For a variety of reasons Mrs Blazing and I haven’t had a chance to get away on our own for a couple of days this year. The opportunity presents itself as we get up to full strength at work and all the kids go back to school.”There must be some deals about now for sampling decent food and enjoying a bit of comfort?” I get online and begin a hunt that lasts many hours before finally discovering there really aren’t.
We eventually find that we can book into our first choice for three days for marginally less than an arm and a leg because I have the correct credit card, which earns me a welcome discount. Somerset, here we come.
What should be a relatively straightforward trip down the M4/M5 becomes a logistical operation when some twat prangs his lorry where we need to join the motorway, but we arrive reasonably fresh and are shown to a fabulous room where we both sigh a contented sigh.
Until that is I start to unpack and let out an anguished “aaargh”. Now fellas, back me up here. We travel light, don’t we? I have one bag and a suit carrier, Mrs B has a mobile wardrobe and full rations. I have goaded her about it. Now comes her revenge. “I’ve forgotten my suit carrier”. She is in orbit.
Afternoon one of the break sees me joining traffic jams in Weston to seek out a suit and a couple of shirts. George and Next come to the rescue. We return for an excellent first evening. I cannot resist the venison, and manage not to spill anything on the new ‘whistle and flute’.
Day two, the weather is not that great, so it is touring day. That means we will start at a personal favourite of mine. I’ll never tire of the view of the waterfall just off the main drag, and the Cheddar Gorge itself.
We stroll around for a while, which is more taxing than it sounds. Mrs B struggles with an auto-immune syndrome, and will only get so far. We are soon on the road again, as I need to find a Post Office, and for the first time we pull into, rather than drive past, Axbridge.
Why haven\’t we visited here before? The Post Office is located off the main square, and close to where we park our car is the remarkable King John’s Hunting Lodge, dating back to the fifteenth century. (Yes I know that is 250 years after his death, but don’t spoil a good attraction now!) We shall return one day.
After a tour of Brean, Burnham, and Berrow we return to prepare for another fine dinner. More hilarity ensues when I attempt to put on a Next shirt. The seventeen inch collar normally means it will be sufficiently generous to circumnavigate my girth. Oh no, not in Next world it doesn’t. I shuffle into dinner in my best golf gear as Mrs B hides her sniggers. A perfect sea bass and bottle of something white later I am past caring.
Our final full day promises sunny spells. “Perfect, we can go to the seaside”, insists the management. So we find ourselves negotiating the building site that is Weston-Super-Mare. Actually that makes it sound a chore. For personal reasons Weston is a bit of a favourite for us, so when in this neck of the woods we will always try and spend a few hours there.
The pavilion at the end of the pier, destroyed by fire in 2008, has almost been rebuilt, but the schedule has ‘slipped to the right’ thus preventing a grand re-opening this summer. That is a shame, but at least we got to sit and watch the donkeys eating their lunch on a much-improved beach. Next Spring I think we will have to return to see the finished article, and ride on the west coast equivalent of the London Eye!
As you can see there was a fence between it, and us. It is a long fence, and far enough to walk around so as to act as a deterrent. I’ll bet that is a great view from the top. I find a shop from where I purchase a shirt and tie for my third superb meal of the trip. Juicy, tender ribeye and a bottle of rioja put the cares of the world behind us.
“Shall I book us in for an extra night?” I plead, but the sensible one says we have to get back. Chores have to be undertaken before I return to work. Skinny shirts with a big neck have to be passed on to the daughters boyfriend. We have to get back to a world of pasta and salads. I have to trade rioja for Guinness.
Would you believe the trip ends as it started. A major coming together on the motorway adds tedium and time to our journey home. I’m taking it personally. “We should have stayed”, I mutter under my breath.
“It would be nice to pop back in the spring”, says the boss, “but try and remember your suit bag next time, will you?