Not long ago, I had a little getaway to the city of Bath, in Somerset. Until a punning friend reminded me, I’d forgotten once being told that in proper English, taking a bath is not bathing (rhymes with scathing). That means swimming in the sea. The verb for taking a bath, I was informed, is bath-ing. My own form of Bath-ing was strictly touristic and the only water involved was some rain.
I left the Dafter and Michael for two nights and three days. On the first day, I travelled down – this involved three separate trains, all of which were overcrowded and the last of which was delayed. But I didn’t mind – I had my book and my knitting, and I just loved having time to think.
When I arrived in Bath, what should I find within a few minutes? A wool shop, and a patchwork shop! Honest, I didn’t know they were there. Both were very delightful.
In Bath you can see a lot of history in a small area. The Abbey is built on a site where there has been a place of worship for over a thousand years. It is right next to the Roman Baths:
I was surprised (in my ignorance) that the legacy of the healing waters in Bath is still very much alive, in the form of the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, which is still going strong today:
Not far away either are remnants of the medieval walls of Bath:
I was very interested to see that Bath has a sunken park not unlike Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens. Whereas in Aberdeen there has been a huge fight to keep Union Terrace Gardens out of the hands of the developers (I’m not too sure what’s happening at the moment), in Bath people are charged money to go in!
I had two objectives during my trip: firstly, to visit my friend Olga, and secondly, to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the American Museum in Britain. I will be writing separate blog posts about the exhibition and about the museum. Olga and I had a really good visit. We met over ten years ago in Aberdeen, at the school gates. She had just come from Russia, having married a man in the oil industry. They moved to Bath a few years ago, and we hadn’t seen each other recently, so it was really good to catch up.
I couldn’t believe the size of some of the trees in the public squares in Bath! Here is one – I think it’s a London plane tree:
Olga and her family live outside of Bath, in a lovely place further along the River Avon:
The next day Olga and I had a coffee before she went to work, and then I spent the afternoon at the American Museum, which I just loved. I will show you that soon. I was back in the city centre by 4 pm, by which time the weather had changed and it was rainy – but no less beautiful.
I took refuge in the beautiful Bridge Cafe. I believe the window in the photo below is the centre window over the left arch of the bridge in the photo above.
It was very peaceful there, and the cakes were delicious:
I had another hour of reading and knitting, and practising relaxing on my own. I did find it rather challenging, during these three days, not to worry too much about the Dafter, which shows the importance of taking a break. At one point I was the only native English speaker in the cafe. I noticed that most of the waiters and waitresses in Bath were from other countries – whereas the staff at the American Museum all sounded like Hagrid to my ears, with their Somerset twang!
I met Olga after work, and she took me up to the famous Royal Crescent. Can you tell that Olga is a dancer?
It is a very imposing piece of architecture – much bigger than I had imagined it!
The next day it poured, and I headed northwards again on the train. There was signalling chaos and all sorts of delays and cancellations at the start of my journey, but luckily I was home in about nine hours. (Where it was still raining hard!) Having had time to read and knit, and just get a bit of perspective on things, was a huge luxury. And of course my other two had managed absolutely fine without me! In fact, father and Dafter had enjoyed some quality time together. So it was a good trip all round.