Wednesday, 18 May 2011


It’s Wednesday evening, and I am already knackered. This would be more excusable if I had been at work all week, but after an extended four day weekend away with friends, I really should be in tip top condition. In fact I feel like I need another four days to recover. The sad thing is it wasn’t a weekend of hardcore partying, sex, drugs and rock and roll. It was a few very pleasant days in a self catering cottage in the Cotswolds. Oh well. I must be getting old.
I had a lovely time. Hanging out with six of my favourite people was a real hoot – think homemade food, plenty of Pimms and charades – and we went to some really cool places. My personal favourites were the Cotswolds Farm Park, where I had a cuddle with a little fluffy chick and an even fluffier bunny wabbit (sorry) and watched lambs being fed by a group of awe-struck kiddies - heart warming stuff – and Kelmscott Manor where William Morris and Dante Rossetti lived and ran the Arts and Crafts Movement – inspiring stuff. Okay, so I declined the opportunity to go parachuting, but managed to get the boys into crafts (apparently glass blowing is “manly wicker”) and was on the winning team of the music quiz – and no, I didn’t cheat. And, as usual, it was a welcome break from the city.
However, I’m afraid to say although the Cotswolds are beautiful and Bourton-on-the-Water was very cute... it wasn’t for me. It is a very pretty place, but it would struggle to hold my attention for much longer than a couple of days. There are only so many villages you can wander around before they all start to look the same – think stone cottages and gift shops selling exactly the same stuff as their neighbours – and the other activities are quite limited. Okay, so I could have quite easily have spent a few days longer there and explored the local brewery and headed to Bath for the day, but I certainly couldn’t live there.
I think what I am trying to say is that looks aren’t everything. Take London for example – parts of it are pretty ugly. But it is diverse, it is alive, it has a pulse and an energy. It has such a magnetic personality that it doesn’t need thatched roofs and rose gardens. It ain’t no supermodel, but it is well read, well travelled and witty. A bit like my chums, really.
At the end of the day, my weekend away was made by good company, way too much food and a fair bit of wine. And you can have that anywhere, whether you are in the heart of the city or the middle of nowhere. So next year, I don’t really mind where we go. As long as I get to play Dominoes in the pub again.

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