Greetings everyone. With R at work and L on a holiday work placement this week, E and I have been entertaining ourselves. In June, as a post exam treat, E went to Centre Parcs for a weekend with some friends. Apparently, they have segways which you can hire and E was very keen. Unfortunately, she was the only one of the group who was and they ended up going on the high ropes course instead. She had a fantastic time but was still a little disappointed about the missed segway ride. Moving forwards a couple of months and I saw an advert for 'Go Ape' in Swinley forest. Again, there is a high ropes course but they also do segway hire for an hour. It is eye wateringly expensive but, as it would just be the 2 of us, we decided to go for it.
After an early picnic, it was time to try it out. Luckily, there were just the 2 of us in our group (we deliberately chose the 1pm session in the hope that most people would be having lunch round about then) and after a 5 minute safety talk and a trundle around the training area, we were off into the forest. The instructor took us to a central area from which 3 circular trails of increasing complexity led, and we were allowed to go off on our own, following said trails. There was only one dodgy moment, when I stopped to take a photo of E and forgot to hold onto the segway - they do tend to take off and you're left feeling foolish running after them!
After about half an hour going around these trails, we returned to the instructor, who led us to some wider paths, increased our segway speed from 7 to 10.5 mph and led us up and down the hills through the forest. Expensive it may be but it was worth every penny. It was FANTASTIC - I haven't had such fun for ages and we couldn't stop grinning. Despite knowing that the inventor of the Segway died when he fell off a cliff on one, you do feel really safe. You make them go by transferring your weight to your toes and stop by doing the same on your heels. It feels strange at first, but within about 10 minutes you're doing it automatically. They are really responsive, turning sharply and stopping quickly if necessary and the forest was a perfect place to try them out. The instructor was lovely and I can't recommend it highly enough. There are various forests around the country where you can do this, so save up and go and have a brilliant time. It would be great for a birthday treat.
So, that was my 'new thing' for this week. Other happies include:
Sweetcorn fritters with mango and avocado salsa:
They were made from this book that I found in a charity shop a while ago and made a yummy supper.
A trip to Cirencester:
I was recently inspired by CJ's post at 'Above the River' about a trip to Cirencester. We live about 45 minutes away but had never been, so this week E and I went to explore. CJ was right, it really is a beautiful town. We followed the trail of hares, decorated by artists and destined to be auctioned off for charity in the Autumn. Here were our favourite pair:
We had a lovely time pootling around, stopped for a coffee and a shared panini at a dog friendly cafe where E was entranced by the sweetest whippet, and I managed to restrain myself from buying any wool at the 2 (yes, count them!) yarn shops. The only shop I found slightly disappointing was the fabric shop - I wanted to buy a quarter for my fabric stash as a memento of the day, but couldn't find anything suitable. At some point we want to go back and see the Roman bits but after spending a week at on archaeological dig recently, E was all 'historied' out!
Another 'new thing' for this week was Bubble Tea. A Chinese Tea Bar has opened in our town, L had seen quite a few in London and had wanted to try Bubble Tea, so we gave it a whirl. It looks like iced tea but with black tapioca spheres settled at the bottom; it was surprisingly refreshing with a taste something like Five Spice powder but not quite. It comes complete with a large diameter straw so you can have fun sucking up the tapioca - they are quite chewy and it's a bit like a drink and a snack all rolled into one! We may be doing a return trip as they also do lunches and their vegetable dumpling noodles looked delicious.
Finally, an open air production by our local Masques group at Welford Park (where this year's Great British Bake Off was filmed!). After torrential rain earlier in the day, we were extremely lucky with the weather and managed to enjoy a picnic beforehand.
Anyway, have a lovely week whatever you have planned - these Summer holidays seem to be whizzing by far too quickly for my liking!
Toodle Pip for now. x