Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Autumn at Leamington Spa

Presently I am on my own.

On Saturday Janis left ‘Roots and Wings’ once more in my care, and caught the train to Southampton, where she joined the brig ‘Stavros S Niarchos’ for a fortnight’s cruise. She sails regularly on the ship and in spite of a mild ‘mal de mere’ she says she enjoys it. I am sure she does.


Stavros S Niarchos

The brig ‘Stavros S Niarchos’ of the Tall Ships Youth Trust


However on the previous evening my son Rupert paid us a visit from Bristol and meeting the National Express coach we were very pleased to see him. It was one of his rare visits and even though Janis had to leave the following day, Rupert and I nevertheless had a great time together on our own until he left on Monday morning on the coach back home.


Leamington Spa Station with Janis….


On Saturday morning he and I joined Janis on the train for one stop only, as far as Banbury, where we spent the day at my old home town and met up as arranged with my younger son Alex. He was visiting the family dentist for one of his annual check ups (I shall be going shortly as part of my annual health MOT at this time of the year) and it was a wonderful opportunity to see both my men at once. We reminisced a great deal as usual while we walked around the town but Banbury hadn’t really changed at all from a year ago when I was last there.


….with Rupert….

Alex had to return to his home in Bath later in the afternoon while Rupert and I returned to the two little ships at Leamington.



….and the three of us


As a result;

Presently I am on my own.

But I’m not alone. I am sitting in a busy pub called the ‘Benjamin Satchwell’ in the Parade at Leamington and yes, you’ll have guessed right; it is one of two Wetherspoon hostelries in town.

I am sitting here, with my back to the large but silent television screen, studying the clientele happily chatting, some loudly others more secretively, whilst eating their burgers and chips in great style and the two waitresses must sleep very well at the end of their shifts each day, as they walk for miles delivering non-stop, heavy plates of food.

At intervals between the study, I write this blog and in spite of this apparent distraction, I find the atmosphere of the pub very conducive to writing. But the real incentive I have to admit is the fact that I can publish to the internet on completion via the free Wi-Fi available. It is so much easier and quicker than on board ship using my mobile dongle.

Outside the late Summer has departed and Autumn has arrived; yesterday high winds battered ‘Futurest’ and heavy rain pelted the roof and drummed volubly on my cratch cover. I stayed huddled inside all day with just a quick dash ashore to buy some milk at Lidl. But during the weekend it was still fine and Rupert and I enjoyed our numerous walks around the town.

The distinctive architecture of Leamington New Town remains the same and though the beautiful villas that used to house the wealthier middle class are now shop fronts and offices, the captivating Regency charm is still present.

The grey squirrels in the Jephson Gardens were as tame as ever and eagerly took offered acorns from our hands to dash off immediately to bury them furtively in the well manicured flower beds. How the gardeners must curse them, especially if the acorns germinate. 

The large Victoria Park alongside the gently moving River Leam is also pleasurable to the senses. The damp fragrance of Autumn is stimulating enough and while the numerous trees have not yet shed completely their golden leaves there are enough on the ground beneath the branches to give a substantial depth of cover. 

And there is nothing quite so pleasurable at this magical time as swishing noisily through a deep carpet of fallen leaves in the Autumn.

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