Relaxed But Not Exactly Refreshed

Last week was a stay at home holiday for me and Growler.  A “staycation” as my American frined Nina informs me.  Some British friends suggest if anything it should be a “stoliday”.

It was great to have a break from the normal routines, spend time with Growler and to go out and see different things.  Plus I had my own comfey bed and home comforts (and medications and suppliments) at hand.

So here’s what I did on my stay at home holiday …

Growler had the Friday and the following week off.  On the Friday we went to a nearby farm shop and bought the lemon curd I am partial too. Then we went to a nearby garden centre, had a look around the giftware and cards before a bit of cake in the cafe.

That first weekend we rested.  Well if we had travelled then we’d have done that.

Monday we travelled into Birmingham and had a picnic in the Botanical Gardens.  Unfortunately there was also a fun day for “underpriveledged children” and the place was heaving with kids in school parties and a loud sound system with children orientated disco music.  Ah well.  We were warned about the noise by the lady on the ticket desk.

20090713 bird cage

So we left and headed to the Sea Life centre (aquarium).  Which had less people but an even louder PA system with new age piped music.  I’ve never been deafened by new age mystical music and sea sound effects before so that was quite an experience. 

At the risk of moaning … access within the building was alright but getting through the damn doors was a different matter.  And when we found the otters there were half a dozen members of staff stood in front of the enclosure.  We were told we had missed the feeding and if we didn’t want to queue for the 4d cinema to (more or less) move along. So I saw one otter for all of 2 seconds. Grump.

20090713 hello turtle

20090713 through the round window

Even so it was good to out and about and with my lovely Growler.  And we made a good start on what was to become major sugar overload during the next week.

Tuesday we went all the way to Chester Zoo.  Turns out it’s not that far to go.  I was prepared for school parties but there were a lot of teenagers old enough to be let loose on their own (in packs of course) but not old enough to not be irritating.  But once we moved from the main concourse where the cafes were it got a little less busy. 

We saw lions, elephants, giraffes, spectacled bears (didn’t get a photo though), meerkats, jaguars, bats which flew around out heads in a special indoor darkened enclosure, penguins, seals and lots more.

20090714 meerkats and humans

20090714 giraffes at chester zoo

After a long day on Tuesday we kept it local and low key on Wednesday.  Starting with a trip to a local garden centre restaraunt for a full english breakfast (oh boy were we full!) we then went into Lichfield and took a look around the cathedral.  We’ve lived here at least 5 years and never actually been and looken around it properly before.  I lit a candle for … well … everyone really. 

20090715 erasmus the bunny

Then we had lovely cake in the cathedral coffee shop before visiting the gift shop via Erasmus the bunny rabbit.  He’s the rabbit that lives in the gardens of Erasmus Darmin’s house (the house I don’t think is wheelchair accessible – nothing on their web site about access – so we didn’t go in the house).

20090715 lichfield

On the way home we went into the local library to rent some films on DVD.  I love libraries and I miss being able to pop in.  The smell of libraries is wonderful to me.  We spent out afternoon back home watching one of the DVD’s.

Thursday we popped into Marks and Spencers and I bought a new top for my friend’s wedding which is this weekend.  Then onto the cinema to see the new Harry Potter film. 

It was my first experience of a cinema using the wheelchair to make things “easier” but it was a bit of a nightmare.  The trailers were showing by the time we got in and we were both carrying snacks.  Poor Growler was trying to move me into a wheelchair space in the dark with snacks in his hands.  The usher waved his torch around for 3 seconds, stood in the dark and watched for another 15 seconds and then buggered off. 

It was kind of a stressful start.  And again although it’s level and ramped access inside the building the doors were not friendly and the disabled toilet door had one of those closing mechanisms that made the door super heavy.  But we enjoyed the film and the snacks very much.

By Friday I was really tired but not wanting to waste any opportunity to go out.  So we drove to Ironbridge.  It was raining so hard and I was so knackered we never got out of the car.  We wound our way back to a garden centre some way away and had lovely cake before heading home.

20090714 self

The weekend was spent watching the British Open Golf on the telly and generally lazing.

As you can tell I did a LOT more on my week off than I do normally and I was really starting to struggle by the weekend.  So I’m not exactly refreshed and rested.  But the change of scene, the freedom to go out and about, and being able to hang out with my Growler made it a great week off.  I find myself this week ready to tackle my to do list with renewed enthusiasm.  The challenge is to remember to make resting part of my routine again.

Not having to travel to, or cope with the changes of different accommodation was a real help I think to make the most of the holiday.  Although it’s very nice to have different walls to look at and someone else whose done the cleaning when you do stay away.

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3 Responses to “Relaxed But Not Exactly Refreshed”


  1. 1 ashysheela July 21, 2009 at 10:24 am

    wow, that was a jam-packed week! I am so glad you managed to go out and about so much, even if there were times you did not feel so good. It is years since i went to Chester Zoo and Ironbridge – good job you didn’t get out of the car, it is a big place to tackle when not feeling too good (and it really did RAIN on Friday!). Good job with all the cake – i am jealous, altho i did eat a crunchie on the train home from scarborough – it was yummy and made me dizzy 😉

    I like that you lit a candle for… everyone!

    I hope you have a good time at the wedding at the weekend too and have recovered by then 🙂

  2. 2 ninacolors July 21, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    The photos are stunning!!!!!!! Enjoy the wedding:-)

  3. 3 Sue July 22, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Ah, yes, Staycations are all the rage here this year! So glad to hear you enjoyed yours so much. Sounds like you did a LOT – glad you were able to get out and about so much.

    By the way, I also love otters and the library. I get all of our DVDs from the library – they’re free! That’s our big thing on weekends – watching a movie in the evening from the comfort of our family room. Though we also went out to the theater this weekend to see Harry Potter with our two sons – it was great!

    Rest up and take care of yourself!

    Sue


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