Since I last wrote I’ve had a couple of breaks away from the farm and have booked several more. Those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while will know that up until very recently I hadn’t had a holiday for a long time and suddenly they’re coming thick and fast. The first break in March was to The Manor House Hotel near Okehampton with a group of female friends and this has become an annual event. It rained – it usually does when we’re there – and rain on the edge of Dartmoor can be a bit gloomy, but this year we actually had snow too which made it very cold. The good news was that I had the energy and the inclination to go on the organised hike up Sourton Tor, a five-mile climb up the bleakest piece of hill you’ve ever seen. The view from the top was fantastic and I really enjoyed myself despite wearing rubbish walking-boots that rubbed a huge bruise on my ankle. They’re off for recycling now funnily enough, and if I discover that I’d still like to hike at some time in the future then I’ll buy new ones that fit me properly.
In April Gordon and I took a week off work and went to Barcelona with Terri, Steve and our friends who live in Spain, meeting them there. I’d never been to Barcelona before and in all honesty probably won’t bother to go again, but it was interesting for the experience. When we arrived it was raining, and boy did it rain, but the following days were warm and sunny. We socialised, drank sangria and beer at pavement cafes and since our hotel didn’t provide food, ate in the local restaurants. It was an expensive break, probably for those reasons, but we had a lovely time. Barcelona is well known for its architecture and it felt very cultural, which was great for photos.
This lonely angel is silhouetted against a very grey Spanish sky. She stands at the top of the old cathedral and our hotel was close enough that we were able to stroll here between showers.
I love gargoyles and was only sorry that we weren’t here during the torrential rain to see it pouring from their mouths. This chap gazes down across the main entrance.
Within the cathedral is a courtyard and these geese live here. This one was running along but looked a bit worse-for-wear with his sticky-out wing.
Part of a main fountain it struck me that although this lady is very beautiful it does look like she’s vomiting! Or is that just my strange imagination?
These guys (there are more) guard the base of Columbus’s column overlooking the harbour. I rather like his angular features.
This copper fish marks the site of the Olympic Stadium, still a large tourist attraction in Barcelona even though I believe the games were held here in 1992.
There were many impressive buildings overlooking the harbour and this is just one of them.
The Sangrada Familia, a modern cathedral designed by Gaudi is a work in progress. According to the guide it will be another eighty years before it’s complete. Large parts of it are still covered in scaffolding. We didn’t go in and took photos from the tour bus.
I took many photos of course and this is just a small percentage of them, some taken from the tour bus, some from the tour of the harbour in a boat and the rest while we were walking around. We were planning to go into Gaudi’s cathedral, but the queue was huge and we felt it was too hot to stand outside for that length of time.
In July we’re going on a canal holiday on the Kennet and Avon Canal, in August I’m going with friends to Brixham, September Gordon and I are away for a friend’s 70th birthday near Haverford West and I’ve booked a week in Prague in December so Terri, Janine and I can go to the Christmas Markets. With each break away Gordon gets more relaxed and is mentioning retirement more often, so we await that development with interest. In the meantime, poor Daniel is left on his own to deal with life on the farm. He says he enjoys it – I hope he does. Now all we have to do is fit the silage-making between all these breaks (and Pilton at the end of June when Dan will be away) and we’ll be set for the winter!