, the Goat and Beloved Wife wandered around the grounds, took tea and cake, and then toured the house itself. “One of the finest examples of…etc.” according to the guidebook. In the traditional way, the first Lord established the house and estate, his son developed it, and the third generation (who had never worked a day in his life and thus had no appreciation of his wealth) pissed away the family fortune on fast women and slow horses. It took many generations plus marrying into money for Saltram to recover.
|Recorder-playing cherub in Saltram|
|Buckland Abbey stairs by |
|One of four satyrs (representing |
holding up a Buckland roof.
Hot pasties awaited the return of the culture vultures to Plymouth, which is a virtually guaranteed treat chez Nanny Goat. Mmmm: pastiferous delights!
Further culture was to follow. After saying their goodbyes to Nanny Goat, Beloved Wife and Goat set of towards Bristol via Bath. They located the long-stay parking and, in the sun because British weather is fickle like that, walked into the City. Obviously the Roman Baths were first on the itinerary. This is somewhere neither the Goat nor Beloved Wife have visited since the early 1970s. In fact, because archaeology is ongoing there are new exhibits on view that hadn’t been unearthed in the 1970s. As usual the water in the bath itself was completely out of bounds. Because it’s exposed to sunlight and nice and warm, all sorts of eldritch horrors live therein, and even touching the waters will give you squirty botty or worse. Those wishing to partake of the healthy, fresh-from-the-Mendips mineral water can get it from the fountain next door in the Georgian tea rooms.
The Goat had been looked up and down by a Bottom Inspector at admission to the Baths, who made no comment pertaining to the Goat’s attire. The Goat also spoke to and photographed a Roman re-enactor who passed comment regarding his unshod hooves. “It’s a bath. Who wears shoes in the bath?” In fact, she asked Beloved Wife about her mistreatment of her personal slave, and the Goat missed a trick, failing to spend the rest of the day addressing Beloved Wife as "Domina".
“Tell me, do you have any Stinking Bishop?”
“Of course Sir; it’s a cheese shop, Sir. It’s as runny as you like it.”
Anyway: Bristol. The Joys of Rush Hour eventually provoked rat-running away from the ring road. As the flight out was scheduled for 0600 the following morning, arrangements had been made to spend the evening a mere ten miles from the airport. The Goat gassed up the rental car, correctly anticipating that nothing would be open at 3am, and then he and Beloved Wife were fed and entertained by Mr Thrash and Dr England. Stinking Bishop turns out to be a surprisingly mild cheese; something belied by its powerful aroma.
And that is that. Airport. Back to the middle east. Massive pile of work on desk. Huge collection of photos to review, edit, crop, and post.
“You have been playing the Total Immersion Roleplaying Game ‘England, My England’. Your score is 2.3%. Welcome back to reality.”