A visit to Bath and another to the Brede Giants

Last weekend we went down to Bristol to visit Philosopher’s daughter Anna and her partner Gareth. Had an excellent time, including a really good day out in Bath. Then, Monday was yet another bank holiday – how many can there be? We went with friends Peter and Jenny to the Brede Giants – they had never been. Excellent lunch in the Red Lion in Brede.  Apart from that, have done some more glass sorting (see last post), been to a meeting in Bexhill with fellow Stanza poets to plan our group anthology, and had a horrible time at the dentist. Quite enough for one week, I think.

Gareth, Anna and Battleaxe at Royal Crescent

So, firstly, Bath. It was a fabulous sunny day, and even though the city was crowded, as it always is, it was looking beautiful. Gareth works just outside Bath, so he knows parking places etc.  We had a good wander about.

At the Circus…

I have not been to Bath for years. My mother was very keen on the Royal Mineral Water Hospital – the National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases – which at that time was situated right in the middle of the city.  We found the building. – surprisingly, given its prime location, still empty. My mother had umpteen operations on different arthritic bits of her body over the years. When I visited her I used to stay at a guest-house run by Antony O’Flaherty, my one time boss when I worked at the NAAFI, far back in the dim mists of time… Antony’s wife, Nicole, was a mover and shaker on the local council – responsible for the reopening of the Bath Spa.... Anyway, my mother died in 2000. Quite sad that she died (of a brain haemorrhage) in Salisbury Hospital instead of her beloved Bath. I haven’t been back to the city since.  I wonder what became of Antony and Nicole?

We had lunch in a very flash gastro-pub/restaurant called The Architect, in a great big old building just by Poultney Bridge. It was warm enough to eat outside on the terrace.

The Architect is that big building on the right…

After lunch we drove up to Prior Park, up on a hill on the outskirts of Bath, partly as an escape from the heat and crowds in the city streets.  The main Palladian mansion, dating from the 1730s, is now a school, and the original eighteenth-centure landscaped garden has been taken over by the National Trust. It is still in the process of restoration. There were lovely views, over the Palladian Bridge, down to the city.

So, Brede Giants. Am not going to write much here – I did a long and comprehensive blog post when we first visited, back in 2014. Here is the post. Crikey – that’s ages ago. Anyway, Peter and Jenny are also very keen on old engines, so this was ideal. They were as impressive as ever! It made Battleaxe proud to be a Brummie. Don’t forget, readers, that as well as living there for over 30 years Battleaxe’s maternal family heritage is a heavy metal bashing business in Hockley. Battleaxe would still recommend a visit to the Brede Giants as strongly as she did in 2014. We visited the nuclear bunker as well- it was freezing cold in there.

Weather-wise, it is a little strange at the moment. Lovely and sunny much of the time, but we haven’t had any rain for weeks, and none is currently forecast. There is a very persistent north-east wind, which makes it too cold to sit outside or enjoy the sun.

Anyway, here’s another Battleaxe recommendation. After the Giants – and another look round the church, we ate lunch at the Red Lion pub in Brede. I tell you, the food was absolutely excellent. A good varied menu, and reasonably priced. The pub is an attractive old place, and has a very large garden – it was too cold to sit out. All in all, fabulous. It doesn’t have a website.

So finally, teeth. What is there to say? On Wednesday I had to have a top front tooth out. Have struggled with it for about a year because it had a crown, and the stump supporting the crown had started to give out… so have been on loose tooth watch. But then it got infected, so the time had come… I already have two more gaps at the top on the side. Dentist said implants were not a practical option.  Couldn’t have a bridge… so.. what have I now got…urgh I can’t even say the word, but still can’t eat anything but mush, sound all lispy, feel about a million years old and am boringly whingey. One thing I have learned in life – it is no use trying to console yourself (or others) with the ‘others are much worse off than you’ platitude. Sure, they are, and that’s dreadful, but one’s own petty griefs expand to fill the space available to them. Have always been a bit tooth-phobic – would rather face a firing squad than go out in public without my front teeth, but this? It now looks very good but nooooo….. ah well, at least am losing weight.

 

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