One year – May 2015 I

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The weather was warmer than the photo suggests – then came Monday!

May 2015 saw the start of twelve months of heading off and having fun and our first port of call was Somerset for a week.

We stayed at Dragonfly 1 apartment, one of three units at Dragonfly Barn in North Newton near Bridgwater. I’d spotted the apartment on booking sites a couple of years beforehand whilst researching another trip to the South West and when it came up twice during the research for this trip, Caroline and I looked at the website, discussed it and then booked.

Our plans for the week were loose ones. Yes, there was a kind of a list of places we wanted to visit, but as Caroline had taken her trusty road bike down and we’d seen the weather forecast, we decided to play it by ear.

Dragonfly 1 was a comfortable place – ideal for the two us with an ensuite bathroom, well equipped kitchen and a lounging area where you could read, watch TV or just sit and relax.

After the long drive down to Somerset, Saturday night was a chill-out night once the car was unpacked and Caroline‘s bike was locked away in the secure bike storage. Semi-fast food was the order of the day as we microwaved a meal deal from Sainsbury’s in Bridgwater and enjoyed the bottle of wine that was part of said deal.

Sunday saw a chilled out morning with breakfast, coffee and newspapers being the order of the day. As was a visit to The Harvest Moon, a short walk away from Dragonfly 1 and a place that had a good reputation for its Sunday lunches.

We may have entered The Harvest Moon around 12.30, but the pub was already rather busy and we were lucky to get a table. Plates and glasses were filled and then emptied and whilst another pint of Guinness and a half of Thatcher’s Gold were ordered, we held back on ordering coffee and desserts because the Sunday lunch was more substantial than we realised and besides, we had a bag of our favourite coffee back at Dragonfly.

Once the recovery process kicked in, Caroline took Betty Bike out for a spin on the Bridgwater-Taunton Canal towpath for an hour or so, leaving me to have more coffee and to do the washing up.

Grey clouds were gathering later though once Caroline got back from her ride and we ended up having our own wander along the canal towpath. After this spot of wandering around it was time to head back to our temporary home in search of coffee, cake and a light evening meal and an early night.

Monday morning saw the grey clouds delivering the threatened rain so we went shopping.

Not to a mall you understand, but to Clark’s Shopping Village in nearby Street. The town is home to the Clark’s shoe brand, but the Shopping Village is a brand extension and home to small shopping units from the likes of Body Shop, Marks & Spencer, Cadburys, Lindt and others.

Shelter from the rain was sought as we wandered between shops and a few judicious purchases made. Body Shop and M&S got some business, but did we buy chocolate from both the Cadburys and Lindt outlets?

You might think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment…

After lunch in a nearby cafe, the sun came out so our rain jackets were stashed in the car along with our purchases, allowing us to wander unhindered around the rest of Street.

Bike route guides were bought from the Tourist Information Centre and visits made to the Clarks Museum, an excursion into Amnesia Alley if ever there was one as both Caroline and I spotted shoes that we’d been bought as school kids by our respective parents or had bought for ourselves once we had the cash to do our own thing.

With a day of driving and two days of relative relaxation behind us, we decided that the next few days were going to be rather busier.

Once the latest weather forecast had been seen and digested, a slightly tighter plan was hatched that involved a visit to one of the locations used in Hot Fuzz, a destination marked out by a famous Tor and several bright yellow festival related signs plus a haven for all fans of classic cars of all shapes, sizes and horsepowers…

And where would these places be?

Some of them will be revealed tomorrow in May 2015 Part II

http://www.dragonflybarn.com

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About Keith Rickaby

Fiftysomething writer and occasional photographer who has worked in the tailoring trade and the outdoor/travel clothing, equipment and footwear game. Past lives include working as an outdoor instructor, managing three bands and doing PR work through an agency or my own contacts. Was a student in the mid-90s and whilst I'm originally from the North East, I'm now firmly based in't Yorkshire...
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