James Went To Stratford. Upon Avon.

I don’t count my blessings every day, but I do count them at times. One such blessing could be that Covid-19 hasn’t affected my health or the health of those close to me.

It has, however, affected my social life, my roast dinners, my holidays – in May I was due to visit Japan and were life normal I’m sure I would have had a weekend away in some random European country that only Eurovision Song Contest viewers have heard of.

I was also due to go watch the cricket last weekend, England vs Pakistan at Lords. And actually had 4 tickets – I’ve been successful with the ballot at Lords more often than not but the normal maximum is for 2 tickets, and I went through this weird process to apply for group tickets, for the family.

Alas, you know the score. Bowled out for 0 by Covid-19.

Staycation Upon Avon

So we discussed as a family whether my parents should still visit London, or we should go somewhere else. As I am not keen on wearing suffocation devices on public transport, we decided London wasn’t the best idea – so my parents re-booked their Travelodge for Stratford. Upon Avon. Whenever I told anyone in London that we were going on a staycation to Stratford I got some confused looks. UPON AVON.

Yeah, Travelodge. I did suggest that there might be a heatwave at the end of July (forecasted 4 weeks in advance, check me out) and I wasn’t convinced that the Travelodge would have air conditioning. We checked out the price of the Crown Plaza – three times as expensive. Travelodge it was. And no, it didn’t have air conditioning. I did have a view though. And it was hot and noisy.

Pretty sure you are supposed to go away to get a good night’s sleep, but hey.

We didn’t do anything amazing and the culture extended only to having a boat trip through the lock, 15 minutes down the River Avon and back. Oh and lamppost spotting.

It was nice simple family times. We did things like feed the swans. We went for walks along the canal. We pottered. We had some drinks. We sat in the sun.

And we had some good meals out also. The best was the tuna steak that I had at the Italian. Lamb kleftiko at the Greek restaurant was nice but not a patch on the one from that Greek restaurant that used to be in Reading…Kyrenia I think? And even the breakfast in the retail park opposite the Travelodge was pretty banging.

Looking For Somewhere To Go?

I have to say that I really liked Stratford-Upon-Avon. It was peaceful, it had a few good restaurants (albeit unimaginative cuisine), some history, it looked pretty, it had a Christmas shop despite it being July and a proper ale house run by a northerner. Not too many tourists, though I’m sure it had plenty pre-Covid.

I could imagine retiring somewhere like this. A pleasant, green land next to the river and canal.

And we finished off with a game of word association.

Anyone know a museum looking for lockdown artefacts?

Oh my god I nearly forgot about the roast dinner. I mean, who writes about roast dinners anyway? It was excellent, the rib of beef seemed like it would last forever and the gravy was proper thick, glorious northern gravy. Yeah, I could live in Stratford-Upon-Avon when I’m older. Much older.

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