Last week, with a Bank Holiday sitting nicely at the back end of the weekend, Elaine and I decided to go to Stratford-upon-Avon for a couple of days.
I’d like to say that it was a spur of the moment decision, but, unfortunately, the very nature of a long distance relationship dictates that almost everything has to be pre-planned. Finding somewhere that is equidistant from Chelmsford and Liverpool is a pain, but the positive side is that we get to see some lovely places.
After dropping the kids home on the Sunday, I drove up to Stratford in the afternoon, meeting Elaine around 4 pm at the hotel (which, by the way, was lovely. If you ever need a place to stay, the Best Western hotel is fairly cheap, completely adequate, on top of the town centre and has the nicest staff I think I’ve ever met in a hotel. That reminds me, I really should put a review on TripAdvisor). Elaine was about ten minutes behind me, and the next 24 hours sped by in a blur.
The town itself is known best as being the birthplace of Shakespeare, of course, and we took in the various sites associated with the great man, including his birthplace and various houses that were owned by his family. My only disappointment with it all was that a lot of the talks and a great deal of information given was supposition. “This ring, with the initials WS engraved on it, could well have belonged to William Shakespeare”. Considering that you’ve just told me that the ring was found in the ground nearby, I’m more likely to believe it’s probably not something that he either had, or if he did, something that was fairly unimportant given that it was discarded so carelessly.
One thing I didn’t know is that had a group of his friends not collated a book of his plays after his death, we would have lost a great number of his plays as they simply weren’t kept anywhere else.
The sun was shining for the 24 hours we were there, though I think I annoyed Elaine by insisting that we stay out of the sun as much as possible given my propensity to burn in the merest of sun, whereas Elaine is a complete sun worshipper. Next time, I will take some factor 30 and be better prepared.
Unfortunately our time together was, once again, brief. I’m not sure if Elaine felt the same, but I was dreading the drive home and it kept popping into my head throughout the day, which was annoying. If I had the time again, I’d definitely try and stay longer, though again that’s not always easy to do given the dynamics of the relationship. Two and a half hours after leaving I was back home and counting the days until we see each other next, never sure if I love the fact that we get so much time to ourselves and that we are always on a countdown, excitedly ticking off the days until we see each other again, or whether I hate that I see so little of someone I think so much of.
Frustratingly our plans to go abroad this year have been cut short, though we now have plans to spend time in London, Essex and Liverpool across the course of a week which is exciting (and yes, it probably doesn’t sound exciting, but we will be going up The Shard and on a Duck Boat tour, both of which appeal to me).
More importantly, it’s time spent together.