What I did on my holidays

I am coming to the end (sadly) of a fortnight’s relaxing and enlightening annual leave, which I have thoroughly enjoyed.  It has been the longest time I’ve ever had off work without going away, and I have taken the opportunity to visit several visitor attractions and landmarks in the Midlands.

This reminds me of one of those “What I did during the summer holidays” essays we were always assigned to write on the first day of a new school year – which is deliberate as when I booked this time off I set out with the intention of enjoying a good old-fashioned “school holiday” style break, lying in bed late and going out to visit museums and the like.

I love learning; I would go as far as to say I devour facts.  I love history.  I’m afraid I was one of those insufferable swots who actually enjoyed school trips (they were about the only thing I did enjoy about school, though, since that was the most insufferable period of my life).

I must admit I miss writing.  My experiences these past couple of weeks have given me plenty of inspiration for future stories.  However, with all that’s occurring in my life currently I simply don’t have the time to devote to any projects for a while.

In the meantime, here are a few of my many piccies for your perusal:

Shugborough Hall


The Red House Cone Museum in Wordsley, near Stourbridge


Bantock House, Wolverhampton

Trentham Gardens, Stoke on Trent

Birmingham Back to Back Houses

Soho House, Handsworth, Birmingham

Witley Court, Worcestershire

Witley Court again

The National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas

Along the Staffordshire-Worcestershire Canal at Wightwick, Wolverhampton


The Etiquette Police

I rarely comment on news items, but I’m sure those of you not dwelling beneath stones can’t have failed to spot this story in the media this week:


Now the “mother-in-law from hell” aspect has been dissected to death, and by more eloquent scribes than moi, so I won’t dwell on it.  Save to comment that I personally have a wonderful mum-in-law and thankfully no similar firsthand experience to report.

Expanding away from the story slightly, what struck me was the entrenched, utterly British obsession with class and etiquette.  Not wishing to bashBritain, but what other country in the world has such screwed-up priorities when it comes to so-called wrongdoing?  You can commit all manner of despicable crimes, but put your elbows on the table, or take a second helping of dessert (or “pudding,” or “sweet” – I am clearly common as I am not sure of the correct terminology), and World War Three erupts.

Now I despise rudeness as much as any right-thinking bod.  I have manners and morals – attributes not always shared by the so-called “upper” classes, who have been getting away for centuries with behaviour far more heinous than holding a knife and fork incorrectly. 

Message to Heidi: run, girl!  Run for the hills.