Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Up, up and away....

As this is about the only form of travel by air available at the moment, it seems an appropriate time to tell you about our Saturday afternoon 'habit'!! As soon as the skies above Bath turn from wintery grey to springtime blue and the winter winds abate, the balloons take to the air in force....

They take off (do balloons take off? Or do they lift off? Or float off?.....whatever) from an area close by to the Royal Crescent Hotel....fortuitously this happens at about the same time the LAB has had enough of trailing from shop to shop with me (apparently the most difficult shopper according to various sources so I can't blame him really)...

The usual pattern is that with each shop visited, he progressively moves further and further away from the 'action' (read rails of clothes & changing rooms) and towards the door....until, eventually, he can stand no more and announces that he will meet me at the Royal Crescent....I
agree that this is an excellent idea and that he should order me a G & T, glass of bubbly or whatever the tipple of the day might be and that I shall be 'along in a few minutes'.

About (on average) an hour later I join him at one of these tables in the garden of this magnificent hotel and we enjoy a post-stressful shopping aperitif whilst admiring the balloons by now climbing high above us.
By the time we get home, they are usually en masse above the villages and the trauma of 'the shopping trip' is forgotten as we speculate about whether any of them will descend suddenly into one of the surrounding fields (usually populated by sheep, cows and their associated by-products at this time of year!) This is the bit which has always put me off hot air ballooning...the thought of landing in a muddy field with nothing more between me and the cow pats than a wicker basket....although even this seems preferable at the moment to being stranded at the docks in Spain hoping the Navy will take pity and transport you home in a big grey warship intended for soldiers who can't fly back from Afghanistan, or forking out 2,000 euros in France for a hire car to get to the closest ferry port where you will probably be told in any event that there are no tickets available until a week on Thursday.....
Ah yes, the joys of air travel............s


  1. Dear Susie,
    I LOVE hot air balloons. They fly over our house all the time in the Spring/Summer on still evenings and early mornings. I have been in one and was a little disappointed. I thought that we would speed along and go up and down like a roller coaster but, it was very still and quiet. Don't get me wrong. It was good fun, but the best part for me was the landing. That was a little more exciting...and, of course, the 'in flight' champagne.
    I love the look of that hotel. Perfect for an after shopping drink. XXXX

  2. Susie, I think Mr. H would gladly hop in that balloon right now. We need a strong wind to blow into Istanbul first. He is due to fly to Rome in the morning and then drive to Grenoble for a night then to Paris and onto Calais where he will keep his fingers crossed. He says he hopes to be home on Friday. He was due back last Friday...what a week. He is safe and comfortable so I have that to be thankful for.

    Now about this afternoon of yours...I like the shopping part, love the champagne part and think that sitting in that courtyard after a day of shopping and champagne could not be a more perfect ending to a weekend afternoon :)

    Jeanne xo

  3. Dear Susie - what lovely photographs - I love that hotel and the garden is so gorgeous on a Spring afternoon... Made me laugh about the shopping expeditions... how many times do we say "I'll just pop in here.. see you in a few minutes" ! x

  4. What a lovely shopping ritual, and those hot air balloons are one of the many things that made me so like Bath - it's the only UK city I'd return to live in again with no soul-searching at all. It's nice to be reminded.

  5. what a lovely way to while away a few hours.....

  6. Had an old boyfriend who used to do this most w/ends. Now this post HAS brought back memories Susie! Fab Hotel for a post-shopping debrief.
    Millie ^_^

  7. I would love to do this one day....have a wonderful weekend, xv

  8. Hi Susie
    Well I thought I had already commented on this post.. sorry about that.. must have done something silly...Well I have yet to fly away in an hot air balloon.. certainly something on my must do list.. but somehow it has escaped me.. I saw a doco recently about the history of flight.. the balloons were fascinating.. Oh and friends of mine were married in an hot balloon drifting over the Serengeti... she transported her wedding dress all the way from Aus.... a bit different.... That post shopping relaxation looks pretty good also... have a wonderful week.. xxx Julie

  9. PS..Susie, I have tagged you for your 10th photo :)
    More details on my blog...

  10. Sounds like the perfect Saturday afternoon. What is it with men and shopping? If it's for him Mr Brabourne is full of enthusiasm and interest; if not he looks like there's been a death in the family! Leigh