Saturday, 13 August 2016

Overheated Wine

Today there was an outdoor festival of Virginia food and wine at the Village at Leesburg.  

We decided to go and have a look, despite the warnings of extreme heat for this weekend.

We walked around a few stalls, sympathised with some very overheated wine growers and sampled several wines, before deciding that it really was too hot to be out..

Again it was the heat index (feels like) figure of 45C which meant that indoors was the best place to be.

Figures look even worse in Fahrenheit, with a 'feels like' temperature of 113!!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Back to the Sauna!

Before 7am, Theo was not that keen on having his 'goodbye' photo taken with me - in fact the initial attempt looked like this..

...until he was allowed to hold his Mummy's phone!

Goodbyes are always the worst part of a trip home, of course.  But this has been a great trip with lovely times and lots of happy memories - and we will be visiting again before too long.

The return journey was smooth, take off over Windsor Castle was bright and sunny.. Lovely morning (castle quite distant -  immediately under the wing tip)

Arriving back at Dulles it was immediately evident that, instead of the pleasant sunny day I had left behind in the UK, this was a very hot and muggy day.

A wall of heat was waiting for us on the jetway and it was a relief to get into the airport and even more to get into David's car and back to the house!

As this screenshot from my phone shows, even at 7pm when we sat outside on the decking, it was still 34 degrees, with a heat index ('feels like') temperature
of 39 degrees - sauna temperature, in other words.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Royal Pump Rooms

The Pump Room Baths in Leamington Spa opened in 1814, in an elegant Regency colonnaded building adjacent to the River Leam.  The pump rooms and assembly room were built over one of seven springs in the immediate area - one of them originally recorded in the 15th century.

There was the chance to both bathe in and drink the waters, the latter encouraged by the 'Rules for drinking the waters' published in 1814 by James Bissett:

'At early dawn prepare to rise,
And if your health you really prize,
To drink the waters quick repair,
Then take a walk to breathe fresh air.
Hie thro fields - or promenade
Round pump rooms grand, or colonnade.

A second glass now take - what then?
Why take a pleasant walk again,
The Waters, exercise and air,
Will brace your nerves, your health repair.

Then to your breakfast haste away,
With what keen appetite you may'.

This drinking fountain is no longer in use but it is still possible to drink the waters from a drinking fountain outside the pump rooms.

Later additions to the pump rooms included this Turkish bath or Hammam - a place for socializing whilst gently steaming out 'impurities'.

As late as the 1990's, hydrotherapy treatments were on offer - and as the below tariff shows, at quite modest prices in the 1980's..

One particular treatment, the Zotafoam bath, was intended to treat obesity..

Hard to tell whether this lady needed the treatment or not!!

The treatment apparatus now forms part of the museum and the swimming pools house the Art Gallery - so no spa experiences are available in Leamington any more.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Camoufleurs of Leamington Spa

I am not sure that, before today, I had ever heard of the word 'Camoufleur'.  It comes from the French, of course, and refers to those artists and others who were responsible for creating camouflage for buildings and military installations in wartime.

The exhibition at the Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery this summer focuses on the team of WWII camoufleurs who were based at various sites in the town.

This painting shows them at work in their workshop.  Other paintings showed the painted buildings, hangars and even the painting done on airfields (below) to disguise wartime activities.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Pegs and Buckets

Today it was time to say my goodbyes in Bath and to head back to see Lauren, James and Theo. 

This afternoon Theo and I were playing in the garden - counting pegs, attaching them to things and of course sending them down the slide..

Another everyday item which was lots of fun was a bright green soft garden bucket which Lauren bought to keep his Duplo in..

Other uses were soon found..

Theo is feeling much better than last week, which is great to see!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Spa Day

The Thermae Bath Spa has been in operation for ten years - but today, thanks to a birthday gift from my sister, I had my first experience of it.  Maggie kept me company.

No cameras or phones are permitted within the Spa - hence these two photos - the first of the rooftop pool and the second of the Minerva pool - are from the  spa website.

Despite the 'no camera' rule, we arrived to see this notice displayed at reception..

We watched the filming taking place and in fact the camera was watching we did end up with a few photos of our spa visit, albeit rather distant ones, taken as snapshots from the television..

We were in the jacuzzi section of the rooftop pool and not very easy to spot but you can see us both at the far left of this photo.

This is a view of the spa building from street level - the rooftop pool is just visible.  The views over Bath when in and around the pool are amazing and it must be fascinating at twilight too.

The warm mineral waters from the hot springs - unique in the UK - are very relaxing and it was a great experience - one to be repeated before too long I hope!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

The Birthday Hat

On Friday night when I went to Pucklechurch for an evening with Andrea and Steve and friends there, I was presented with the infamous birthday hat!

This cheery piece of headgear - now showing its age a little - started its party rounds when we were all celebrating our 50th birthdays and was accompanied by a large '50' lapel badge, to be signed and passed on.

Ten years on and there is a new '60' badge - only three signatures so far - and a rather droopy hat!!