Yes indeedy, barely 7 weeks after we start a new school year and another short break rolls around, wooHOO!!!
For anyone who enjoyed the Armstrong and Miller show (BBC1), you'll be familiar with the short "adverts" that ripped the mickey out of being a teacher. If you're not familiar with the show, they went something along the lines of "couldn't find anything better to do, couldn't get a proper job, didn't mind the crap pay but need the long holidays" type of spiel.
Working in education myself, I did wince slightly at them but have to admit to laughing harder than I winced. If I'm totally honest, I was knackered by the end of the first half term and was totally looking forward to the break.
It is highly possible that I've mentioned this in the past, but historically, M and I would use up our 25-30 days annual leave individually of each other, in order to cover off the children's school breaks and holidays. Nowadays, when M takes a day off, or a week off, we're all off together.
Thank you very much, job done.
Anyways, this half term we took ourself off to Winchester for a couple of days. We got a cheap deal in a hotel (hotels never work out for us and yes, a complaints letter has been sent off!) for two nights, the hotel situated right next to Marwell Zoo. I have to big-up this zoo as it is one of the best zoos I've ever been to, if not the best zoo. (I did argue that Longleat was the best ever, but the ever level-headed M reminded me that Longleat is a safari park, not a zoo).
Yes, yes, moving on and next stop after Winchester was Wilton; the royal home to Lord and Lady Parker - you may recall me mentioining them two or three hundred times over the past several years.
Lovely, lovely Wilton, so relaxing, so green, so wonderfully full of long foresty walks.
I reminded them how bonkers they were to have left SW London for the wide open green spaces of Wiltshire and they just hung their heads in shame, clearly too proud to admit that they did indeed make the mistake of their lives!!
Tough luck chaps, you live THERE and we live ..... here, deal with it!!!
Whatever, a smashing half term, rounded off with our ever enjoyable stop at their country pile - fireworks and hot dogs included - and back to London along the beautifully familiar A3 in time for baths and bed, well and truly pooped.
Some pictures for your perusal.
Comments only where needed (click to enlarge).
The Great Screen, some of it original and dating from when the cathedral was first built in 1079 (amazing) but thanks to much of it being destroyed during the Reformation, most of it now dates from the the late 15th century (still pretty darned amazing).
Anthony Gormley's sculpture, entitled Sound II. This 'man' stands alone in the crypt which, during heavy rainfall, completely floods, leaving Mr Sound II up to his knees in water. You can still make out the water lines along the edge of the picture. even though the crypt hasn't flooded for months, such is the time needed to dry out completely.
' couldn't believe my luck. I'm a big Question Time fan (ok, ok, I enjoy hurling insults at politicians from the comfort of my sofa), but admire David Dimbleby and lo and behold, there he is, about to pre-record from the cathedral itself. (I wondered what all those OB rigs were doing outside!)
Arrived at this part of the zoo at 3.25pm. ' cannot BELIEVE we missed the opportunity to hear the Marwell Zoo rhinos talk, dammit!
Pumpkin scoop off (declared a draw)
An extremely rare of the four of us all together in a picture. This was taken at the bonfire and fireworks night, just before we got stuck into our hot-dogs which were delicious thanks.