So I’ve managed to wangle myself a week off work, most welcome given how busy I have been recently, as a means of celebrating my wedding anniversary at the end of May and the Book God’s birthday (which was yesterday).

We hired a car for a couple of days and have been tootling about the Surrey/Sussex countryside, indulging in what I have come to call “falling in love with houses we can never afford in places it would be impractical to commute from”.

This didn’t stop us identifying at least half a dozen large country piles which could be dream retirement homes. Assuming we win the lottery, that is….

On Monday we spent the day in Arundel, one of our favourite places (see not terribly brilliant photograph at the top of this post); this mostly involved eating a very, very nice lunch in a local hotel, the purchase of fudge, and a visit to a fabulous shop specialising in walking sticks.

On Tuesday, we headed down towards Portsmouth, mainly to visit Portchester Castle, an amazing place which consists of a Norman Castle in one corner of a huge Roman fort site (which has the best preserved Roman fort wall north of the Alps, apparently) with a lovely little Norman church in the opposite corner and a huge amount of space in between. While we were there a party of schoolchildren arrived for the traditional summer school trip – lots of small children being very excited to the accompaniment of teachers saying “shhhh” a lot.

We then headed to the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson which basically allowed the Book God to look at a lot of very big guns. Which kept him happy.

Read slump seems to be over in that I am reading more, though still not finishing anything, but the week is yet young.