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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Saturday, 1 October 2005

Peace and quiet in Herefordshire

Being in the midst of the Herefordshire countryside has been a pleasant contrast from the rush and noise of our usual urban existence. We eventually found the cottage, in a small village called Edwin Ralph a couple of miles north of Bromyard, and spent the first couple of days acquainting ourselves with the countryside around us. In fact, the children (especially Lenni!) insisted on going on daily "adventures" along about half-a-mile of public footpaths that were clearly labelled nearby, taking us past fields of sheep, across cornfields and into some wonderfully tranquil woodland...

Woodland near Edwyn Ralph.A lone tree...A cornfield.A view of the Herefordshire landscape. <br />

While there was plenty to do within the near periphery of the holiday cottage, we also ventured further - to Ledbury (most of which is closed on Mondays) then to Hereford, where the children painted ceramic bowls, which we collected on Friday after they'd been glazed and fired.

On Tuesday, we took a look round Bromyard itself, which is one of those very strange 'just about qualifies as a town' places, with a high street consisting of a church, a smattering of small shops and banks, a terrifyingly neat row of bungalows on "Schallenge Walk" - oh, and a heritage centre that seemed to consist mainly of a statue of a goat called "Ann Campbell".

In celebration of a goat called Ann CampbellBromyard Heritage CentreBromyard's terrifying Bungalows on Schallenge Walk

The only fly in the ointment of the holiday was that the car went a bit wrong. Being a wonder of modern technology, it's got remote central locking - or rather it's supposed to have. However, on Sunday evening it stopped working, and although we were able to unlock and open the doors manually, the boot refused to budge (which potentially made packing the car for our return home a near impossibility!) so we planned a trip to Leominster on Wednesday, in order to check into the Peugeot garage there for a tinker with the car's brain.

Suzanne, who'd come up on the Sunday, had to travel back to Luton on Wednesday (which meant she missed the excitement of a soaking in Leominster. In fact, it rained non-stop, which meant that, after dropping the car off for its ministrations, we were a little damp around the edges as we investigated the town centre - which at least had a Woolworths in which to take refuge!

The car technician bloke, after spending over an hour-and-a-half with a laptop wired into the car's brain, finally gave up. Apparently the BSI (or built in systems interface) needs to be replaced, but only because it is reporting "no faults found" and there clearly is one(!) The upshot of all this was that the only way we can open the boot is from the inside, and even that's not trivial, especially when it's full of our holiday bits!

Lenni on one of the bridges in the Toy City Fun PalaceWe drove to Worcester on Thursday, not least to visit Toy City - a Toymaster superstore combined with a large indoor play area upstairs.

The children enjoyed climbing, sliding and generally running about - were it not for my aches and pains I would have taken more of an active part in the proceedings, too! Since it was a weekday in term-time, it wasn't too busy, which made it a much more pleasant prospect than a weekend trip there!

Christopher (looking surly) on a rope swing in the Toy City Fun Palace

The cereal bowls painted by Christopher and EleanorOn Friday we popped back to Manic Ceramics in Hereford to pick up the bowls the children had painted, and to take a look around the museum - a small but friendly place to investigate the history and culture of the area.

All too soon the holiday came to a close - we set off quite early on Saturday, not least so we could make it to Luke's first birthday party!

A long blog entry, I know! There's a few more holiday snaps at the gallery, although I didn't use the camera as much as previously.

Link of the day:

  • www.atome.bliesch.com/atome.php3 : another one of those puzzle games - this time in German, although it made sense when I played around with it for a while... basically you have to make molecules like those ball and spring models in chemistry.

Posted by james at October 1, 2005 8:21 PM

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