A Genteel Life

We haven’t felt like blogging lately at all. We have been too busy cramming in every last beer and pub as possible in the Bath region (and succeeding quite well). In the time since we last wrote a blog entry, lots has happened. On our way in from Malaysia, were unexpectedly detained by British immigration for quite some time–2 hours. They even put us in separate holding cells, just to enhance the sense of intimidation. It worked–practically ruined our first day in London but we were saved by a series of great pubs and the warm company of some Ratebeerians (ChrisO & MagicDave). On day two we had another great day with Josh’s cousin Andrew, visiting a few more pubs and also fulfilling my need to see some live music after a 5 month drought of it in Asia. This was a special performance with Stephen O’Malley of Sunn 0))) and percussionist Steve Noble at the small Cafe Oto.

At the moment we are are living the genteel lifestyle in Bath. The town is in a prime location for beer and cider hunting. We have been here more than 2 weeks and haven’t even visited the main tourist attractions–the Roman Baths and the Bath Abbey–but we have managed to fit in a few sessions of squash. During the last one I badly pulled a calf muscle and now can’t even walk properly. Sucks.

On the full moon, we rented a car for a day. We planned an ambitious itinerary that included (roughly in this order): the Stanton Drew stone circle; Cheddar; Wells; Glastonbury; the Nunney Castle;  Stonehenge, and Avebury. Of course we fit in some pubs along the way. Incredibly we did all this in spite of getting a flat tyre near Nunney (yes I said ‘tyre’). An angel came along and changed it for us–the delay lasted all of 30 minutes. Given that seeing Stonehenge spontaneously moved me to tears, I would say that day was a highlight of my life. I’ve seen the Egyptian pyramids at Giza, witnessed mass at the Vatican, walked through the Taj Mahal and ridden through the rice fields near Guilin, China. I’ve even shaken hands with the Dalai Lama. Stonehenge is right up there for the effect being there had on my soul.

This past weekend we took a cider-soaked side trip to Wales for the Swansea Bay Beer Festival. Just spent the one night in Swansea and then the following afternoon in Cardiff. Absolutely loved Wales and was surprised how different the vibe and people are from English. Plus, the language is cool and makes it feel quite exotic to be there.

That’s about it for now, I will make a hyperlinked summary of the places and pubs we have been to when I can. We are very happy right now. We have been to a lot of memorable places and had lots of real ale, hand pulled from the cask.

Tuesday Sept 7 we will go to Scotland for 3 weeks. We will have one more update before we leave England because we are meeting some people in Bristol this weekend. On Saturday we meet Dawn, my penpal when I was a kid (who I have never met before). On Sunday we hang out with Josh’s second cousins Mark and Jackie.

P.S. We have been eating a lot of cheese

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