Sunday, 2 February 2014

Three Ships and an Abbey

Our few days away at a hotel with a spa and a gym had been booked up for ages.  After the house move, Christmas, the return to work and life in general we both felt we had deserved it.  I'd like to say I exercised more than I ate.  But I didn't.  Why is it you eat far more of a hotel breakfast than you ever do in real life?!
Time to do more running (or paddling - after all the rain) down the lanes surrounding our village...(starting week 5 of Couch to 5K programme soon.)
 Before we left I picked the chillies from our plant and left them to dry out on the window sill.  I read somewhere cutting them will encourage more to grow and we do use a lot of chillies :)
I hope it works because the plant adds a splash of bright bold colour into the weak winter daylight in the kitchen and cheers the place up.

Then we were off, past some rocks on our way to the south coast...

 Stopping only for a beer and a crossword...
 Day 2 we went to the Portsmouth Historic Docks to buy a family ticket and check it out ahead of a visit later in the year with the boys.  I didn't know what to expect, I'm not massively interested in ships, docks, weavils and that sort of thing but it was a great day out!  We got to wander about the very neat and impressive HMS Warrior which is important for reasons, but I can't remember. Might be the hull.  
 Here she is with the Spinnaker tower in the background on a very overcast day. We were trying to scoot round quickly before the rain started but it turned out to be too good to rush.
 And this is HMS Victory, famous for being Nelson's ship during the Battle of Trafalgar and the place where he was shot and died 3 hours later but only once he knew the battle had been won.  Stirring stuff!
 And below (both below here and below decks) is the inside of the ship.  The photos aren;t great because it was very dark and it's a guided tour so there's little time to take pictures and you're not allowed to use a flash.  Suffice to say it's all very atmospheric and impressive and cramped.  What a life, I'm glad I wasn't a sailor.
The visit included the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's flagship which sank during the battle of the Solent in 154...something and was raised from the seabed a few years ago.  No pictures of that because it was beyond the ability of my camera but well worth a visit of you get the chance.
We tootled back via country roads and passed through a place neither of us had been before, Romsey.  I had a feeling Romsey was famous for an Abbey so we parked up behind some houses and walked into town. This must be a very pretty place but the river was only just contained in its banks following the rain and flooding we've been enjoying this year :(  You can see below the water can only just flow under the small bridge.
 The abbey was lovely, as was the cake we shared at a coffee shop for lunch.
 And on the way home, we had to take our chances on a badly flooded bridge.  We made it though!
 While we were away I had my drawing things and continued my Zentangle exploration.  It's becoming quite addictive.
 One completed tile...
 And another...
A busy week coming up.  Not sure how much drawing will get done.

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