One year – May 2015 II

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Wells Cathedral

If it’s Tuesday then it must be Wells

We’d joked about visiting Wells, largely because Caroline and I are both fans of the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost film Hot Fuzz.

Hot Fuzz can be regularly caught on ITV, but we have it on DVD for those nights when Caroline comes back in from a 14 hour nursing shift and needs a little bit of light relief.

Spotting the locations used in Hot Fuzz is fairly easy (although the National Trust shop seen in the film has closed down), but even so, taking a look around Wells doesn’t take too long unless you’re having a meal or taking a wander around the Cathedral.

I chased coffee, went to the bank and had a look in a camera shop whilst Caroline visited the Cathedral (it’s a long, long time since I went to church for anything other than a wedding).

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As seen in Hot Fuzz…

With the Wells visit taking just a few hours, we headed back to Dragonfly, parked up and then went for a wander along the canal as far as the cafe at Maunsel Lock where a coffee and cake stop was declared.

Now this may have been a Tuesday, but the cafe was quite busy with people stopping off as they were taking advantage of a rather fine day. Some were walking, some were walking their dogs whilst others were cycling or taking a look at the planetary sculptures placed by the side of the canal.

After what was now a full day out, an executive decision was made not to do much cooking on the night so the car was fired up in search of food.

No, we didn’t go to the pub, but we did hit the service area just off the M5 near Bridgwater. Yes, there’s an M&S Food outlet there so it was salad time for Caroline whilst I indulged in a pack of chicken portions.

The latter may be snack food, but by ‘eck it tasted good once heated through in accordance with the instructions on the pack (I have had food poisoning before after eating chicken, one reason why I’m not rather picky when it comes to food being cooked properly – losing a stone and a half in a matter of days isn’t my idea of fun!).

And so to Wednesday.

As Caroline had Betty Bike with her, it was time to take Betty out for a ride to Taunton via the canal tow path. I took the car down to Taunton and got my bearings in a town that I know reasonably well from visiting friends in the town during the late 1980’s and a work trip in Y2K.

Although I remembered my way around town, it didn’t appear to have the same appeal as it did all of those years ago. Maybe that’s down to most towns and cities having the same shops in them which have sounded either the death knell of local traders or marginalised them to secondary locations where the rents and business rates are more affordable.

But I digress. Caroline arrived in Taunton and a light lunch in a nearby pub was declared. Once consumed, we had a wander around and Caroline got back on the bike and headed back to Dragonfly whilst I tried to leave Taunton.

With both of us back at the same destination, there was a problem. Betty had a flat and there appeared to be something up with the other tyre too. I knew of a bike shop in Bridgwater, but they weren’t able to help, so it was time to hit Halfords.

So Halfords was found, the problems explained and fixed whilst we went to top up our caffeine levels in the centre of Bridgwater. Once back, it was time to pay for two new tyres and a couple of spare inner tubes and we were on our way once more.

Whilst we prefer to deal with smaller concerns when it comes to food, bikes, photography, computers etc, on this occasion it was ironic that a large trader had come to Caroline‘s rescue.

There may have been question marks over using a big shop, but Halfords did the job and did it well, just as they have in the past with the couple of bikes I’ve bought from them in the last thirty years.

And in Part III…

A town before a festival, a motor museum and home – that’s tomorrow’s posting folks!

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About Keith Rickaby

Fiftysomething writer and occasional photographer who has worked in both 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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