An Escape from Insanity…

After a few extremely hectic days in Hanover House, we are on the point of ‘getting away from it all’ for 10 days as we head off for Verona and the Veronese Opera Season. From the middle of the week we have been full of a very wide variety of guests including a gaggle (or should that be geisha) of Japanese ladies, who had been booked in (from Estonia) by their son/nephew and were a bit incomprehensible and uncomprehending! Unlike many of our lovely Japanese guests, they had about only 3 English words between them, and from arrival were convinced that James was their Cotswold tour bus driver. Having with difficulty disabused them of that notion and pointing them in the direction of the Tourist Office (they must be experienced in this sort of communication difficulty?) they seemed to have an enjoyable couple of days in the lovely weather we’ve had in the latter half of the week. On departure, after a very early breakfast because they had to catch a train, they had ‘forgotten’ that we don’t accept credit cards and found they didn’t have enough money for the bill. Veronica then directed them firmly in the direction of the cash machines at Waitrose on the other side of the park, but wisely kept one as a ‘hostage’ who was quite happy to remain behind and consume her breakfast while her two sibling sisters headed off into the sunshine. Fortunately it all turned out well, they collected their cash, got back in time for a morsel or two before their taxi turned up and off they jolly well went to London.  Lucky London! Other guests included Aussies and denizens of Edinburgh, some Welsh girls and a lovely, very polite family from Karachi. The latter consisted of  Mum and two daughters, perhaps a little younger than we normally take, but we knew they would be well-behaved, and so they were. They had come all that way to have one of the daughters fitted with contact lenses at the neighbouring, clearly world-renowned, opticians, Hollands. How they knew about them I’m not sure, perhaps through earlier ‘contacts’ or far-sighted friends/relatives from the Ladies’ College across the road.

Shortly, we have the ebullient and lovely Diane coming in to run Hanover House for us over the next 10 days, and to walk and look after Sophie. She has dogs of her own and knows Sophie well from previous stays and as long as the latter is fed, walked and otherwise entertained, she’ll probably hardly notice we’ve gone. We’ll probably have to sneak out however, and expect the cold shoulder treatment when we get back.

Roadworks on St George’s Road are beginning to fade as the pipe/drain/wire layers or whatever, work their way to some other area to disrupt. Fortunately because it’s not too busy a road, we didn’t have too much disturbance ourselves apart from the odd ‘pirate’ car parker tucking their ageing car behind our hedge while they made their next appearance in front of the bench. I’ve often wondered what would happen if following a car dump outside our front door they were given a custodial sentence and didn’t come back for it. At the beginning of the week however, the Gloucester Echo rang up to find out if we’d had any problems and James just mentioned that it had affected the parking opposite the Magistrate’s Court for a while, which we need for guests when we’re full up and our two places taken up and didn’t think any more of it. Yesterday, however, while visiting Veronica’s daughter Rachael in Sunningwell, just behind Boar’s Hill in Oxford, we met Rachael’s mother-in-law who’d been staying a day or so, and clearly an avid reader of the local press, who said she’d seen James’ name mentioned in connection with resident’s comments on the roadworks. It must have been very much a non-news day in Gloucestershire…

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