My Castle Is (Not) My Home
We’ve just got back from a few nights spent in a castle in sunny Somerset. The castle had tiny rooms, low ceilings, a narrow spiral staircase to the upstairs bedrooms, a turret, a portcullis and no en suites. I hardly need to add that it had no WiFi, do I?
There were, however, cows at the bottom of the garden. They came over to see what was going on every time we stepped outside, and did vast poos and wees, much to DD’s amusement. Even DS loved the cows, shouting obscure baby words at them with much excitement.
I suppose they were more interesting, visually, than sand-coloured camels.
While we were in Somerset, we spent a day at Lord Bath’s ancestral home and major tourist attraction: Longleat. We didn’t manage the safari drive, but we visited Postman Pat Village (“But he’s not REAL! He’s not WALKING!” wailed DD), went on the miniature train (and lost DH’s Ray-Bans in the process), went on the safari boat trip, and generally meandered about amongst the throngs of other millions of stressed parents who also thought it a good day to visit.
When I was planning the summer, the decision came down to EuroDisney or Longleat. Longleat obviously won. In retrospect, think it was the right choice, not least because our castle was much nicer than the Disney hotels I looked at.
We also paid a visit to the Clark’s Outlet Village near Street, where we gorged on bargain buys from GAP, M&S, Joules and Ecco. I even got DD measured and fitted for next year’s school shoes at a fraction of what they’d have cost in Dubai.
I’ve never been to an Outlet Village before (unless you count Dubai’s dreary Outlet Mall) and I was pleasantly surprised. It was done up to look like a little village, with flower baskets hanging outside the shops and a traditional carousel in the village square. All very twee, and a big thumbs up from me and my 15 bags of Joules frocks.
I’ve now been in England for two weeks and that’s my usual threshold, beyond which I start to pine for Dubai. DH flies back on Wednesday and I’m already fantasising about changing my ticket to return with him. I keep thinking about our pool. If I knew it was cool and inviting, I may be more tempted, but I know that ad this time of year, and without a chiller, it will be like hot soup.
And then I look at the kids at bedtime and see their tired and happy little faces flushed with fresh air and the great activities we’ve been doing and I think: for what to take them back to 49°C and humidity? To an indoor life with all their friends away?
We’ll stick it out for two more weeks. Forgive me if my posts are irregular. Back to usual service in September.