Holiday 1

Yesterday was the first day of out holiday. The A Team and me set off from home early to avoid the inevitable bank holiday traffic. Inevitably, though, we encountered it just before the second Severn crossing. Luckily, everyone was trying to get in to Wales as we were leaving. Should I read something in to that?

We headed down to Bristol docks to see the SS Great Britain. What a sight. It’s a huge ship and as visitors we were allowed to descend below the waterline on the outside.

It’s in dry dock, so that bit is easy even for a sinker like me. The scale was instantly apparent from this viewpoint. The smooth lines were gorgeous. The frequent rust holes were quite scary. But it had sat on the sea floor at the Falkland Islands for a long time, so rust was inevitable. The keel was the only bit of the wood frame still visible.

The single propeller was huge. The rudder was correspondingly massive but it was mounted on a system that enabled it to move relatively easily thanks to a clever bit of design by Mr Brunel.

It was so atmospheric that I could have almost been back in the mid 19th Century. I was particularly taken with the cabins. They were so tiny and the bunks were so narrow.

(I know because I lay in one and even my slight shoulder width was jammed in by the sides of the bunk).

I expected bigger and better in 1st class.

We went for a boat trip around Bristol dock and then headed off in the car to Crowcombe and our holiday cottage.

When we walked in to Flora’s Barn, it was like coming home. Everything was as we remembered it – almost as we had left it, except for the new carpet. Even the hens were happy to we had returned and they ran towards us to say hello. Or maybe they wanted feeding.

We didn’t get up to much once we’d got settled in. After food and faffing, it was dark and time for bed. But I’d taken a quick glimpse outside and the dark, clear sky was too much to resist. I spent the next 45 minutes taking long exposure photos and just gazing up at the milky way.Light pollution doesn’t make it easy back home.

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