Spring has sprung

So this weekend saw yet more snow arrive in Shropshire & in fact over most of the Uk,

Shrewsbury for some reason (maybe because its in the bow of the River Severn) had a sprinkling of the stuff but not enough to warrant panic buying & rioting, but sadly enough to force me to cancel my plans to meet friends in Stratford.

Luckily I have a wonderful chum who offered me what I think to be a wonderful alternative! I was invited down to Hopton House for the weekend & I gladly accepted.

Now those of you that have followed my blog know Hopton is a wonderful bed & breakfast nestled down in the South Shropshire countryside.

So provisions (change of underwear, socks, toothbrush & books you know all the essentials) packed & off I set.

The welcome upon arrival would fail to melt even the stoniest heart as Murphy & Mitsi greet you with a fevered wag of their tail & an excited glint in their eye.

And so my Saturday afternoon of chatting, eating cake, drinking tea, reading, playing ball with the dogs & watching the Bramblings, Yellow Hammers & various other birds began.

The afternoon soon progressed into evening where I was treated to wonderful food & wonderful company followed by great discussions about films (classics & modern) before retiring to bed. I was in The Paddock Room (my usual room) which to me is the definition of a perfect bedroom and woke on Sunday morning to the Sparrows chirping away & a wonderful snowy vista.

As you can tell I’m quite pleased the snow altered my plans as I got to retreat for the weekend with friends in a little corner of snowy Shropshire.

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A Catch Up

Since my break up I have neglected to bore you with what I have been up to! I can assure you that I have not been sat in the house, like a recluse and with an ever increasing number of pets in the style of Little Edie.

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I have in fact been busy a) with work and b) off exploring more of what The National Trust has to offer. She anyway here is a quick catch up

January

So January came along and with it came visits to friends, the snow and adventures through burst rivers – as well as cake, tea, laughter, the growing of a beard and of course a few tears.

There was also the murder mystery evening at Attingham Park which was a brilliant was to spend an evening, sleuthing and exploring the house after dark.

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February

Well February heralded the end of an era as The North Wing of Burcot Manor lost it’s last Myatt, the house that had been sanctuary to me and Flo in 2006 and then later a well loved Country Gent’s escape for my brother was left as Jim purchased his first house, so it was cups of tea and the lugging of boxes in order that weekend.

Puppy

I also caught up with friends whose house was in the mists of chaos after the arrival of their baby girl and also the arrival of 5 puppies all within the same week.

I also managed to squeeze in a couple of National Trust Properties and with the inclusion of me to my chum’s car insurance I travelled in Land Rover Luxury! I started off the year with a trip to Baddesley Clinton a wonderful moated manor house, followed by a brief trip to Hanbury Hall (for the record tea and cake were had at both properties)

There was the wonderful evening Snowdrop Walk at Attingham Park, where the paths were lined by candles and the snow drops glowed in an almost unnatural way.

Benthall Hall also opened it’s doors and as always even on a very cold and grey winter’s afternoon the property looked stunning and the signs of spring were showing with the bulbs just showing their heads through the soil.

March

And so to March, and although there has been no sign of the March Hare in Shrewsbury, Les (The Giant Rabbit from next door) has been keeping Flo on her toes when he stops by for a visit.

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The Month started with a fleeting trip to London to see Kiss Me Kate at the Old Vic with a rather ill best friend and also with a rather taxing drive up to Lyme Park in Cheshire, which was a stunning sight and rather busy property.

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March also opened with a rather marvellous drinking session with my chum Adam, and we can honestly say we put the World to rights over many pints and Gentleman’s Cocktails

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March also involved a visit to the wonderful Croft Castle (and even in the pouring rain) spirits weren’t dampened and yet again cake was eaten! Can you see a theme here?

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March also saw the arrival of my nephew Morris, who I am very much obsessed with

Morris

March isn’t over yet and I have yet to tell you about my visit to Birmingham and the exploration of the wonderful former Birmingham Municipal Bank, but I will blog about that later!!

 

Alone!

I never came out to my parents, I really didn’t get the chance to, my sister presented my parents with my diary and at the age of 15 I came home from school that day to face the disappointed look of my Mother and my Dad’s rather worried face.

It was later that same day that Dad sat me down and gave me a talk about the World (or his view on it) I don’t recall the details nor the ins and outs of the talk but one sentence has stuck with me since that day 19 years ago.

“A gay man’s life is a lonely one”

I am not sure where he has ascertained that snipped of information from for as far as I could recall my parents had no gay friends, a gay man even in the 1990′s was someone who was a figure of ridicule and camp humour.

I am now 34 and having just come out of a relationship and no through no choice of my own I find myself sitting alone of an evening where previously they would have been spent with G

I also find my weekends are now an open abyss of time to fill and of course I have missed the companionship but I must admit I have not felt lonely!

I have been very lucky that I have had friends that have checked on me, shimmied me along when my chin has wobbled with the start of tears, that have held my hand and given it a heartfelt squeeze when I have paused in conversation in a melancholic manner.

I hate to say this but my Dad was wrong, yes there maybe times in my life I am alone but I will never be lonely.

A Kind Act

It was just yesterday in a day that felt as if had rained from sun up! I spotted him lay in the street, lay in one of the puddles of water & the people of Ludlow all walking by, their Christmas far to important to stop & help.

We stopped and helped and it was in the warmth of our chum Sian’s shop and with her tender care and touch he started to glow again!

Yes we rescued a lost and forgotten snowman who now will have a home with us forever!

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Snow!

With the temperatures as low as they are at the moment, I am reminded of the Winter of 2010. I was living at the farm and during the worst of the snow fall it would take me almost 90 minutes to make the usual 30 minute journey to work. I was also reminded of the times I had to abandon the car and hike home across lanes filled with snow. But the main memories are of the snow capped Shropshire Hills, of my time in my small cottage, heated by my beloved Rayburn and of my time spent looking after the animals.

A Duck's first snow

A Duck’s first snow

Partridge Farm Driveway

Not a great lover of the white stuff!

Not a great lover of the white stuff!

A silly dog, enjoying the snow

A silly dog, enjoying the snow

Cold on the feet!

Cold on the feet!

Drifted Snow

Drifted Snow

Bare and with a dusting of snow

Bare and with a dusting of snow