Saturday, 9 February 2013

A little cheesy

After collecting the rental car from Enterprise I decided to maximise it’s use by going to Thatcham and buying some red diesel for the Hurricane heater.  At 90p per litre it as worth a journey.  Back at Aldermaston Wharf Jan walked to the marina office to find the 3v battery powered fuel pump had been delivered.  We decided to purchase one after Ray and Diane (nb Ferndale) showed us theirs when they visited last Saturday.  It will be used for the first time tomorrow and I must remember to take a photo. 

Jan and I had discussed where we might want to go whilst we have the car.  Obviously somewhere far from the canal network as we plan to see everything near the canals during our life afloat.  Last time we were in the UK we’d included a visit to Cheddar in Somerset but we ran out of time.  So we decided today’s destination would be Cheddar.  The gps route took us along the M4 motorway to Bristol and then south to Cheddar.  Not the most scenic route, but the fastest.

South of Bristol the worms in the stomach had turned to snakes and after checking the time we realised the snakes were overdue feeding.  Jan spotted a pub with a “Two for one” sandwich board out the front and it seemed as good a place as any to stop.

I rather like the ambience of English pubs……  The beer is a different matter! Smile

So we had lunch at the Stag & Hounds

Jan had the Somerset Chicken whilst I had the Somerset Pork.  It’s the first time we’ve had new potato's in quite some time.

The service was good, the meal ok, and the value excellent. 

We arrived at Cheddar around 2.00pm to find the place almost dead with more than half the shops closed.  Guess it’s a seasonal thing!  Jan purchased a miniature pottery cider jug as the first item in her planned collection of UK souvenirs.  Not much room on a boat so they have to be small.  This will go in her empty display cabinet above the TV.

There’s not much point in going to Somerset if you don’t buy some scrumpy.  The lady in the shop had either sweet or dry cider.  Jan decided on medium and the lady kindly sold her a 50/50 mix.  I suggested Jan purchase a litre.  You can see why in the following photo.

Yes…….. That one litre plastic container will make an ideal header tank for the battery automatic watering system.   Get drinking Jan!

A few photos around Cheddar Gorge

Entrance to the gorge

We didn’t want to return via the boring motorway so had a look at the road map and decided to take secondary roads via Midsomer Norton (to catch up with Inspector Barnaby & Sergeant Jones), Andover and Newbury.  We were half expecting Midsomer to be almost stripped of people and have a large cemetery.  But apparently not!   Actually we couldn’t find anything worthwhile to photograph.  On the way to Andover we passed road signs pointing to Boscombe Down which I confused with Porton Down where the MoD do research into chemical and biological agents.

Tomorrow isn’t likely to be nearly as interesting…….


James and Debbie said...

We went to Cheddar a couple of years ago for our first trip out in our Mazda bongo (mini camper). We saw Joan Collins in the cafe :-)

Tom and Jan said...

Today Jan saw Tom Jones in the cheese shop! :-)

Clive said...

Sorry you missed The New Somerset & Dorset Railway at Midsomer Norton, but you weren't to know. The line from Bath to Poole was ripped up in the sixties but a dedicated team of volunteers have rebuilt some of the track there and run steam trains on a limited line. Hope springs eternal.

Jenny and Robin said...

We also had a trip to Chedder, a few years ago on our OE. Visited the caves, and the museum, and then a bus tour up through the gorge and back. We remember that it was raining heavily too!

Tom and Jan said...

It was a "spur of the moment" thing. If we had dome some research before the trip we'd probably have realised there were attractions in Midsomer...... apart from the murders! :-)

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Jenny & Robin
No rain but it was cold and very quiet. School holidays next weekend and the locals expect the place to be packed!