Rocky Times

A guest post by The Dad.

The bug that hit Babess on the flight over has since knocked out both parents, tempering our plans somewhat. Kate will write later about the visit to the Tower of London which I missed, and here I’ll fill in some of the following two days.

On Friday, we packed up and headed out of London, picking up a rental car from Heathrow and heading for Stonehenge. We had tickets booked for the 12-12:30 window, and looked to be on track to arrive comfortably early until we hit a half-term traffic jam just a few miles short. At the same time, the weather closed in and by the time we reached the car-park, thankfully not too late, it was cold, wet and windy. We donned extra layers and got the shuttle up to the henge, and as Kate put it, got “soaked in history and spine-chilling stories”. It was amazing to see the evidence of changes over thousands of years, and marvel at the engineering ingenuity of those who erected the stones, but we couldn’t linger without the risk of hypothermia and headed back to the visitor centre to dry out and get hot chocolate. Pearl, Fainjin and Babess had a go at pulling on a replica stone to see how many sets of them would be required to move it – and that is at least 99.

From there we took a variety of B roads to the White Horse at Uffington (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uffington_White_Horse), a far less developed site but no less fascinating. The kids enjoyed the opportunity to run across the wide hill-side below the horse and see the spot where St George slew the dragon. After leaving that, it was a slow drive through a succession of traffic jams to get to the Oxford YHA, and at last have accommodation with our own bathroom.

Unfortunately, Kate got very sick during the night so we revised our plans of spending the morning walking around Oxford then going to Bletchley Park in favour of heading straight for Coventry. This had much greater appeal for Fainjin and Babess who have been looking forward to their sleep-over with friends they hadn’t yet met. Babess was bemused to find out that the whole family were coming to her sleep-over.

We’ve since had a relatively quiet day, the kids enjoying roaming over a big house, finding the rooms they’re going to share with their new friends. Kate has had the opportunity to try to recuperate in some space and comfort. After lunch we left her to sleep, and Fainjin with some time to himself, and the rest of us walked in to the city to see the remains of Coventry Cathedral as well as explore the Herbert Museum (http://www.theherbert.org/) which Pearl was delighted to find had a Roman Empire exhibition.

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