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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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Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Weekend away...

Beth and I have just arrived back from a wonderful weekend away in north Hampshire - just a brief trip to celebrate our tenth anniversary. We dropped the children off at school on Thursday, and the guinea pigs at their 'holiday home' before driving round the M25 a bit, to the Surrey/Hampshire border. Beth had cleverly booked the hotel last July(!) so we got a really good deal, which meant we had a little more to spend on going out and about.

Winchester CathedralAfter a relaxing afternoon unpacking, seeking out a supermarket for snacks and breakfast, then watching the first episode of volume two of Heroes in the evening, we made plans to visit Winchester in the morning. It's a lovely city with a very striking cathedral, wonderful floral displays in the parks, and plenty of green space. Certainly an area where we felt we could settle - maybe in the long, long distant future! The evening was spent in Southampton, at the well-appointed Jongleurs comedy club. The food was tasty and satisfying, and the comedians certainly didn't disappoint, either. It was compered by John Mann, with fine stand-up acts from Johnny Candon and Tom Stade. Our favourite was a musical comic called Rob Deering, though - we were retelling his jokes for the rest of the weekend, a sure sign that he had some great material!

bowling at Spectrum in GuildfordOn Saturday morning we took a drive to Guildford, and visited the Spectrum leisure centre. It certainly seemed to have plenty to offer, from ice skating to swimming; we opted for ten-pin bowling (slightly less dangerous and exertive!) and had a jolly good time . We drove to the town centre for a browse round the shops in the afternoon, and then took a look at Haslemere for an evening meal. There was a Wetherspoons there, on which we knew we could rely for a good, well-priced meal. It was a traditional pub, though, rather than a converted theatre or cinema, and the clientele were quiet and friendly (well, at half-past seven in the evening anyway!) We were blessed with some wonderful weather over the days we were there - I think I even caught the sun on Saturday afternoon.

The back of a terrified me. Up a tree.That was all going to change, though. Beth had the rather adventurous idea of visiting Go Ape on Sunday morning. I've never really been a very big fan of high places, preferring to keep my feet on the ground if at all possible. But I knew that I'd really get a lot of fulfilment out of battling my fears. So we arrived in Wendover Woods (a beautiful place, offering some excellent outdoor opportunities, like nature walks and orienteering) ready for our experience. Half an hour before we were due to start, though, there was a thunderstorm. Trees and wires aren't the best place to be when there's lightning about, so the site had to be evacuated. Fortunately, it had all passed within the hour so it wasn't too bad - we were on the 'training' bit before midday. I can't, however describe my feelings during the activity itself, though - it was breathtakingly nervewracking, but entertaining nonetheless. I must have looked a sight clinging on to the tops of the trees (despite the two safety lines, and the teenagers behind and in front enjoying zipping back and forth across the wires!)

I think I got a lot from the experience, though; maybe more than most, since it was so much of a challenge - will I do it again? The jury's out; much like theme parks, I can rarely remember how harrowing an experience I've had, so it takes Beth to remind me whether I liked it or not!

So, all too soon, the weekend came to an end, though, and we came back to Luton on Sunday afternoon. It was lovely to see the children again, and we made sure they had some little trinkets to remember their sleepover. Back to work, now.. and I've spent much of the day catching up with the fallout from the big database upgrade. This will doubtless go on during the course of the week..

Here are a couple of the pics from our trip away - there's more - as always - in the gallery!

Floral Roundabout in WinchesterThe grounds of Winchester CathedralGuildford on a Saturday afternoon

Posted by james at April 30, 2008 9:29 PM

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