2013 has been a sad and difficult year for me, but also some happiness with the arrival of a new grandson Freddie in October.
In January, Helen, Ant and Libby came to live with us "temporarily" until they could move into their new home. When Les died in March, it was a godsend for me to have them here. Eventually, at the beginning of September, they were able to move into Lickey End, only about two miles from me and I then started thinking about life on my own.
I decided that I would have regular monthly "awaydays" - one or two nights away, visiting places I have always wanted to see - within this country.
November - I spent two nights near Monmouth, exploring the Wye Valley. My base was a lovely old inn called "The Inn at Penallt" - superb food! (Les and I had planned to stay there last February but had to cancel at the last minute. The owner kindly agreed to hold my deposit against a future "stay"). I visited Chepstow Castle for the first time, what a magnificent old building; and revisited Tintern Abbey (bringing back memories of a visit many years ago when Les and I were first going out). My route back home was via Longhope in the Forest of Dean to visit Les' brother and his wife.
December - I am a supporter of the Trust which owns/operates the only Vulcan V-bomber still flying. I have seen it display at air shows and was keen to see it close-up. During the winter months, as a way of generating revenue, they organise hanger visits. A two hour guided tour hearing all about the plane from a very knowledgable expert. As part of a package deal, I went up the previous afternoon and stayed overnight at the Crown Hotel, an old coaching inn in Bawtry, a small town only a few miles from the hanger at Robin Hood Airport (the old RAF Finningley) just outside Doncaster.
Plans for the future:-
January - visit the Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford, near Yeovil and the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton.
February - spend Les' birthday at St.Mawes on the Roseland peninsula in Cornwall.
March/April - spend a few days either side of our wedding anniversary at the George III hotel at Penmaenpool, on the Mawddach Estuary in mid-Wales. This is an area we visited often, loving the peace and tranquility of this 10-mile estuary from Dolgellau to Barmouth on the coast. For a few years we owned a static caravan in Dolgellau and came to know the area very well. After we were both made redundant, we sold the van but continued our love affair with the area.