What a gorgeous Bank Holiday Weekend that was - I hope you had fantastic weather wherever you are.
missed quite a lot of the weekend due to travelling home on the
'red-eye' and trying to sort out my sleep patterns on Saturday. It
didn't work - I'm still knackered. But Sunday was going to be all about
me and my new hubby, spending time together in the UK - at last!
blog was going to be full of great pictures I took of one of the best
weekends I have ever shared with OH. Instead, I'm going to have to
borrow once again.
Boots on, we walked to the abbey in plenty of time for our 3pm tour.
is a Grade 2 listed building, dating from Tudor times saved from the
bulldozers by Joan Wake and converted into a records office in the
sixties and seventies. It is a beautiful work of decayed - but
recovering - splendour, in need of a cash injection to bring it up to
the state of what you might expect a tourist attraction to be. At the
moment, just a small amount of renovation work is possible, and the
building is partially occupied by tenants who pay a peppercorn rent to
help prevent vandalism. Some of the rooms cannot be accessed for reasons
of health and safety, and other rooms are full of storage clutter, but
beneath the dust and grime is a really beautiful building.
paper ceiling rose in the salon, bearing the Bouverie coat of arms and
motto: my country is dear to me, but liberty more precious. Here is the
motto on a stained glass window on the north-facing stairs:
blog has pictures of some of the oldest parts of the house. Here, the
cloister candle crevices, dating from when the building was a nunnery. I
don't know how old these are but the nunnery was built in 1145.
the small beer cellar, a window was once a doorway that probably led
into the chapel of the nunnery where the body of Queen Eleanor was laid
to rest overnight en route to London. King Edward 1, who had loved her
dearly, erected a cross at every stopping point for the funeral cortege,
and Northampton's is one of just 3 remaining in the country from the
original 12; although ours does not have a top anymore.
learned quite a bit that was new to us, had an excellent time, and it
was all free. Still, by showing potential funders that there's a
potential audience for this kind of local tourism, the Friends of
Delapre Abbey hope to show potential investors that it's worth investing
in - so just by going along, we were helping out, which is nice to
After the tour, OH and I spread out our picnic
blanket on the South Lawn, and spent some time watching horses trek
along the bridle path in the ha ha, as swifts flitted overhead. I had
brought along a picnic of provencal vegetable pasties, with crudités and
tomato salsa - all homemade by me that morning. For pud, I made 'mock
apricot tarts' - using up some of the carrot jam from Iran I bought from
a deli on Wellingborough road last year. Very yummy! All was washed
down with dandelion and burdock. Very 1940s! Sort of...
then strolled through the beautiful gardens and woodland, down to the
lake, where we spent some time watching waterskiers (and kneeboarders),
and cooing over the cute goslings and ducklings over the other end, away
from the noisy boats. I had some great pictures. *Sigh*
We ambled home at a leisurely pace, through Beckets Park, where I took a picture of Thomas á Becket's Well.
...and alas, that was the last time I saw my phone.
were nearly home, walking through yet another park, this time The
Racecourse, when some friends enjoying the sunshine invited us to join
them, and we stayed chatting for ages, then had a curry from the cheap
balti all the students go to (yes, should have gone home then), but got
home still fairly early, and I fell asleep on the sofa. It wasn't until
later I realised my phone was gone. We searched all the way up to to
Becket's Park by torchlight, to no avail.
I had no insurance (EDIT: silver lining - I find I'm actually covered
by my bank account. Cool beans! Let's see how things go...), and worse,
had not got round to backing up the videos I took on honeymoon of OH
swimming with dolphins (Definitely lost these). Whether it got
pickpocketed or just lost, I had to accept I would probably not see it
again, so it got reported, the SIM blocked and the phone blacklisted.
had a short, sharp shock into becoming more aware of phone/data
security and preservation, and may blog my findings another time. But,
what I have now got is an additional expense, as I had to make a
decision about how to best replace my lost phone. I considered early
upgrade and second hand with a replacement SIM (very expensive/merely
expensive lump sum replacement funds involved). In the end I decided to
run a cheap parallel contract, which will cost me an additional £17 for 3
months, reduce to an additional £12 for 15 months after that, and then
go right down to £17 only for the rest of the new contract. Further
research shows me I may have been able to haggle more data for that
price, but I'm happy with the results... I would have been happier had
we found my phone, but never mind.
I will still try the police again in a couple of days to see if my phone has been handed in. It's still worth doing.