Sunday 22 December 2013

Away for Christmas

The blog will be a bit erratic over the coming week. We are having a week off the boat and staying in a gorgeous thatched cottage in the Cotswolds. Unfortunately... Or fortunately.... We have nominternet access there!

So yesterday, Friday, we spent the morning packing for our week away. It just isn't practical to pack in advance when you're living on a boat. We raced around doing last minute chores and last minute checks of everything. It was near on lunchtime by the time we were ready to go. That's unheard of for us! We are usually ready to head off on a holiday soon after breakfast. I did make lists of what to pack and what needed to be done so we knew we wouldn't be likely to forget anything. We made one discovery and that is that the water pump has a tiny leak. Mick had a panic about it but we decided to turn the water off, buy a new pump, and fix it when we get back.

Our first destination was Penkridge to get a new water pump from Midland Chandlers. We had lunch in the coffee shop at Penkridge. It felt a bit odd to be driving around the town. We knew our way around well on foot from the canal but almost drove the wrong way up a one way street! It wasn't a problem when we were walking!

It was back onto our favourite motorway, the M6, to reach the Norhtern end of the Cotswolds. On the way we made a quick stop at a supermarket so wed have provisions for the first night. We arrived at our cottage just as the cleaner was leaving. She said the pervious folk had left the place in a right state and it had taken her much longer than usual to clean. I just don't understand people.

What a gorgeous little cottage it is. There's a small sitting room with space for a dining table, an excellent little kitchen and a newly updated bathroom downstairs. The kind owners have even put up a Christmas tree with lights and left a card and a bottle of bubbly.  The housekeeper left a card and box of chocolates.

Up an impossibly tiny staircase that reminds me of Little Thatch near Buckingham, belonging to Jane and Ian, and there's one bed on the landing at the top and then a good sized bedroom off the landing. There is even an ensuite loo and hand basin which is a great bonus to avoid those steep stairs in the night. With an amazing timber beamed ceiling it's just the sort of place we love. I had tried to find a cottage with a real fire but by the time we were booking there wasn't a huge choice any more. This one has a gas flame one which is still warm and cosy.

Today we did a better provision shop so we are set for the rest of the week. We have ordered a Christmas dinner from Marks and Spencer which we will collect on Monday and we will have a dinner out either the day before or after to avoid the over-priced hype of the day.

This afternoon we've had a drive around. We just love the Cotswolds and are glad we decided to spend Christmas here. It's so beautiful! Mick had taken down the address of a salvage yard at Moreton in Marsh so that's where we are now. I spent half an hour looking around and then left him for another half hour while I type. We have Internet access here!

It's been funny driving around instead of cruising. Twice we've said we will "moor" the car instead of parking it!
Photos will have to wait til another time. I'm typing on my iPad.

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