Friday, 3 August 2018

Two Go Mad in Somerset

When R and I went to Stockholm last month, we went alone on the basis that L had said that she couldn't have any time off at the moment, and E claimed that she didn't really want to go on a family holiday without L. It was only when we got back that we realised that E was rather miffed - apparently 3 days in Stockholm doesn't count as a 'holiday', it's just a 'fun weekend', and yes she would have liked to have gone! Feeling guilty, I booked a last minute 3 days (2 nights) trip to sunny Weston Super Mare for the 2 of us. Alright, so it's not exactly exotic, but E and I have had several trips in the UK as treats following various exams and we always have fun together.
Weston was no exception. Admittedly, the hotel sucked: I booked it because it was right on the seafront (it was), and it was cheap (you could tell!). The decor was tired and dated, the breakfast abysmal, and the shower curtain rancid. Worst of all, was the attitude of the manager - when I asked for some soya milk at breakfast, the waiter disappeared and returned with the boss. She then spent 5 minutes explaining (at volume) that guests with dietary requirements normally brought their own. I was icily polite as I explained that I had said that we were vegan at the time of booking and that reception had confirmed it on our arrival. No one had mentioned anything about providing for ourselves (which we would happily have done if only we had been told). Apparently, she hadn't been informed and somehow that was our fault. With the words 'I am the customer, and therefore right' ringing loudly (admittedly, only in my head!  :0)  ) we glumly perused the full English menu together. She then offered us a 'gluten free sausage' and to our great credit, we managed not to laugh. I was very tempted to ask for some 'wafer thin ham', but restrained myself. We managed to cobble together something to eat, and then looked at each other in disbelief as the people on the table behind us were asked if they wanted the full English or were they awkward too!
She excelled herself on our last day when some unfortunate eldery lady vomited at breakfast (probably as good a comment on the food as any I could give). The poor lady was mortified and the manager's response was to pull a face, announce 'Ew!' and then exit the room, leaving her staff to clear it up. I'd slate them on Trip Adviser if I could be bothered to register with them. As I can't, can I just recommend that anyone visiting Weston Super Mare avoid The Sandringham Hotel. Still, it was memorable.
Here then are some photos from Weston:
  The beach was enormous and beautifully sandy:
 ............... apart from when the tide went out leaving a strip of sticky mud. We found this out on our first day when we managed to miss the warning signs!
I do love donkeys, but we felt very sorry for these poor beasts, forced to stand in the hot sun all day giving rides to fractious toddlers. They did enjoy a nice ear rub though.
 The Weston Eye. I'm terrified of heights, but forced myself to go on this. E enjoyed it!
 Crazy golf:
 Vegan ice cream!
  Sand sculptures:
 E's attempt!
  Lunch at a Japanese restaurant - YUM!
 Dinner at a fun Mexican restaurant - there were hats and ponchos for dressing up, but I'm not posting those particular photos!
 The one thing I don't have photos of is the high ropes course from our last day. Can I just reiterate my acrophobia at this point? E  was keen, and I was desperate to have actually done it, even if it terrified me. They allowed me to go up to assess it first before committing myself, and next thing  I could hear someone saying that it would be okay - that someone was me .......................... and it turned out that it wasn't! E was an absolute star, she went first over each of the sections and then talked me through it, encouraging me every step of the way. She hugged me after each part as I clung sobbing to the central pole, and told me I was doing fantastically well, when clearly I wasn't. The worst part was the final zip wire. Had the harness been taut at that point, I think I would have been okay. Unfortunately, you actually had to drop off the platform before it became taut and that was the part that freaked me out. Eventually (there was quite a queue behind me at this point, and they couldn't overtake as our harnesses were attached to the wire in order), the man running it decided to come to my rescue. He did the zip wire in reverse (it was a very shallow gradient), misjudged his aim and managed to crush my legs against the platform that I was sitting on. My knight in shining armour slid slowly back down the wire with me shouting 'How was that possibly helpful?' after him! His second attempt was more successful and he told me that he would use his weight and momentum to carry us both back. That did the trick - not wanting to be squashed a second time, I dropped off the platform and slid whimpering to the end, where E hugged me and we examined my rapidly developing bruises. It's now a week later and they are still appalling. Overall though, Weston with E was lovely; she is always good company and great fun to be with.

Other happies this month:
Finishing my black denim pinafore dress (pattern: Cleo by Tilly and the Buttons):
Not really a happy as such, more a question. What are these 2 bees doing? (I know that sounds a little stupid!). They look like completely different species to me, so are they mating? They were locked like this for quite some time, eventually the larger one seemed to have had enough and seemed to be trying to remove the smaller of the two. I tried to help with the aid of a twig, but angry buzzing ensued, so I left them to it. Eventually they flew away, so I assume all was fine. My knowledge of bees is deplorable, so I'm afraid that I don't know if they are different types of the same bee - worker and queen?  Sorry to be so ignorant, but I was fascinated - CT, can you help?
I bought tickets for the Pink Floyd Experience for R. He was a big fan of the original and though it's not quite my cup of tea, he seemed to quite enjoy it:
Deirdre munching windfalls:
Pride socks for L:
Dusting 'Bernard' off ready for the summer. Look at my poor drought ridden lawn:
Working on my Featherweight Cardigan by the river:
This chap has been around quite a lot recently:
A day trip to Brighton in Bridget. It's been a while since we last went to Brighton and, to be honest, I was slightly disappointed - it all seemed slightly run down and there was far too much graffiti. Maybe they had spent all their money on the offshore wind farm. Still, it was a lovely sunny day, and we had chips on the beach - always a favourite. I also got to visit their yarn shop, Yak.

The Pavillion:
The Lanes - again, I remembered these as having a more diverse selection of shops. They were mostly overpriced jewellers.
Finally, my anniversary flowers:
Someone liked the box!
Well, that's all for now. I have been enjoying the slightly cooler weather this week, but I hear that it's going to be hot again tomorrow. Enjoy the weekend, whatever you have planned.

Toodle pip for now. x

10 comments:

  1. Such a shame the hotel was so awful but looks like everything else was ok and you had a lovely time together.

    Mitzi

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  2. A great selection of things as always. Your hotel stay sounded memorable! Perhaps the sort of thing you will laugh about in future?!

    The bees are Red-Tailed, the big one is the Queen and the smaller one the male, so they are mating. Bumblebee matings can last for hours. It's quite unusual to see it (I never have) so you were lucky.

    Love all the knitting as always and the beautiful flowers, but Hamish in his box steals the show XX

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    1. Thanks, CT. I knew you could help. I feel rather guilty now about trying to separate them with a twig! xx

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    2. I shouldn't worry too much- without getting too personal, the important transferral bit is done quite quickly, so the twig won't have prevented bee reproduction! No one is quite sure why they stay hooked together like that for hours :o) xx

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  3. Your hotel sounds worthy of a John Cleese moment at Fawlty Towers. I was chuckling and sympathising at the same time. Definitely one to cross off your list of top hotels.
    Intriguing about the bees, thank goodness CT is there to clarify.
    Haven’t been to Brighton for a few years. Always sad when I place you love changes for the worse. Love Hamish in his box. B x

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  4. Weston-super-Mare is in a league of its own isn't it. It sounds as though you kept your sense of humour (absolutely essential) and had a memorable time. My youngest always likes a trip there, and a scamper on the beach. It's never dull, I have to say. Bernard is a creature of great beauty, I hope you and he have a good summer together. A weekend of cricket awaits for me. I have my deckchair at the ready. CJ xx

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  5. The hotel sounds appalling, difficult to believe there are still establishments like this, the need The Hotel Insoector!

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  6. Enjoyed reading all about your various visits, as always! That hotel sounds dire! Reminds me of the one I stayed in in Manchester on my last visit to my Dad's. We were on the top floor, there was no lift to that floor, I had a LOT of luggage with me but, no, the hotel does not offer a porter service. I refused to let my 80 year old Dad do anything, so it was down to me. These places have no idea!!!
    Love your pinafore and, no I have no idea what those bees are doing ;-)

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  7. Dear God!!! That hotel sounds utterly horrendous, what a monstrous woman, I think I would have given her a piece of my mind. I'm so glad you enjoyed the rest of it though....apart from all the heights...argh....I tip my cap to you, I too hate heights, but that high ropes debacle would have sent me loopy!
    Ahhhh, poor little donkey, how I love those poor creatures, so often you see them hanging around in the sun. I loved Bernard, how glorious, and Deirdre and the woodpecker. I also always loved having chips on Brighton beach when daughter lived there. A wonderful post, I did enjoy it.xxx

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  8. P.s...that is a queen bee, they often mate with multiple males, I've seen it once or twice in my garden.xxx

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