Tuesday, 16 July 2013

"A Whore, a Whore, my Kingdom for a Whore"

Some of the more eagle-eyed of you may have spotted the fact that last week's Picture Of The Week has stayed up a little longer than usual.  There is a reason - it's been one of those 'long weekends away', and an invite back to Ess and Emm in Warwickshire with friends is always hard to resist.

It certainly helped that it was surely one of the hottest and glorious weekends of the year - and in the lush and beautiful hills of Shakespeare country it really was, in tabloid speak, a 'scorcher'.  In truth, it wasn't a promising start.  Just as we were leaving Manchester city centre our driver said "The car's getting a bit too hot for my liking," and the passengers (including me) looked in puzzlement at each other, all of us no doubt thinking 'Of course it's hot, moron, look at the weather!'  Suddenly clouds of steam erupted from the bonnet and the car slowed to a wheezing halt.  A breakdown man was duly called as we stood on the pavement slowly cooking (it was midday on Friday), and he turned up after just 15 minutes and declared a split radiator hose.  With that repaired we set off, a little more nervously than we had before.

By 5.00pm we had reached Ess and Emm with no more mishaps, and the baking temperature was enough inducement to break out some wine and beer, and I did manage to introduce some of the guests (it was a party for a special occasion) to Amaretto Sours (a large dash or two of Amaretto, some lemonade and fresh lime - mmmmm!).  As I walked around the garden, I suddenly realised there were a few other guests that had decided to make their home there for the summer...

Bees!
 Yes, it was a little hive of bumble bees, taking up residence in a bird nesting box.  I didn't get too close, though, as I wasn't sure how aggressive they would be.  Lunch on the Saturday was at a fantastic Italian restaurant - La Coppola in elegant Leamington Spa, which was the best Italian food I have had outside of Italy itself.  I chose the Campania Mozzarella Coppola and Gnocchi E Gorgonzola, both of which were sublime, and I especially loved the stunning tall blonde lady that arrived midway through our meal wearing very little, and I got a lovely view as she climbed the stairs in front of me later on in her skin-tight and very tiny shorts.  I can't promise she'll be there when you go, of course, but I can at least vouch for the quality of the meals!

We stayed at the B&B until Sunday, and as we set off to head back north a suggestion was made to stop off in Shakespeare's town - Stratford Upon Avon.  I've never been, and if truth be told I didn't quite fancy being jostled by hordes of American/Japanese tourists, but with the weather being so lovely and the prospect of a return to sweltering Manchester city centre not too appealing, it was an easy one to agree with.

What was supposed to be a quick stop suddenly turned into on overnight stay, as the restaurant we chose happened to have spare rooms, so, unpacked and fed, a late-evening walk in the cool air was a perfect time to see the town and maybe discover what all the touristy fuss was about.

First stop, on advice from our waiter, was the little marina where the Stratford Upon Avon Canal meets the River Avon.  At 9.00pm it was still buzzing nicely (a bit like the hive of bees), and was completely lovely.  A pretty row of narrowboats lined the sides of the marina, and the town, Royal Shakespeare Company theatre and grassy open areas made a perfect backdrop.

Dexi Independent Escort - The Marina at Stratford Upon Avon
A little bit of exploring led to a, ahem, very different view of the marina...

Dexi Independent Escort - A different view of the Marina
Yes, I know it's a gratuitous panty-shot, but I did want to show off my new pair, and I liked the graffiti bit too - 'Money can't buy love' - it made me think of the old joke 'no, but it can buy a better class of harlot'!  (Told to me once by someone who had no idea of what I do - it made it funnier, somehow.)

From the marina, it is a short walk into the town centre itself.  Straight away I spotted a 1940's tearoom, and made plans to visit it the following day.  As I strolled around the quiet town at dusk, it revealed more and more of it's treasures - stunning Tudor buildings and little quaint side streets, all lit by lovely streetlights.

Dexi Independent Escort - Stratford Upon Avon




Dexi Independent Escort - Stratford Upon Avon
 It is certainly a beautiful town, especially once the hustle of the crowds isn't a distraction, and I have to say that it was a very restful sleep that night, no doubt helped by the fresh evening air and a little alcohol!

Dexi Independent Escort - Panties in Stratford Upon Avon
 Sunday morning dawned as bright and hot as the previous days. thankfully, so it was another quick walk around the town before leaving.  On the previous evening I'd seen signs for the Butterfly Farm, and headed back that way in search of pretty colourful things.

Dexi Independent Escort - The Buuterfly Farm, Stratford Upon Avon
The Butterfly Farm was lovely - again, especially as it was still very quiet when I went early in the morning.  No doubt once it is full of screaming, running kids it may lose some appeal, but it was very tranquil while I was there.  Not for those, of course, that don't like fluttering flying things, as they do have a habit of landing on your head and body for a little rest.

Dexi Independent Escort - The Butterfly Farm, Stratford Upon Avon
 There was also an insect house, and I was fascinated by the big bird-eating spiders and tarantulas.

Before we finally headed back to Manchester, we had a light lunch at The Fourteas - the 1940's-inspired cafe in the centre of Stratford Upon Avon.  Homemade Lemonade and Cucumber sandwiches (with no crusts, of course) were the order of the day, and I was nicely refreshed for the drive back home.

I loved Stratford Upon Avon, and even with the crowds during the day it remained a lovely place to visit.  I even came away wishing I knew a little more of Shakespeare's plays, and that is a rare thing to achieve!

So, this week's Picture Of The Week, on the Gallery page as usual, is very new, as it was taken over the weekend.  As it's a little late, and next weekend may be busy, this will be staying up until the weekend after, so I hope you enjoy it.

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