Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Spring-Like Weather

For the past couple of days we've been experiencing almost spring-like weather. Carol was on Half-Term Holiday last week. She had to make a doctor's appointment early last week. We didn't go to the surgery on the Monday because from experience we knew that it was likely to be busy, with a long queue outside (I was only the second person in the queue the week before at around 7.45 a.m. when I'd gone to make an appointment myself.) So we'd gone on the Tuesday. It turned out that she would have to have a blood test, so had to go back the next day, at around 9.20 for that. 

The weather was mixed. Some days it was bright and sunny, whilst others it rained. On the Thursday we went to the Heart of the Shires shopping village at Weedon, which is up the A5. We had gone to another a few months ago, on the major roundabout on the A5/A43, just beyond Towcester, called Bell Plantation Garden. We'd had a nice meal in what's called the Plantation Cafe. But when we'd arrived this time we discovered that there was major roadworks on the roundabout. It looked as if they were widening the road and making the roundabout a good deal wider, putting in several new lanes for traffic. We have shopped in the Aldi branch which is nearby in the past. So we had travelled on until we came to the shopping village at Weedon. We'd discovered these places quite by chance as we've been up and down the A5 as it's a good deal less stressful than using the nearby M1 which is only a short distance away. There is so much more to see as you drive along the A5. There are several quite pleasant garden centres and shopping villages and you pass through a few really interesting villages and towns along the way, one being Towcester. Weedon is at the crossing-place of the A45 which goes on towards Birmingham, Warwick and Leamington Spa and is the way we drive whenever we go to Kenilworth Castle. The east direction heads towards Northampton and eventually Bedford. There are some really interesting shops and outlets at the shopping village, selling a range of items such as housewares, antiques, clothes and gardening items. We had a coffee in the cafe and then drove home slowly. Not an entirely over-exciting outing, but considering we hadn't been out all week it was quite a pleasant little outing. We did have a browse in the antiques centre but decided that most of what they had on offer was really over-priced. Our knowledge of antiques has been acquired as a result of watching such television programmes as Bargain Hunt, Flog It and Antiques Roadshow. I had never heard of Lalique, Famille Rose, or many of the more famous makers until I'd watched these shows.

On Saturday we decided that the dogs needed a well-earned outing, and wanted to take them for a walk. As mentioned in earlier posts, it's quite a military operation as you have to be properly organised for these outings as Alfie, our Yorkshire terrier gets very wound up when he knows we're going out. Fortunately this time he didn't get quite so stressed out, but I had to put the cage into the back of the car without him seeing we doing it. It started out quite fine and sunny, but it began to cloud over as we drove up the A5 as we were going to Salcey Forest, somewhere we haven't visited in quite a while. It turned out that there was building work going at the carpark. It looks as if they are building a new visitor centre. The cafe which is there currently is only wooden, a sort of temporary construction. Also, it was extremely muddy as we walked along the paths, which didn't bother either dog, but when they jumped up on us we became extremely covered in mud. Not a real problem because our clothes could be washed easily in the washing machine later. But, again, it was a nice outing. No sooner had we got back home than the rain began so it was as well we went out when we did and had made the best of the day.
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