So now it’s September and I’m off on another adventure. My summer has by no means been dull and I have not been idle, but I chose to keep it close. More of that in Part Two. This holiday was booked in February and is a short tour of Secret Italy – Padua, Mantua and Vicenza. An early start for flying at 7am but it is a beautiful morning and I will still have a lot of day left once I arrive. It’s strange to be flying to Venice and not going there, but as Worth once said, you should always go to Venice with someone you love. For me at least, Paris has the reputation but Venice has the heart and soul.
I got back from holiday and hit the ground running. First off a new car to replace PaceBeast; this is SuperBeast. Now I have three fast cars and am officially a fast lady.Worth’s cousin Lorraine came to stay and we both went for a twelve mile walk and the week ended with a beautiful sunny weekend at Shelsley.Invigilating started the following week, then I had a day out to Chomondley Castle to celebrate Porsche’s 70th birthday and afterwards to visit Worth’s mum as she was by then quite close. When I returned home the next evening Bertie was missing and didn’t turn up until just before 8am on Monday morning, when I suppose he got out of wherever he was as locked in overnight, none the worse for his adventure, just hungry. This week my tatty garden fence was at long last replaced by a much more sturdy one, all the honeysuckle, rose and ivy was removed and just the honeysuckle and rose put back. That was a lot harder than it sounds but I am very pleased with the end result.Ola seems to get a lot of pleasure climbing this new fence – I don’t think she felt safe on the old one. Bertie doesn’t climb, he just looks. I don’t think he possesses the necessary balance and agility. And finally a picture of me, which you don’t get often but even I thought I scrubbed up quite well in this (and that doesn’t happen often).
It’s Malvern Walking Festival this week and I suggested to Beastie’s cousin Lorraine that she should chose one and we could do it together. I wasn’t anticipating a 10 mile one with lots of hills to climb, but I did it and lived to tell the tale. With the promise of hail, lightening and assorted other horrors forecast we kept a brisk pace and only had a light sprinkling of rain at almost the end of our walk. It was very welcome as we had just climbed up to the summit of Midsummer Hill from the Gullet Quarry, the steep path. Please understand when I say steep, I do mean steep 😮. About 5pm Lorraine went home as the bad weather looked like it was imminent. A lovely day; I would never have attempted it on my own, but very pleased with myself. The picture is the view from the Obelisk in Eastnor Park. The expected rain has now arrived and I can hear thunder already.
So this was us creeping along the M25 towards home. 2,400 miles driven and about 90 miles walked (the Elf has an ap that counts steps, about 2000 steps per mile, 180,000 steps 😲) and this was outstandingly the worst part of the journey, as it always has been on these road trips. Once we had escaped this, we then picked our way along the M4, avoiding some poor soul’s camping gear which had presumably parted company with the roof it was attached to. Having weaved through a tent, sleeping bag, wellies and other sundry objects the way was at last clear for Banbury and then home. A great holiday, lots of adventures and memories and the company of my lovely Elfie. Beastie’s soldier was with us to keep us safe, now back in his proper place – he would be proud of us, although Ruby’s sat nav would have driven him crazy 😜.
Another long day driving this time about another 350 miles through France this time. Our stop tonight was Arras, with two huge squares bordered by these lovely old buildings. We were staying in a bed and breakfast, very easy to find and only 10 minutes walk from the town centre. The house itself was huge and lovingly cared for. This was our room and this was our shared living space.
We walked to the town for dinner and came back earlyish as we were both tired and we would like an early start tomorrow.
Today was a lot of this – belting along motorways and through tunnels on our way home. We left Italy, drove right across Switzerland and ended the day at Colmar which is part of Germany in France. You would never know you were in France except they speak French. So we strolled into town, I had a chicken rosti which was enormous, washed down with a copious amount of Reisling. The Elf ate meat and sauerkraut.Then an ice cream, meringue and chocolate sauce concoction which we shared. I’ve been to Colmar once before but I don’t remember it at all. Very pretty, but very German.
We were going to catch the boat to Limone today but the fast boat was full and the next slow boat was at 12.17. So we drove there instead. It’s a very busy place but a lot of shops, especially shoes 😳. I tried some on but got distracted by a shop full of Donna Laura Venezia shoes and there were so many there to like that I left confused. They were very expensive to buy on a whim. I also tried on an amazing reversible jacket and coat but they too were very expensive (I can’t see prices that well without my glasses these days, however I could see E400 on the jacket)So we stopped for a while then went for a walk. We planned up go to Lake Ledro but there had been an accident in the tunnel and it was closed. So we came home for a quiet afternoon and had our meal later in the village. This was our last full day in Italy and we’ll start our journey home tomorrow. We’ve had a lovely time but we are both ready to come home now.